Historically, understanding a home’s solar potential required talking to a sales consultant or compromising with one-size-fits-all online calculators. With a new web application called Design Studio, SunPower is looking to give U.S. homeowners the power to create their own solar system design automatically in seconds.
In less than 30 seconds, SunPower Design Studio provides a customized panel layout based on the home’s unique roof, shading, and energy potential, built by a combination of Instant Design technology (more on this later), Google Cloud and Google Sunroof data. Homeowners can modify their design based on their energy needs, resulting in more accurate predictions of their electricity bill and energy savings.
“With SunPower Design Studio, we’ve created a new solar buying experience,” said Jake Wachman, vice president, digital, SunPower. “We’re making solar accessible by enabling homeowners nationwide to envision solar on their home and understand savings at lightning-fast speeds. With SunPower Design Studio, we’re changing how homeowners go solar.”
Inside SunPower Design Studio
From a mobile phone or computer, homeowners enter their address and estimated monthly electric bill into the SunPower Design Studio web app. The application then presents a customized SunPower Equinox solar design, including panels, a battery storage system, and energy production estimates.
Homeowners have the freedom to change the number of SunPower panels on their roof, guided by a color code that identifies which panels will receive the most sun and therefore provide the most energy. As the homeowner adds panels – if anticipating an electric vehicle purchase in the future, for example – or removes them to meet current energy needs, projected energy production and potential electricity bill savings update in real time.
SunPower solar experts are available via chat or phone throughout the SunPower Design Studio experience to answer any questions as they arise. When homeowners want to bring their design to life, SunPower will connect them with a local dealer from its nationwide network of certified installers.
What is Instant Design?
SunPower Design Studio is powered by the company’s proprietary Instant Design technology. By combining SunPower’s decades of solar system sales and design experience with data from Google Maps and Google Project Sunroof, Instant Design uses machine learning and high-resolution imagery to design solar power systems for residential roofs in seconds. After entering an address, SunPower machine learning algorithms draw the home’s roof, detect obstructions such as skylights and vents, and determine solar exposure for every point on the roof. The software automatically places SunPower solar panels according to local construction code.
As with other SunPower-developed software, the company will release Design Studio to select dealers to enable greater marketing reach, improve homeowner understanding of solar, and shorten sales cycles. As the application learns with each new design, SunPower also expects to reduce system design costs compared to manual methods.
— Solar Builder magazine