Can we benefit from game engines to develop digital twins for planning the deployment of photovoltaics?

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Digital Twins (DTs) have attracted great attention in the energy sector. Game engines have been suggested to model DTs of their physical counterparts because they provide realistic graphics, lighting-, fluid- and physics engines that simulate the real world. However, the application of game engines to develop DTs for photovoltaics (PVs) has not yet been discussed in the literature. Therefore, this paper assesses the built-in game engine features' ability to support the DT development of PVs with Unreal Engine 5. This paper mainly focuses on visual representation because the surrounding environment significantly impacts PV deployment, and the existing software tools do not allow the study of the environmental factors at the early planning phase of a project’s lifecycle. Furthermore, this paper investigates the position of the sun, shadows and reflections from nearby objects that influence the PVs' power output, and if the built-in light engine can be used for planning the deployment of PVs. The result shows that in-game objects in the environment can be used to affect the simulated PV output estimate over a year. It also indicates that applying Unreal Engine 5 to model PV systems that rely on mirroring real-world behaviour is promising if accurate data is used in the modelling. Real data and mathematical PV models are necessary since Unreal Engine 5’s Lumen subsystem cannot provide realistic solar radiance on PVs for a given location on earth.
TidsskriftEnergy Informatics
Udgave nummerSuppl. 4
Antal sider26
StatusUdgivet - 21. dec. 2022
BegivenhedEnergy Informatics.Academy Conference 2022 - Dandy Business Park, Vejle, Danmark
Varighed: 24. aug. 202225. aug. 2022


KonferenceEnergy Informatics.Academy Conference 2022
LokationDandy Business Park


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