RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

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RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Dan S
Hi all,

I'd like to propose that for OSM in the UK we have a project to map
solar electricity panels (photovoltaics or "PV").

Why? In brief:

* We can do this! It involves a nice mix of aerial imagery, local
on-the-ground observation, etc; and anyone can do it, in the town and
in the countryside.

* The tagging is already pretty well-defined.

* We have auxiliary sources of information (from UK government
departments) to help us know where to look, to help us estimate
completeness, etc.

* The data will be useful - e.g. to help the National Grid predict how
much solar power they'll receive on any given day (allowing them to
reduce the amount of coal power they burn), or to help select good
locations for new installations. I've been in conversation with people
who would use the data for these things. It's also good mapping in
general - these things are often visible landmarks etc.

* We can visualise our work delightfully using Russ' OpenInfraMap:
https://twitter.com/openinframap/status/1113362591642992640


There are two parts to this: rooftop solar (there are about 900,000
installations in GB), and large solar farms (there are about 1,000 in
GB). OSM currently has about 13,000 items in GB tagged as
generator:method=photovoltaic.

For rooftop solar see info we've compiled here:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_Kingdom/Rooftop_Solar_PV
For large solar farms, there's this list (from a while ago but quite useful):
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_Kingdom#List_of_under_construction_and_operational_UK_Ground_Mounted_Solar_Farms

We could focus on just one of these or on both. In each case there's
plenty of mapping to do, as well as a bit of cleanup or augmentation
of existing items.

In both cases OSM UK people are already having a look into it and
doing useful mapping, so I'm sure there will be some useful advice
from experience. (See e.g. Jerry's blog, linked from the wiki page
above.)

This could be a quarterly project. Currently it's a request for
comments. What do you think?

Best
Dan

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Jez Nicholson
I'm with you on a Solar Quarterly Project, given my work on UK Renewable Energy mapping.

AFAIK the list of large solar farms on the wiki is completely up-to-date. There aren't many linked to sites that have already been mapped yet, but will show the gaps when they are.

- Jez

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 5:23 PM Dan S <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

I'd like to propose that for OSM in the UK we have a project to map
solar electricity panels (photovoltaics or "PV").

Why? In brief:

* We can do this! It involves a nice mix of aerial imagery, local
on-the-ground observation, etc; and anyone can do it, in the town and
in the countryside.

* The tagging is already pretty well-defined.

* We have auxiliary sources of information (from UK government
departments) to help us know where to look, to help us estimate
completeness, etc.

* The data will be useful - e.g. to help the National Grid predict how
much solar power they'll receive on any given day (allowing them to
reduce the amount of coal power they burn), or to help select good
locations for new installations. I've been in conversation with people
who would use the data for these things. It's also good mapping in
general - these things are often visible landmarks etc.

* We can visualise our work delightfully using Russ' OpenInfraMap:
https://twitter.com/openinframap/status/1113362591642992640


There are two parts to this: rooftop solar (there are about 900,000
installations in GB), and large solar farms (there are about 1,000 in
GB). OSM currently has about 13,000 items in GB tagged as
generator:method=photovoltaic.

For rooftop solar see info we've compiled here:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_Kingdom/Rooftop_Solar_PV
For large solar farms, there's this list (from a while ago but quite useful):
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_Kingdom#List_of_under_construction_and_operational_UK_Ground_Mounted_Solar_Farms

We could focus on just one of these or on both. In each case there's
plenty of mapping to do, as well as a bit of cleanup or augmentation
of existing items.

In both cases OSM UK people are already having a look into it and
doing useful mapping, so I'm sure there will be some useful advice
from experience. (See e.g. Jerry's blog, linked from the wiki page
above.)

This could be a quarterly project. Currently it's a request for
comments. What do you think?

Best
Dan

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Great Britain mailing list
In reply to this post by Dan S
On Wed, Apr 03, 2019 at 05:23:03PM +0100, Dan S wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I'd like to propose that for OSM in the UK we have a project to map
> solar electricity panels (photovoltaics or "PV").
>
> Why? In brief:
>
> * We can do this! It involves a nice mix of aerial imagery, local
> on-the-ground observation, etc; and anyone can do it, in the town and
> in the countryside.

The solar farms that I have tried to map on the ground with gps usually
have very restricted access. I don't know if they are scared of people
stealing the panels, or other equipment. The panels themselves are quite
low potential, I think, but maybe if they are strung together in
series, there can be hazardous voltages.

ael


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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

TonyS
Hi

In the last 18 months or so I've noticed that most of the new housing
estates near me (Chorley Lancashire) have roof mounted solar panels. Is
there a new regulation that all new builds have solar?

Regards

TonyS999

On 03/04/2019 17:46, ael via Talk-GB wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 03, 2019 at 05:23:03PM +0100, Dan S wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I'd like to propose that for OSM in the UK we have a project to map
>> solar electricity panels (photovoltaics or "PV").
>>
>> Why? In brief:
>>
>> * We can do this! It involves a nice mix of aerial imagery, local
>> on-the-ground observation, etc; and anyone can do it, in the town and
>> in the countryside.
> The solar farms that I have tried to map on the ground with gps usually
> have very restricted access. I don't know if they are scared of people
> stealing the panels, or other equipment. The panels themselves are quite
> low potential, I think, but maybe if they are strung together in
> series, there can be hazardous voltages.
>
> ael
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-GB mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Great Britain mailing list
In reply to this post by Dan S
On 03/04/2019 17:23, Dan S wrote:
> * The tagging is already pretty well-defined.


This would be a great project, however I think there's some confusion in
the tagging which requires agreeing/clarifying.

Most solar rural solar farms are on arable land. There's usually a
boundary fence around the whole site. There are usually 'blocks' formed
from numerous rows of panels. There can be multiple blocks, often one
per field.

Does a solar farm require a power=plant around the perimeter boundary?
(no fill or border render, but the name is displayed in the 'standard'
render)

Does power=plant require a landuse=industrial tag (which does fill render)

Where should the power=generator tag be placed? On the individual blocks
or on the perimeter boundary?
or, as in this detailed example, on individual panel rows?
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/654070917

Similarly where should 'plant:output:electricity' go?
(There's another example, which I'm unable to locate at present, which
had the power output on each row).

State side example:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/340809071#map=18/33.30652/-112.83771&layers=D
Note they're tagged as buildings, & include the address!

Some UK examples have collected 'blocks' into a relation.
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9291197
If there's a boundary around them all I feel this that is unnecessary as
OSM is geospatially aware. Similar to the schools project, any object
within the amenity=school boundary is assumed to be part of the school.

DaveF

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Jez Nicholson
You are indeed right. Tagging for ground-based solar farms is varied. I am currently collecting them at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_United_Kingdom#List_of_under_construction_and_operational_UK_Ground_Mounted_Solar_Farms without reforming the tagging and building up a tagging scheme in the process.

Use of a relation echoes that of a wind farm, which is a special case object made up of individual nodes (turbines), ways (substation), and lines (access tracks). The gaps in-between turbines are not physically part of the wind farm. A solar farm relation could be replaced with a boundary fence if one exists, with the blocks of panels as generators and the overall relation/boundary as power:plant.

or you could be as detailed as our German colleagues..... https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=51.5746&mlon=13.7358#map=15/51.5678/13.7384

On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 2:11 PM Dave F via Talk-GB <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 03/04/2019 17:23, Dan S wrote:
> * The tagging is already pretty well-defined.


This would be a great project, however I think there's some confusion in
the tagging which requires agreeing/clarifying.

Most solar rural solar farms are on arable land. There's usually a
boundary fence around the whole site. There are usually 'blocks' formed
from numerous rows of panels. There can be multiple blocks, often one
per field.

Does a solar farm require a power=plant around the perimeter boundary?
(no fill or border render, but the name is displayed in the 'standard'
render)

Does power=plant require a landuse=industrial tag (which does fill render)

Where should the power=generator tag be placed? On the individual blocks
or on the perimeter boundary?
or, as in this detailed example, on individual panel rows?
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/654070917

Similarly where should 'plant:output:electricity' go?
(There's another example, which I'm unable to locate at present, which
had the power output on each row).

State side example:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/340809071#map=18/33.30652/-112.83771&layers=D
Note they're tagged as buildings, & include the address!

Some UK examples have collected 'blocks' into a relation.
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9291197
If there's a boundary around them all I feel this that is unnecessary as
OSM is geospatially aware. Similar to the schools project, any object
within the amenity=school boundary is assumed to be part of the school.

DaveF

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Russ Garrett
In reply to this post by Great Britain mailing list
Hi Dave,

On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 at 14:11, Dave F via Talk-GB
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> This would be a great project, however I think there's some confusion in
> the tagging which requires agreeing/clarifying.

Solar farms should have a power=plant covering the whole perimeter as
an area or multipolygon. I agree with you that relations shouldn't be
used because they're unnecessary. The output of the farm should be the
"plant:output:power=" tag on that object.

The use of power=plant for this was enshrined in the approved Power
Generation Refinement tagging proposal back in 2013 [1]. It also makes
sense by analogy to wind farms (where we do use power=plant on
relations).

I would argue landuse=industrial is not appropriate in this case,
notwithstanding what the wiki says, and perhaps landuse=grass is
appropriate here.

As a rule of thumb, 1 MW is probably a good initial threshold to use
when deciding whether to use the power=plant tag for solar, if only to
focus our tagging energy on larger plants to start with.

The power=generator tag should represent the arrays of panels as
closely as you can be bothered. I generally tag contiguous blocks of
panels as one power=generator, rather than every individual row. With
OpenInfraMap I'm now starting to estimate the output of solar
generators by their area, so I have a preference towards seeing them
tagged as closely as possible. However, I have little patience for
micro-mapping so I feel like each block of panels is a good
compromise.

Cheers,

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Power_generation_refinement

--
Russ Garrett
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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Mateusz Konieczny-3



Apr 4, 2019, 5:09 PM by [hidden email]:
I would argue landuse=industrial is not appropriate in this case,
notwithstanding what the wiki says
Why not? If area is covered by solar panels then it is used for power generation.
And power generation seems clear case of industrial use


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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Russ Garrett
On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 at 16:18, Mateusz Konieczny <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why not? If area is covered by solar panels then it is used for power generation.
> And power generation seems clear case of industrial use

I guess it is. I just think "industrial" carries a number of
connotations which solar power doesn't have. Also, in some cases the
land under/around solar farms is used for grazing, or at any rate it's
still mostly grass. I'm not too bothered either way, though.

Cheers,
--
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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

sk53.osm
Yup, I don't think industrial is appropriate in many circumstances, any more than it would be for an area of wind turbines on moorland. For instance I've seen sheep grazing in between the panels (which IIRC are mounted on heliostats) on this solar farm: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/168359464#map=15/39.8239/-5.6562&layers=N. I presume that after installation the ground is more-or-less as it was (not for instance contaminated as is the case of many rural industrial areas, nor with traffic of heavy goods vehicles).

Jerry

On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 at 16:25, Russ Garrett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 at 16:18, Mateusz Konieczny <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why not? If area is covered by solar panels then it is used for power generation.
> And power generation seems clear case of industrial use

I guess it is. I just think "industrial" carries a number of
connotations which solar power doesn't have. Also, in some cases the
land under/around solar farms is used for grazing, or at any rate it's
still mostly grass. I'm not too bothered either way, though.

Cheers,
--
Russ Garrett
[hidden email]

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Warin
Don't use landuse=grass.

Use surface=grass and/or landcover=grass to state the land cover, I'd use these with the power=plant tag.

(For those that don't know .. I hate the tag landuse=grass)

On 05/04/19 02:38, SK53 wrote:
Yup, I don't think industrial is appropriate in many circumstances, any more than it would be for an area of wind turbines on moorland. For instance I've seen sheep grazing in between the panels (which IIRC are mounted on heliostats) on this solar farm: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/168359464#map=15/39.8239/-5.6562&layers=N. I presume that after installation the ground is more-or-less as it was (not for instance contaminated as is the case of many rural industrial areas, nor with traffic of heavy goods vehicles).

Jerry

On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 at 16:25, Russ Garrett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 4 Apr 2019 at 16:18, Mateusz Konieczny <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why not? If area is covered by solar panels then it is used for power generation.
> And power generation seems clear case of industrial use

I guess it is. I just think "industrial" carries a number of
connotations which solar power doesn't have. Also, in some cases the
land under/around solar farms is used for grazing, or at any rate it's
still mostly grass. I'm not too bothered either way, though.

Cheers,
--
Russ Garrett
[hidden email]



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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Dan S
Hi all,

Thanks for the comments on solar panel mapping. (Plenty of mapping
happening already: thousands of UK solar panels added to the database
in the past month.) A few small responses:

SOLAR FARMS:

I'll defer to Russ's tagging advice about solar farms: power=plant
polygon (or sometimes multipolygon) as the outline of a solar farm,
with power=generator areas contained within it for the blocks of
panels. Previously, I was mapping solar farms as relations, but I'm
easily persuaded!

I don't have any advice about landuse/landcover other than that it's a
fairly separate issue, since those tags are not essential to the solar
power mapping.

I've been adding some solar farms that are listed in the REPD list on
the wiki. For those ones I've used a tag "repd:id=*" which I hope
makes it easy to identify them using the ID number in that database.
Some solar farms have more than one entry in the REPD (they submit a
new application form when they have an expansion).

ROOFTOP SOLAR:

For various reasons, if we can get solar installations mapped as areas
not just nodes, that'll be helpful. Areas will be more useful than
module-counting. However, I've noted that the imagery doesn't always
make this easy for rooftop solar: clarity is variable per region.

Is there any good way to tag the vertical tilt of a panel? I know in
many cases we won't be able to measure it well, but I thought I'd ask.
For example, there's roof:angle=* for the slope of a roof, which is a
mildly related concept.

Cheers
Dan

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

sk53.osm
I'll quickly add my responses on the thread:

  • REPD issues. All of Rob's points taken, but we mustn't forget that OSM data have always been acquired and refined iteratively. Of course data from REPD has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but at least for now it's very useful for hunting for missing installations. In practice I've found most REPD installations relatively easy to resolve (but see below for an exception). Russ does compute a power output for those sites which don't have the output explicitly tagged, so there is the potential to compare the REPD output and a computed value based on area.
  • ML & Solar Farms. Tyler Busby has been working to identify rooftop solar using machine learning. He has a MapRoulette challenge running for Austn Texas at the moment. I imagine it might be possible to reuse some of his techniques to identify individual rows of panels within solar farms, which could improve power estimation from OSM data.
  • Sections in Installations.  Exceptions, such as single installations with multiple sites certainly exist too. I recently mapped panels on the site of the former Asfordby super pit. There are two groups of panels which a Geograph photographer calls, on the basis of photos of ancillary electrical plant, Asfordby A and Asfordby B. There are also photos of Asfordby C. As usual more can be learned from on-the-ground visits, but as above this is for future refinement.
  • Rooftop angles. I had a futile attempt to try & calculate roof angles from Lidar data. The 1 m resolution doesn't seem to be adequate. Maximum roof height is more reliable (available for instance via the  dataset). Estimating the height of eaves can be done from Lidar, but it's fairly fuzzy. I think using rules of thumb for different periods of construction may be just as fruitful (perhaps 9 foot ceilings for pre-WWII, 8 foot for interwar housing, and 7 foot 6 thereafter, with 1-1.5 feet between floors). Counting courses of bricks would give a more precise measure and only needs to be done for basic ranges of housing. Most local archives are likely to have architects drawings for houses built as council housing which is perhaps a third of the total stock. However a basic estimation of eave level from 5-6 m will not be hugely out. See next bullet for a suitable tag.
  • Other tags. After much faffing about, and on Russ' advice, I have now moved to using location=roof instead of generator:place or generator:location. This doesn't work if the generator tags are placed on the building as is the case for some places in the West Midlands, but as these result in gross over-estimation of likely output I'd regard this as an interim stage of mapping. I'm still using generator:orientation, but this may also be more unwieldy than required, and obviously relates to solar installations only. Modules are tagged generator:solar:modules which at least unambiguously shows that it relates to the panels, so despite the unwieldiness something similar for angle would be clear. (As an aside I don't think we have any UK solar farms with panels mounted on heliostats, but they certainly exist in Spain, for instance at Almaraz).
  • Power tagging. One thing which has become clear is in mapping groups of panels within a solar farm and retagging the outline as power=plant isthat the use of generator: and plant: tags is unfortunate. Most of them would work just fine as they were originally with power.
  • Solar arrays vs solar panels. The current tagging largely seems to fail to distinguish between a large array of solar panels and single panels consisting of a few modules. I really don't think we want to end up having to map each group of panels individually so it would be nice to have a better way of distinguishing them other than location=roof and overall area. Perhaps less than half the area of an array of panels will be the actual footprint of panels. Also I'd be unsurprised if some don't map solar-powered rubbish bins, parking meters, road signs with power=generator too.
Lastly big thanks to Jez, Dan, and especially Russ for his updates to OpenInfraMap which really help with the mapping.

Jerry

On Wed, 10 Apr 2019 at 23:01, Dan S <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

Thanks for the comments on solar panel mapping. (Plenty of mapping
happening already: thousands of UK solar panels added to the database
in the past month.) A few small responses:

SOLAR FARMS:

I'll defer to Russ's tagging advice about solar farms: power=plant
polygon (or sometimes multipolygon) as the outline of a solar farm,
with power=generator areas contained within it for the blocks of
panels. Previously, I was mapping solar farms as relations, but I'm
easily persuaded!

I don't have any advice about landuse/landcover other than that it's a
fairly separate issue, since those tags are not essential to the solar
power mapping.

I've been adding some solar farms that are listed in the REPD list on
the wiki. For those ones I've used a tag "repd:id=*" which I hope
makes it easy to identify them using the ID number in that database.
Some solar farms have more than one entry in the REPD (they submit a
new application form when they have an expansion).

ROOFTOP SOLAR:

For various reasons, if we can get solar installations mapped as areas
not just nodes, that'll be helpful. Areas will be more useful than
module-counting. However, I've noted that the imagery doesn't always
make this easy for rooftop solar: clarity is variable per region.

Is there any good way to tag the vertical tilt of a panel? I know in
many cases we won't be able to measure it well, but I thought I'd ask.
For example, there's roof:angle=* for the slope of a roof, which is a
mildly related concept.

Cheers
Dan

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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Russ Garrett
I've made the REPD dataset browsable on a map here, which should make
it easier to correlate with OSM: https://repd.russss.dev/repd/repd

Russ

On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 at 11:00, SK53 <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I'll quickly add my responses on the thread:
>
> REPD issues. All of Rob's points taken, but we mustn't forget that OSM data have always been acquired and refined iteratively. Of course data from REPD has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but at least for now it's very useful for hunting for missing installations. In practice I've found most REPD installations relatively easy to resolve (but see below for an exception). Russ does compute a power output for those sites which don't have the output explicitly tagged, so there is the potential to compare the REPD output and a computed value based on area.
> ML & Solar Farms. Tyler Busby has been working to identify rooftop solar using machine learning. He has a MapRoulette challenge running for Austn Texas at the moment. I imagine it might be possible to reuse some of his techniques to identify individual rows of panels within solar farms, which could improve power estimation from OSM data.
> Sections in Installations.  Exceptions, such as single installations with multiple sites certainly exist too. I recently mapped panels on the site of the former Asfordby super pit. There are two groups of panels which a Geograph photographer calls, on the basis of photos of ancillary electrical plant, Asfordby A and Asfordby B. There are also photos of Asfordby C. As usual more can be learned from on-the-ground visits, but as above this is for future refinement.
> Rooftop angles. I had a futile attempt to try & calculate roof angles from Lidar data. The 1 m resolution doesn't seem to be adequate. Maximum roof height is more reliable (available for instance via the  dataset). Estimating the height of eaves can be done from Lidar, but it's fairly fuzzy. I think using rules of thumb for different periods of construction may be just as fruitful (perhaps 9 foot ceilings for pre-WWII, 8 foot for interwar housing, and 7 foot 6 thereafter, with 1-1.5 feet between floors). Counting courses of bricks would give a more precise measure and only needs to be done for basic ranges of housing. Most local archives are likely to have architects drawings for houses built as council housing which is perhaps a third of the total stock. However a basic estimation of eave level from 5-6 m will not be hugely out. See next bullet for a suitable tag.
> Other tags. After much faffing about, and on Russ' advice, I have now moved to using location=roof instead of generator:place or generator:location. This doesn't work if the generator tags are placed on the building as is the case for some places in the West Midlands, but as these result in gross over-estimation of likely output I'd regard this as an interim stage of mapping. I'm still using generator:orientation, but this may also be more unwieldy than required, and obviously relates to solar installations only. Modules are tagged generator:solar:modules which at least unambiguously shows that it relates to the panels, so despite the unwieldiness something similar for angle would be clear. (As an aside I don't think we have any UK solar farms with panels mounted on heliostats, but they certainly exist in Spain, for instance at Almaraz).
> Power tagging. One thing which has become clear is in mapping groups of panels within a solar farm and retagging the outline as power=plant isthat the use of generator: and plant: tags is unfortunate. Most of them would work just fine as they were originally with power.
> Solar arrays vs solar panels. The current tagging largely seems to fail to distinguish between a large array of solar panels and single panels consisting of a few modules. I really don't think we want to end up having to map each group of panels individually so it would be nice to have a better way of distinguishing them other than location=roof and overall area. Perhaps less than half the area of an array of panels will be the actual footprint of panels. Also I'd be unsurprised if some don't map solar-powered rubbish bins, parking meters, road signs with power=generator too.
>
> Lastly big thanks to Jez, Dan, and especially Russ for his updates to OpenInfraMap which really help with the mapping.
>
> Jerry
>
> On Wed, 10 Apr 2019 at 23:01, Dan S <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Thanks for the comments on solar panel mapping. (Plenty of mapping
>> happening already: thousands of UK solar panels added to the database
>> in the past month.) A few small responses:
>>
>> SOLAR FARMS:
>>
>> I'll defer to Russ's tagging advice about solar farms: power=plant
>> polygon (or sometimes multipolygon) as the outline of a solar farm,
>> with power=generator areas contained within it for the blocks of
>> panels. Previously, I was mapping solar farms as relations, but I'm
>> easily persuaded!
>>
>> I don't have any advice about landuse/landcover other than that it's a
>> fairly separate issue, since those tags are not essential to the solar
>> power mapping.
>>
>> I've been adding some solar farms that are listed in the REPD list on
>> the wiki. For those ones I've used a tag "repd:id=*" which I hope
>> makes it easy to identify them using the ID number in that database.
>> Some solar farms have more than one entry in the REPD (they submit a
>> new application form when they have an expansion).
>>
>> ROOFTOP SOLAR:
>>
>> For various reasons, if we can get solar installations mapped as areas
>> not just nodes, that'll be helpful. Areas will be more useful than
>> module-counting. However, I've noted that the imagery doesn't always
>> make this easy for rooftop solar: clarity is variable per region.
>>
>> Is there any good way to tag the vertical tilt of a panel? I know in
>> many cases we won't be able to measure it well, but I thought I'd ask.
>> For example, there's roof:angle=* for the slope of a roof, which is a
>> mildly related concept.
>>
>> Cheers
>> Dan
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Talk-GB mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Jez Nicholson
...using Simon Willison's datasette + your map plugin, I gather.


BTW...shouldn't the points on the map reduce when I filter?

On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 11:07 AM Russ Garrett <[hidden email]> wrote:
I've made the REPD dataset browsable on a map here, which should make
it easier to correlate with OSM: https://repd.russss.dev/repd/repd

Russ

On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 at 11:00, SK53 <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'll quickly add my responses on the thread:
>
> REPD issues. All of Rob's points taken, but we mustn't forget that OSM data have always been acquired and refined iteratively. Of course data from REPD has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but at least for now it's very useful for hunting for missing installations. In practice I've found most REPD installations relatively easy to resolve (but see below for an exception). Russ does compute a power output for those sites which don't have the output explicitly tagged, so there is the potential to compare the REPD output and a computed value based on area.
> ML & Solar Farms. Tyler Busby has been working to identify rooftop solar using machine learning. He has a MapRoulette challenge running for Austn Texas at the moment. I imagine it might be possible to reuse some of his techniques to identify individual rows of panels within solar farms, which could improve power estimation from OSM data.
> Sections in Installations.  Exceptions, such as single installations with multiple sites certainly exist too. I recently mapped panels on the site of the former Asfordby super pit. There are two groups of panels which a Geograph photographer calls, on the basis of photos of ancillary electrical plant, Asfordby A and Asfordby B. There are also photos of Asfordby C. As usual more can be learned from on-the-ground visits, but as above this is for future refinement.
> Rooftop angles. I had a futile attempt to try & calculate roof angles from Lidar data. The 1 m resolution doesn't seem to be adequate. Maximum roof height is more reliable (available for instance via the  dataset). Estimating the height of eaves can be done from Lidar, but it's fairly fuzzy. I think using rules of thumb for different periods of construction may be just as fruitful (perhaps 9 foot ceilings for pre-WWII, 8 foot for interwar housing, and 7 foot 6 thereafter, with 1-1.5 feet between floors). Counting courses of bricks would give a more precise measure and only needs to be done for basic ranges of housing. Most local archives are likely to have architects drawings for houses built as council housing which is perhaps a third of the total stock. However a basic estimation of eave level from 5-6 m will not be hugely out. See next bullet for a suitable tag.
> Other tags. After much faffing about, and on Russ' advice, I have now moved to using location=roof instead of generator:place or generator:location. This doesn't work if the generator tags are placed on the building as is the case for some places in the West Midlands, but as these result in gross over-estimation of likely output I'd regard this as an interim stage of mapping. I'm still using generator:orientation, but this may also be more unwieldy than required, and obviously relates to solar installations only. Modules are tagged generator:solar:modules which at least unambiguously shows that it relates to the panels, so despite the unwieldiness something similar for angle would be clear. (As an aside I don't think we have any UK solar farms with panels mounted on heliostats, but they certainly exist in Spain, for instance at Almaraz).
> Power tagging. One thing which has become clear is in mapping groups of panels within a solar farm and retagging the outline as power=plant isthat the use of generator: and plant: tags is unfortunate. Most of them would work just fine as they were originally with power.
> Solar arrays vs solar panels. The current tagging largely seems to fail to distinguish between a large array of solar panels and single panels consisting of a few modules. I really don't think we want to end up having to map each group of panels individually so it would be nice to have a better way of distinguishing them other than location=roof and overall area. Perhaps less than half the area of an array of panels will be the actual footprint of panels. Also I'd be unsurprised if some don't map solar-powered rubbish bins, parking meters, road signs with power=generator too.
>
> Lastly big thanks to Jez, Dan, and especially Russ for his updates to OpenInfraMap which really help with the mapping.
>
> Jerry
>
> On Wed, 10 Apr 2019 at 23:01, Dan S <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Thanks for the comments on solar panel mapping. (Plenty of mapping
>> happening already: thousands of UK solar panels added to the database
>> in the past month.) A few small responses:
>>
>> SOLAR FARMS:
>>
>> I'll defer to Russ's tagging advice about solar farms: power=plant
>> polygon (or sometimes multipolygon) as the outline of a solar farm,
>> with power=generator areas contained within it for the blocks of
>> panels. Previously, I was mapping solar farms as relations, but I'm
>> easily persuaded!
>>
>> I don't have any advice about landuse/landcover other than that it's a
>> fairly separate issue, since those tags are not essential to the solar
>> power mapping.
>>
>> I've been adding some solar farms that are listed in the REPD list on
>> the wiki. For those ones I've used a tag "repd:id=*" which I hope
>> makes it easy to identify them using the ID number in that database.
>> Some solar farms have more than one entry in the REPD (they submit a
>> new application form when they have an expansion).
>>
>> ROOFTOP SOLAR:
>>
>> For various reasons, if we can get solar installations mapped as areas
>> not just nodes, that'll be helpful. Areas will be more useful than
>> module-counting. However, I've noted that the imagery doesn't always
>> make this easy for rooftop solar: clarity is variable per region.
>>
>> Is there any good way to tag the vertical tilt of a panel? I know in
>> many cases we won't be able to measure it well, but I thought I'd ask.
>> For example, there's roof:angle=* for the slope of a roof, which is a
>> mildly related concept.
>>
>> Cheers
>> Dan
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Talk-GB mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb
>
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-GB mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb



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Russ Garrett
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Re: RFC: Solar panel mapping in the UK

Russ Garrett
On Wed, 1 May 2019 at 11:36, Jez Nicholson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> BTW...shouldn't the points on the map reduce when I filter?

They should but I'm still working on that feature.

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