RoofRay solar calculator.

Even with all of the great tools out there, it’s surprisingly difficult to just figure out if it’s worth the money to install solar panels on your home. Between calculations of latitude, historical cloud cover rates, degree days, and PV effectiveness, it’s just plain confusing. Which is why I’m so pleased to see RoofRay, a site that will do the math for you. Enter your address, answer a series of questions, and you’ll get all the details, including an ROI analysis. Beware, Virginians: the site will claim that the state offers a significant tax rebate when, sadly, no such thing exists. (Via MeFi)

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “RoofRay solar calculator.”

  1. Site has no rate plan for here (Charlottesville City), wasn’t able to crunch numbers for my location…

  2. Yup, you’ve got to enter your own numbers. Big energy dork that I am, I’ve actually maintained a spreadsheet for the past two years, updating it monthly with the degree days, our KwH usage, and the cost of that energy. I guess not everybody has that on hand. :) FYI, it’s $0.058 per KwH Oct-May, and $0.068 per KwH Jun-Sep. It’s probably odd that I know that off the top of my head.

  3. Better is the enemy of good enough. A lot of people get paralyzed by the uncertainty of the total solution. Push past that and design a stand-alone system that will provide only an essential generating capacity – perhaps the ability to power your well pump, or a few household outlets and a furnace fan.

    Include controls to allow you to monitor your amp-hour production and consumption, get comfortable with the simplicity of these systems, and realize the satisfaction that if the grid goes down, you at least can draw water, power a few lights and tune your radio. Actual experience is worth much more than these site analyses, and provide immediate backup capability.

    Just do it.

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