Home solar energy systems are becoming more affordable by the day, but just being able to purchase the panels doesn’t guarantee you a lifetime of free renewable energy. There’s more to creating a self-sufficient home than just slapping some solar panels on the roof and crossing your fingers.
As any qualified solar installer will tell you, proper evaluation of the installation site is key. Each roof (or porch or yard) much be examined to determine how and where the sun hits it throughout the day. Only by properly aligning the solar panels to make the most of this sunlight is there any chance of achieving high efficiency energy generation. A UK company that wants to help homeowners achieve this efficiency as cheaply as possibly recently released a new iPhone/iPad app that helps identify the best spot to install solar panels at the touch of a button.
The tool, called simply the “Solar Panel Suitability Checker”, was previously only available on the company’s website, but after realizing that many customers would like to access this feature on their mobile devices (and the phone’s GPS would be perfectly suited to this type of position-mapping) they decided to create an app.
After installing the app, users simply tell it to “Use Current Location” and it uses Google Maps to locate your property. Then the performance graph and satellite imagery are used to pinpoint the perfect place to install your solar panels for highest efficiency.
“If you are considering installing them onto your roof, then it will show you if your roof is facing the correct way to absorb enough sunlight to make it worthwhile,” reads the app’s page on iTunes. If you are planning to install them in a location other than a roof, it can help you to identify if there is any obstacles blocking the light from hitting the panels’ intended installation site.” Free at the App Store.