Monday, February 6, 2017

Potential of Solar Power on the University of Texas Campus

This article uses GIS technology to map the prospective locations to implement solar energy on the University of Texas at Austin (UT) campus. One of the main concerns of using solar energy and solar panels at UT was the price increase and the danger of ruining the iconic red clay rooftops of UT buildings. Because of this, researchers used GIS technology to model the solar radiation on the roof space of The University of Texas at Austin Main Campus. With this information UT can identify areas on the campus that are within perfect alignment with sunlight, optimizing their solar panels and receiving information to process if the solar energy is worth the investment. 

The image above shows the total annual global radiation in watts per square meter, this information helps UT find effective areas for solar panels. 

Solar energy will most likely be the energy of the future, especially with the environment changing rapidly. Schools like UT that are able to use GIS and effectively use solar power to their advantage will take a step forward from other schools unwilling to change. 

Also, this creates a space for schools to use GIS to improve their cost, environmental footprint, and impact.

Sounny-Slitine, M. A. Potential of Solar Power on the University of Texas Campus.


  1. This article was accessible and easy to understand. I think it might be useful to add a legend for the image, to understand what's being shown. You could also go into more detail about the improvement of cost for UT.

  2. I knew that there was a way to go about placing solar panels, but I was unaware that GIS could be used to do so. I do however think that UT should continue to look for ways to invest in solar power as it would in the long-run reduce variable overhead costs for the campus.

  3. I was surprised to see how well GIS analyzed placement of the solar panels as well. This is something that I think Southwestern should look into to help the environment.