New App Turns Smartphones into Solar Meters for PV Installations
A new smartphone app from DUNMORE Corporation turns iPhones and Androids into hand-held solar meters. The free application, available immediately on iTunes and Android markets, helps solar installers position modules to catch the maximum amount of sunlight to produce the maximum amount of electricity.
The DUNMORE SunFinder app gives solar installers data they need to optimally position a solar module by simply positioning their smartphone as a module and tilting it to find the optimal angle. Created for DUNMORE by developer Luca Polverini, SunFinder displays the estimated amount of sunlight that strikes the site in a year and how much electricity it will produce in an easy-to-read graphical format. Optimal orientation is one of the major factors in solar modules' success, the other being use of high-quality materials, such as the module's backsheet and solar glass.
"It's the solar module equivalent of a stud finder," said Michael Sullivan, DUNMORE Marketing Communications. "It gives solar module installers a fast, accurate and easy way to determine if their module is in the optimal position for electricity production. Taking the guesswork out of exactly where to install the module will save installers both time and money."
In addition to solar installers, DUNMORE SunFinder is helpful to anyone who needs to know how much sunlight a specific area receives in a year – farmers, gardeners, researchers, builders, etc. Among its key features are:
• Simple operation: Works by positioning and tilting your smartphone as if it were a photovoltaic module. It estimates the annual amount of solar radiation and automatically provides instant calculations.
• Precise locating: Tells the GPS coordinates of your position, the azimuth angle (compared to the south) and the tilt angle of the installation and performs its calculations extracting data from a database of solar radiation.
• Global weather data: Contains weather data for thousands of locations around the globe. For example, DUNMORE SunFinder can provide users with weather profiles for 240 specific locations in the USA.
• Reporting: Automatically compiles data – position coordinates, azimuth, tilt, reference data points, yearly solar radiation, and yearly average PV production – in e-mails for fast and easy distribution.
"Installers need every advantage we can give them so they can maximize and protect their investments in solar modules," said DUNMORE Vice President John Jordon. "Based on our history and expertise, our biggest contribution will be continuing to advance backsheet technology. Protecting modules' vital components for longer life at lower costs helps installers avoid maintenance and warranty repairs that can erode their profit margins. At the same time, we want to be aware of opportunities in related areas, especially helping installers optimize solar modules' electricity production like we're doing with SunFinder."
The DUNMORE SunFinder is available for download at: