This video clip gives a demonstration on how the RoofRay online solar calculator works. Don't adjust your speakers. There's no sound.
Ever wonder what potential your roof has for solar power generation? Want to tinker around with different system configurations before even talking with a solar installer? If that's you then RoofRay may be just the solution you've been waiting for.
What you do is: Enter an address so that a satellite image of your building pops up, draw your chosen solar array configuration, choose your roof tilt angle and hit calculate. From there you can look at the potential power of the system, power per square foot, financial data, etc.
Be Prepared to Tinker for a While
Obviously you're going to have to put some time in to draw up your plans, know things about your house that perhaps the average homeowner doesn't (roof angle in degrees?), and hopefully your house isn't so newly built that it doesn't yet show up on Google's satellite imagery. As cool as this is, be prepared to tinker and play around with it. There's no one-click button to generate your ideal configuration.
Assess Solar Potential of Different Homes Before Buying
Earth2Tech points out what is an interesting usage of the system: If you're looking to buy a new home, you could use the RoofRay calculator to assess the solar potential of different buildings before purchasing.
Online Marketplace, "RoofRaytings" Planned
Though still at the beta stage of development, RoofRay hopes to create an online marketplace where solar installers can bid for your business, as well as create "RoofRaytings" of building's solar potential for use in real estate search engines.
Anecdotally, the impetus for RoofRay came about when, in early 2008, "the founder's utility bills started inching closer and closer to payment of a nice German sports-car. That's just not right."
UPDATE: One commenter has already reported that he has had problems with portions of the site. If you're playing around with it and come across problems, report them to RoofRay. I think this is really an interesting idea, but it appears there are some kinks still to be worked out.
via :: RoofRay and :: Earth2Tech
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