Mapdwell tells building owners if going solar is worth the cost of installation
Nations worldwide are increasingly embracing solar power as an alternative electricity source for homes, buildings, and even the grid.Since 2008, installed solar capacity in the united states alone has grown 17fold, from 1.2 to 20 gigawatts gw, according to the u.S.Department of energy.But do costs outweigh the benefits of installing photovoltaic pv systems in every building mit spinout mapdwell is answering that question by mapping solar potential for entire cities and providing a costbenefit analysis for each rooftop.On mapdwell’s satellitemap website, people can click on an individual roof to receive information about installation.
Price, energy and financial savings, and environmental impact.The idea is to empower businesses and homeowners with information they need to go solar, so far, mapdwell has mapped eight cities across the u.S., including new york, san francisco, and three in massachusetts boston, cambridge, and wellfleet as well as a few cities in chile.Mapdwell is currently expanding to include all major metropolitan areas in the u.S.By year’s end.Results from mapped cities indicate that, in general, solar panel installation is a good investment for longterm homeowners in cambridge, for example, a good roof will get you your money back within seven years.
Mapdwell also provides citylevel statistics on high yield potential solar capacity and other metrics, giving municipalities a clearer picture of the costs and savings of promoting solar power.For example, mapdwell estimates boston has about 1.5 gw of untapped solar capacity, washington d.C.Has 2 gw, and san francisco has roughly 3 gw.New york city, on the other hand, has a whopping 11 gw solar potential.If that capacity were met, the solar panels would offset carbon emissions equivalent to planting 185 million trees, according to mapdwell.To map cities, mapdwell collects data from.
Lidarequipped planes which survey urban topography using reflections from lasers to map the terrain along with geographical and weather data.Additional analysis provides a detailed 3d model of every rooftop layout.Data is fed into solar system, mapdwell’s online mapping platform, which was developed at mit and provides a higher resolution and greater accuracy than other mapping services on mapdwell’s website, each rooftop is covered with many colorcoded dots that represent open areas for solarpanel installation.They range in color from bright yellow representing the highest yields to orange, to brown, which represents decreasing solar efficiency.
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