We've covered some great examples of photovaltaic solar panels in the golf industry in the past, with more to come, but we haven't asked the question Is Solar Right For Me? We can find out by asking 2 more questions, Does my location get enough sun? And will my expected Return On Investment (ROI) make this all worthwhile? There are some great resources available on the net that will help get you started, and it should only take you 10 minutes to get your answer.
|Dividing the world into five solar performance area based on |
yearly averages of daily hours of sunlight and temperature
1 - Do I have enough sun?
The above map is a general guide, but what about the positioning, angle of your roof and possible obstructions? Well... There's a Map & App for that!
RoofRay, using the google maps API, allows you to locate your facility, draw an outline of your roof, plug in some basic energy use info and blammo you get a quote. Of course there may be some variables that are not accounted for within this simplified program, however it'll get you in to the ball park and let you know to what extent you can offset your current grid power with your own generation.
We've put a small widget on our sidebar for now, but I recommend you check out the site too.
As far as obstructions, get out your iPhone or Android ready...
iPhone users, right now, go to iTunes, download SunSeeker for $2.99, or Androider's get SunBoard for Free (Not as good as the SunSeeker, but will do). Developed for Solar Panel installers, this App uses the camera, GPS and Azimuth tool to illustrate (in flat mode and augmented reality camera mode) the solar path and its obstructions from where you stand and creates yearly charts. Pretty cool. But even cooler if you consider how this tool can demonstrate to your greens committee why you have to cut down a tree or a few branches obstructing your green. See the video below for SunSeeker App.
2 - Your system’s expected return on investment (ROI) is a function of the following factors:
- Less initial costs (typically around $10 per installed watt of PV)
- - building permits (most municiplaities have by-laws associated with PV's)
- + 30% Federal Tax Credit in US - Go here for a basic list of available rebates.
- + State/Provincial, municipal and/or utility incentive(s) (Up to $5000 in most)
- = Net Investment
- + Discounted annual savings in monthly utility bills (~25 years’ worth)
- - Amortized loan payments (if financed)
- = ROI