Google's Project Sunroof makes installing solar easier

August 18, 2015 // By Rich Pell
Google has announced its latest project - Project Sunroof - which is designed to make it easier for people to install solar panels in their homes.

Using Google's mapping and computing resources, Project Sunroof offers users personalized roof analyses to help them calculate the best solar plan based on their individual roofs and locations. Once supplied with a user's address, the site provides user-specific data on the amount of usable sunlight that hits the roof per year, which parts of the house receive the most sunlight, the amount of space available on the home for solar panels, and the amount of money that could be saved by switching to solar.

The site takes into account the following data when computing its results:

Google's database of aerial imagery and maps
3D modeling of a user's roof
Shadows cast by nearby structures and trees
All possible sun positions over the course of a year
Historical cloud and temperature patterns

The site then provides users with a list of nearby solar installers, with links to the respective sites. The listings are sponsored to help cover the cost of the site.

Currently Project Sunroof is set up for users located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno, CA, and greater Boston, MA. According to Google, the company hopes to expand the project to other locations in the coming months.

Google Project Sunroof