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

    MAP Rain – Updates in the Works

    MAP Rain is our high performance, flexible and scalable cloud-based solution for rainfall and flood monitoring analytics.  MAP Rain delivers location specific rainfall analytics for any point and any area of interest.

    Using MAP for IoT Applications

    This post focuses on MAP’s (Meniscus Analytics Platform) IOT type capabilities for creating applications that can setup hundreds of thousands of entities (or meters and sensors in this video) which are created from a template using a web client application.