MAP Solar – new service predicts solar irradiance at any location

We are pleased to announce the introduction of a new service in MAP SOLAR to predict solar irradiance. This is ideal for companies that want to optimize on-site battery use or improve the management of micro-grids.

MAP Solar applies Artificial Intelligence and a Block Matching and Relaxation algorithm to the latest satellite imagery to predict the path of clouds. So, for any location in the UK, we can predict solar irradiance and help you maximise revenue from your solar PV sites.

  • Increase revenue by optimizing on-site battery storage – predict the peaks and troughs in site power use.
  • Combines the latest satellite images with an AI algorithm to predict cloud movement
  • Use the irradiance data to predict power output from your PV installation. The model takes current rainfall into account to improve accuracy between the predicted and actual solar irradiance values.
  • Calculates cloud cover and applies this to a Clear Sky solar irradiance model to calculate diffuse, direct and combined in-plane solar irradiance.
  • Satellite images are updated every 15 minutes and we predict solar irradiance for the next two hours at 15 minute intervals
  • Get solar irradiance predictions for any location in the UK. Available from dashboard or our API
  • Actual and Predicted power (kW) compared with actual irradiance data (W/m2)

    For more information then view our MAP SOLAR web page or Send us a message or give us a call on 01480 433714.

    This was funded under an InnovateUK Collaborative Project. Our partners are:

    Lead Partner providing the data analytics and processing capability to deliver solar intensity predictions. All predictive analytics are delivered using the Meniscus Analytics Platform (MAP).

    Energy tech partner providing expertise to deliver accurate, real-time PV-based Demand Side Response solutions to Distribution Network Operators and owner/operators of solar farms to more efficiently manage local networks and generate income.

    BRE – National Solar Centre is responsible for ensuring the system meets the requirements of the PV industry and providing domain expertise and access/advice on technical solar issues.

    Owner of one of the solar farms used to test and demonstrate the system.

    MAP Rain – new geometry gives large rural agencies ability to focus on urban areas

    We are pleased to announce the introduction of a new geometry in MAP RAIN that delivers big cost reductions. This is ideal for large rural agencies who want rainfall analytics data for their urban areas.

    A new Multi-Polygon geometry delivers rainfall analytics for just the areas that area of specific interest to you. Before this, we had to provide rainfall and associated data for the whole area of interest.

  • Example: A Lead Flood Authority with a large predominately rural area of say 10,000km2 only wants real time and predictive rainfall analytics and access to FEH data for the urban areas, say 750km2. Previously, we had to provide rainfall data for the whole 10,000 km2 area and then add Polygons within this for specific catchments of interest. With the new Multi-Polygon geometry we can provide the customer with these analytics for JUST the urban areas. This delivers a big reduction in the cost of accessing rainfall analytics information from MAP Rain. I.e.MAP Rain prices are based on 750km2 rather than 10,000km2.
  • Example of multi-polygon area

    To receive a quote for using MAP Rain in your are then please send us a message from the Contact Page

    MAP Rain – new rainfall grid imagery

    We recently updated MAP Rain to display rainfall as an image making it much faster to display new images. Previously we displayed rainfall for each individual 1 km square cell. MAP Rain processes data in km squares using the Ordnance Survey Grid Reference system but the dashboard uses the WGS84 projection. So to produce a suitable image we have to go through several stages.

  • Use the four corners of the visible area of the map and return the min/max Easting and Northings required to fully display the image. We add a small amount to each side to ensure it is covered on the screen.
  • Render an image for these Easting and Northings values from the internal grid that represents the data at the relevant time.
  • Then ‘warp’ this image to change the projection from a flat grid reference to the representation of that grid on the map. This is why the top and bottom of the returned trapezoid are curved and it is wider at the top than the bottom (imagine taking a sheet of paper and placing on a globe). We then display this image on the dashboard.
  • This process allows us to return different ‘zoom’ levels of the image with each having a better resolution. Most other mapping solutions limit the zoom level as they only display the one image for the whole of the UK.

    Areal FEH99 calculation – Return Period calculation for polygons

    As part of our aim of continuing to add complex rainfall analytics into MAP Rain you can now return a FEH99 Return Period for a polygon – this is the Areal FEH99 methodology as set out in the Flood Estimation Handbook.

    How to run

  • From the dashboard click on Rainfall Return Period
  • Set the date you are interested in using the top date selector
  • Select the polygon you are interested in
  • Select the “Get Return Period for Item” option under Rainfall Return Period
  • MAP Rain will then calculate the Return Period and display all the coefficients and results in the map results pane along with a graph of the rainfall intensity for 3 days – includes the previous and the next days.

    Yorkshire Water network resilience hackathon – use of MAP IoT

    Overview of a one day hackathon using a closed data set to investigate how data analytics can help find the best locations for some +8,000 sensors. Details the solution delivered and developed on the day

    Improved architecture lets MAP scale on demand

    Our latest release lets us run multiple instances of core modules (importers, calculators and invalidators) on multiple servers with the ability to start and stop instances on demand.

    Yorkshire Water leakage hackathon – use of MAP IOT

    Overview of the Open Data leakage hackathon run by Yorkshire Water to identify new ways of applying Big Data and analytics solutions to the issue or water leakage

    InnovateUK project to predict solar output in near real time

    This project uses near real time satellite imagery to create short term predictions of output from PV farms to help optimise revenues for sites having battery storage

    Automated invoice generation and management reporting for CHP units

    Meniscus was recently approached by a power company to create an automated invoice generation and management reporting service for their CHP units. The invoices will be based upon raw data sent to the Meniscus servers and include using a range of key variables and unit rates that will be entered into a simple bespoke web page.

    MAP came to the fore as it is specifically designed to be both scalable and very flexible.  A comprehensive RESTful API is available that lets users configure every element of the underlying database and to add or delete and update any element of the platform. This API is used to build a mobile friendly website that provides configuration capability, analytics, widget graphs and a data import facility.

    Because MAP is deployed on a variety of cloud servers it means any new server instances can be readily available online as users require.


    The main benefits when using the Meniscus Analytics Platform (MAP) are:

    Ø It enables integration and automation of more complex analytics directly into your services.

    Ø It provides a means to rapidly develop and deploy new solutions and services.

    Ø Provides flexibility to change the analytics being delivered as a solution matures and evolves.

    Ø Provides a means to reliably scale, from a pilot scale up to a full-scale project, quickly and easily.

    Ø It is a cost effective way for delivering complex analytics.

    Setting up the database

    Meniscus will be setting up the database to deliver the invoice information using the actual data uploaded from each CHP unit that uploads data to the Meniscus servers.

    An initial ‘template’ site will be created using the most complex tariff structure envisaged. The invoice data from this one site can then be used to test the calculation accuracy using a range of input variables and a range of imported raw data. Once this ‘template’ site is verified then it will be used as the basis for all other CHP sites.

    The validation process will be replicated in case changes are required to this template site at a later date.

    Importing data

    Meniscus will create a bespoke importer to convert the CHP data into the required format for import into MAP.

    Bespoke dashboard

    Meniscus will set up a simple yet secure ‘one-page’ dashboard to enable staff to enter and update key variables and unit rates as and when required.

    Management reporting

    Meniscus will set up two management reports. These reports will be run on a scheduled basis (e.g. daily, weekly or monthly).

    Formatted output

    Meniscus will collate and format the output data into an agreed format which will be forwarded at the end of each month and will form the basis of the invoice data.

    Hosting Services

    Specific Hosting Services

    Ø Processing data received to create the required output invoice format. Raw data files will be uploaded from the CHP units at daily intervals and MAP will automatically process all the available data. This effectively means that it will be possible to view invoice data for the current month at any point in time.

    Ø Delivering scheduled management reports.

    General Services

    Ø Provide server facilities that include the appropriate data backup and failover capability.

    Ø Provide telephone and e-mail support.

    Ø To carry out reasonable minor updates and changes to the database and associated calculations if requested by the customer.


    Meniscus Systems Limited Shortlisted in Selection Process CivTech

    Meniscus received news this week they are through to the short-listed stage of the CivTech ® Pilot 2016.

    The CivTech® Pilot is seeking new technologies to drive bold innovation in the public sector. It brings together private sector innovation, public sector organisations and citizens to develop more efficient and effective products and services, which will translate to new, better, faster and easier experiences for everyone.

    Backed by the Scottish Government, it is going to provide an unprecedented route for entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and other businesses to develop the benefits of digital transformation in the public sector, creating an opportunity for businesses to win public sector contracts.

    The first of the six-part challenge process saw all 85 applicants completing their application to determine the overview of their idea, their level of innovation, and commercial potential.  The second stage in the process, the Exploratory stage, included assessments on the participant’s business acumen, team and exploratory skills.

    Meniscus Systems Limited has successfully reached the third stage of the selection process and is hoping to provide a potential, and successful, solution for challenges taking them into the Accelerator stage where they will work to further develop their potential solution, engaging closely with the Challenge Sponsor and the CivTech ® pilot team, further establishing the viability of their potential solution, and address any issues that have been brought up.

    The six Challenges are simply a problem which a Challenge Sponsor (public sector organisation) would like solved. CivTech® pilot is focusing on the following areas.

    Challenge 1: How can we help improve air quality in urban areas?

    Challenge 2: How can we make our flood forecasting information better used by a wider audience?

    Challenge 3: How can we get health and social care data and analysis to the widest possible audience?

    Challenge 4: How can we make our data publications more accessible and appealing?

    Challenge 5: How can we promote the tourist destinations along the A9?

    Challenge 6: How can we use technology to design smart roads?

    Mike Everest, Managing Director and owner of Meniscus Systems Limited, commented, ‘We are delighted to have been shortlisted in two very diverse and exciting markets, challenge 1 and 6, namely Air Quality work and a SMART Road project for the A9 dualling. This is a long-term development of the A9 as a dual carriageway.’

    Mike further said, ‘We have a pitch to present next week to see if we make it to the next stage of the challenge, which will be the Accelerator stage where an initial implementation of the project takes effect to start to meet the needs of the challenge.’

    Civtech® will announce the Accelerator finalists on 5 September 2017.