Bluesky Maps Social Housing Solar Power Potential

Leicestershire, UK, 17 May 2011 Working with leading carbon reduction company Sustain, Bluesky is helping a number of Housing Associations across the UK make the most of their housing stocks solar energy potential. Using high resolution aerial photography combined with detailed 3D models Bluesky are able to measure the potential for solar energy generation for individual properties based on a number of contributing factors such as roof size and aspect. These measurements are helping the Housing Associations produce income from Feed-in Tariffs, reduce energy bills for householders and decrease carbon emissions.

To date, working with Bluesky, we have calculated the potential solar energy yield of nearly 15,000 properties across the UK, commented Antony Scott, Senior Associate at Sustain Ltd. Using the data supplied we are able to calculate the potential yield on a roof by roof basis. This can then be amalgamated into a value for the entire stock. We then work with the individual Housing Association to offer advice on funding options and on procurement, as well as management of the installation programme.

Bluesky calculate the energy potential using high resolution aerial photography combined with 3D models of the earths surface to determine the size, aspect and gradient of each roof in the study area. The suitability of each roof is also considered taking into account sharp angles and other impediments such as sky lights or dormer windows. Potential obstructions such as nearby buildings or trees can also be identified and mapped. This data is combined with a given panel size to determine the number of potential panels and an estimate of solar irradiation.

Using the Bluesky generated measurements Sustain calculate the potential yield of each property based on the number of panels, provided by Bluesky, and the recorded roof aspect and slope. The algorithms used by Sustain also take into account the location of the property to normalise the calculation from optimum or maximum to a realistic expected or average yield.

Bluesky has a unique method of generating solar potential maps using photogrammetric techniques to accurately measure and record factors that may contribute to the suitability of a property for photovoltaic (a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation) systems. Blueskys experienced photo interpreters are trained to identify and record potential obstructions such as neighbouring properties or trees and can provide measurements for other environmental energy projects such as wind turbines and heat pumps.


Editorial enquiries, contact Robert Peel on tel. +44 (0)1666 823306
Colour separation requests please fax only to +44 (0)1666 824 668
All reader enquiries to Bluesky sales on +44 (0)1530 518 518

Editors Notes:

The government supported Feed In Tariff was introduced last year and made it compulsory for energy companies to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar electricity panels or wind turbines. The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system even that used by the generating household with an additional payment for energy that is not used at the point of generation and is exported to the National Grid. These payments are on top of the saving that the household or community it making by using energy generated on site.

Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial imaging and remote sensing data collection and processing. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies. Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography, 3D landscape/cityscape visualisations and prints and also runs a national mapping centre, providing digital mapping, satellite imagery and aerial photography including ultra-high resolution imagery of cities and towns.

Carbon reduction company Sustain Ltd. was established in 1997 to deliver an innovative approach to helping clients reduce their carbon. Sustain has built an enviable track record by working with clients across utilities, public sector, the built environment and commercial sectors. They have recently been recognised by ‘Beacon’ as one of the South West’s most forward thinking and ambitious companies.