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Thread: Calculating the solar panel angle

  1. #1
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    Calculating the solar panel angle

    Hi, I'm a researcher at the University of Warsaw. Here in Poland there is greate interest in solar energy since more than decade. A lot of people asked me how to mount a solar collector on their buildings.

    For several years I have seen many collectors wrongly oriented, covered in shade by trees and buildings. Production of a solar panel costs a lot of energy and there is also an environmental cost. So, it was really sad watching those inappriopriate mounted panels.

    After appearence of the modern smartphones with a lot of sensors I decided to write an app so everybody could check himself the solar panel orientation. I wanted to sell the app but... after watching the movies of Peter Joseph I decided to give the app for free (THANK YOU PETER FOR OPENING MY EYES!).

    The app calls SCANTHESUN and is written for Android devices.
    You can download it for free from Google Play.

    My research field are symmetries in the nuclear matter. In my proffesion Im using extreemely complicated mathematical techniques. I thought that writing the solar panel app with my knowledge will be a piece of cace, however I spent one and half year on writing it!
    The SCANTHESUN app takes into account the surrounding buildings and trees and enables the solar panel orientation even in very complicated urban areas with a lot of shade.


    I would like to see your comments on the app.


    Here are some screen recorded videos of scanthesun I put on youtube:

    solar panel calculator - YouTube

    ScanTheSun in city-center of Warsaw Part 1 - YouTube
    ScanTheSun in city-center of Warsaw Part 2 - YouTube

    I hope my app will help all of You in getting the solar power efficiently! Regards.

  2. #2
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    Nice! I used to think of the gift economy concept as something confined to an isolated community limited to a Dunbar's number of people, but with things like Wikipedia, Linux, and many other things that are available for free (at least in the form of programs and information), I may have to rethink this Dunbar number limitation when it comes to this modern day gift economy society.

  3. #3
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    I soon as I get a smart phone, I will definitely get the app and review it. I know there is visual test one can do with their eyes and what not, but it still relies on guesswork, so anything that can take the human error out of the equation so much the better. Though you might want to set up a small website for voluntary donations for those that appreciate that kind of voluntary effort. I got a physical copy of Zeitgeist Moving Forward and made a comparable donation on his website.

  4. #4
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    Another app. for this app. could be planting/planning a garden, no?
    Last edited by RhythmAnarchy; 07-22-2014 at 07:17 PM.
    Neil and droneBEE like this.
    Everything Is Possible. Nothing Is True.
    (ψ = Σanψn)
    What do you know when the time is up and the door to the box is opened?
    It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.

  5. #5
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    Gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by RhythmAnarchy View Post
    Another app. for this app. could be planting/planning a garden, no?
    That's correct. Just few day ago I visited botanical garden of the Polish Academy of Science. I got a row material on how scanthesun may be used in gardening (planning the position of seats or benches etc.) It will take some time till I'll prepare an instructive video form that material.

    There is also another applictiation of scanthesun for car parkings. If you want to save the environment just park in a place where there will be shade when you come back. One can use less airconditioning and save the petrol. Now I'm working on that kind of video also.
    Actually I'm thinking on building a public database on shade timing depending on geolocation. Anyone could use the scanthesun app and contribute to the web database. Then, your mobile could inform you on shade timing basing on the database and gps signal.

    Thank you for positive response,
    Regards.
    Neil, RhythmAnarchy and droneBEE like this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest Grodner View Post
    That's correct. Just few day ago I visited botanical garden of the Polish Academy of Science. I got a row material on how scanthesun may be used in gardening (planning the position of seats or benches etc.) It will take some time till I'll prepare an instructive video form that material.

    There is also another applictiation of scanthesun for car parkings. If you want to save the environment just park in a place where there will be shade when you come back. One can use less airconditioning and save the petrol. Now I'm working on that kind of video also.
    Actually I'm thinking on building a public database on shade timing depending on geolocation. Anyone could use the scanthesun app and contribute to the web database. Then, your mobile could inform you on shade timing basing on the database and gps signal.

    Thank you for positive response,
    Regards.
    Excellent example of a technical rather than political solution. Thanks & welcome aboard!

  7. #7
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    Wow it just hit me, this is something that CFS might be able to use.

  8. #8
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    Love it!

    Please keep posting more information.

  9. #9
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    Shade timing pictures

    I'm really happy that you like the app.

    Let me show you example of the shade timing calculation with Scanthesun. All pictures are taken at HIL laboratory building where warsaw cyclotron is located.
    First picture is a Scanthesun screen capture taken at the parking place close to the building. You can see that the place will be covered by the shade from around 2:30 pm.
    timing_calculation.jpg
    Second picture show the parking place in the morning around 9 am.
    morning_small.jpg
    Last picture shows the place at 4:30pm.
    afternoon_small.jpg
    All cars covered by the shade.

  10. #10
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    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.

    ScanTheSun - compass calibration - YouTube

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

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