Each year, photons fall on our rooftops after travelling 150 million kms, and taking close to a million year to reach the surface of the sun. The enormous energy that they carry ultimately goes to waste and is not utilised, thanks to the good-for-nothing roofs over our heads. Google aims to help us change that.
What if you want to tap the energy of that by-product from nuclear fusion reaction to power your home. Well, Google seems to have cracked the code (literally) by developing a new tool that lets you figure out if your house is a good candidate for solar power generation.
Project Sunroof is a novel utility launched by Google that uses data from Google Maps to let you know how much you can save on the electricity bills by installing solar panels on your rooftop. The process is designed to make solar energy enthusiasts determine the cost to benifit ratio of installing solar panels.
Project Sunroof uses the data you have entered about your roof’s total area, and your current electricity bills. The tool then taps into the input provided by Google Maps about your home’s location, orientation of your house, the whether and other measurements to give you an estimate on the amount of sunlight your house receives per year. If you think it stops at just that, then consider this, it also recommends the size of the solar installation required and the cost that comes with it.
With all its benefits, there is a drawback with Project Sunroof. For now – that is until a few months – the service will function only in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and Boston.
In these areas, Google has also tied up with local sellers and will link you to the solar providers, if you wish to get the panels installed. Carl Elkin, Engineering Lead, says that the inception behind the project was to burst the myth that “solar enery is too expensive” and reserved only for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and AlGoreAlGore.
With this endeavour Google has furthered its faith in renewable energy. The subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, currently uses renewable energy to power 35% of its operations and is currently investing in the clean energy sector to make it accessible for everyone. It has also announced a plan to fund $2 billion into renewable energy projects.