Assessing shading is a critical task by done by solar designers before designing the system.
The goal is to avoid shading by trees, roof obstructions or other buildings and maximize solar production. Typically this is one on site with a physical tool on site - Solar Pathfinder and SunEye are popular in the industry.
Historical Imagery allows solar designers to assess shading remotely; eliminating the need to drive out on site to conduct the assessment, saving time and transportation costs associated. For any address in Australia, the Historical Imagery feature brings together an extensive library of historical aerial photographs from a large number of suppliers. The aerial photographs are taken at different times of the day and year and thus will show shading at different times throughout the year. Using this shading information, designers can then place panels on Observer to avoid the shaded areas and maximize returns for solar owners.
The aerial photographs are taken at different times of the day and year and thus will show shading at different times throughout the year.
From customer interviews, users are now typically spending 5mins to assess shading compared to the average 2.5 hours previously.
This is a saving of ~$110 for each solar design that requires shading assessment, assuming $44/hr as the Average Solar professionals salary is $AU74,063. Savings for solar businesses also extends to the capital and maintenance costs of the shading equipment and transportation that is required with on-site assessment.
Alan Lam is a solar specialist with over 5 years of experience supporting solar businesses in Australia. Alan understands the nuances of government incentive schemes for solar in Australia and beyond in detail and has a wealth of knowledge to give solar installers.
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