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Title: The dark side of photovoltaic — 3D simulation of glare assessing risk and discomfort

Photovoltaic (PV) systems form an important force in the implementation of renewable energies, but as we all know, the force has always its dark side. Besides efficiency considerations and discussions about architectures of power distribution networks, the increasing numbers of installations of PV systems for implementing renewable energies have secondary effects. PV systems can generate glare due to optical reflections and hence might be a serious concern. On the one hand, glare could affect safety, e.g. regarding traffic. On the other hand, glare is a constant source of discomfort in vicinities of PV systems. Hence, assessment of glare is decisive for the success of renewable energies near municipalities and traffic zones for the success of solar power. Several courts decided on the change of PV systems and even on their de-installation because of glare effects. Thus, location-based assessments are required to limit potential reflections and to avoid risks for public infrastructure or discomfort of residents. The question arises on how to calculate reflections accurately according to the environment's topography. Our approach is founded in a 3D-based simulation methodology to calculate and visualize reflections based on the geometry of the environment of PV systems. This computational model is implemented by anmore » interactive tool for simulation and visualization. Hence, project planners receive flexible assistance for adjusting the parameters of solar panels amid the planning process and in particular before the installation of a PV system. - Highlights: • Solar panels cause glare that impacts neighborhoods and traffic infrastructures. • Glare might cause disability and discomfort. • 3D environment for the calculation of glare • Interactive tool to simulate and visualize reflections • Impact assessment of solar power plant farms.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22479733
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 52; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ENVIRONMENT; INSTALLATION; OPTICAL REFLECTION; PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT; POWER DISTRIBUTION; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; SIMULATION; SOLAR POWER PLANTS