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Maximizing Solar Potential: The Importance of Good Design to Minimise Glint and Glare Impacts

With advancements in technology and increasing adoption rates, rooftop solar installations have become a common sight on residential and commercial buildings alike. However, amid the transition to clean energy, it’s crucial to address potential issues such as glint and glare impacts, which can arise from poorly designed installations.

Solar Glint and Glare occurs is when sunlight is reflected from a surface. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports provides the following definitions of Glint and Glare:

  • Glint – a momentary flash of bright light
  • Glare – a continuous source of bright light

Conducting a thorough glint and glare assessment is paramount to ensure the successful integration of solar PV systems into our built environment. One of the primary reasons for conducting these assessments is to mitigate potential negative effects on nearby residents. 

To address these concerns, proper design and placement of solar PV panels are essential. Metrica’s consultants have seen that with thoughtful roof design such as hipped roofs, multiple pitches, orienting panels to minimise glare and positioning them to reduce visibility from neighbouring properties, the potential for adverse effects can be reduced or eliminated with a negligible effect on energy generation. Additionally, selecting appropriate panel materials and coatings can help minimise reflectivity while maximising efficiency.

Our modelling and optimisation software facilitates predictions of glint and glare effects during the design phase. By simulating various scenarios and evaluating different panel configurations, designers can optimize solar installations to minimise potential impacts on the surrounding environment.

So, while rooftop solar PV panels offer tremendous potential for clean energy generation, it’s essential to prioritise responsible design and thorough assessment to minimise negative impacts. By integrating glint and glare considerations into the design process and engaging with stakeholders proactively, rooftop solar will remain a key technology in our transition to net-zero.

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