I'm nearing the end of the life of my asphalt shingles on my house (the inspector estimated 2yrs left when I bought the house 2yrs ago). Since my house is 100% electric and my state (Nebraska) offers Net metering (but no other incentives), I'm considering the option of having solar shingles installed.
At this time I'm not considering any other solar collection devices (either shingles or nothing). My thinking is that I'm already going to have to endure the cost of the new roof and (AFAIK) solar shingles offer the same physical protection as asphalt shingles (aka, they are a direct replacement) with the added bonus of generating solar power. So, the money NOT spent on asphalt shingles would help offset the cost of the solar. Of course this only makes sense if the cost of solar shingles is less than the total cost of asphalt + solar panels (an assumption I have not yet verified).
I have a decent amount of un-shaded roof space available (probably more than I can afford to cover). It is a hip/hurricane style roof so part of it faces in all directions. I haven't taken measurements yet but my guess is ~400sqft facing directly south and another 1600 facing east or west (800 each way). Very little of my roof is facing North and that is where the little bit of shade is.
There are hundreds of calculators and estimators available on the internet but I would prefer to deal with some real world numbers.
What I would like to do is this: Put a small (maybe 1sqft) solar cell (or multiple...up to 5 depending on cost) on the roof and measure the amount of electricity generated at various locations on my roof. I could then extrapolate the surface area and efficiency of the devices vs shingles to get some real-world expected values. Ideally this would be attached to some sort of data collection device (I'm thinking arduino perhaps) so that I can measure over time (at least a month). Of course I would also like to measure this in the winter as well but I may be forced to replace my roof (and thus make the decision) before then.
-edit- Location is roughly Sioux City, IA (42.5000° N, 96.4003° W)
So, does any device like what I've described currently exist? Or am I going to have to piece this together myself if I want to do it?