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Online Solar Energy Tools

The Best Online Solar Panel Tools

Online Tools Including Google's Project Sunroof, Sham's Dubai Calculator and Aurora


Online Tools

Have you considered having solar panels installed on your roof but are concerned whether they would fit and suit your house? By using online solar energy tools, you can see whether the solar journey is right for you. Most online tools take into consideration the geographical location of your house, the cost of energy bills, and the size of your house. Here are some of the best online tools for you to use and get to know if you are considering solar panels.

Project Sunroof and Google's Solar API

Google is already ahead of the game with the announcement of Project Sunroof. It is an online tool based on a Google API (Application Programming Interface) called Solar API that enables a customer, developer, city planner or solar installer to search for a real-world property and view high-quality solar data which can be used to estimate its potential for solar energy generation.

Solar API allows solar businesses to speed up the overall sale process, reduce on-site visits, and create reliable proposals based on high-quality real-life data for clients. Its main principle is to replace manual processes with more efficient and reliable solutions for the planning, implementation and sales of solar installations.

There are four different layers to view your house's data with Solar API; flux map, building map, digital surface model, and aerial view.

Each layer allows you to view your house from varying viewpoints, allowing you to see all surfaces where it is possible to have solar panels installed.

Tool showing solar panels on a roof Online tool with heatmap of roof Tool showing average sunlight by month on roofs Tool showing maximum solar potential of property's roof

The rooftop analysis of your house includes key data like sunlight hours, roof geometry, potential obstructions and angle of elevation, which when combined creates a comprehensive picture of the rooftop. The data is enhanced by the analysis of the monthly weather in your area and potential shading, which provides a breakdown on the hours of the sunlight and shading of your roof. This report is based upon a yearly overview of the weather in your area.

Overall, the basis of Solar API is to identify the best solar opportunities to fit your property and to perfectly optimise the sunniest parts of the roof.

How to Use Project Sunroof

To find out what your personalised solar savings are, follow the following steps

  • ☼  Search for your home – Using Google Earth imagery, the roof shape will be analysed alongside the pattern of the local weather. The combination of the two will create a solar plan which is personalised and curated to your home.
  • ☼  Personalise the solar analysis – The electric bills will be adjusted by your estimated savings. A recommended number of solar panels will also be produced that perfectly fit your home. Use the slider to increase or decrease the number of panels.
  • ☼  Comparison of finance options – Loan, lease, and purchasing options are compared based on your results of solar panels produced.

This tool is highly effective in finding out what you could save if you have solar panels installed, highlighting the financial benefits.

Shams Dubai Calculator

Tool showing 3D map of Dubai

Very similar to Project Sunroof, the Shams Dubai Calculator is a web application allowing the general public and customers to estimate the potential savings and electricity production for a solar installation on any building in Dubai.

Tool allowing placement of solar panels virtually

The estimates are based on geographical location, any objects that will cause shading and characteristics of solar panel placement like orientation. The electricity production of the panels themselves varies on the system design, equipment used, and how often they are cleaned.

The figures above include:

  • ☼  Estimated capital expenditure which refers to the amount needed to be invested in order to setup the solar installation.
  • ☼  The estimated electricity production for the installed system (yearly or monthly). Electricity production is calculated based on insolation (the amount of solar radiation received on a given surface in a given time period) and panel efficiency, and is only an estimate.
  • ☼  The estimated operating expenses - the amount spent annually to maintain the solar installation (e.g.: cleaning cost, parts replacement, inspection cost).
  • ☼  The equivalent number of kilometers driven by a driver in an average car for the estimated reduction in carbon dioxide.
  • ☼  The estimated reduction in Carbon Footprint, the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • ☼  The equivalent trees which would need to be planted for the estimated reduction in Carbon Dioxide.

Omni Calculator

Omni Solar Tool

If you are considering solar panels, but have a small roof which will need to optimise all space, the Omni Calculator will be perfect for you. It is designed to find the perfect number of solar panels for your roof. Whilst initially it is a bit complex, once you understand the basics, it is pretty straightforward to understand. Here are the steps to be taken to use the calculator;

  1. Calculate the needs of the solar panel system by first dividing the electricity consumption by 365 (days in a year) multiplied by the solar hours in a day.
  2. The solar array output is then multiplied by the bill offset (how much of the bill should be covered by power from the solar panels) divided by the environmental factor. The environmental factor is the energy percentage that is stored after losses due to environmental factors, e.g. snow, humidity, pollution.
  3. When needing to calculate the roof area, it would be more accurate and efficient to use a roof calculator. Any space that is already occupied or shaded aspect of the roof should not be taken into consideration as no power will be generated in those areas.
  4. The next step to finding the perfect panels is to find the number of panels you will need. To do such, you will multiply the solar array size by 1000 divided by the panel output in watts.
  5. The last step is to calculate the areas in which the panels will sit. To find this out, the required panels are to be multiplied by panel width multiplied by panel length. If the area which is occupied to smaller than the roof area, then the system will perfectly fit on your roof.

Discovering the number of panels that you will need for your roof is done by calculating the system size divided by the single panel size. The number of panels you need for your system is dependent on the needs of the panels, how usable your roof is, the dimensions of the solar panels, and the efficiency of a photovoltaic cell.

Omni Solar Tool Results

The information and data you collect will be used when researching the perfect panel size and number of panels for your roof. Therefore it is essential that you double check all your inputted data. The calculator may seem incredibly daunting, but there is no need to worry as the Omni Calculator takes you through each step.

Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council's online solar tool

If you live in or around Bristol, Bristol City Council has an online tool which allows you to get a rough idea of how much energy you can make and save from having solar panels installed. It also has a section where you can get recommendations on the best panels for your roof and how to find an installer in your area.

Calgary's Residential Solar Calculator

City of Calgary's Online Solar Tool

In Canada, the City of Calgary have launched a residential solar calculator. It helps to determine the viability of adding solar panels to residential buildings. Homeowners within Calgary use the online tool to kickstart their solar potential and to get a rough estimate of costs and other payment options.

How is the calculator used?

  • ☼  Click on the property on the map or insert the address in the search bar.
  • ☼  Electricity usage is to be added either by filling out the text box with information found on your electricity bill or by selecting the size of the property.
  • ☼  Then simply click on the calculate solar potential button.
City of Calgary's Online Solar Tool Results

The results will show information on the size of the solar panel system required, any impact from the environment, and all finance options.


This online application is mainly used by solar installation companies. At World of Solar, we use the Canadian software Aurora which enables our sales representatives to place each solar panel individually. It takes into account shading, roof space, optimising sun energy and any obstacles.

Aurora Online Solar Application

Aurora provides a 360-degree view of your house with the panels placed and arranged virtually to ensure optimal energy is being absorbed. It even shows the solar panels working at the prime hour of the day, 12 noon. This tool is an effective and time efficient way for our sales representatives to ensure that the solar installation you purchase, produces the optimum amount of energy for your property's roof.

Aurora Online Solar Application View from Above

If you are considering having solar panels fitted for your roof and think the solar journey is one to embark upon, online solar tools will be your best friend. However, it should be duly noted that all online solar tools are merely a guide and a rough estimate of what would work for your roof. When it does come to a final decision on whether to have panels installed, it is always best to get a second opinion from a licensed solar panel company.

Be part of the solar energy revolution with World of Solar

Are you looking for a way to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint? If so, solar panels could be the perfect solution for you. World of Solar offers a variety of solar panel, solar inverter and battery packages to fit your needs and budget. Our panels are high-quality and come with a 10-year warranty. We also offer installation and financing options to make it easy for you to switch to solar power.

With solar panels from World of Solar, you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part to help the environment. You can also save money on your energy bills every month. Contact us today to learn more about our solar panel packages and how you can start saving money and the planet.

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