Tools for Calculating Potential Solar and Wind Power


I just came across two very cool tools for calculating the potential energy savings for implementing solar and wind power.

The first one is the In My Back Yard from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  This tool allows you to calculate potential energy savings through solar and wind power.  The savings is based on where your property is located and the information you specify for either the windmill(s) to be used (type, height, etc.) or the information for the solar panels (size, slope of roof, orientation, etc.).  The output for the wind power is a little difficult for me to decipher, but for solar power the information is very easy to understand and provides data on incentives available for purchasing the technology.  As for the payback, the NREL tool seems to compare the cost of the system with the utility rate you’re paying.  It doesn’t seem to account that adding the solar panels in the first place should increase the value of your home.

The second tool is from RoofRay, and it calculates savings for using only solar power.  The information is inputted the same as the NREL website.  Apparently the site does not have information relating to the utility company used in Colorado so the data pertaining to my house through RoofRay is incomplete.

Both are somewhat intuitive in their interface, and they provide a great ballpark number for figuring out what you could potentially expect in energy savings based on the values you enter.  This is great for anyone thinking about purchasing one of these systems and enables a better understanding of the value associated with these systems.  Both also provide a great design tool for architects to better maximize the orientation of a building to better utilize solar panels and windmills.


1 thought on “Tools for Calculating Potential Solar and Wind Power

  1. Marty Brown

    Have you considered using solar power system as an electricity source for your home?

    There are many reasons why you should be using solar power, but here are just the most important ones:

    Solar systems are more efficient then other power sources

    Yes, that is true! By using solar power for your home power supply, you will save up to 85% on your monthly electricity bill. Sun energy is captured through solar panels and converted into electricity which can be used to power your entire home. This is for sure also a great way to save money.

    You reduce your electricity demands

    We need electricity for so many things in our homes; heating, air condition, refrigerators, owens, computers… and when you use solar power panels you remarkably reduce your demands for electricity. This of course has a huge impact on lowering your monthly electricity bill. The more things there are in your home that need power to operate, the more it makes sense to use solar panels as a power source for your home.

    Solar panels do not have a negative effect on the Planet

    This is probably the most important reason why you should consider building solar panels for your home. They do not put off any pollutants such as carbon dioxide, so you don’t affect the Earth’s atmosphere in a negative way. Instead, you will be doing your part to help save the Earth.

    Solar panels can be put pretty much anywhere

    They can be placed on a lot of places, and when you place them on your roof, you do not see them or even know they are there. If for any reason they can not be placed on the roof you can place them anywhere as long as there is enough sun and no obstacles in the way.

    These are not the only reasons for using solar power for your home electricity supply. If you do a little research you will discover even more reasons.

    If you live in the US, you will find this interesting – you will get paid for implementing solar power in your home.
    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar tax credits are outlined as follows;

    * Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits
    “Consumers who install solar energy systems (including solar water heating and solar electric systems), small wind systems, geothermal heat pumps, and residential fuel cell and microturbine systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap no longer applies.”
    Find out more, visit
    Solar Panel Building


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