3D Solar Modeling Clicks With Skelion

Thanks to two engineers, designing solar power systems just became quite a bit easier. Introducing Skelion –  a new solar energy design plugin for Google SketchUp. Designed by engineer and solar professionals Sam Jankis and Juan Pons, the plugin automates the process to insert solar panels onto surfaces, making it much faster to design 3D solar system models. How much faster? In an interview for Google’s Green Blog, Jankis said, “Now we can do with four clicks what we were doing in four hours.”

The tool is as intended, simple. After selecting the surface you want to insert solar panels onto, a menu asks the type of panel (chosen from a list or created yourself), tilt and orientation for the panels, and shading range on a given day. With the given information, the plugin inserts the solar panels onto the surface.

Skelion Screenshot

image via Skelion

The free version includes the most valuable feature – the capability to insert solar panels. The Pro version takes it a step further and produces energy reports and inserts panels on irregular surfaces.

According to Jankis, “The goal for Skelion is to become a standard design tool in the solar industry. We believe that as soon as solar designers get familiar with the plugin they are going to love it–  as we do.”

Angeli Duffin is a Midwest transplant currently living in San Francisco, CA. Kicking off her career doing product design and development with Fair Trade artisans around the world, she then moved on to the editorial side, writing for eBay’s Green Team blog and working as a marketing consultant for social and environmentally minded companies