Monday, December 03, 2012

Installing Solar Power with Google Maps

The In My Backyard (IMBY) tool, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  helps users to estimate how much electricity can be produced by installing solar panels. It also provides information on the likely installation costs, tax credits, the dollar value of the electricity that will be generated and the number of years it will therefore take to pay back the installation costs.

Using the tool the user first needs to choose the system of solar panels that are to be installed. Then they can select the area of roof to be covered by drawing an outline on Google Maps. They then input a number of variables relating to the type of system being installed and run the calculator.

The generated results of the calculator provides a detailed report on the likely benefits of installing solar power and also allows the user to compare the estimated solar electricity production with the user's current electricity consumption.

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