A couple of months back our friends over at Fubra got in contact with us to ask us if we wanted to work with them on a large client site. The project was Dubbed ‘Marble Solar’, which later turned out to be the final name. Marble Solar is a MCS accredited Solar Panel Installer, based in Farnborough, Hampshire and is part of the larger Marble Construction Group.
The task was to build a website application which would enable users to locate any property within the UK they wish, and discover the potential of their un-used roof space for a Solar Panel installation. It had to clearly, accurately, and intelligently display the benefits of Solar Energy. Government Feed in Tariffs & Export Tariffs are set by the government and offer a tidy return on investment.
Initially the project started out as a research exercise to see what we could obtain and learn, to build a tool without paying for any of our data resources, but still keep the tool legit. After alot of data collation and calculations we worked out that we could offer 2 versions of our tool. One would use the SAP data provided to MCS Installers as a guideline to provide estimates to customers. The other was to provide a second, arguably more accurate, tool based on our own calculations and using NASA’s radiation data localised to the property selected. Unlike the SAP data source which is based on a location in the midlands the NASA data provides local grid accuracy. A user can flick between each data set by changing our assumptions.
The project was heavily map based so we implemented several google maps with advanced functionality, such as drawing a polygon on a property roof space, calculating roof direction, and roof size from the polygon drawn, to use in our system.
We mounted the application on WordPress the open source CMS, as the client was both already familiar with the software and really liked it. It makes use of several in house plugins that we have developed and utilises such things as custom post types, dashboard widgets and custom admin menus and settings.
Marble Solars website was an extremely bespoke product and a joy to have built for our customer from start to finish. A challenge is fun to overcome.
The project was a long and complex job and involved an incredible amount of research and backend functionality. The end result, is a market leading solar panel estimation tool with excellent administrative backend, much room for further growth, and a very happy client.
If your interested in reading a bit more about solar energy you can read our blog post or you can go directly to the Marble Solar site and explore the information within it.
Bytewire was an obvious choice for us. They are skilled web application developers who are able to build elegant solutions to complex problems and deliver them on time and on budget. When we tasked them with the Marble Solar site, they had an initial prototype built within 2 weeks of handing over our system specification, and the site went live within 2 months.
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