Remote Sensing Applications and Decision Support

Detecting photovoltaic solar panels using hyperspectral imagery and estimating solar power production

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel Czirjak

George Mason University, Department of Geography and GeoInformation Sciences, Fairfax, Virginia, United States

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 11(2), 026007 (Apr 14, 2017). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.11.026007
History: Received December 12, 2016; Accepted March 28, 2017
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Abstract.  Remote sensing platforms have consistently demonstrated the ability to detect, and in some cases identify, specific targets of interest, and photovoltaic solar panels are shown to have a unique spectral signature that is consistent across multiple manufacturers and construction methods. Solar panels are proven to be detectable in hyperspectral imagery using common statistical target detection methods such as the adaptive cosine estimator, and false alarms can be mitigated through the use of a spectral verification process that eliminates pixels that do not have the key spectral features of photovoltaic solar panel reflectance spectrum. The normalized solar panel index is described and is a key component in the false-alarm mitigation process. After spectral verification, these solar panel arrays are confirmed on openly available literal imagery and can be measured using numerous open-source algorithms and tools. The measurements allow for the assessment of overall solar power generation capacity using an equation that accounts for solar insolation, the area of solar panels, and the efficiency of the solar panels conversion of solar energy to power. Using a known location with readily available information, the methods outlined in this paper estimate the power generation capabilities within 6% of the rated power.

© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Daniel Czirjak
"Detecting photovoltaic solar panels using hyperspectral imagery and estimating solar power production", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 11(2), 026007 (Apr 14, 2017). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.11.026007


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