Shading is a major concern for solar panel installations. It causes panel hot spots as well as diminishes the output of an array.
The Solar Shading app lets a photovoltaic installer/designer complete a solar shading analysis in just a couple of minutes. The app uses your phone's compass, GPS and accelerometer to map the horizon or obstructions. Simply complete a 360 degree turn while tilting the phone to keep the top of any shading obstruction in the crosshairs.
This app gives a graphical representation of the sun path as well as a chart to see what percent of daily hours are lost per month and a kWh output graph.
The kWh output graph can be configured to use PVWatts data for an accurate kWh output or calculated using only the incident angle of the graph to model monthly dips in production due to array tilt angle.
This analysis can be printed to PDF and sent to yourself or a client. Multiple shading analyses can be performed and saved to the user's SD card.
1) Create a PDF report showing the sun path, solar losses and output graphs
2) Create a shading output file for use with SAM and PVSyst models
3) Export graphs and location to Google earth file
4) View site location in Google Maps
5) Add overlay image to sun path graph
6) "Clip" portions of the sunpath graph to model multiple "What if" scenarios
7) Solar compass for quick site assessment
8) Create a PDF comparison report to compare multiple jobs against each other
9) Use PVWatts data to calculate kWh output (be sure to get a PVWatts key if necessary https://developer.nrel.gov/signup)
Please read the directions in the menu as the horizon mapping process may not be self evident.
App provides a compass for quick reference when on a site.
Three things to note with this app:
1) Your phones SD card must be mounted for this program to function properly (if the phone has an SD card).
2) All of the calculations are done on the phone locally so that the app can be used in remote locations, however, this means that on devices with lower processing speeds the calculations will take a while to process.
3) You need to have an internet connection when you start the app for a license check.
If you are having trouble figuring out how to map the horizon please e-mail.
Recommended devices include: 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM. Supported on most tablets that don't have a default landscape orientation.
Please e-mail any questions, comments or concerns. If you like the app please rate it, if not please send an e-mail and let us know why so that we can make the necessary changes.
Bug fix when using PVWatts