With the world advancing towards automation and innumerable devices making our lives progressively comfortable, the threats posed to our mother nature are being not accounted for.
One of the eco friendly tasks that an individual can easily go for is to opt for solar power. There are many places where we receive plenty of sunlight, simply being wasted. If we can take a step forward and install solar energy systems at our homes, a lot of advantages can be pooled in, apart from reducing global warming, like aiding the grid systems. The costs of the panels have come down but the initial installation costs are still expensive. When we compare these costs with the savings in the future, we will be benefited.
Before installing solar energy systems one needs to consider the following parameters
Site survey parameters:
- The roof structure and orientation
- The amount of sunlight that hits the roof and sun’s position at different times of the day as well as year.
- The latitude and altitude of the place
- Season and time zone
Photo voltaic system parameters:
- Load requirement
- Panel design parameters like dimensions, orientation, number of modules used
- Module ratings and specifications like temperature coefficient, operating conditions, voltage, current characteristics etc.,
- Inverter specifications
- Battery specifications
- Wiring requirements and protection devices
It is difficult for a customer to go and collect all these details or search about them and choose a suitable design with necessary specifications. Likewise it is difficult for the solar retailer to perform site survey. Google has made this task much easier by introducing Project Sunroof.
Project Sunroof is a solar power initiative started by Google engineer Carl Elkin. The initiative’s stated purpose is “mapping the planet’s solar potential, one roof at a time,” which makes our understanding about the installation much easier even without any previous knowledge. This project mainly focuses on marking the intensity of sunlight on the roof tops using satellite images. It was initialized in August 2015.
This project mainly focuses on mapping and computing resources to use and also to calculate the best solar plan for us. It uses the information from already updated google maps, combining with other databases it draws a clear picture about the intensity of sun’s radiation on the roof along with the shadow effects due to obstructions like trees, buildings, etc., with precision. So, it makes us understand the concept of orientation of panels required by the project site by a personalized roof analysis.
In other words, Project sunroof gives us information about how much sun light hits our roof in a year by taking the following into account
- Google’s database of high resolution aerial imagery and maps.
- 3D modelling of the roof.
- Shadows cast by near structures and trees.
- All possible sun’s positions over the course of a year.
- Historical cloud and temperature patterns.
Project sunroof also compiles the financial details required by the installation system by using current solar data and gives us the final cost by considering the following
- Federal and state tax credits
- Utility rebates
- Renewable energy credits and net metering
While calculating these, it gives us the numbers by looking at the loan procurement for the required amount and displays the savings that can be acquired in the next 20 years. It has proven to provide the installation sizes which generate almost close to 100% electricity use.
Project Sunroof currently hosts a mix of solar companies, including major players like SunPower, local installers like Verengo Solar and new players like Pick My Solar. Interested customers can choose to share their contact information with selected providers on the Sunroof platform or contact them directly. It makes the provider’s work go easy because he/she can easy go directly for the design without physical sight surveying and designing the entire site using software. So, it makes the work easier either way.
So one can choose what’s best for a particular site. All we have to do is to just enter the address in the search bar!
Presently, it has the ability to analyze 43 million rooftops in 42 states of U.S and is planning to expand its potential globally.