After you have completed your site and 3D model, you are ready to design a solar installation for the customer.
Add New Design
Click on the + button next to Design in the left hand sidebar and enter a design name - we are going with "Aurora Sample Design". You can also specify the $/W cost here- enter in $3.50/W. Optionally, you can add in line items or adjust this in the Pricing section.
Creating a new design will bring you to Aurora's CAD layout view.
- Click on the Irradiance button in the top toolbar.
- Hover your mouse over the roof surface to retrieve point Irradiance, Solar Access, TSRF, and other values.
- Click on the magnifying glass button in the right hand sidebar, Roof Face Info, to pull up summary statistics for the roof surface.
To get interactive monthly charts click on Settings in the top right corner and check Monthly Irradiance / Solar Access. A window should appear on the irradiance map that shows monthly values for any point you hover over.
The shading analysis confirms the southeastern roof face is a good fit for solar panels.
You can place modules on your roof automatically or manually.
Manual module placement
- Click on the Solar Panels button in the sidebar on the right and select Solar Module (M).
- Fill in the information for the type of module you would like to input. Aurora has a vast database of components that you can star and make available in this list. For now, enter the following:
- Module: Aurora Sample Solar Panel
- Microinverter: Aurora Sample Micro-inverter [250 W]
- Rows: 2
- Orientation: Portrait
- Click on the roof surface to place your array.
- Now that you completed that exercise, we want to start with a clean slate. Undo the modules you just
placed by hitting ctrl + Z on your keyboard.
Fill Roof Face module placement
Much of the time, you're interested in fitting as many modules on a roof as possible and removing as necessary. Aurora's Fill Roof Face feature allows you to do this easily.
- Click on Solar Panels in the right hand side bar and select the Fill Roof Face (F) button in the submenu.
- Next, choose the 'Aurora Sample Solar Panel' from the drop down, and the 'Aurora Sample Micro-inverter [250 W]'.
- Click on the roof face to fill the available space with modules.
Once modules are placed on the roof it is easy to modify their placement.
Moving individual modules
- Click and drag a module to move it.
- Select multiple modules by holding down the shift key as you click on modules. Then, drag them to move them jointly.
Box selecting multiple modules
- Move your cursor towards the bottom left corner of your array.
- Click and drag a rectangle that covers part of the array.
- Click and drag to move it over to the west side of the roof.
Deleting individual modules
- Select some of the modules, either by holding down shift and clicking, or clicking and dragging to highlight multiple modules.
- Hit the delete key on your keyboard.
Click on the arrow in the bottom left corner then click, hold and drag your cursor to shift the orientation of your layout view.
Once you have completed your system design, Aurora can simulate how much energy the system will perform over time and then evaluate the financial return of the design.
Simulating energy output
- In your design, click on the Performance button in the left sidebar under Designs.
- By default you have Aurora's performance simulation. We highly recommend choosing Aurora's performance simulation, since it is considered the most accurate in the industry. Your account administrator is able to switch your default simulation engine to PVWatts in your account settings.
- Click the Simulate button on the right. A monthly chart will show how much energy the system generates.
Simulating the energy output paves the way for financial analysis.