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Energies, Vol. 14, Pages 6626: Standard Test Methods for Rating of Solar Reflectance of Built-Up Surfaces and Potential Use of Satellite Remote Sensors

Energies doi: 10.3390/en14206626

Sofia Costanzini
Chiara Ferrari
Francesca Despini
Alberto Muscio

More and more attention is being paid to the solar reflectance of built-up surfaces due to its influence on the summer heating of buildings and urban areas and the consequent effects on energy needs for air conditioning, as well as on the peak load of the electric grid. Several standard test methods are available for measuring solar reflectance in the laboratory or in the field, based on different devices and approaches. A convergence of some methods has been achieved by rating programs in the U.S. and, more recently, in Europe and other areas. However, laboratory or field measurements are impractical for characterizing a large number of urban surfaces—whether it is for identifying critical issues, developing policies, or verifying compliance with building requirements. In this regard, satellite remote sensors have recently become available, through which it is possible to estimate the reflectance of roof and pavement surfaces thanks to a spatial resolution that is suitable for identifying and characterizing individual built-up surfaces. In the present paper, the most-used standard test methods for rating of solar reflectance are reviewed. Subsequently, some publicly accessible satellite sensors are examined, through which comparable measurements could be obtained.

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