Smartphone App helps point panels

By SkySolar

Bruce Gao, 22, from Canada has created a smartphone app that can find out the most effective direction solar panels should face. The app SimplySolar makes soaking solar energy up to 40 per cent more effective.

The Star reported that Gao created the software when he was attending Canada’s Shad programme for exceptional high school students. The idea came to him when he visited an orphanage in China where the children huddled together for warmth in their beds. The solar panels weren’t properly installed to their full capacity therefore was ineffective in providing a proper heating system in the building.

Gao then dedicated research into how solar panels should be positioned to soak up the most energy. He then developed SimplySolar with a high-school classmate. The app uses a combination of GPS and the built-in compass in smartphones.

The users should place their phones on top of the solar panels. The app then shows them when the panels are facing the most effective direction.

SimplySolar is now being used in 130 countries.

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