Fancy installing solar panels on your roof? Check out what it’s going to cost you first. A new calculator called RoofRay uses Google Earth to give you an idea what solar panels can do for your house.
I have tried out the Roofray calculator and think that if carbon footprint calculators were an eye opener, Roofray’s solar energy calculations are the next best thing. Triple Pundit covered Roofray last week already, but I won’t withhold you a review of the actual calculator. So here goes; the device tells you in seconds what the expected cost savings versus the initial investment costs are going to be. All you need to do is to key in your address like you do in Google Earth, and superimpose some would be panels on your actual house’s roof. The calculator is very easy to use and will even allow you to input the approximate angle of your roof’s slant. This way, the calculator will adjust for the amount of sun your panels are likely to catch.
The potential energy savings are churned out per square footage, based on kilowatt hours. The real beauty of solar panel savings calculator is that it takes into account your exact coordinates and the impact of the weather on your average energy consumption. The calculator has values for your surface albedo, the average weather cycle, the general cloud cover, and the orientation and area of your solar array, all based on historic weather patterns.
A little more digging on Roofray teaches you also during which months of the year you’re most likely to make the greatest energy savings from using solar electricity and what the approximate costs of a solar panel will be. Roofray also takes account of state and federal tax breaks and rebates. All the information is objective because Roofray only offers a solar panels calculator and is not linked with solar panel or renewable energy merchants.
The only improvement the site could do with in my opinion would be to increase the number of energy companies users are likely to be using but otherwise the calculator appears to be accurate.