SolVis: A pilot study to facilitate understanding of real-time solar energy production through energy visualizations in learning environments
Paper in proceeding, 2023

The transition to a carbon neutral society requires actions on all levels of society. Hereby, renewable energy - especially considering the current European energy crisis – such as solar energy will play an increasing role. To promote a more extensive use of solar energy and thus contributing to a faster energy transition, it is valuable to engage all citizens, not least children. How can real-time visualization of solar energy production in learning environments
contribute to increased understanding of energy production and consumption? Educational environments can be a powerful platform to cultivate an interest in more environmentally andsustainable behaviour at an early age. However, energy is intangible, abstract, and difficult to grasp for non-experts. Digital tools incorporating energy visualization may be able to facilitate an increased understanding of energy units and measurements. The City of Gothenburg, Sweden, has the ambition to place photovoltaics on all roofs of schools and kindergartens, a process that is already in progress. The solar energy production is measured in real-time and only used for building operation management. This paper presents a study that develops a concept for a digital and educational visualization tool for school children aged 9 to 12, with the goal to engage, facilitate a lasting learning outcome, and awaken curiosity in solar energy. A prototype of a real-time visualization tool was developed, which in a playful way visualises the solar electricity production of the school property and compares it to the energy consumption of everyday activities, displayed on a centrally placed screen in the school. It was installed in four pilot schools and evaluated with 233 pupils. Results indicate several potentials of the visualization: to communicate local solar energy production to pupils, triggering thoughts, ideas, and a will to continue to learn more about solar energy production.


Lina Zachrisson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Beata Stahre Wästberg

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction Design and Software Engineering

Anna Engström

Boid AB

Luisa Beneduce

City of Gothenburg

Clara Larsson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Liane Thuvander

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

17551307 (ISSN) 17551315 (eISSN)

Vol. 1196 1 012083

SBE23 Thessaloniki: Sustainable built environments: Paving the way for achieving the targets of 2030 and beyond
Thessaloniki, Greece,

SolVis (SunWise) - concept for visualizing solar power and spreading knowledge on the subject

Swedish Energy Agency (2019-021625), 2020-10-01 -- 2022-08-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering


Energy Systems

Areas of Advance


Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work



More information

Latest update