Last week Google revealed a software tool that allows users, such as home owners to estimate how much money they could save on energy bills, by placing solar panels on their available roof space.

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Project Sunroof’ utilises Google’s current mapping data and computing resources to calculate the best solar plan for houses. By using high resolution areal images, Project Sunroof is capable of determining the most suitable roof space for solar panels, by taking into account variables such as cloud and temperature patterns and shade from nearby buildings and trees. The tool then calculates the power savings the home owner could receive by determining the amount of energy the solar panels would save.

Currently, home owners can only use Googles Project Sunroof in three American cities, including; San Francisco, Fresno CA and Greater Boston MA. However, about a month ago the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI) developed and launched a very similar tool, called the ‘Live Solar Potential Tool’. This tool allows the user to zoom in on any household in the given region, and estimate the potential energy output any given rooftop could generate with solar panels.

The ‘Live Solar Potential Tool’ also provides information on energy output per month, system size, total savings and the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions avoided by installing solar panels.

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Currently, the APVI tool is only available to those living in or close to a major Australian CBD. However, the organisation plans on expanding the geographical area covered by the tool with increased funding.

While this tool was designed to allow households to determine the location, size and impact of installing Solar Panels on their roof, it could also be useful for those interested in solar pool heating. By using the ‘Live Solar Potential Tool’ home owners can determine if they have a suitable roof space for a Solar Collector.

The tool can also provide information on the amount of solar radiation their roof gains, and can adjust for factors such as roof orientation and shade from nearby buildings and trees.

Home owners can then use the Boss Solar Calculator to determine the savings solar pool heating could provide. Find out how much you could save today by clicking here.