Ohio Energy

Annual solar energy generation potential calculated using NASA POWER (preprocessed CERES and MODIS data from the Aqua and Terra satellites) in downtown Cleveland, OH. Solar irradiation data are averaged over 22 years (1983 to 2005). LiDAR data were used to model shadowing and the number of sunlight exposure hours per year. Warm colors indicate high solar energy generation potential per square foot. Unshaded rooftops with slopes and aspects that correspond with local solar geometry are optimal for installing solar panels.

Restructuring the Energy Balance in Ohio by Quantifying Energy Loss and Solar Potential Using NASA Earth Observations and LiDAR

The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County in Ohio are joining local governments around the globe in committing to 100% renewable energy goals by encouraging the use of solar technologies. Our team developed a method for estimating rooftop solar power potential using NASA Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resources (POWER) data to assist the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County with their renewable energy goals. POWER provides an estimate of incoming solar irradiation on a tilted surface by accounting for the light scattering and filtering effects of clouds and aerosols. Our methods improve on existing solar potential estimation tools through the inclusion of POWER data adjusted for roof slope, and a high-resolution (1 ft) digital surface model derived from LiDAR data, which allowed for detailed shadow, slope, and aspect modeling. To avoid overestimation, we calculated the solar potential for individual roof segments and removed those unsuitable for solar panel installation. We then applied our methods to a 5.38 square mile test area within the county and found a total rooftop solar potential of over 100,000 MWh/yr. Of all the buildings with solar power potential, 19% could supply 85% of the total potential energy. These methods have the capacity to be applied to the entire county and to other regions seeking to efficiently utilize solar energy.

Location
Arizona – Tempe
Term
Summer 2019
Partner(s)
City of Cleveland, Office of Sustainability
Cuyahoga County, Department of Sustaiability
NASA Earth Observations
SRTM
Team
Hannah Besso (Project Lead)
Yiyi He
Crystal Wespestad
Sihang Chen
Advisor(s)
Dr. David Hondula (Arizona State University)
Dr. Nicholas Rajkovich (University at Buffalo)