After you create your project, identify the building where you would like to place your modules. For rooftop solar, this is done by tracing an outline of the roof that you will be designing solar for, and then using Aurora's algorithms to convert that into a 3D model.
Designing a ground mount? Skip this section and look at this article.
Selecting Your Site
- Click Design in the left toolbar and drag the green icon to the edge of your building. Try and pick a side that is close to the street.
- 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
- Select SmartRoof from the menu on the left (keyboard shortcut R) and choose flat roof type.
- Move your cursor to a corner. Click to place the first node. Continue to place nodes at every corner.
- To complete the perimeter, connect the last node to the first node.
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.
Creating a Roof Structure
Once you are done drawing the roof edges, double click outside of the roof on the screen (or press the escape key).
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.
- Click Add Obstruction from the Site menu on the left. A menu will appear showing you the types of obstructions you can add:
- Polygon (keyboard shortcut Q)
- Rectangle (keyboard shortcut W)
- Circle (keyboard shortcut E)
- Once you’ve selected the obstruction type move your cursor over to the roof area.
- Left-click and drag to create the obstruction. Release when finished.
You can detect similar obstructions by clicking the Detect Similar Obstructions Button in the right menu.
Adding a Parapet Wall
- Similar to drawing a rectangular obstruction, click Add Obstruction in the Site menu on the left. Select Rectangle (shortcut key W).
- Click and drag out the parapet along the wall.
- To adjust the parapet length, click on one of the corner nodes and drag to resize.
- To adjust the parapet height, click on the parapet and toggle the height in the right menu.
- Click on the Draw Tree in the left menu (keyboard shortcut T).
- Left-click and hold to drag the tree radius. Release when finished.
- Repeat for all nearby trees (You can also select a tree and use ctrl + C and ctrl + Z or ⌘ + C and ⌘ + Z on Mac to copy and paste).
You can view the model in 3D by left-clicking the 3D cube icon (or holding right-click) and moving your cursor. You can make adjustments to your building and obstruction height, and roof slopes in 3D.
Using LIDAR to Scale Your Design
- Click the LIDAR button in the top menu. You can learn more about LIDAR here.
- Click the LIDAR Settings button to toggle between Mesh or Point Cloud.
- Click the Fit Buildings to LIDAR button to fit your design to the LIDAR data.