Google Earth allows users to analyze the far reaches of the world from back of a computer with just a few clicks. Now, the same info that function Google Earth will allow owners to analyze their own rooftops to makesure if they’re applicable for solar panels.
Google’s latest online tool called “Project Sunroof” launched recently in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and the greater Boston area. It uses high-resolution aerial image — the same image used by Google Earth — to help calculate a roof’s solar power potential. The company calling it “a kind of treasure map of solar power.”
“Millions of users already search Google every time to learn more about solar energy. We’re big followers in renewable energy ourselves, and Project Sunroof is a way for us to do even more to guide people explore and analyze the value of solar energy,” Barry Fischer, a spokesperson for Google, wrote in an email. “We’re excited to use our expertise in maps, machine learning, and high-resolution aerial data from Google Earth to make it happen.”
To use Project Sunroof, anyone living in one of the test locations easily needs to enter their address. The tool then figures out how much solar energy hits that rooftop throughout the year, taking into account factors like shade, roof orientation and local weather patterns. Potential solar users can also enter the amount of their typical electric bill for more customized results.
All of this info is combined to form an estimate for how much a given house could potentially save by going solar energy. The site also helps customers connect with local solar installer service provider, including NRG Home Solar, Vivint Solar and SunEdison.
Google has long been a believer of clean energy. It is presently the largest corporate purchaser of clean energy on the globe, and recently announced plans to triple those purchases over the next decade as part of a larger assurance to act on climate change in association with the White House.
Google has pledged more than $2 billion to supporting renewable energy projects around the globe, including Africa’s largest solar power plant. The company has also been a champion of renewable energy policy in the United States and abroad.
The tech giant also has a definite interest in residential solar, having made previous investments in Clean energy Finance, SunPower and SolarCity (Google committed $300 million to a SolarCity fund in February). The launch of Project Sunroof continues that trend.
( source by greentechmedia.com)
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