Internet search engine giant Google is set to ‘map’ the solar potential of Britain’s rooftops using its Google Earth and Google maps technology. ‘Project Sunroof’ has already seen them partner up with energy giant E.On in a bid to encourage renewable energy sources in Germany.
And now the resulting ‘online solar calculator’ looks set to be available to UK householders to help them figure out whether solar power will work for them. The technology uses a proven formula to work out how much sunlight hits a particular rooftop every year using its mapping tools in conjunction with data on things like the pitch of roofs, shadows caused by surrounding trees and the position of the sun across the seasons.
From there a programme generates the potential of solar panels on your rooftop in seconds, working out how much you could potentially save on your energy bills. In Germany, E.On has backed the accuracy of the project with a promise to guarantee the savings calculated by Google.
Kate Brandt, Google’s head of sustainability, says the plan is to extend the project across Europe. Once installed, it’s important to maintain the performance of the solar panel’s invertors by making sure they are kept clean and that birds prone to nesting under them and roosting on them, like pigeons, are kept away.
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