Climate-conscious homeowners will have probably asked themselves these questions: should I install solar panels on my roof? Will it be worth the investment? How long would I have to wait before I see the return?
Project Sunroof, Google’s newly launched online tool, aims to help homeowners explore the idea of installing solar panels by using Google Maps 3D modelling information.
The tool draws together data on sun positioning, shade and temperature patterns in the area, and roof orientation to identify the best places in a city to gather solar energy.
Further information on government subsidies and local scheme to sell back excess energy to the grid are also factored in to allow homeowners to assess how much could be saved in energy bills. A short video introducing Project Sunroof provides additional details.
Google’s Sunroof service is currently only available to residents in Boston, Fresno and the San Francisco Bay Area. However, Project Sunroof’s tagline is “Mapping the planet’s solar potential, one roof at a time”, so extending the service to the rest of the US, and then the world, seems to be in the pipeline.