Bringing solar site analysis to smartphones

Joseph Ranalli, Matthew Caccese, Jesse Fox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Performing a site analysis is an important first step in planning a solar installation. This paper details progress made in development and validation of an Android smartphone-based application to assist in the site analysis process. The methodology used is based on techniques from literature and standard practice. Hourly typical meteorological year (TMY3) solar resource data is used to estimate the energy available to a potential solar collector. These estimates are extended to represent plane-of-array irradiation using a standard diffuse-sky model. The user is prompted to trace the horizon using the phone's camera in order to determine the presence of objects that may introduce shading. This shading data can be used to calculate the impact on the estimated resource, or can be used to generate solar access inputs to other standard software. Techniques found in literature were used to compute optimum collector orientations based on the shaded solar access. The calculations within the app were compared with those made using the NREL System Advisor Model software. Data from the app canbe stored for subsequent transfer to a computer for further processing or integration with other software tools. Some limitations associated with using the smartphone platform for this purpose will be discussed. The chief advantages offered by this software are its ability to make use of existing smartphone hardware and documentation of the methodology in non-proprietary venues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy
PublisherAmerican Solar Energy Society
Pages138-144
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510801790
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jul 6 2014Jul 10 2014

Publication series

Name43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy
Volume1

Other

Other43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period7/6/147/10/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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  • Cite this

    Ranalli, J., Caccese, M., & Fox, J. (2014). Bringing solar site analysis to smartphones. In 43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy (pp. 138-144). (43rd ASES National Solar Conference 2014, SOLAR 2014, Including the 39th National Passive Solar Conference and the 2nd Meeting of Young and Emerging Professionals in Renewable Energy; Vol. 1). American Solar Energy Society.