29 July 2014 — BRIEF: The Australian PV Institute has released a 3D modelling tool that allows consumers to estimate the electricity generation, cost savings and carbon reduction of putting solar panels on the roof.

The tool is part of updates to the Australian Solar Map, developed by APVI with $436,000 in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

“The new, freely available tool allows consumers and installers to select a rooftop and receive an estimate of annual electricity generation, financial savings and emissions offset from installing solar panels,” ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said.

“Users then have the ability to alter the system design and customise the feed-in tariff in their area to improve the accuracy of savings estimates.”

The tool at present includes data for inner areas of six Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

With the map users can find their property and zoom down to see shading, orientation and solar insolation. However, there is no search function on the map, so finding the right property can be a little difficult.

The APVI Solar Potential Tool and solar maps are available online.