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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2011, Article ID 216519, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/216519
Research Article

Solar Energy Modelling over a Residential Community in the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

1Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
2A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lawrence Technological University, 21000 W Ten Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48075, USA

Received 2 February 2011; Revised 18 March 2011; Accepted 21 March 2011

Academic Editor: Ugo Mazzucato

Copyright © 2011 Quazi K. Hassan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Solar energy is an abundant source of renewable/sustainable energy, which has an enormous potential in reducing the foot print of the greenhouse gases. In this paper, we presented a modelling framework of estimating solar energy over a portion of a residential community of Sandstone in the northwest of Calgary, Canada. We calculated the actual daily incident solar radiation as a function of latitude, day of year, and possible day light hours; and also employed high-resolution remote sensing images to calculate the effective roof area for installing photovoltaic cells. Strong relationships (𝑟20.91-0.98) were observed between the ground-based measurements and the modelled actual incident solar radiation at three test locations in Alberta. Over the portion of Sandstone, ~1706.49 m2 roof surface area was suitable for potential installation of the photovoltaic cells. With 15% efficient photovoltaic cells, our analysis revealed that we might be able to produce significant amount (i.e., in the range of ~67–100%) of electrical energy needs of the residents of Sandstone community during the period between April and September.