Mapdwell announced today the unveiling of Mapdwell Solar System for the Washington, D.C. The MIT-born project has formed an alliance with the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to provide its state-of-the-art rooftop solar resource to the U.S. capital.
DDOE was the first of several organizations to partner with Mapdwell after the platform was introduced in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The District’s map comes only seven months after the initial rollout of Solar System, and constitutes the first step in Mapdwell’s expansion in the United States and abroad.
The Mapdwell Project aims to empower communities and municipalities to lead smart growth by providing them with the information and tools necessary to make more informed, sustainable decisions. Mapdwell Solar System is an interactive online rooftop solar mapping tool that allows users to precisely estimate rooftop solar electric potential (PV panels) for almost every building in a given city by a simple click or by inputting an address.
As described by Mapdwell, “The tool uses high-resolution (one meter by one meter grid) LiDAR data (Light Detection and Ranging) to create a three-dimensional model of the sample terrain that accounts for the shape of building rooftops and structures, existing infrastructure, and tree foliage. The model is later used as the base for evaluating the amount of solar irradiation that falls on each unit of surface –for every single hour of a typical year– and determining its individual potential for solar electric generation using photovoltaic (PV) panels.
“Calculated irradiation data is generated using technology developed –and licensed exclusively to Mapdwell LLC– by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) at the Building Technology Sustainable Design Lab.
“These algorithms account for the most comprehensive and accurate approach available today. Validation testing has shown that our technology yields results with a ±3-5% margin of error.
“For the D.C. sample, Solar System maps the solar potential of over 160,000 buildings, identifying high yielding solar resources for over 2.5 Giga Watts of potential solar photovoltaic installations and over $10 billion in local business. It also pinpoints more than 800 existing installations equivalent to ~4 Mega Watts of installed capacity.”