Photovoltaic solar installation. Image: Joseph Sohm Shutterstock
At the IES Universidad Laboral de Toledo, within the training cycle of Professional Training of Electrical and Automatic Installations, professor Pedro Francisco García Martín has developed an android application for mobile phones and tablets that allows students to design and execute installations photovoltaic solar.
What is SOLARPE.
SOLARPE is a guide for the design and installation of Autonomous Photovoltaic Systems, which allows to perform the following functions:
- Know the inclination of the panels for a better use of the System.
- Measure the inclination.
- Orient the panels according to the optimal orientation.
- Calculate the distance between panels to avoid shadows.
- It announces the maximum solar height depending on the day of the year.
- This application automatically connects with the NASA database, to know the solar radiation at the installation site.
- SOLARPE uses the phone’s sensors to know the geographical coordinates of the installation site and to measure the inclination and orientation of the solar panels.
- It allows to know all the parameters of the components of a photovoltaic solar installation, depending on the loads and the days of autonomy.
SOLARPE as an educational resource.
It offers the possibility of carrying out a variety of educational activities such as:
- Class exercises.
- Verification of results.
- Reinforcement and deepening exercises.
- It also supports autonomous learning, so it can be easily integrated into eLearning environments.
- And students can compare SOLARPE with other similar applications, proposing improvements and updates, making them protagonists of the application development itself.
Thanks to SOLARPE, students can use their own mobile phone as a complement to their learning, increasing their motivation. The teacher no longer acts as a mere transmitter of knowledge, but becomes the student’s guide and companion in their own learning process. Activities can be adapted to the needs of each student, maintaining a personalized and practical approach.
Initially, the SOLARPE application had a local impact as it was used by students from the IES Universidad Laboral de Toledo educational center.
Subsequently, this application has been published on the Internet for free, without advertising, in Spanish and English, reaching a wide circulation with more than 36,000 downloads from more than 40 countries, according to the data provided by Google Play Store, where it is located published the application.
In this way, SOLARPE has not only become a useful tool for students, it is also a useful tool for society in general. It has special acceptance in countries like India, where the use of solar energy is being favored and where there are large areas with a lack of electricity supply.
It must be taken into account that currently one billion people in the world still do not have access to electricity and it is expected that 674 million will continue without it in 2030, the year in which 21% of world energy consumption will come from renewable energies, as indicated in the Energy Progress Report prepared by the International Energy Agency. Faced with this scenario, photovoltaic solar energy will play a decisive role in favoring access to electricity in remote areas and improving people’s progress and quality of life.
SOLARPE will continue to be available on the Internet with the idea that it can continue to help students or people interested in photovoltaic solar energy, contributing modestly to having a cleaner and more sustainable world.
The environmental situation of our planet progressively worsens due to the depletion of natural resources, increased waste and global warming.
Education plays a fundamental role so that new generations become aware of the importance of caring for the environment, making responsible consumption and promoting energy saving.
In addition, in the educational stage of Vocational Training, the incorporation of environmental content is essential because it favors entrepreneurship and the employment of students.
Specifically, photovoltaic solar energy will have an increasing development in the coming decades. The solar panels for photovoltaics has lowered its price by 80% over the last 5 years and in Spain we have many hours of sunlight, so that our country could become a world power in this energy. In addition, photovoltaic energy does not deplete natural resources, it can create jobs and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one of the main causes of global warming.
The SOLARPE application is available on Google Play in three different versions to promote its dissemination. In the following links you can access the pages of the Google Play Store where it can be downloaded and where you can also see some opinions of its users.
Spanish version: play.google.com/SOLARPE
English version: play.google.com/SOLARPE_english
Didactic version, with more explanation of the calculation concepts: play.google.com/SOLARPE_didac
New version: SOLARPE PRO is free and presents new functionalities, being useful for ON GRID and OFF GRID systems. It connects automatically with the NASA database to know exactly the solar radiation data at the installation site and provides the characteristics of all the necessary components.
SOLARPE PRO is still free and has the following functionalities:
- It automatically connects with the NASA database to know exactly the solar radiation data at the site of the photovoltaic installation.
- It allows to know the inclination of the solar panels for a more efficient use of the system.
- We can measure the inclination of the panels.
- We can orient the photovoltaic panels according to the optimal orientation.
- It allows to calculate the distance between panels to avoid shadows.
- Calculate the maximum solar height according to the day of the year.
- SOLARPE PRO calculates the parameters of all the components depending on the loads and days of autonomy, for OFF GRID SYSTEMS, not connected to the network.
- We can also calculate the parameters of all the components depending on the panels, for SYSTEMS CONNECTED TO THE NETWORK.
- It works correctly in both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.
- It is a multilingual application that integrates the languages Spanish, English and French.
SOLARPE PRO accepts the proposals and suggestions of its users in order to improve day after day, helping in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems and contributing modestly to having a cleaner and more sustainable world.
Photovoltaic solar energy is going to have an increasing development in the coming decades. Solar panels for photovoltaic energy have lowered their price by 80% in the last 5 years, and in many countries solar radiation is abundant, so they could take advantage of this type of energy by reducing their dependence on oil. Furthermore, photovoltaic energy does not deplete natural resources, it can create jobs and contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one of the main causes of global warming.
The SOLARPE PRO application is available on Google Play for free and in a few days since its launch, it has already had a good acceptance being valued as one of the most complete tools for this type of installation.
SOLARPE PRO can be downloaded at the following link.