California Sunshine Is an Energy Gold Mine

Los Angeles County"s Solar Mapping Portal Calculates Solar Potential and also Cost Savings


The county deployed ArcGIS 10 for Server to drive the brand-new site, enabling it to manage the massive database and combine multiple map services.The LA County Solar Map provides even more than 100 million points for solar potential on rooftops and also calculates solar radiation eincredibly five feet.GIS aids the Solar Map to cover more than 2,200 square miles and incorporate all 88 cities.

California looks to an energy future that contains renewable resources. Los Angeles (LA) County has actually numerous sunshine and is encouraging people to capture its energy by installing solar energy systems. A system"s efficiency to geneprice electric power is dependent on the size and number of solar panels mounted and also just how much sunlight reaches them. Since 2009, the LA County Solar Map has actually been an online map organization that offers solar worth analysis for commercial and also residential structures in the county and also helps residential property owners make indeveloped solar installation decisions.

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Installing solar panels on a Los Angeles rooftop.

Reintroduced on Planet Day in April 2011, the LA County Solar Map ( is a simple, elegant map that geneprices advanced solar calculations for any kind of structure in the county. The service provides a detailed version of solar photovoltaic potential and accesses existing aerial imagery and data from the Los Angeles Regional Imagery Acquisition Consortium. Via the online map interchallenge, anyone can pick a place, view aerial imagery of rooftops and also color-coded dots indicating the amount of straight sunlight hitting each percent of a schosen roof, and perdevelop evaluation crucial for making solar installation decisions. Available to everyone, the portal frequently gets in between 50 and also 100 hits per day yet has the capacity to serve many kind of even more people as demand for solar power options grows.

LA County geographic indevelopment officer Mark Greninger came to be interested in solar mapping because he wanted to put a solar panel on his own roof. He found he had actually to carry out most research study to understand also his dangers, rewards, and rerevolve on investment. Thinking that tbelow should be an much easier way, Greninger researched exactly how other cities had actually approached the trouble. He came throughout the San Francisco Solar Map version and also looked into occurring a similar application for LA County.

While looking at the feasibility of a solar map job, Greninger found that the LA County Internal Services Department (ISD) Office of Sustainability was currently developing programs to support power efficiency and also solar installations. He partnered through ISD to use for a County Indevelopment Technology Fund grant to implement the task. The Chief Indevelopment Office gave the technology specialization, and the ISD Office of Sustaincapacity coordinated county support and also plan advancement.

Once the county had actually obtained a grant for the project, Greninger contacted Platinum Partner Critigen, the developer of the San Francisco Solar Map, and also began working through its geospatial innovation consultants to develop a then state-of-the-art solar map company built on the Bing Maps platcreate. On Planet Day 2009, LA County launched the company on and also on Critigen"s In an easy JavaScript-based interface, the solar map company confirmed parcel boundaries and also indevelopment and also solar potential by parcel. Although it was limited in its capability to show the particular areas suitable for solar cells, it was a significant success, with even more than 5,000 hits on its first day.

Starting in late 2010, Greninger and also Critigen began working on the next generation of the site, with advances in innovation that would certainly make the website cleaner, much faster, and also more robust. Greninger wanted the updated map to be much easier and more intuitive to usage while being quicker and also able to manage high demand also to display rooftop potential, pinsuggest optimal panel placement, and also quickly answer value questions.

LA County Solar Map covers even more than 2,200 square miles and consists of all 88 cities in the county and unincluded areas. Detailed solar modeling of such a huge location needs a substantial database that on the previous platdevelop was unwieldy and also difficult to screen.

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Solar Map reflects rooftop suitcapacity for solar panels and electric and also gas savings per year. Red indicates terrific, and also blue suggests not advisable.

The county deployed"s ArcGIS 10 for Server to drive the brand-new website, enabling it to manage the enormous database and also combine multiple map solutions into the content provided by the site. All data was migrated into an ArcGIS geodatabase, thereby making it feasible to use existing installations and also solar-augmented parcels data countywide. By exploiting the caching capabilities of ArcGIS 10 for Server, and limiting the dimension of the solar information to that of roofheight locations" solar potential, the version quickly accesses data and is very responsive. The software"s Flex API delivers a professional-grade viewing suffer.

A major step forward in solar mapping, the LA County Solar Map uses even more than 100 million points for solar potential on LA County rooftops and also calculates solar radiation eextremely five feet. The database contains 250 million individual measurements, consisting of shading from trees, roof attributes, roof pitch, surrounding buildings, and also mountains. Each cell grid has actually been converted to a dot that represents the amount of solar potential for 25 square feet.

The user types in an deal with and instantly sees the aerial image of the residential property, its roof, and the precise places on the roof that receive the a lot of sunlight. (It likewise mirrors the areas that obtain the leastern sunlight, which is equally crucial indevelopment.) The version have the right to be switched seamlessly in between English and also Spanish. The user deserve to print out a report showing the details of the selected property. County-owned facilities are stood for by six-inch resolution and have the right to be regarded in highly detailed 3D solar models. The website likewise gives information around utility rebates and taxation credits, comparative price evaluation for solar versus utility power, and also other solar advantages.

The next iteration of the version will certainly encompass sophisticated solar calculators. These will enable customers to attract the place of a potential solar array on a roof and calculate the projected production and various financial benefits making use of local impetus, utility rate, and also insulation data.

Solar installers gain the most direct value from the portal"s ability to percreate evaluation. This reduces installation costs, making solar an extra desirable investment. For a nominal price, they deserve to buy the entire database of assessor indevelopment and also use it for marketing research study. Seeing relationships of solar potential, demographics, years of ownership, savings to clients, and present solar installations information helps these entrepreneurs see the ideal areas to canvass. Also, solar manufacturers and carriers that construct and distribute solar cells and modules can usage the model to anticipate demand. City governments refer to the design to find solar power methods in their areas.

Furthermore, plans are in advancement to add building power effectiveness calculator devices to the map so that residential property owners and supervisors may acquire finish building information on power performance potential, and also solar power potential.

The accuracy of LA County Solar Map was tested by the University of California, Los Angeles, with findings that proved just a 4percent level of inaccuracy. Analysis capabilities were individually verified as specific by the US Department of Energy, which tested an selection of monitoring production levels. These findings add credibility to the Solar Map"s authority, making it a valid reference for grant and also loan applications, clinical evaluation, and also solar installation.

For even more information, call Mark Greninger (e-mail: MGreninger Discover even more about Critigen at or contact Ty vandenAkker (e-mail: Ty.vandenAkker