Inventor(s)

Carl ElkinFollow

Abstract

Residential solar arrays are an increasingly significant source of electricity. When integrated with the electric grid, the weather-dependent production characteristics of solar arrays can pose challenges. For example, if solar array production drops, e.g., due to a sudden change in weather, idle power generation plants need to be turned on, at substantial additional expense. Conversely, if solar production soars, the spot price of electricity may drop, leading to losses. For purposes of grid planning, it is valuable to know the size, orientation and distribution of solar arrays in a given region. Additionally, the availability of a nationwide map of solar-powered rooftops can spur further adoption of solar power. This disclosure provides techniques to determine parameters such as size, orientation, and distribution of solar arrays from analysis of overhead aerial imagery.

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