Clean Power Solar PV Calculator

Published on October 26th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen


Solar PV Calculator Has All the Numbers

October 26th, 2012 by  

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 PV Calculator

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:

Source: Solar Panels UK
Image Source: Solar Panels UK

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About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

  • Brent Holton

    Just what I was after, thanks.

  • Responder

    There is something like this for the US. Try NREL’s PVWATTS version 1 calculator. It won’t give you a dollar value for your electricity. It will give you the expected output for a panel of any size, set in any direction, and at any angle for locations throughout the world.
    It will also give you that output for every hour of the day throughout the year, based on TMY (typical meterological year) data for the specific site. You can have all the data you want, but I think you have to make your own graphs.

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