This is the continuation of the previous article. For better understanding it is recommended to look through the earlier blog posts.
The research work outlines data sources used in renewable energy monitoring systems. Their properties as spatial and time resolution, volume, data representation formats and cost have also been analyzed. It has been set an objective of creating the system of data parsers or Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) systems, allowing uploading and later using non-uniform data sources. We described a general attitude to creating the system of consolidation the non-uniform data sources on the basis of open source software. We explained a necessity of placing a sufficiently large number of mobile weather stations on the poorly covered territories, like Central Asia.
We developed a UML based system model on the basis of which a partial prototyping has been conducted that will be provided provided later in the work. The obtained results show the possibility of creating a system of gathering and processing of non-uniform data that can be applied in renewable energy monitoring and allow to have a precise goals and objectives for later research.
The comparative analysis of different GIS is an essential part of defining proper functional parameters and requirements needed for creating a renewable energy monitoring system. A brief overview of existing GIS and their comparative analysis allow determining the following requirements list:
1. Data gathering
As it has been mentioned above the NASA SSE datasets prove to be sufficiently accurate and satisfy all the requirements. But still, all the GIS have their own weather stations (or at least data of field actinometrical measurements) to verify the NASA data. Thus, it is strongly recommended to obtain local weather data along with using open source information.
2. Data visualization and shape files
It has been mentioned that certain GIS provide their own shape files to be later used in other visualization platforms. In this case the data on local renewable energy sources is an independent platform and allows the information to be later used for further researches. As the renewable energy monitoring system is used both for public and professional usage it is necessary to provide raster data for public (for easier access) and vector data for developers and researchers (for more accurate calculations).
The problem of inexplicit map categorization has been revealed as it is quite possible for user to be confused. Consequently, the maps are to be explicitly divided by quality and by energy types (as on the NREL website).
It is also possible to claim that for regions with high renewable energy potential the problem of energy monitoring is considered as an essential part of further development. In case of lack of field measurements the idea of using open source along with field actinometrical measurements on the certain (or existing) sites seems to be efficient from the point of view of accuracy and costs. In this case, the renewable energy monitoring systems may be considered as the strong foundation for alter development of alternative energy in the regions with high potential and high energy demands.
The software part is composed of data gathering, storing and processing tools (the data is collected form heterogeneous sources including information obtained from mobile station based Arduino microcontroller). The application is a typical MVC (model-view-controller) GIS functionality of which is provided by existing maps.
The data from the existing sources is to be verified by the the dataset obtained from the local mobile weather station.
All the approaches described above are fully or partially implemented in the websites dedicated to the renewable energy sources monitoring that are briefly described above. The provided overview allows making certain conclusions on the functional features of the websites as well as on the methods of data gathering and representation. It has also been mentioned above that there are several scientific schools conducting researches on renewable energy usage and monitoring. The largest ones are situated in USA, Europe, particularly in Denmark. There are also several schools in Russian federation. A certain amount researches and practical works have been conducted in some Central Asian research centers too.
A system prototype has been developed, that should provide the following features: choice of a technological platform of energy production and its economic efficiency evaluation; risks evaluation; evaluation of ecological consequences of transition to renewable energy; evaluation of opportunities of transition to intellectual distribution grids etc. GIS key layers are:
Energy distribution and transition system
Energy production technologies
Energy storage technologies
Ecologic situation and potential threats