Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

Green Building and Design => Energy Efficiency & Insulation => Topic started by: Ernest_Grodner on August 01, 2014, 09:30:55 AM



Title: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on August 01, 2014, 09:30:55 AM
Hi,
my name is Ernest Grodner and I'm physicist at the University of Warsaw.
Since more than one year I'm in the possession of solar panels installed on my home. My home is surrounded by trees and I wanted to know what is the insolation of my panels considering all possible shade. I have used my knowledge and wrote a free app for handsets and tablets that measures this. Maybe it will be helpful to you also.


The app calls ScanTheSun
with which you can
1) measure the total solar power on your collector
2) measure the solar energy loss in the shade
3) measure the best collectors orientation considering surrounding obstacles like trees and buildings.
4) Measure the hours of water warming/electric energy generation along the year

Before I've installed my own collectors I did an analysis you can find here:
http://www.scanthesun.com/applications/detached_house.php?lan=EN (http://www.scanthesun.com/applications/detached_house.php?lan=EN)



If you are about the solar collectors installation you can find the best part of the roof and discuss the results with your local experts.
If you already have solar cells then you can ask the technician for the documentation (1,2,3,4) or prepare it yourself.


I have put the videos of the app here:
Raw video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHKAhpQv1Vs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHKAhpQv1Vs)
Video with additional presentation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6BIzAaE09s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6BIzAaE09s)

I have worked some time to make the app more user-friendly and published it for free.
You can install it from Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.scanthesun&hl=en (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.scanthesun&hl=en)

The app is a pure scientific non-comercial contribution and I'll be happy if the app will help you in getting the solar energy more efficiently.


With best regards,
Ernest Grodner.
 


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: martin on August 01, 2014, 10:25:36 AM
Hello and welcome!-  this looks like an interesting initiative on your part - I'm sure there are several members who'll be keen to "road test" it


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on October 16, 2014, 01:22:48 PM
Hi, I got first feedback form the users of ScanTheSun.

Mostly it relates to issues with tracking the Sun.
Some devices require compass calibration. I have prepared an instructive video on
why and how the compass should be calibrated to get proper tracking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c82AW2BKF-Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c82AW2BKF-Q)

I hope it will help you in insolation and shading analysis.


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: dickster on October 17, 2014, 10:39:13 AM
Good work!

Could be very useful.

Will it do trees?

Your app seemed to ignore the thin tall lamposts, but as even a small shadow can ruin a whole panel's efficiency, perhaps this should be taken into account.

Does it work on Android?

Cheers.


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: MR GUS on October 17, 2014, 03:51:30 PM
Ernest,

I downloaded but found using it tricky, it ((I)) seemed to keep resetting the scanned areas building line.

will try it on another phone (a new one with more working memory & less apps, in case it was due to lag.

I would have reported back sooner but a litter of puppies got in the way.

I love the concept, just yet to master the reality!

Will report back.


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on October 20, 2014, 11:05:18 AM
Hi,
Sure, you can analyze shade casted by trees.
Regarding lampspots, they are small and do not change the calculation of total insolation. You may check if lamps are casting shade just by observing the track of the Sun for different months and whether the track crosses the lamps.
It does work on Android, just make sure your device has magnetic field sensor inside.

Cheers.


Will it do trees?

Your app seemed to ignore the thin tall lamposts, but as even a small shadow can ruin a whole panel's efficiency, perhaps this should be taken into account.

Does it work on Android?

Cheers.


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on October 20, 2014, 11:11:06 AM
Thanks!
There can be some problems with galaxy Tab 4 users. The problem remains unidentified. None of my students has Tab4 so I could not make decent debugging.

In case your phone has little memory, try to save the scanned horizon with 'save' button. Then it will be stored in other memory area. You should be able to load it on demand.
All app is written with official standard API - should not depend on Android version if the firmware of the device is OK.

Regards.
 

Ernest,

I downloaded but found using it tricky, it ((I)) seemed to keep resetting the scanned areas building line.

will try it on another phone (a new one with more working memory & less apps, in case it was due to lag.

I would have reported back sooner but a litter of puppies got in the way.


Will report back.


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: biff on October 20, 2014, 11:41:19 AM
Thank you Ernest,
               She and I will get busy on this. My wife is a lot more pc capable than me.
                                   Cheers,
                                          Biff


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on January 05, 2015, 08:21:40 AM
Dear Forum users,
Thank you for  worm words and opinions about the app. 
This motivated me to prepare an action aimed at getting the best of our solar panels
and to get closer to energetic independence  based on renewables. 

ScanTheSun is starting an initiative for support of solar panels users
in getting the highest efficiency of installed devices.

Presently, with ScanTheSun it is possible to calculate the insolation of the place
where a solar element will be installed taking into account various factors
like shading by surrounding buildings or trees.

The measured insolation is an amount of solar power that will incide on the panels.

How much of that solar power will be transformed into usable energy is an another important aspect
which depends on the type of the used solar element and its efficiency characteristics.
For instance a tubular collector catches sunlight in a quite different way then a flat PV-panel.
This difference is reflected by so called IAM factors (being just an efficiency functions of incidence angle). 
The efficiency data are accessible in almost all PV-panels or thermal-collectors certificates.


In Spring (March 2015) an upgrade of ScanTheSun is planned for enabling  on-site output power assessment
of solar installations that will take into account the IAM data. The new functionality will be based
on angular efficiency of a panel for direct irradiation.
This way all  users will have an occasion to choose a panel type/model that may best fit to specific on-site conditions.


I'd like to invite you to take part in the initiative.


The only thing to get it working is to upload efficiency data of solar panel you are interested in.

For this purpose I've prepared a website:
http://www.scanthesun.com/panels.php (http://www.scanthesun.com/panels.php)
where technical data of solar elements may be uploaded.

I've also prepared an introduction video about the initiative:
http://youtu.be/MeSimI3HL-A (http://youtu.be/MeSimI3HL-A)

with best wishes for 2015
Ernest


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on March 09, 2015, 12:41:12 PM
Hi,
The new version of the app has been published. It includes Incidence Angle Modifiers (IAMs), so the app knows the way of how a specific panel "sees" the incidence radiation.

The app now measures  a) direct insolation (without IAMs as in the previous version) - the energy of direct solar radiation with shading analysis reaching a flat oriented plane  and b) effective insolation (with IAMs) - the energy being effectively intercepted by a specific panel form the direct irradiation with shading analysis.

I have used the term 'effective insolation' instead of 'output power' since the letter one depends on other parameters too (temperature difference etc.) causing confusions.

In case of simple PV panels - the difference of the measured panel orientation with IAMs (effective insolation) and without (direct insolation) is very little. This is because flat plate IAMs does not significantly differ from unity for a wide range of incidence angles (angles up to 60 or 70 deg). So with reasonable accuracy you may use just the standard direct insolation measurement when setting up flat-plate PV-panels

Significant difference may appear when a panel has complicated (often biaxial) optics. This is the case of concentrating panels, hybrid collectors or just solar thermal collectors (evacuated tubes etc.). Then taking into account IAMs (so the range of acceptance angles of the panel) is more accurate.

For more details please visit
www.scanthesun.com/mynews/IAM_letter.php

You may free upload IAM characteristics of your collectors with the website:
www.scanthesun.com/panels.php

Regards,
Ernest.





Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on May 16, 2016, 09:30:00 AM
Dear Friends,

I'm happy to announce that the project ScanTheSun  was chosen by the jury as Energy Globe National Award winner this year.

On June 5 (World Environmental Day) all National Winners will be published at www.energyglobe.info.
I would like to thank all of you for the feedback  that allowed decent debugging of the ScanTheSun code and make important changes and corrections.

With best regards,
Ernest.



Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on October 17, 2016, 10:29:51 AM
Not directly related to the solar energy, however, I think it is an interesting application of the ScanTheSun.
Reduction of cars air-conditioning.
http://scanthesun.com/mynews/workshop_2016.php?lan=EN


(https://s16.postimg.org/42n915utd/workshop_main.png) (https://postimg.org/image/42n915utd/)


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on July 10, 2017, 08:52:29 AM
What's new in ScanTheSun version 2.6 (now in beta)?
NASA Surface meteorology and Solar Energy data implemented in the app.

Direct and diffuse solar radiation now calculated in the app.

Direct solar radiation based on NASA data takes into account the atmospheric beam attenuation and weather conditions.

Diffuse solar radiation based on NASA data.

Technical documentation available at www.scanthesun.com/docs/tech.php (http://www.scanthesun.com/docs/tech.php)

Short presentation video at https://youtu.be/gZnlx63rJ3c (https://youtu.be/gZnlx63rJ3c)

Link to sign up for beta testing: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.scanthesun (https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.scanthesun)

With best regards,
Ernest.


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on September 28, 2017, 02:17:37 PM
ScanTheSun ver 2.7 moved to production.
Separate analysis of direct and total=direct+diffuse radiation components now implemented in the app.
All improvements are listed in the short manual at http://www.scanthesun.com/docs/manual27.php (http://www.scanthesun.com/docs/manual27.php)

(https://s26.postimg.org/u6c9ml5g5/dirdiff_app.png) (https://postimg.org/image/u6c9ml5g5/)


Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on April 24, 2019, 07:42:34 AM

(https://i.postimg.cc/s196PfW8/sts-suntrack.png) (https://postimg.cc/s196PfW8)

ScanTheSun continues as two updated and extended app branches: ScanTheSun Experts and ScanTheSun Partners.

Now you can create a comprehensive online insolation report of solar panels installation that you can share with your investors.
The report has a form of a separate website with a client access code.
In addition to graphs present in the ScanTheSun application, the report contains many additional graphs and a comprehensive insolation rating

The report contains among others:
- Sun trajectory graphs with the outline of the horizon line.
- Evaluation of panels insolation, panels direction and panels shading for a given month.
- The hours of panels insolation for a given month that takes into account shading, panel direction, NASA satellite data.

See an example of the insolation online report here http://www.scanthesun.com/solar/forecast.php?for=423734783
Not yet familiar with scanTheSun? Here a brief introduction video for the newest ScanTheSun app release https://youtu.be/O8UBegatY2A .

The implementation of the recent ScanTheSun app version is covered by a free access program.
We provide first 1000 activation codes free of charge, just visit www.scanthesun.com/activate.php?lang=EN .

In the nearest future we are going to implement image analysis procedures in order to improve insolatiom measurement accuracy.
For all future updates please refer to ScanTheSun Experts and ScanTheSun Partners app versions available in Google Play for android devices.



Title: Re: Shade and insolation analysis
Post by: Ernest_Grodner on May 13, 2019, 05:17:49 PM
Online insolation report created with ScanTheSun app contains the most relevant data and plots in the context of solar installation efficiency and yield.
Here a video explaing the solar energy balance plot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD8Qo-RyJMI&feature=youtu.be .
In the next post we'll share with you the results of our research PV installation (data collected within 2 years of operation).