Hi all - we’ve hit over 32,000 UK solar PV generator objects in OSM. Woo!
I did a little bit of data wrangling to inspect the data we’ve got.
21,000 are nodes (points).
11,000 are ways (areas/polygons).
A handful of complex multi-polygons too.
Some of them represent individual panels, some are arrays, some are actually entire solar farms as one polygon.
Here are a couple of plots of the areas of the OSM objects. Note that these are not the true surface areas of the panels - they’re the geographic area calculated from each OSM polygon’s shape. A simple histogram of them:
The thick bar on the left is the points (zero area). The thin spike at around 10 sq m is presumably rooftop panels, the bulge at around 200 sq m medium-sized commercial installations etc, and the right-hand bulge around 30,000 sq m is objects that each represent a whole array-within-a-solar-farm or even a whole solar farm.
The drawing of these objects is not always consistent. Some users choose to draw one object for a whole farm, while some go into mega detail with an object for each panel.
One thing I definitely notice: the histogram should have a much bigger bump on the domestic-size panels. Maybe many of them are represented as points rather than areas, though - I’d imagine many of the point items are small domestics, since the larger arrays are easy to draw shapes around.
This plot is the same data but as a scatter plot. I’ve put latitude on the y-axis just to help spread the points out. (The single-point items don’t appear on this plot, only the items with nonzero area.) It also gives you some visual clues about the clumpiness of the data.
In this analysis I haven’t looked at any of the metadata (tagging) people have added. Apart from the larger-scale objects, it’s quite rare for people to add metadata (such as capacity, orientation, tilt…)