Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
The whole key to an efficient rooftop solar power system is finding the right roof in the right spot with the least shade, and now a team of scientists has developed a new system that can provide visual images of the rooftop solar potential for any existing building. The new solar calculator, called SEES for "Solar Energy from Existing Structures," is provided free to companies and municipalities.

Buildings

Easy Rooftop Solar Calculator “Sees” Your Roof’s Solar Potential

The whole key to an efficient rooftop solar power system is finding the right roof in the right spot with the least shade, and now a team of scientists has developed a new system that can provide visual images of the rooftop solar potential for any existing building. The new solar calculator, called SEES for “Solar Energy from Existing Structures,” is provided free to companies and municipalities.

scientists develop free GIS-based tool for caluculating rooftop solar potential in urban areasThe whole key to an efficient rooftop solar power system is finding the right roof in the right spot with the least shade, and now a team of scientists has developed a new system that can provide visual images of the rooftop solar potential for any existing building. The new solar calculator, called SEES for “Solar Energy from Existing Structures,” is provided free to companies and municipalities. At least, it’s free in Sweden – the system was developed at the Department of Earth Sciences at Gothenburg University. No word yet on its availability in the U.S., so keep your fingers crossed.

Seeing Rooftop Solar Potential with SEES

The new solar calculator is based on actual GIS (geographical information systems) and climate data, which means that rather than providing estimates, it provides real information on the actual surroundings of individual roofs, and simulates how that would affect the amount of sun hitting the roof. That includes surrounding buildings, trees and other vegetation, and even nearby hills or other geographical features that could cast a shadow. SEES wraps it all up in  full color graphics, and it can also break down the shadow effect into individual months or provide a yearly average. It also enables you to calculate the shadow effect on different parts of a single roof.

Google Earth Provides Free Rooftop Solar Calculator

SEES may not be available (yet) to individuals in the U.S., but if you own a building and you’re curious about its rooftop solar potential, a new Google Earth-based system can give you at least a rough idea. Unfortunately, the system is available only in California (it was developed at the University of California, San Diego), so the rest of us will have to dream on. The U.S. Forest Service does have a nifty free online user-friendly urban tree analyzer called i-Tree, which could help you scope out the tree situation.

If you know of any free DIY solar rooftop calculators, please share them with our readers in the comment thread.

Photo Credit: Rooftop solar panels, some rights reserved by Dragonleek

 

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Power

Originally published on ilsr.org. Now simplified, a new solar loan vs lease calculator is here. This tool has been featured on National Public Radio for its ability to...

Clean Power

The guys over at Solar Panels UK just launched a great tool -- it's a solar PV calculator designed to tell you exactly how...

Buildings

A sure-fire way to increase investments in solar panel rooftops? Make ’em easier to put together and cheaper to install. Many shy away from...

Clean Power

SolarTech, a non-profit solar industry consortium, has created a system for reporting and comparing solar energy quotes for customers. It is called the SolarTech’s Solar...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.