The New York Times lists Solarchecker as a way to live greener through mobile

Smartphones are fully integrated into our daily lives. People are relying on them to help organize their already busy schedules into manageable chunks of time and to-do lists. For those trying to find time to make their lives and homes greener, The New York Times recently profiled a few top apps to help get the job done.

Solarchecker, designed by SMA and available for free download in the iTunes App Store, was listed as one such app, helping make the decision to go solar a little easier. Solarchecker makes it easy for homeowners to determine if their house is a good fit for solar power and what types of returns, in terms of power generated and money saved, a system might provide.

Energy production charts and financial data as seen in the Solarchecker app.

Energy production charts and financial data as seen in the Solarchecker app.

How it works

By using the iPhone’s location feature, Solarchecker uses the phone’s compass to determine the exact direction a roof faces and even the roof’s inclination for homeowners with easy roof access. This important data shows how solar-friendly, or not, their roof could be; is it south-facing or is it at a poor inclination?

Even though the app’s interface is very simple, its level of detail might be more accessible for those with entry-level knowledge of solar, as The New York Times points out. For example, by adjusting the available roof space in square feet, which involves separate measurements itself, Solarchecker will estimate a specific yield and annual energy yield amount.

These data points go into a bar chart to map out the estimated month-by-month production and total carbon dioxide offset. Once a homeowner is satisfied with the roof’s potential for solar, contact information for local installers is accessible on another tab.

There’s an app for that

For those who do opt for a solar system after contacting their local installer, it might be useful to head back to the app store. SMA’s free solar monitoring program, Sunny Portal, has its own app available for download in the app store.

System owners can monitor their plant’s status, production and more from anywhere in the world with the touch of a button. Technology is a beautiful thing.

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