After you create your project, identify the building where you would lie to place your modules. For rooftop solar, this is done by tracing an outline of the roof that you ill be designing solar for, and then using Aurora's algorithms to covert that into a 3D model.
Designing a ground mount? Skip this section and look at this article.
Selecting your site
- Click on Site Model and drag the green icon to the edge of your building. Try and pick a side that is close to the street and click on Refresh Map.
- If your image does not cover the roof area, zoom out and click on the arrows that appear to expand your frame of view.
Outlining the roof
- From the toolbar on the right, select the SmartRoof tool.
- Move the crosshair to the top right corner of the building. Click to place a node. Continue to place nodes at every corner.
If you make a mistake, click on the node and hit delete on your keyboard, or you can hit ctrl + Z (⌘ + Z on Mac) to undo the action. To continue drawing, return to the last existing node and double-click it.
- To complete the perimeter, hover your mouse over your starting node until and that this is highlighted. Click on it to complete the roof shape.
We are assuming you are designing for a flat roof. If instead you are designing for a pitched roof and need to place ridge lines and other internal edges, please review this article.
Creating roof structure
Once you are done with drawing the roof edges, double click outside of the roof on the screen. Aurora will intelligently structure and apply azimuths or any rooftop setbacks you have preset to your model.
Adding obstructions and trees will help model how these objects might create shade that impacts your solar designs over time. They will also allow you to accurately place modules only on available roof areas.
- In the 2D view, click on the Add Obstruction tool in the toolbar. A submenu will appear showing you the types of obstructions you can add:
- Choose the Rectangle option. Move over to one of the obstructions and click and drag a rectangle around the obstruction.
To add parapet walls follow the steps here.
- Right click on the obstruction you drew and set a setback if appropriate. Click on Detect Similar Obstructions.
For more tips on using Aurora's Obstruction Detection feature review this article.
- Click on the Draw Tree(T) button in the right hand toolbar.
- Place your cursor on the center of the tree and click and drag until the circle is approximately the same size as the tree in the satellite image.
- (Optional) You can select a tree and use ctrl + C and ctrl + V to copy and paste it as well.
After you have completed the site model, you can create a 3D model. You can adjust your building and obstruction height, and roof slopes in 3D mode.
Converting your 2D drawing into a 3D model
- In the top left corner next to 2D, click on 3D
- In the 3D editor, click on Lidar to download Lidar data. If Lidar is not available for your location, use street view or the oblique view and manually adjust your building height. You can learn more about Lidar here.
- Click on obstructions or trees (hold down shift to select multiple objects) and edit their height or other properties in the modal that appears.