After you have completed your site drawing and 3D model, you are ready to design a solar installation for the customer.
In the Designs section click on the + button in the left hand side bar and enter a design name. Optionally, you can specify the cost and sale price of the system here as well, but we're going to leave it blank for now.
Creating a new design will bring you to Aurora's CAD layout view.
- Click on the Irradiance(I) button in the top. Given the size of the site this may take a few minutes, please be patient and watch the progress bar to know when the irradiance map is complete.
- Hover your mouse over the roof surface to retrieve point Irradiance, Solar Access and other values.
- Click on the magnifying glass on the right, then click on a roof surface to pull up summary statistics for the roof surface.
To get interactive monthly charts click on Settings in the top right and check Monthly Irradiance / Solar Access. A window should appear on the irradiance map that shows monthly values for any point you hover over.
Adding solar panels
You can place modules on your roof in three ways:
- Creating a fill zone
- Filling the entire roof surface (see this article on how to use the autofill)
- Manually placing modules (see this article on how to manually place modules)
We strongly recommend that you create a fill zone for commercial system design.
Creating a fill zone
A fill zone is a set of pre-defined areas wherein all modules, inverters and other BOS components have the same characteristics. The areas are dynamic, such that if an area's space is adjusted, the number of modules, inverters, stringing and more is automatically adjusted to maximize the specified area.
- Click on Solar Panels in the right toolbar and select Fill Zone(Z).
- Move your cursor over to your roof area. Click and place nodes to draw out a polygon shape that represents a fill zone.
- When completing your fill zone, move your cursor back to the original node and click to close the polygon. Alternatively, press 'Enter' to complete the fill zone.
- If you would like to fill the entire roof, double click on the relevant roof surface (see below if you only want to fill a specific area).
- For the purposes of this exercise, we are going to choose the following options:
- Module: Aurora Sample Module
- Orientation: Landscape
- Fill Mode: Single Tilt
- Tilt: 20 degrees
- Module spacing (x): 1 inch
- Row spacing: 24 inches
- Relative Rotation: 0 degrees
- Min. Solar Access: 0 %
- String Inverter: Aurora Sample String Inverter
- Click on 'OK'. Please be patient as Aurora's auto fill algorithm runs through thousands of scenarios to create the best fill zone for you. Depending on site size, this may take up to 5 minutes to complete.
Adjusting your fill zone
One of the many advantages of the fill zone is that it will dynamically adjust the module and inverter count to maximize the zone you have designated, and it will adjust any stringing automatically.
- Click and drag on any node of the highlighted fill zone.
- Click on the refresh icon that appears. Wait as the fill zone algorithm adjusts your system design.
- Right click on the fill zone to pull up the modal with all the fill zone characteristics.
Your fill zone will dynamically adjust to walkways placed in your design. Follow the steps to add a walkway:
- Click on the Walkway(W) button in the right hand toolbar.
- Click (and release) on any edge of your fill zone. Move your cursor across to the opposite edge of your fill zone. Click down.
- If you'd like to extend or minimize the walkway, click on one end, hold and drag.