Google has long focused on recognizing opportunities and seizing them. In its latest venture, Project Sunroof, the mega tech giant is helping homeowners see and take advantage of the potential for solar power generation on their own rooftops. Project Sunroof allows users to punch in their address and get real (and rather sophisticated) illustrations of how many solar panels can be installed on their home and how much savings could be realized by taking the solar plunge.
Google’s intro video for Project Sunroof starts off a lot like a talk by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, referring to the “giant power plant in the sky creating free energy” for everyone. And then, the video explains, Google realized an opportunity to help homeowners make the first uneasy baby step into the world of solar power. The tool makes it super simple to figure out how many solar panels are needed, how much sun a home gets, and—most attractively—how much money homeowners could stand to save by adding solar power.
In a blog post penned by Carl Elkin, Engineering Lead for Project Sunroof, he explains that the tool can “calculate your roof’s solar energy potential, without having to climb up any ladders.” So, that makes it a whole lot easier for people to answer one of the first questions that come up when thinking about installing solar panels: Is my home a good place for solar power? The tool breaks it down clearly, using gobs of data on roof orientation, shade from trees and buildings, and local weather patterns. You can even enter the amount of your average electric bill to customize the results.
As with many Google projects at launch time, this one has limited scope. Right now, the high-resolution aerial mapping used to survey solar potential is only available for homes in Boston (where Project Sunroof was born), in the San Francisco Bay area, and in Fresno, California. There’s no word on when the tool will be expanded for use in other areas but, as we all know, Google is full of surprises.
Image via Google