The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, may be installed as part of a system for capturing and storing energy from light using solar cells. Solar panels may be configured as free standing installations or may be installed onto various types of structures. Solar panel installations may include multiple different components, such as, for example, frames, inverters, batteries, and the solar panels themselves.
"In general, solar panel systems that capture and store more energy, systems that are more efficient, and systems that are more cost-effective are preferable to systems that capture and store less energy or are less efficient or cost-effective. A variety of factors and considerations may be taken into account when designing, installing, using, and maintaining solar panel systems. For example, geographic considerations such as climate, weather, and smog, as well as technical considerations relating to the types of solar panel components may be relevant factors with respect to whether a solar panel system is more or less efficient and/or cost-effective. Various financial considerations may also be relevant for the design and operation of different solar panel systems. Additionally, certain rules and regulations may permit certain solar panel systems and prohibit others in various locations."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the disclosure. The summary is not an extensive overview of the disclosure. It is neither intended to identify key or critical elements of the disclosure nor to delineate the scope of the disclosure. The following summary merely presents some concepts of the disclosure in a simplified form as a prelude to the description below.
"Aspects of this disclosure relate to methods, computer readable media, and apparatuses for use in designing and installing a solar panel layout. For example, by implementing one or more aspects of the disclosure, a solar panel layout design and installation software tool, with one or more associated user interfaces, may be provided for creating solar panel layouts on land and/or physical structures at a location. Information may be retrieved from one or more data sources based on an input address or geographic coordinates corresponding to the location. The retrieved information may include, for example, climate data for the location, data describing one or more physical structures at the location, and additional information relating to technical or financial considerations of potential solar panel layouts at the location. A user interface potentially may be provided including a graphical representation of the location and any structures at the location, and including a plurality of user options for designing one or more solar panel layouts at the location based on the retrieved location information and other factors.
"According to one or more aspects, a satellite image may be retrieved for the location from a satellite image database and used in a graphical user interface to allow users to design a solar panel layout on the land and/or physical structures at the location. The satellite image may be directionally oriented and/or labeled within the user interface to allow users to take sun angles and other directional factors into consideration. Additionally, solar panel layout software implementing one or more aspects of the disclosure may identify a recognizable object of a known size within the satellite image and determine a physical size scale for the satellite image based on the recognizable object.
"According to additional aspects, after solar panel layout has been selected for a location, one or more applicable forms may be identified, retrieved, and prepared by solar panel layout and installation software. The applicable forms, for example, a customer contract, permit applications, solar panel component order forms, rebate and tax forms, may vary based on the location, the selected solar panel layout, and other factors.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The present disclosure is illustrated by way of example and not limited in the accompanying figures in which like reference numerals indicate similar elements and in which:
"FIG. 1A illustrates an example operating environment in which various aspects of the disclosure may be implemented.
"FIG. 1B illustrates another example operating environment in which various aspects of the disclosure may be implemented.
"FIG. 2 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of selecting a solar panel layout via a computer user interface according to one or more illustrative aspects described herein.
"FIG. 3 shows an example of a database table storing illustrative solar panel layout and installation data based on location.
"FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate examples of a computer user interface for selecting a solar panel layout according to one or more illustrative aspects described herein.
"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of selecting solar panel components and/or a solar panel layout via a computer user interface according to one or more illustrative aspects described herein.
"FIGS. 6A-6E show screenshots of an example computer user interface for selecting a solar panel layout according to one or more illustrative aspects described herein."
For more information, see this patent application: Gregg,
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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