CALCULATING SOLAR ENERGY POTENTIAL OF BUILDINGS AND VISUALIZATION WITHIN UNITY 3D GAME ENGINE
Keywords: Solar energy estimation, CityGML 3D building, shadow deduction, Unity 3D game engine
Abstract. Solar energy modelling is increasingly popular, important, and economic significant in solving energy crisis for big cities. It is a clean and renewable resource of energy that can be utilized to accommodate individual or group of buildings electrical power as well as for indoor heating. Implementing photovoltaic system (PV) in urban areas is one of the best options to solve power crisis over expansion of urban and the growth of population. However, as the spaces for solar panel installation in cities are getting limited nowadays, the available strategic options are only at the rooftop and façade of the building. Thus, accurate information and selecting building with the highest potential solar energy amount collected is essential in energy planning, environmental conservation, and sustainable development of the city. Estimating the solar energy/radiation from rooftop and facade are indeed having a limitation - the shadows from other neighbouring buildings. The implementation of this solar estimation project for Istanbul uses CityGML LoD2-LoD3. The model and analyses were carried out using Unity 3D Game engine with development of several customized tools and functionalities. The results show the estimation of potential solar energy received for the whole area per day, week, month and year thus decision for installing the solar panel could be made. We strongly believe the Unity game engine platform could be utilized for near future 3D mapping visualization purposes.