A new tool from Google allows homeowners to estimate the amount of energy and monetary savings solar power can generate for their home.
The Daily Herald reports that the project, named Project Sunroof, launched on Monday. Users are able to search their address with the tool and generate an estimate for the number of square feet available on their roof to install solar panels, number of hours usable sunlight can be generated for solar power, and the amount of money they could save.
The tool is currently available to homeowners in the Fresno and the San Francisco Bay Area in California as well as Boston, Massachusetts.
“For the first time, residential solar systems are able to give people a real choice when it comes to where they get their electricity … And it’s saving them a lot of money,” Greg Butterfield, chief executive of Vivint Solar, said in a statement.
For the first time, residential solar systems are able to give people a real choice when it comes to where they get their electricity … And it’s saving them a lot of money.
Project Sunroof uses high-definition satellite images and machine vision to measure the total area of the roof, according to PSFK. The tool then calculates the home’s position in relation to the path of sunlight, and accounts for weather patterns and surrounding objects that could obstruct sunlight. To estimate savings costs, users punch in the typical amount of their electricity bill, and the tool calculates estimated savings.
Project Sunroof will even help users find solar retailers and fitters in their area.
Google employee Carl Elkin is the creator behind Project Sunroof, a project which he worked on “20 percent time” – a time management policy that allows Google employees to spend one work day out of five on personal projects.
The 20 percent time policy has brought us other products such as Google News, Gmail, and AdSense.
Meanwhile, in the world of solar powered cars, Telsa Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk has announced that that company loses $4,000 on every Model S it sells.