What authority and expertise do Solar-Estimate.org staff have?
Solar-Estimate has assembled an impressive team of solar experts including solar installation professionals, solar system designers, specialists at calculating solar return and avoided utility bill costs, electrical engineers and even a PhD with a speciality in solar roof shading analysis.
Together this team writes and researches new content and develops new tools and functionality all focused around our core goal: providing the most accurate information and the most useful tools to help homeowners evaluate the potential that solar panels provide for their home.
LLB B.Com 1994 Flinders University
Advanced Diploma Solar System Design 2008 G.S.E.S.
Andy started his professional career as a corporate lawyer before joining a corporate advisory firm, Leadenhall, where he learnt financial analysis skills. He founded the successful Australian software company Strategic Ecommerce in 1999. After its successful sale to SecurePay in 2007 he trained as a solar system designer and founded South Australian solar installation company Solar Wholesalers. This company is now the largest residential solar installation company in South Australia and he remains a major shareholder in this company, although he is no longer involved in day-to-day management of the company.
Since 2012, he has dedicated his time to building SolarReviews. He gives consumers rare advice and insight that only a solar installation company insider could give. He is uniquely qualified to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of different solar companies and solar equipment because he has sold them. He can do this from an unbiased perspective because he is not affiliated with any particular solar company in America.
Chief Technical Officer
Vassie Fitzgerald is the Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder of SolarReviews. He has a long and distinguished career in the IT industry, having held senior IT positions in the South Australian State Government, initiating and leading award-winning strategic projects.
Since then he has almost exclusively worked in startups, initially in Strategic Ecommerce in 2000 before moving into the online training arena and other areas. He is passionate about solar and drives SolarReviews' technical innovation.
Ph.D. Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
MBA UNM Anderson School of Business
Ryan was a joint founder of Sun Number, a business that was acquired by SolarReviews in 2019. This business is most well known for providing "Sun Number scores" for approximately 84 million American homes that are listed on the Zillow website. SunNumber has provided this functionality to Zillow since 2016.
SunNumber was the first web service in America that measured the effect of shading on particular homes and used this as part of a wider formula to calculate a SunNumber for a home. The shade calculation software uses LIDAR data that is collected by government authorities around the country.
Ryan is also writing an automated solar panel layout tool that will be released shortly on the SolarReviews and Solar-Estimate websites. Ryan is one of the most knowledgable people in the world at modeling the effects of the surrounding environment on the solar energy production from solar panels.
Double Majored in Environmental Studies and Politics (with honors)
Michael takes special interest in the U.S. transition to a smarter electric grid and aims to improve customer experiences around going solar. Before switching to software development, Michael installed solar electric systems and solar hot water systems at a Santa Cruz, CA company. Now he writes articles and software at Solar-Estimate and also teaches solar financial modeling. Most recently, he taught a workshop at NABCEP's 2018 conference (the premier conference for solar installation and sales professionals). He also serves on the California Solar and Storage Association's energy storage and smart grid committees.
Michael helps support the Energy Periscope solar financial modeling software. Before this, he led development of the OnGrid Tool solar financial modeling software from 2006 to 2017, and led the OnGrid company as CEO in 2016 and 2017. Energy Periscope and OnGrid are widely considered to be among the most rigorous options available for solar professionals.
Evan's interest in solar started while studying Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He took a renewable energy course and was particularly drawn to the solar industry. As a result, his senior project focused on building and maintaining a solar array. After graduating with his bachelor's degree in 2014, he briefly worked in sales for a residential solar company before joining Michael supporting users of the OnGrid Tool.
Many OnGrid users called in to ask questions related to the economics of solar, so because of this Evan acquired a deeper understanding of the financials of solar. In addition to supporting users, he created a new sales proposal, maintained the OnGrid web application (OnGrid Sky), and created OnGrid's website.
After three years with OnGrid, Evan joined SolarReviews in 2017 as a web developer and user support for the EnergyPeriscope software, a tool similar to OnGrid's. In 2019, he started a new SolarReviews office located in Asbury Park, NJ
Starting with a TRS-80 CoCo Model 2 in 1984, Brendan has been programming since before the Internet was opened to commercial traffic. Today as the Development Manager at Solar-Estimate, he wears many hats - helping his teammates understand the nuances of technical issues, overseeing the infrastructure behind the scenes, and personally developing the core software that powers our Solar Calculator engine.
Brendan graduated with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Flinders University College of Science and Engineering, so he understands the technical details of solar panels and solar electricity production better than most. He spent 10 years living and working in Japan as an Embedded Software Engineer, and speaks fluent Japanese. Since returning to Australia, he has worked in a leadership position and focused on web development.
Solar Installation Expert
Lachlan started his career in solar back in 2010. He has worked for and run some of the largest solar companies in his home state of South Australia. In 2016, Lachlan moved to America to add another layer of solar experience to the SolarReviews team and now leads the team that manages installer relationships across the country.
Lachlan holds a C-46 License (license to install solar) in the state of California. His first hand experience in the industry along with the relationships that he has built with solar installers in states throughout America gives him a unique and in-depth understanding of the solar industry in the USA.
Chief Editor www.solarpaneltalk.com
Peter followed his brother into the solar industry in 2009 and founded Gawler and Barossa Solar.
Since 2015 Pete has been the chief editor of SolarPanelTalk, the largest solar panels technical forum in America. Through moderating and evaluating posts on this site Pete has gathered valuable knowledge and insights into the changing information needs to consumers and developing trends in the industry.
Areas of expertise
- Solar system monitoring
- Solar battery storage solutions
- Solar system design
- Solar industry trends
B.A. from Middlebury College
Zeeshan is a content manager at SolarReviews and Solar-Estimate. He has long been passionate about climate issues and developed a deep interest in solar power after witnessing its successful adoption in Australia.
He has previously worked as a journalist covering, among other topics, energy, climate and environmental issues. He also served as an organizer for the Pakistan Youth Climate Network, an advocacy group aimed at raising climate awareness among students and future leaders.
His other work experience includes several years in the humanitarian sector - with Doctors Without Borders - and in university communications.
Zeeshan earned a B.A. from Middlebury College, Vermont, birthplace of the 350.org climate movement.