Measuring your Power Potential

8 Apr

In our quest to save you time, and more importantly resources…

I recently stumbled  across two very cool tools for calculating the potential energy savings for implementing wind power and/or solar energy.

windpower-2Isn’t this a cool idea?

The first one is called; “In My Back Yard”  from those wild and crazy guys and gals at the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).  This tool actually allows you to calculate your potential energy savings through the use of solar (photovoltaics) and wind power.  The savings is based on where your property is located and the information you specify;

  • the windmill(s) to be used (type, height, etc.) or…
  • the information for the solar panels (size, slope of roof, orientation, etc.).

Like some other people I polled, the output for the wind power is a little difficult to decipher, but the solar power 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.  However, it isn’t completely accurate, as it doesn’t seem to account that adding the solar panels or a wind turbine should increase the value of your home, in the first place.


But I said (2) tools, right? Well, here’s the second one. RoofRay calculates savings for using  solar power.  The information is inputted in the same manner as on the NREL website.

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, as an added bonus, they enable a better understanding of the value associated with these systems.  And for those of us who can’t resist picking up a pencil, they also provide a great design tool for us to use, to better maximize the orientation of our buildings, in order to better utilize solar panels and windmills.

There’s more where that came from…

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance RoninAnd please remember that we’re trying desperately to save this blog. As my wife’s illness worsens, the budget gets tighter and tighter. If you like what you read, and it helps you find your path, please consider hitting the Paypal button, and donatining a few bucks to the cause, okay? We really want to keep this blog going!

2 Responses to “Measuring your Power Potential”

  1. Jen Mathis October 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing everything that you do on this site- those two website links are invaluable!

    I looked into renewable energy sources some in the past, only to be met with disheartening cost information, with seemingly little incentives. Those sites look promising, in terms of making the outflow of cash more acceptable, by being offset by a return of some funds.

    Thank you!

    • renaissanceronin October 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Jen,

      Shucks, Ma’am…

      It was nothin… 🙂

      I’m glad it helped you! That’s what I’m here for…


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