We’ve engaged with some of the most trusted experts in the industry to provide independent, 3rd party assessments of the accuracy of OpenSolar’s design tool.
NREL (the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory), which has been benchmarking the accuracy of shading assessments in solar design tools for years evaluated the accuracy of OpenSolar’s analyses. They identified 80 locations on homes in Los Angeles and Denver and we used OpenSolar to judge the Sun Access Values (SAVs) at each location. They then compared those values to measurements that they had made on the roof using a SunEye. We’re thrilled to report that no other solar design tool scored better than OpenSolar did:
In a separate study using the same methodology, NREL found that the current US market leader was only found to be accurate to within +/- 5%
Then we engaged PVEL (PV Evolution Labs), the leader in PV bankability testing, to assess the accuracy of our 3D site models. PVEL sent a couple of their engineers onto roofs of all shapes and sizes where they meticulously measured the slope and scale of each roof. A separate engineer took the same measurements in OpenSolar, and then compared their results with the on-the-roof measurements. Again, we are happy to report that they found the accuracy of our models to be best-in-class:
OpenSolar’s assessment of scale was accurate to within 1 ⅓ feet 100% of the time (no other tool provides as narrow a tolerance)
OpenSolar’s assessment of pitch was accurate to within 4 degrees over 97% of the time (no other tool provides as narrow a tolerance OR such high compliance
Finally, we had our energy modelling validated. OpenSolar’s energy modeling is based on NREL’s most advanced System Advisor Model (SAM) and we asked PVEL to validate the integrity of our implementation of SAM. PVEL estimated production for sites in a range of environmental conditions (e.g. hot, unshaded; cool, shaded) in OpenSolar, and compared those estimates to estimates for the same sites made in industry standard energy modelling tools like PVsyst or standalone implementations of NREL’s SAM. PVEL found:
OpenSolar’s energy modelling is consistent with standard engineering practices
OpenSolar’s production figures are within 0.0%-0.2% of standalone SAM estimates
OpenSolar’s production figures are within 0.1%-1.9% of PVsyst estimates
Based on these independent studies, we are confident that OpenSolar is leading in accuracy. Leave the calcs to us, so that you can focus on selling and installing amazing PV systems!
You can read more at https://www.opensolar.com/accuracy
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