Samuel Adeyemo (MBA, MS E-IPER), Chris Hopper (MBA), Al Karim Lalani (BA, MS, MS&E), Meseker Yohannes (MS, CS), Tomas Tinoco du Rubira (PhD, EE), Haley Sims (BS, Engineering), and Prof. Gil Masters (CEE)
Almost half of the $15 billion currently spent annually on U.S. solar power systems covers marketing, design, permitting, financing, and other peripheral activities. Aurora significantly reduces these soft costs for solar installers and utility companies with software that quickly designs a system based on just the address of a U.S. home or small business. Developed over two years, Aurora's software optimizes the design based on the building's location, roof configuration and shade cast by nearby trees or tall buildings. It also estimates up-front costs, graphs monthly electricity output and consumption, projects savings over 25 years, and warns of any potential permitting problems.
Since winning an Innovation Transfer grant, Aurora has recieved a $400,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy and secured private investment. The growing company has been working with solar installers on an invitation-only basis, and it is now processing more than 1,000 projects a week. Said one of those installers, Jim Shepard of Cal Paso Solar Electric: “We have an in-house CAD designer, and he’s looking lately a lot like the Maytag repairman—he’s the guy who doesn’t have any work anymore."
Read the Innovation Spotlight about Aurora from Stanford Graduate School of Business' Insights magazine.
NREL's evaluation of Aurora's shade-measurement accuracy December 2015