While turning to a renewable resource like solar energy is the need of the hour, but unfortunately, a lot of people in India shy away from doing the same as they are apprehensive if solar energy has the potential of meeting all their energy needs. Further, since installing the whole solar energy setup like solar panels etc. is predominately an expensive exercise, people don't wish to just take a chance and install it and find out if it works for their area or not. In order to solve this situation and encourage more usage of solar energy in the Indian subcontinent , Isro has come up with an innovative app called the Solar Calculator app using which anyone can accurately and easily calculate the benefit of installing solar panels at any location in the country.

The app, which is available on the web and for the Android platform, can prove to be extensively beneficial when it comes to setting up photovoltaic solar panels. In order to make things easier, Isro has also provided with a drop down menu of a number of locations in the country. The app also makes its possible for its users to directly click on a location in a map, or navigate using precise geographic co-ordinates. If the app is successful in acquiring the user's accurate location using GPS, the solar potential of that particular area is calculated using data processed from Indian satellites, including the Insat-3D, the Insat-3DR and the Kalpana-1, which is a matter of huge achievement and pride for the entire country. The solar energy potential of a particular location is shown to a user in kWh/m2 or mJ/m2.

[caption id="attachment_116166" align="alignnone" width="640"] A map of yearly solar insolation along with temperature

The app, which provides almost similar functionality as Google’s Project Sunroof, not just plainly blurts out the information of the solar energy potential. Along with the potential information, it also provides the user with other useful information that they might be needing in order to setup solar panels in their area.

A solar energy potential report of a particular area is can be easily exported from the application and shared with anyone and everyone in a .pdf file. The report contains extensive visualisations and tables for the duration of the days over the course of a year (365 days). If there is an obstacle to the sunlight in an area because of the terrain, the app is capable of accurately calculating that as well by using its digital elevation model. In addition to all this, it also provides suggestion for the optimum angle to set up the solar panels as well.

A solar potential report churned out by the Isro Solar Calculator application can be viewed in three ways, as a graph, as a map and as a table. In the map view, the direct satellite imagery is basically overlaid on the map along with the calculations of solar potential.

So, if you're an individual, a society, a community or an organisation considering setting up solar panels in your area, installing this app is the first step in realising your mission.

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