Google’s Project Sunroof analyzes the benefits of solar panels reported to the costs in order to help people decide if they should install them or not.
Google is starting a new online service aimed to help homeowners decide if they should consider installing very expensive photovoltaic panels. In calculating the costs and benefits Google’s Project Sunroof considers factors such as photos from Google Earth which helps it calculate the tree’s shadow which would prevent the sunlight from getting to the panels, combined with data of local weather, the panels’ prices and also the available subsidies.
The service was covering 15 metro areas in New York, New jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, Colorado and Arizona and it has recently expanded to the Raleigh area, North Carolina.
According to the software engineer who designed the service, Carl Elkin, Project Sunroof is also helping the local solar panel installers by referring customers to their services and by doing so it cuts their marketing expenses.
Elkin declares that Google believes in solar energy and the solar industry needs their help. The Company has invested over $1 billion in solar energy. In 2015 Google has also invested $300 million into a fund that helps SolarCity Corp by financing their residential rooftop projects. Five years ago Google bought the company five years ago for $280 million.
Project Sunroof has been launched last year in San Francisco, Fresno and Boston. The areas have been chosen by a series of criteria including the available satellite imagery and the conditions of the local market but also the incentives offered by the government.
Until the launching of Project Sunroof people who were considering installing solar panels had to bring a person for a site evaluation or use the calculator designed by the U.S. Energy Department which is a lot more complex and complicated to use.
Unlike the other two options Google’s program is faster and a lot simpler to use while also keeping the best results.
Photovoltaic panels are a way of producing free local and clean energy. Besides all these perks, some states are also allowing ‘net metering’ which basically means that home and business owners can sell the power from their photovoltaic cells if they produce more than they need. The local electric utility buys this energy so owners of solar panels can actually win money besides having free energy.
The 46th state to offer incentives for solar energy use is Mississippi which adopted a low last month. The remaining states are about to make similar changes too so hopefully the future will bring us cleaner air and cheaper energy.
Image source: pixabay