Publication

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Enhancing User Customization through Novel Software Architecture for Utility Scale Solar Siting Software.

Abstract: The need exists for a spatial decision support application that allows users to create customized metrics for comparing proposed locations of a new solar installation. This document discusses how PVMapper was designed to overcome the customization problem through development of loosely coupled spatial and decision components in a JavaScript plug-in architecture, allowing the user to easily add functionality and data to the system. The paper also explains how PVMapper provides the user with a dynamic and customizable decision tool that enables them to visually modify the formulas that are used in the decision algorithms that convert data to comparable metrics. The technologies that make up the presentation and calculation software stack are outlined. This document also explains the architecture that allows the tool to grow through custom plug-ins created by the software users. Some discussion is given on the difficulties encountered while designing the system. read more

Open Source Map Based Software for Photovoltaic System Layout Design.

Abstract: This paper presents the design and development of an open source map-based software package, PVMapper – Site Designer (PVMSD), for designing large scale photovoltaic (PV) systems. PVMSD uses numerous factors to reflect the characteristics of landscape specific to the area including site location, time zone, sun path, nearby weather station data, tilt and azimuth angle of the solar panels, and nearby objects such as trees and buildings that may obstruct or cast shadows over the panels. PVMSD enables the design of solar panel layout, assesses solar shade that could reduce the efficiency of the layout design, and calculates the optimal energy production obtained from the layout design. The program uses the System Advisor Model (SAM) software development kit (SDK) together with data from nearby weather stations to compute the potential power production of a specific layout design. Power production estimates from PVMSD were validated and compared with PVWATTs – PV software developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Results are shown to be comparable with PVWATTs, while the map-based interface and design tools of PVMSD provide extensive additional capabilities not in PVWATTs. Potential applications of PVMSD are also discussed. read more

Support for solar energy: Examining sense of place and utility-scale development in California

Abstract: As solar costs have declined PV systems have experienced considerable growth since 2003, especially in China, Japan, Germany, and the U.S. Thus, a more nuanced understanding of a particular public's attitudes toward utility-scale solar development, as it arrives in a market and region, is warranted and will likely be instructive for other areas in the world where this type of development will occur in the near future. Using data collected from a 2013 telephone survey (N = 594) from the six Southern Californian counties selected based on existing and proposed solar developments and available suitable land, we examine public attitudes toward solar energy and construction of large-scale solar facilities, testing whether attitudes toward such developments are the result of sense of place and attachment to place. Overall, we have mixed results. Place attachment and sense of place fail to produce significant effects except in terms of perceived positive benefits. That is, respondents interpret the change resulting from large-scale solar development in a positive way insofar as perceived positive economic impacts are positively related to support for nearby large-scale construction. read more


Citations for PVMapper

I: PvMapper
Peery, B., Alessi, R.S., Lee, R., Vang, L., Brown, S., Solan, D., and Ames, D.P., 2014. Enhancing User Customization through Novel Software Architecture for Utility Scale Solar Siting Software. In: Ames, D.P., Quinn, N.W.T., Rizzoli, A.E. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, June 15-19, San Diego, California, USA. ISBN: 978-88-9035-744-2. Read here

II: PvMapper Site Designer
Ames, D.P., Pinthong, K., Scott, M., Khattar, R., Solan, D., and Lee, R., 2014. Open Source Map Based Software for Photovoltaic System Layout Design. In: Ames, D.P., Quinn, N.W.T., Rizzoli, A.E. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, June 15-19, San Diego, California, USA. ISBN: 978-88-9035-744-2. Read here

III: Carlisle, J. E., Kane, S. L., Solan, D., & Joe, J. C. (2014). Support for solar energy: Examining sense of place and utility-scale development in California.Energy Research & Social Science, 3, 124-130. Read here

Acknowledgements

    This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy under Award Number DE-EE0005351.

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