Many solar PV installers use satellite imaging technology to determine if a roof is suitable for solar. But these images can only tell you so much. You can see the total area of the roof, but you can’t easily determine the slant or shading. This is why reputable installers make in-person visits to take more accurate measurements.
In fact, you should never accept any solar quote from an installer who hasn’t visited your home or business personally.
However, Google is working on new satellite imaging technology that could make the process even easier and faster.
How Projects Sunroof Can Tell You If Your Roof Is Suitable for Solar
Project Sunroof is a free online tool that uses Google Earth’s 3D mapping technology to quickly calculate a rooftop’s solar power potential.
These are not simply static satellite images. Instead, Project Sunroof analyzes thousands of lines of advanced computer code to factor in things like:
- Rooftop orientation
- Tree shading
- Local weather patterns
All you have to do is enter in your street address, and Project Sunroof does the rest.
At least, that is how the technology is supposed to work.
It’s still a relatively new platform. And it’s not clear whether it analyzes other important factors like local utility rates, rooftop slants, or incentives. And we don’t know whether it can identify obstacles like antennas, chimneys, and vents.
Moreover, Project Sunroof isn’t available nationwide yet. Last year, it started in just 2 states. And it now encompasses roughly 42 states across the country.
But even still, the technology is pretty exciting. And it’s available for homeowners – not just installers. According to Project Sunroof’s product manager, Joel Conkling,
“People can come in and very quickly and very easily get a pretty sophisticated understanding of their solar potential and whether it makes sense for them to go solar.”
Do You Still Need to Request a Formal Solar Quote?
Project Sunroof is a very powerful platform. And it lets homeowners make quick and fairly accurate assessments of their property’s solar potential.
But as mentioned before, the technology has limitations.
This is why you still need a professional solar installer to visit your property in person. That’s the only way to know – with absolute certainty – whether going solar makes sense.
The good news is that these inspections are 100% free – provided that you stick with reputable installers who know what they’re doing.
If you’d like Sunline Energy to determine if your rooftop is suitable for solar, get a free estimate by calling Call us at (858) 252-2280 of fill out the contact form and we will get back to you shortly. We will be there every step of the way from initial call, system design, permit submission and more.