Solar energy industry professionals can now use the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) new Android app, Solar Calculator, to help with decision-making in numerous applications.
The new app enables users to calculate the solar energy potential of any location in India, making sure that activities such as the building of solar photovoltaic (PV) thermal power plants and the installation of solar panels are conducted at ideal locations.
Users can either detect their location automatically using GPS, or enter the coordinates of any required location. Once the location is set, the app will show the location’s monthly and yearly solar potential, its monthly minimum and maximum temperature, azimuth and elevation angles, and day length over different time periods in a year.
Additionally, the app calculates variables such as obstruction of sunlight due to the terrain and suggests optimum tilt angles for solar PV installation. All the data can be downloaded and saved as a PDF for future reference.
The app, which can be downloaded at the Indian government’s VEDAS website (http://vedas.sac.gov.in/vedas/), was developed by ISRO’s Space Application Centre (SAC) at the behest of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The data the Solar Calculator provides is acquired from ISRO’s geostationary satellites Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR, which are all meteorological satellites.
Satellite data on wind, wave power and ocean temperatures can also be found at the VEDAS website, although they are not yet available as mobile apps. In addition, VEDAS provides users with comprehensive earth observation data and satellite images of Mars and the moon.