Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2011, Article ID 651857, 6 pages
Research Article

A Study of the Hazardous Glare Potential to Aviators from Utility-Scale Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Systems

Black & Veatch Corporation, Energy Division, 650 California Street, Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

Received 15 August 2011; Accepted 17 September 2011

Academic Editors: E. R. Bandala, S. Dai, S. S. Kalligeros, and A. Stoppato

Copyright © 2011 Evan Riley and Scott Olson. 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.


The potential flash glare a pilot could experience from a proposed 25-degree fixed-tilt flat-plate polycrystalline PV system located outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, was modeled for the purpose of hazard quantification. Hourly insolation data measured via satellite for the years 1998 to 2004 was used to perform the modeling. The theoretical glare was estimated using published ocular safety metrics which quantify the potential for a postflash glare after-image. This was then compared to the postflash glare after-image potential caused by smooth water. The results show that the potential for hazardous glare from flat-plate PV systems is similar to that of smooth water and not expected to be a hazard to air navigation.