A Spatial Approach to Determine Solar PV Potential for Durham Homeowners
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At present time, solar powered technologies such as photovoltaic (PV) and thermal heating systems supply less than one percent of energy needs in the United States. While conventional forms of energy have proven to be more cost competitive, solar systems can offer a promising alternative. This project examined this viability for a residential neighborhood in Durham, North Carolina. In particular, the analysis focused on the distribution of solar irradiance for fifty homes; each home’s distribution was subsequently used to calculate the energy outputs and financial analysis for proposed PV systems as well as determining the best place for each system to be built that will maximize the system’s outputs and benefits. This type of analysis was possible by modeling solar radiation in a three dimensional environment that combine remotely sensed data, LIDAR-derived, with the spatial analytical capabilities of GIS. The results from this project will ideally be used as the foundation for an informative tool that will guide homeowners as they make decisions regarding solar PV systems.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment