Upgrading shade analysis tool. Solmetric, Wiley...?

I did a search and didn't pull up anything on this topic. Not sure whether to post this here or on the installers forum, so I'll start here. I'm looking to upgrade from the trusty Solar Pathfinder. I've used the Solmetric Suneye. It does more than I really need and is pretty pricey even though it's fun to use. I also see a unit called the Wiley ASSET. Does anyone have helpful experience, opinions, other alternatives? I want the built in camera, but I don't really need a lot of built in software because I do the analysis on a laptop. It would be important for the unit to download to a computer in a format compatible with PVSYST.

Thanks.

Comments

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Upgrading shade analysis tool. Solmetric, Wiley...?

    Just closing this out...purchase made. I didn't find any alternatives to the units I listed in the original post.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,566Super Moderators admin
    Re: Upgrading shade analysis tool. Solmetric, Wiley...?

    Sorry that nobody here could be of help...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Upgrading shade analysis tool. Solmetric, Wiley...?

    Thanks, Bill.

    I'll post my outcome since this is a product review forum and maybe it will help someone down the line. Well, I went with the Solmetric 210. As I dug into it, I found there are features that I like and right now I'm able to afford it (and I admit to enjoying nice tools!). So without sounding like an advertisement, here's what I value in it:

    • With its internal compass and level it auto-corrects for being somewhat off perfect level and due south when you snap the picture. I've done enough setups with the Solar Pathfinder to know that it takes time and is sensitive to being off level. When I'm looking at multiple locations on site or evaluating a big roof, it's just a nice time saver. It also gets me some data I wouldn't otherwise have -- near the peak of a roof with some snow cover, I just held it up to approximate south and level and got the shots within its correction window. I couldn't build a case for the optional GPS, though, and I didn't get that.
    • It uses one picture per skyline. I think the fisheye lens is elegant in the same way the dome is on the Pathfinder. The Wiley creates a composite from a number of photos stitched together. My first use was on a complicated 125' long roof and I took 7 skylines in short succession. Its just fast.
    • It has the capability of taking the shots remotely on top of an extension pole to avoid tricky places. I can't see why one would need to buy the official extension pole instead of a cheaper alternative.
    • The results work well with PVSYST, the modeling software I use.

    Is it worth the price? I have to admit it feels a little extravagant. But then I have a couple of beautiful bronze block planes that I just like to pick up and use. If you're a tool guy I don't need to say any more!
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,566Super Moderators admin
    Re: Upgrading shade analysis tool. Solmetric, Wiley...?

    If you wish to post a link to the product--Please feel free.

    And thank you for the review.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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