Trying to save money on your monthly electricity bill? There’s an app for that.
SunPower released their free application on May 18, 2009. Theprogram gives an up-to-the-second account of how many watts your systemis generating and displays detailed graphs to break down energyproduction and usage by day, month and year.
SunPower’s tool is compatible with the iPod touch or any iPhoneversion OS 2.2 or later. It’s a great add-on for homeowners with aSunPower solar system (you’ll need the system in order to use theirapp). In addition to checking in on your system via your iPhone, youcan also view system performace data on a wireless, wall-mounted LCDmonitor.
SMAreleased the Solar Checker on September 28, 2009. It’s a bit moredetailed than the SunPower Monitor, crunching and displaying numbers onhow much energy and revenue a solar power system could hypotheticallyproduce at almost any location. Like SunPower’s app, SMA’s is free.
The Solar Checker is an all-in-one solar planning kit. It calls onmany of the iPhone’s features: the GPS to determine a user’s location;the magnetic compass to recognize the site; and the inclination sensorto determine roof pitch. Once it orients itself, the app determines theamount of solar radiation available via a weather database.
Beyond assessing site-specific variables, the Solar Checker offers aset of financial tools that guide the user through aproject’s estimated return on investment (ROI).