Energy – Urban Solar Mapping

High Resolution Solar Mapping at Urban Scale

Solar resource assessment and mapping at the urban scale (metric and submetric) is crucial for the developments of PV and solar thermal systems in urban areas. This very high-resolution solar resource assessment and mapping require:


High quality long-term and high temporal resolution (1-min) solar resource dataset


High quality and high spatial resolution (sub-metric) 3D description of the complex geometry of the urban areas for the shadow (and potentially the multi-refractive effects).

The main bottleneck of the high spatial resolution solar resource processing at urban scale resides in the handling of the huge amount of sub-metric 3D data to process the corresponding local shadow masks for each sub-metric pixel of the solar maps. This local shadow mask is then applied to the high temporal corresponding solar datasets before its multi-annual averaging to provide multi-annual averages of monthly and yearly irradiations. A possible solution would be to resort to cloud computing for the shadow masks determination and the corresponding solar processing on dedicated parallel servers located as close as possible to 3D data sources, to prevent to transmit through the network, this huge amount of information.


The concept of cloud computing supporting the NexGEOSS infrastructure may help in solving this issue in both computational aspects and dissemination aspects.

Quick Facts


Pilot regions in a French city and suburb.


CAMS (Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service) Radiation product from a one year time period including the following parameters (Atmosphere optical properties, Ground reflectance, Cloud optical properties, Atmosphere radiative transfer). Additionally, for the same time period and for a given AOI (Area Of Interest) complementary datasets will be made available including 30 m Digital Terrain Model (SRTM) and 10 cm resolution Digital Surface Model (DSM) of urban area (IGN). All the above resources will be freely available except for the DSM that is Copyrighted (IGN) and access restricted.


In the context of the undergoing and future wave of urban demographic growth, the development of PV and solar thermal systems in urban areas is of very interest since these renewable-based energy systems do not emit pollution or GHG and produce energy as close as possible of its consumption. Solar resource assessment and mapping at the urban scale (metric and sub-metric) will be then crucial for the developments of PV and solar thermal systems in these urban areas.


SMEs in Europe in the business of PV solar potential assessment at an urban scale. The French SME InSunWeTrust is our prime user.


A WebGIS client application triggering a WPS (Web Processing Service) for providing access to geo-localized patches containing a time-series of global irradiation on tilted plan integrating shadow effects. Output type can be raster or vector format or both. Possibly generate an animation of time span and download results files.


Demonstration products will be available from the GCI.