Stanford’s DeepSolar AI Finds Nearly 1.5 Million Solar Roofs in Contiguous America

Stanford’s DeepSolar AI Finds Nearly 1.5 Million Solar Roofs in Contiguous America

It seems that we at Plug It In Solar are not the only ones crazy about solar panels.

A 5-hour drive north of Los Angeles on Interstate 5 will bring you to Stanford University who developed DeepSolar. This new project according to Stanford “is a deep learning framework that analyzes satellite imagery to identify the GPS locations and sizes of solar photovoltaic panel.” The image below shows that the highest concentration of solar panels are located within the Southwest, with California, specifically the Santa Clara and Los Angeles areas leading the way in solar panels installed across the country.

DeepSolar Method

Recently the Open PV Project tried to develop a large-scale solar database but heavily relied on self-reports and voluntary surveys. This leads to problems, but most notably incomplete and outdated information with no way to cross reference duplicate entries. DeepSolar on the other hand uses satellite imagery which turns the images into tiles, which then identifies the pixels and detects the panels including roof color, texture and even size. Some 370,000 images have been examined with a 90% accuracy for residential and non-residential areas. This information can easily be readily updated and provides an immense source of data. In comparison Open PV Project identified a little over a million panels, some 50 million shy of what DeepSolar found through discriminative localization. The data however has its flaws as many rural areas were ignored assuming that they either did not have panels or access to an energy grid.

Benefits of DeepSolar

How does this information help solar power companies and solar energy as a whole? According to Stanford this type of database “can provide valuable resources for grid monitoring and operation, socioeconomic analysis for solar adoption, and to provide insight for energy policy making.”

Aside from determining that California had the highest concentration of panels, it also determines that income was a factor for installation. Even if the area has a high concentration of sunlight, perhaps a lower cost would allow a wider adoption of the technology. This information can help state governments further and expand policy on renewable energy as it shows that the benefits of solar are there but due to high costs of solar installation it is still out of reach of many lower income areas. Overall this is much needed information as we move forward with solar power because solar technology is here to stay and tracking where this technology is deployed is vital to our growth.

We want to congratulate everyone here in Los Angeles, California and the rest of the nation who made this list as we strive to switch to renewable energy sources. Those who haven’t made the list, don’t feel left out and visit our website. If you are yet to be convinced why go you should go solar then we have some compelling arguments for you. If you have more questions you can choose to chat live with our friendly and amazing customer service experts or simply give us a call at (818) 670-7769 to see why you should join the 1.5 million rooftops out there and have your very own solar panels installed today.

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