ISRO Can Spot Ideal Locations for Installing Solar Projects

Highlights :

  • The agency can suggest the ideal location to put up a solar power farm with the data gathered from its geostationary earth observation satellites within and outside India.
  • The technology can be transferred to those who are interested.

Indian space agency can suggest the ideal location to put up a solar power farm with the data gathered from its geostationary earth observation satellites within and outside India, said a top official at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He also said the technology can be transferred to those who are interested.

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“We have demonstrated the technology in identifying the best locations for putting up the solar power plants. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing that India can offer the technology to other countries, we may get enquiries,” said K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO, and Secretary, Department of Space.

According to Sivan, the data transmitted by the satellites will be analysed by ISRO officials. An android application for the computation of solar energy potential has been developed by ISRO’s Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad at the behest of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The tool can be used for installation of photovoltaic solar panels for tapping solar energy.

Speaking at the COP26 summit Modi said: “I also want to inform today that our space agency, ISRO is going to present a solar calculator application to the world. With this calculator, the solar power potential of any place in the world can be measured based on satellite data. This application will be useful in deciding the location of solar projects and will also strengthen ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’.”

The application provides monthly / yearly solar potential (in kWh/m2) and minimum / maximum temperature at any location. It also displays the location on the satellite image and provides azimuth / elevation angles as well as day length over different time periods in a year.

The required location can be keyed in or can be obtained through GPS, said ISRO. Location is displayed on image with satellite data in the background. It gives monthly and yearly solar potential processed using Indian Geostationary Satellite data (Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR). It also offers monthly minimum and maximum temperature to calculate realistic solar potential.

Obstruction of sunlight due to terrain is also calculated using the Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The application also suggests optimum tilt angle for solar PV installation. The application can be downloaded from the “New and Renewable Energy” section at vedas.sac.gov.in.

It may be recalled that Modi had earlier promised a satellite for South Asian regions which was later released by ISRO in the form of GSAT-9/South Asia Satellite (formerly SAARC Satellite) a communication/meteorology satellite in 2017. Meanwhile, queried about the upcoming satellite launches, Sivan nothing has been finalised and ISRO is working on that. Sivan also said the revised foreign direct investment policy is under formulation.

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