Harnessing the Sunlight on Facades - an Approach for Determining Vertical Photovoltaic Potential (Short Paper)

Authors Franz Welscher , Ivan Majic , Franziska Hübl , Rizwan Bulbul , Johannes Scholz

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Author Details

Franz Welscher
  • Insitute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Ivan Majic
  • Insitute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Franziska Hübl
  • Insitute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Rizwan Bulbul
  • Insitute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Johannes Scholz
  • Insitute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Austria

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Franz Welscher, Ivan Majic, Franziska Hübl, Rizwan Bulbul, and Johannes Scholz. Harnessing the Sunlight on Facades - an Approach for Determining Vertical Photovoltaic Potential (Short Paper). In 12th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 277, pp. 82:1-82:7, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


The paper deals with the calculation of the photovoltaic potential of vertical structures. Photovoltaic systems are a core technology for producing renewable energy. As roughly 50% of the population on planet Earth lives in urban environments, the production of renewable energy in urban contexts is of particular interest. As several papers have elaborated on the photovoltaic potential of roofs, this paper focuses on vertical structures. Hence, we present a methodology to extract facades suitable for photovoltaic installation, calculate their southness and percentage of shaded areas. The approach is successfully tested, based on a dataset located in the city of Graz, Styria (Austria). The results show the wall structures of each building, the respective shadow depth, and their score based on a multi-criteria analysis that represents the suitability for the installation of a photovoltaic system.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Mathematics and statistics
  • Applied computing → Environmental sciences
  • Vertical Photovoltaics
  • Facades
  • Southness
  • Multi-Criteria-Analysis
  • Shadow


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