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ISRO launches Solar Calculator app to compute solar energy potential at your home

With the rapidly degrading environment & the limited availability of non-renewable resources, solar energy is definitely the way forward. Prime minister Modi has also emphasized on the huge potential of solar energy available to India. On the request of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India, The Space Applications Centre (SAC) at ISRO, Ahmedabad has launched an android app called Solar Calculator which lets you compute solar energy potential at any location in India. Remote sensing observations from geostationary satellite sensors are used to capture space-time variability of surface insolation.

"Computation of solar energy potential is essential to select the locations for solar photovoltaic (PV) thermal power plants." -ISRO's website

It is a free app and will be useful to you if you plan to use solar panels at home. It can tell you the potential power that you can generate monthly/annually. The app will be of much use for those who provide commercial services related to solar power generation. The app provides information about monthly/yearly solar potential (in kWh/m2), the minimum/maximum temperature at your location, azimuth/elevation angles as well as day length over different time periods in a year.

Main highlights of the app:
  1. The App provides solar energy potential (in kWh/m2) at any given location
  2. The required location can be keyed in or can be obtained through GPS
  3. It gives monthly and yearly solar potential processed using Indian Geostationary Satellite data (Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR). It also offers monthly minimum and maximum temperature to calculate realistic solar potential
  4. Location is displayed on image with satellite data in the background
  5. It also provides azimuth and elevation angles, and day length over different time periods in a year.
  6. Obstruction of sunlight due to terrain is also calculated using Digital Elevation Model (DEM)
  7. It also suggests optimum tilt angle for solar PV installation
  8. Complete report can be saved as a PDF file.

Where can you get the app & how to use it?

The app is presently only available for android but yet not available on the google play. You can get the app from the download section of VEDAS's website or download it directly via the download button below.

The app's UI is very simple & after you have installed and opened the app, you are asked to enter you location (latitude and longitude) or you can tap on 'Get Location' option, which will use your phone's GPS to determine your location. The next & final step is to tap on the 'Calculate' button. You'll now be able to see the detailed information below. The information section consists of three tabs - Table, Graph & Map.
  • Table tab- The tab shows information like min/max temperature, annual global insolation, optimum tilt angle. It also shows you detailed monthly data for the past 4 years.
  • Graph tab- This tab hosts various graphical representation of the data like temperature variations, sun path and day length.
  • Map tab- This tab shows the location selected on the map with two different views.
Download ISRO Solar Calculator app


Sources: www.isro.gov.in, vedas.sac.gov.in.

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