05 April 2012, 17:24 BST
"Disneyland could offset 108 trees a year with just a small system near their main entrance, but they have so much more flat roof space for solar! It's a green world after all...just use your imagination..."
It's easy to get a quote for a rooftop solar power system from a local solar installer. Some even use "aerial photography and satellite images to generate a rendering of a solar photovoltaic system, installation costs, and potential savings," as former CleanTechnica editor Ariel Schwartz notes over on Fast Company. But a solar startup out of New Orleans is taking us one step further with software to help us design our own rooftop solar power systems!
"The Playboy Mansion could save $4,904 each year with solar panels."
More from Ariel: SOLarchitect, a New Orleans startup, just scored $50,000 during a New Orleans Entrepreneur Week competition for its product: a web application that lets users put virtual solar panels on their homes and automatically calculate energy savings and tax credits.
What's in it for SOLarcitect? Well, if you like what you see, SOLarchitect will direct you to three local contractor bidding to put a solar power system on your roof. If you go with one of them, SOLarchitect gets a cut for its services.
"The startup was part of the 2012 IDEAxcelerator, a New Orleans-based accelerator for local startups that helped participants with business plans and mentoring for six months."
As you can see if you visit the SOLarchitect site, it's still in "coming soon" mode. But it's got news, behind-the-scenes photos, and a bunch of demo images created using its software on Facebook. Here are a few more of those:
"Brad Pitt's Make it Right houses have solar panels already, but there's sometimes room for more...this house can save another $457 a year with 14 more panels!"
"Newt Gingrich can comfortably offset about 46,386 lbs. of CO2 annually by putting solar panels on his headquarters in Washington, D.C. "GOP" = Green & Overly Progressive!"
"President Obama could offset 87 barrels of oil a year by installing solar panels on the White House. Freeing the U.S. from our dependence on foreign oil should begin right here..."
What do you think? Is SOLarchitect going to rock the solar industry? I think it really could - this is fun, addictive, convenient, and make going solar so much more accessible and natural than anything else I've seen! I'm excited about it.
Source: Clean Technica