Published on October 26th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen3
Solar PV Calculator Has All the Numbers
The guys over at Solar Panels UK just launched a great tool — it’s a solar PV calculator designed to tell you approximately how much you can save – or even make(!) — by turning your roof blue and going green.
Solar panels are increasingly popular — conversion rates are going up, they’re super clean and green, sunlight is there every day and just asking to be used, and they’re even a pretty shade of blue. But there’s always that one guy who keeps talking about how it’s such a scam and it costs so much to install the system that it’s not worth it, and how much power could solar panels really produce anyway.
My Solar Panels Do This Much — According to the Solar PV Calculator
The Solar PV Calculator from Solar Panels UK might or might not have been designed with this guy in mind, but it’s a pretty handy little tool. It takes into account a number of factors — the installation quote, roof pitch, feed-in tariff rate (because the UK has one of those), and whether or not any energy will be exported to the grid.
Using the calculator is pretty straightforward if you have a UK address (I don’t, so I googled for a random UK postal code and started fiddling) — all of the instructions are right there on the page. Playing around with the calculator gives me the impression that a 30° roof slope facing due south is the most efficient arrangement, but the difference between the most and least efficient setups I could find (assuming the size of the installation and percent of energy exported to the grid remained constant) was no more than 11%.
The one thing I’d like to see it do that I couldn’t find was maybe a little graph of how much energy the solar panels generate, but that’s mostly because I like graphs. If I had a roof on which to install solar panels (I rent, so this is not an option for me), this fun little tool would definitely be super helpful in convincing me to install solar panels. Can we have something like this for the US now?
Head over the the solar panels uk website to try the tools out: http://www.solarpanelsuk.co.