Open source software to identify the best locations for photovoltaic projects in urban areas – pv magazine International


Researchers from the University of Malaga in Spain have developed an open-source software platform based on a data mining process that they believe can aid decision-making to identify locations for photovoltaic projects in cities. .

Thanks to the proposed methodology, which relies on geographic information and meteorological data, project developers should be able to assess the potential energy production by a photovoltaic system for a long or a short period.

“The system accesses previously downloaded geographic information and creates a map with a grid that delineates the areas available for energy estimation. It allows the user to select the area of ​​interest by defining a polygon on the map,” the scientists explained. “The system then loads the image covering the area bounded by the user’s coordinates through the polygon on the map. The following processing steps only take into account the data filtered at this step.

The software integrates data on the average inclination, orientation, size and latitude of each connected component. It also implements a model for image processing and extraction of roof characteristics, as well as photovoltaic energy calculation models.

“This tool offers excellent opportunities because it can be easily updated with new features made by the same developers or new contributors. After all, the source code is released,” the academics explained. “These new features could include focusing on new types of elements in a city or making a more accurate estimate of energy potential.”

Scientists showcased the software in the study Data-driven tools to assess the location of photovoltaic installations in urban areasrecently published in Expert systems with applications. “URSUS-PV is offered as a free web-based tool available to individuals, municipalities, neighborhood communities, or businesses in the photovoltaic sector,” the research team said. “It also comes as a package that can be modified to suit specific scenarios or enhanced with new features.”

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