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Comparing the capability of low- and high-resolution LiDAR data with application to solar resource assessment, roof type classification and shading analysis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics. (Built Environment Energy Systems Group)ORCID iD: 1-6586-4932
Australian National University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9465-3453
Australian National University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3966-3058
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.
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2017 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 205, 1216-1230 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data have recently gained popularity for use in solar resource assessment and solar photovoltaics (PV) suitability studies in the built environment due to robustness at identifying building orientation, roof tilt and shading. There is a disparity in the geographic coverage of low- and high-resolution LiDAR data (LL and LH, respectively) between rural and urban locations, as the cost of the latter is often not justified for rural areas where high PV penetrations often pose the greatest impact on the electricity distribution network. There is a need for a comparison of the different resolutions to assess capability of LL. In this study, we evaluated and improved upon a previously reported methodology that derives roof types from a LiDAR-derived, low-resolution Digital Surface Model (DSM) with a co-classing routine. Key improvements to the methodology include: co-classing routine adapted for raw LiDAR data, applicability to differing building type distribution in study area, building height and symmetry considerations, a vector-based shading analysis of building surfaces and the addition of solar resource assessment capability. Based on the performance of different LiDAR resolutions within the developed model, a comparison betweenLL (0.5–1 pts/m2) and LH (6–8 pts/m2) LiDAR data was applied; LH can confidently be used to evaluate the applicability of LL, due to its significantly higher point density and therefore accuracy. We find that the co- classing methodology works satisfactory for LL for all types of building distributions. Roof-type identification errors from incorrect co-classing were rare (<1%) with LL. Co-classing buildings using LL improves accuracy of roof-type identification in areas with homogeneous distribution of buildings, here from 78% to 86% in accuracy. Contrastingly, co-classing accuracy using LH is marginally reduced for all building distributions from 94.8% to 94.4%. We adapt the Hay and Davies solar transposition model to include shading. The shading analysis de- monstrates similarity of results between LL and LH. We find that the proposed methodology can confidently be used for solar resource assessments on buildings when only LiDAR data of low-resolution (<1 pts/m2)is available.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 205, 1216-1230 p.
Keyword [en]
LiDAR, Solar resource assessment, Shading, Building classification, Low-resolution, High-resolution
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Engineering Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332226DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332226DiVA: diva2:1152562
Available from: 2017-10-25 Created: 2017-10-25 Last updated: 2017-11-01
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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.045

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Lingfors, DavidBright, Jamie MEngerer, Nicholas AKillinger, SvenWidén, Joakim
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