Geostellar, U.S.’s first and largest online solar marketplace focusing on residential solar services, has awarded a patent for its invention of an innovative big data solution. The solution calculates every individual home’s unique attributes with a 3D virtual method to define the potential benefits for every owners.
By programmatically placing solar panels on rooftops or land in a 3D virtual world and simulating production over a typical meteorological year based on shading, slope and orientation, the invention forms solar profiles that describe the economic benefits of solar energy for each individual home based on its unique attributes. The technology behind Geostellar's U.S. Patent #9,087,388, "Geomatic Modeling of a Solar Resource Based on Radiance Paths and a Normalized Slope" automates the process of modeling solar energy production by raycasting from each square meter of a roof to gauge shading from nearby trees and distant buildings and hills by moving the sun through the sky over the course of a year in order to "see" when the rays are blocked, then determining how directly the sun shines on the panels based on their relative position on the roof.
The patent is at the foundation of Geostellar's big-data geomatics approach, to providing affordable solar energy based on the most advanced technology. Using measurements from lasers mounted on airplanes, the company's high-performance computing platform inspects the sunlight intensity of each square meter of area, delineates a polygon of only the best contiguous pixels, then places the panels within a buildable area. Using this patented technology, Geostellar's computers can determine system size and production, compute the cost of a kWh of solar energy, compare the solar costs to the local utility rate, calculate incentives and finally present the optimal installation and financing plans instantly when an address is entered on the website or in the mobile app. A homeowner can even test out different equipment options and financing terms to arrive at the solution that best meets their unique needs.
"Geostellar pioneered big-data geomatics to make solar energy simple, convenient and economically attractive to homeowners across the country," said David Levine, CEO of Geostellar. "Hundreds of homeowners every day are discovering the benefits of solar energy for their homes by entering their address and pressing the search button. I'm extremely proud of our talented and dedicated team for bringing such an innovative platform to market."
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