The second major objective of the MESoR project is to unify and ease access to solar resource information. This builds upon experiences made within the SoDa portal, adopting mapping features from PVGIS web system. SoDa was build with proprietary software and communication protocols. As the World Wide Web evolved over recent years, the new MESoR portal builds upon open source software with a larger development community and standard web services. This will make the new portal more sustainable in terms of software development and the connection to the portal more easy and open as only widely accepted standards have to be followed.
The portal will serve as a broker to solar resource information and services. It does not contain and maintain data for itself. It just links data bases and services with a single point of entry and a common user interface. Databases and services have to be hosted by the providers. They keep control over their data and applications.
Metadata are essential to exchange knowledge between applications. They describe objects to be exchanged (e. g. a time series of irradiance, a geographical location, a date...). After a series of consultations with several bodies involved in standards, such as ISO, GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems), INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) and national meteorological offices, a thesaurus has been defined which is specific to solar resource. A thesaurus is a set of terms that describe the solar resource.
A prototype of the broker will be set up during the project. A new user interface has been designed. It utilises the API (application programming interface) of Google Maps. Users can therefore use the full capabilities (geographical search, maps and images) of Google to identify their sites and select the right locations or regions. As this interface is easy to use and applied already in many other applications it the user feels familiar with it. The front page of a service gives the site selection window and some descriptive information of the service, as a general description, property rights and credits, inputs and outputs descriptions. The results can be written to the browser window or saved in a specific format (e. g. spreadsheet-compatible). The available data bases can be selected by the menu on top of the page. Fig. 2 shows two sample screenshots of the current prototype (see http://project. mesor. net).
The project MESoR together with the IEA Task 36 “Solar Resource Knowledge Management” aim at developing better guidance about the energy application of solar resource information. The benchmarking exercise will ease the comparison of different data sources and the standardised rules will make accuracy evaluations more transparent and comparable. The guide will help users in the choice of data sources and how to use the data for their specific needs.
The new broker portal aims to ease the access to solar resource data and online applications by serving as single point of entry to a variety of data sources all with a similar look and feel and common data formats. More information about the project can be found at http://www. mesor. net.
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