Solar calculators come in all shapes and sizes. There is so much to play with, it’s hard to get a “one-size-fits-all” for solar calculators. Our goal is to help you (the consumer) in whatever way we can. So we’re going to develop a bunch of really awesome solar calculators to help you learn more about solar.
Basic solar calculators – simulation
Here is a really basic simulation solar calculator tool we built for you. It helps you work out what a solar system “should” produce roughly and gives you some daily, monthly and yearly numbers. It’s not real flexible but it’s useful for knowing what to expect or comparing your system.
Enter your system size in the text box, then click “simulate” to see a simulation for that size system.
Solar Production (kWh)
* Savings estimates are based on 60% of solar energy being used internally and 40% being exported.
Systems 6.5kW or less: Energy savings rate is assumed at $0.2687 plus GST and export rate is $0.06.
Systems greater than 6.5kW: Energy savings rate is assumed at $0.16 plus GST and export rate is $0.
Solar Power Production Calculators
This is one part of what makes a solar power calculator – simulating production. But there are a few different directions to take this and different degrees of accuracy:
Simulating based on location
Simulating based on orientation
Production vs consumption
Load profiles & export
A really good solar calculator should take all of the above into account in order to give you really good results.
Solar Calculators & Tariffs
One of the biggest things that interests people about solar is (lets face it) how much money is in it. What’s in it for me!? I mean ideally we’re all environmental warriors fighting the dark-horse battle against climate change but really… It’s all about the moola. So solar calculators (accurate ones) should take into account 1. How much money you’ll save by using the solar power directly instead of grid power and 2. How much money you’ll get for power you send to the grid (export).
Degradation & Inverter Performance
These are 2 really boring-sounding and important things. What’s degradation? Well panels produce a little bit less power each year as they “degrade” under the harsh environmental conditions they’re in. Usually they lose less than 0.5% per year or thereabouts. Advanced solar calculators could take the exact model of the panel you’re looking at and take into account how it loses power over time. Inverters are also vital of course. For example, predicting failure-rates of inverters. Micro-inverters are bound to be better than string inverters. A good solar calculator will take all this into account as well. Even down to the inverter location and temperature.
Why Solar Calculators Can Never Be Perfect
Nobody can EVER tell you exactly how much a solar system will save you. There are too many variables. We plan to develop a bunch of really useful solar calculators to help consumers crunch numbers more effectively. But it always helps to know what you’re thinking. Leave us a comment and tell us what a good solar calculator should include and why you want one.