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Modelling of photovoltaic energy potential

In order to promote the penetrability of photovoltaic installations, it is essential to determine the type of energy potential in each area. This line of research focuses on the study of electricity production capacity through the use of geospatial information, predictive climate models and user consumption patterns. The main objective is the development of a tool to support the evaluation and monitoring of the viability of a solar installation based on an accurate prediction of solar production, from predictive models for calculating solar potential, in which the incorporation of geospatial variables willincrease the accuracy of the results..


A comprehensive customer and resource management system will be developed for this purpose, incorporating the representation of spatial information in three dimensions, 3D GIS,based on CityGML, which will include all relevant information on both renewable and non-renewable energy potential, as well as information on customers and sources of consumption, so as to enable the evaluation of the redesign of the energy network at all levels (technical, environmental and economic). This system will incorporate models developed for the prediction of terrestrial energy behaviour based on satellite information and complementary measurements, so that the different scenarios can be kept up to date and forecasts can be adjusted to changes in regulation, policy and socio-economic circumstances.

The specific objectives of this project are:

  1. Assessment of legal, political, technical and environmental possibilities for the redesign of the Spanish energy system towards a system of distributed resources based on renewable energy sources.
  2. Determination of methodologies for assessing energy potential, both renewable and non-renewable, surface and subsurface, based on free satellite information provided by the new ESA Sentinel and NASA MODIS satellites, and complementary measurements.
  3. Determination of detection and inspection methodologies of the existing energy network from satellite imagery, especially focused on district heating systems, oil and gas pipelines and production plants.
  4. Determination of the appropriate spectral band(s) for each type of energy resource, such as maximising the exploitation of the thermal band for the quantification of solar potential.
  5. Development of methodologies for automatic downloading of satellite images at large spatial and temporal scales, as well as automatic processing at city, DTM (Digital Terrain Model) and DSM (Digital Surface Model) scales.
  6. Development of predictive models of energy behaviour at a global level that allow the energetic evaluation of the earth taking into account the variation of parameters of energy factors, both at surface and at height.
  7. Development of a three-dimensional geographic information system in which the information available and the prediction models developed are applied to adjust the energy scenario in accordance with socio-economic and political circumstances.
  8. Development of a customer and demand management system, based on the 3D GIS, which allows, during and after the restructuring of the network, the updating of production and demand forecasts in real time.

– Some of the results were:

Photovoltaic forecasting for the city of Avila (Spain).


Estimation of parameters for a particular house.