Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-glaring photovoltaic installations for airports, highways

Date:
March 20, 2013
Source:
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT)
Summary:
Before a photovoltaic installation may be constructed, engineers calculate, for some selected days in the year, when and where the interfering light reflections occur, especially if airports, highways or larger residential areas are close by. In the future, this will be easier and more comprehensive: with software that creates a three-dimensional depiction of the glare at the touch of a button.

A new type of software calculates where and when planned photovoltaic installations can cause glare – such as the region around Frankfurt airport.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT)

Before a photovoltaic installation may be constructed, engineers calculate, for some selected days in the year, when and where the interfering light reflections occur, especially if airports, highways or larger residential areas are close by. In the future, this will be easier and more comprehensive: with software that creates a three-dimensional depiction of the glare at the touch of a button.

The pilot is about to land the plane, when he is suddenly blinded by glaring brightness created by a large-scale photovoltaic installation reflecting the sun. These blinding events create major safety hazards in the vicinity of airports. They also increase the potential for accidents when near highways. For this reason, before a photovoltaic installation may be constructed, engineers calculate, for some selected days in the year, when and where the interfering light reflections occur, especially if airports, highways or larger residential areas are close by.

In the future, this will be easier and more comprehensive: with software that creates a three-dimensional depiction of the glare at the touch of a button. It is developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT in Sankt Augustin, Germany together with their colleagues from the State Office for the Environment, Protection of Nature and Geology in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and various solar planners. "The software creates a 3D view from all sides for any time of the day or time of the year," says Alexander Wollert, a scientist at the FIT. "We recreate the entire scene in a three-dimensional room, with a map, elevation profile, sun, three-dimensional buildings and photovoltaic installations." The researchers also simulate the course of the sun and the blinding for each time unit and in any direction. They take into account the elevation of various ground surfaces as well as obstacles, such as trees or noise barrier walls.

The planners can randomly move the installation around the monitor screen and immediately determine when and where it will cause problems. They determine at what position of the sun, at what time of the day and during which season the solar modules cause glares, and in which directions the reflections point. For example, do they affect residents, how often and how intense? And what can be done to prevent glares? For example, the planners of the installation can change the orientation and tilt angle of the elements. If that is not enough to mitigate the effects, the software can "simulate" modules with a somewhat more matte surface. They reflect the sun far less than traditional models; however, they are also more expensive.

The researchers have set up and tested the software for the region around the Frankfurt airport. Building on that, they are now developing a version that is intended to help the operators of photovoltaic installations throughout Germany. "The software downloads its map material dynamically from the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy," explains Wollert. "It automatically downloads the required map material from there, as well as analogous contour maps. The software combines this information into a three-dimensional view of the respective surroundings, which form the basis for all further calculations." Wollert expects the software to be operational in the coming year.

The application is also of interest for private installations, because sometimes lawsuits are filed when neighbors feel bothered by the glare. In the future, the software could help avoid this problem. Used as service for engineers or planning agencies the peace among neighbors could be preserved.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). "Non-glaring photovoltaic installations for airports, highways." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304105034.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). (2013, March 20). Non-glaring photovoltaic installations for airports, highways. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304105034.htm
Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). "Non-glaring photovoltaic installations for airports, highways." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304105034.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins