Salt Lake Solar Map Instructions

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Welcome to the Salt Lake Solar Map!

This map has been developed by Salt Lake City and the Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center to help homeowners assess the solar resource on their property.  Please note:

  • Your address information is not stored and all of your calculations are anonymous.
  • This map is not intended to and does not replace a formal bid from a local solar contractor; this map uses assumptions that may not reflect your individual circumstances. Contact a solar contractor today to get a personalized solar energy bid! 
  • Sorry, the Solar Calculator is currently only available for Salt Lake County.

Step 1: Enter your address and click "Find."  Double click to continue zooming in to find your home or business.

Step 2: Choose a Solar Overlay layer (Duration, Intensity, or Solar by Zip Code) and check the "Solar Overlay" box to display the overlay.  Adjust the transparency of the layer using the slider bar below.  Not sure what the Solar Duration and Solar Intensity layers mean?

Step 3: Select "Draw Solar Area" and follow the on-screen instructions to draw a shape on the areas of your roof that have the best solar resource.  (Note: The solar overlay will probably show you that south- and west-facing parts of your roof have the best solar resource.  Blue indicates that an area has a poor solar resource: it may be north-facing or shaded).

Step 4: The pop-up box on the right allows you to view more information about the duration and intensity of sunlight at your location.  Select the third tab, "Calculations," to learn more about the area you have selected.

What does it mean?

- Total Selected Area: the size of the area you have selected.

- Usable Roof Percentage: it is not always possible to use 100% of your roof space for solar. Chimneys or other roof fixtures may shade parts of the roof, and fire safety requires that you allow a certain perimeter around the solar panels in case firefighters need to access your roof.  Use the slider bar to estimate your Usable Roof Area.

- Potential System Size: this is the estimated output of a solar energy system of this size.  Most commercially available solar panels have approximately 18% efficiency; it could be possible to increase your energy output using the same amount of space with higher-performace panels.

- Estimated Electricity Generated: your solar panels will produce a certain number of kilowatt-hours annually.  Electricty production can vary day-to-day and month-to-month, so it is best to use an annual estimate.

- Estimated CO2 Savings: Carbon dioxide savings depend on the energy mix used by your grid power provider.

- Solar Duration: The angle the sun carves across the sky varies every day of the year, bringing different amounts of sunlight to your selected area. The graph of solar duration shows the number of hours of sunlight you can expect to receive each month.

- Solar Intensity: More solar energy strikes your house every second in the summer than in the winter. The graph shows about how much solar power is striking your selected area (in kilowatt-hours per square meter) each month of the year.

Assumptions:

Variable: Value:
Carbon intensity of electricity 1.53 lbs CO2/kilowatt-hour[1]
AC energy output per kW (in kWh)  1400 kilowatt-hours per year per kilowatt [2]
Average Panel Name Plate Wattage 250 Watts
Efficiency of Panels 18%
Solar Panel Square Footage 18 square feet

[1] "Utah Electricity Profile 2010." EIA - State Energy Profile - Utah. U.S. Energy Information Administration. <http://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/utah/>.

[2] "NREL PVWatts Viewer Zip Code 84105." NREL PVWatts Viewer. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. <http://gisatnrel.nrel.gov/PVWatts_Viewer/index.html>.

 

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Website content provided by Utah Clean Energy, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to stop energy waste, create clean energy, and build a smart energy future in Utah and the western United States.