Google, the world’s most popular search engine, now lets you evaluate your house to establish if it makes sense to put up a solar panel installation.
Project Sunroof, created in the spare time of the company's chief engineer Car Elkin, helps you appreciate the amount of solar energy the roof of your house can generate through the information it has about your residence and data from Google maps.
The software takes into consideration the orientation of your roof and the degree of shade that falls on it from neighboring buildings and trees as well as the weather of your locality to produce a recommendation about the solar potential of your home.
Elkin said in a blog post that “The new tool uses high-resolution aerial mapping (the same used by Google Earth) to help you calculate your roof's solar energy potential, without having to climb up any ladders."
For the moment this innovation is only functional in Boston, the San Francisco Bay region and Fresno but the company hopes to roll it out to other areas in the coming weeks.
To get started, users enter their physical address and some fundamental information about the amount they pay for electricity and the service will calculate the appropriate solar installation size and the cost needed to buy or lease the hardware.
In the event that you wish to go ahead with the solar panel installation, the service will enable you to communicate with locally available solar providers. According to Google, the listings are subsidized, so Google will profit when users decide to buy a particular solar installation.