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New method for reporting solar data

Date:
February 11, 2011
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed.

A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.

The method presents solar data in a framework that "can be used by policymakers, businesses, and the public to understand the magnitude of solar resources in a given region, which might aid consumers in selecting solar technologies, or policymakers in designing solar policies," says David Wogan, a graduate student in mechanical engineering and public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the first author of a paper about the work in the American Institute of Physics' Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Wogan's coauthors on the paper are Michael E. Webber, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, and Alexandre K. da Silva, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

The method uses calculated estimates of solar insolation -- the amount of solar radiation incident on the earth's surface -- and the total energy in each of Texas's 254 counties, and presents the data in a geographic information system (GIS) format. Included in the model are daily, monthly, and yearly averages. This allows the method to be used, for example, to estimate the potential amount of solar-generated electricity that could be produced at a given location, in a given month.

In the paper, the researchers use Texas to illustrate the new method, "because its geography is very diverse," Wogan says, "but the framework is not limited to Texas and can be expanded to other states and countries to understand how renewable energy resources are distributed, both geographically and through time."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David M. Wogan, Michael Webber, Alexandre K. da Silva. A framework and methodology for reporting geographically and temporally resolved solar data: A case study of Texas. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 2010; 2 (5): 053107 DOI: 10.1063/1.3496493

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "New method for reporting solar data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132517.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2011, February 11). New method for reporting solar data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132517.htm
American Institute of Physics. "New method for reporting solar data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132517.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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