What You Get Is Not Always What You See—Pitfalls in Solar Array Assessment Using Overhead Imagery

Effective integration planning for small, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays into electric power grids requires access to high quality data: the location and power capacity of individual solar PV arrays. Unfortunately, national databases of small-scale solar PV do not exist; those that do are limited in their spatial resolution, typically aggregated up to state or national levels. While several promising approaches for solar PV detection have been published, strategies for evaluating the performance of these models are often highly heterogeneous from study to study.

Self-Supervised Encoders Are Better Transfer Learners in Remote Sensing Applications

Transfer learning has been shown to be an effective method for achieving high-performance models when applying deep learning to remote sensing data. Recent research has demonstrated that representations learned through self-supervision transfer better than representations learned on supervised classification tasks. However, little research has focused explicitly on applying self-supervised encoders to remote sensing tasks.

Automated Extraction of Energy Systems Information from Remotely Sensed Data: A Review and Analysis

High-quality energy systems information is crucial for energy systems research, modeling, and decision-making. Unfortunately, actionable information about energy systems is often of limited availability, incomplete, or only accessible for a substantial fee or through a non-disclosure agreement. This systematic review explores remote sensing and machine learning for energy data extraction.

SIMPL: Generating Synthetic Overhead Imagery to Address Custom Zero-Shot and Few-Shot Detection Problems

Recently deep neural networks (DNNs) have achieved tremendous success for object detection in overhead (e.g., satellite) imagery. One ongoing challenge however is the acquisition of training data, due to high costs of obtaining satellite imagery and annotating objects in it. In this article, we present a simple approach—termed Synthetic object IMPLantation (SIMPL)—to easily and rapidly generate large quantities of synthetic overhead training data for custom target objects.

Utilizing Geospatial Data for Assessing Energy Security: Mapping Small Solar Home Systems Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Deep Learning

Solar home systems (SHS), a cost-effective solution for rural communities far from the grid in developing countries, are small solar panels and associated equipment that provides power to a single household. A crucial resource for targeting further investment of public and private resources, as well as tracking the progress of universal electrification goals, is shared access to high-quality data on individual SHS installations including information such as location and power capacity.

GridTracer: Automatic Mapping of Power Grids Using Deep Learning and Overhead Imagery

Energy system information for electricity access planning such as the locations and connectivity of electricity transmission and distribution towers—termed the power grid—is often incomplete, outdated, or altogether unavailable. Furthermore, conventional means for collecting this information is costly and limited. We propose to automatically map the grid in overhead remotely sensed imagery using an deep learning approach.

Estimating Residential Building Energy Consumption Using Overhead Imagery

Residential buildings account for a large proportion of global energy consumption in both low- and high- income countries. Efficient planning to meet building energy needs while increasing operational, economic, and environmental efficiency requires accurate, high spatial resolution information on energy consumption. Such information is difficult to acquire and most models for estimating residential building energy consumption require detailed knowledge of individual homes and communities which are unlikely to be available at a large scale.

The Synthinel-1 Dataset: A Collection of High Resolution Synthetic Overhead Imagery for Building Segmentation

Recently deep learning - namely convolutional neural networks (CNNs) - have yielded impressive performance for the task of building segmentation on large overhead (e.g., satellite) imagery benchmarks. However, these benchmark datasets only capture a small fraction of the variability present in real-world overhead imagery, limiting the ability to properly train, or evaluate, models for real-world application.

A Deep Convolutional Neural Network, with Pre-training, for Solar Photovoltaic Array Detection in Aerial Imagery

In this work we consider the problem of developing algorithms that automatically identify small-scale solar photovoltaic arrays in high resolution aerial imagery. Such algorithms potentially offer a faster and cheaper solution to collecting small-scale photovoltaic (PV) information, such as their location, capacity, and the energy they produce. Here we build on previous algorithmic work by employing convolutional neural networks (CNNs), which have recently yielded major improvements in other image object recognition problems.

Distributed Solar Photovoltaic Array Location and Extent Dataset for Remote Sensing Object Identification

Earth-observing remote sensing data, including aerial photography and satellite imagery, offer a snapshot of the world from which we can learn about the state of natural resources and the built environment. The components of energy systems that are visible from above can be automatically assessed with these remote sensing data when processed with machine learning methods. Here, we focus on the information gap in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, of which there is limited public data on solar PV deployments at small geographic scales.