Researchers from TU Delft have discovered a way to accurately and quickly measure the solar energy output from panels. Using the new approach, researchers can predict how effective solar panels will be in urban settings. The research was published in Nature Energy on February 4.
In urban settings, various structures such as building and trees play a key role in the solar energy input solar panels receive. Using the new research, architects and urban planners can plan for the maximum solar output and with ease.
The research has simplified previous methodology in a unique manner. It demonstrated that the total annual solar irradiation can be measured by using two key parameters. These key parameters are the sun coverage and the sky view factor. The first one measures the diffused sunlight reflected on a surface. The second parameter measured the irradiation caused by direct sunlight. This methodology and its quick results are essential for its application.
Research can spur investments in PV (photovoltaic system) systems
Currently, there are several similar tools available in the market. Earlier, mathematical models were used to understand the incident irradiance. Nevertheless, the electricity output of a PV system was difficult to generate for urban planners. The new research provides a new hope for harnessing solar energy efficiently.
The research was conducted by Andrés Calcabrini, a Ph.D. student at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The researchers believe that the new solution can help investors make better decisions. It could lead to inclusion of more PV systems in urban settings, as investors would get a fair overview of the PV system’s potential.