Starting a new Project
The first step to beginning a new project is clicking the '+ Project' button in the top right-hand corner of the Project Index screen.
Next enter the address of GPS coordinates of the project site and click "Create Project".
The Project Dashboard is your starting point for any customer engagement. Here you will enter the customers contact information, consumption information, the status of the Project as well as a list of any Designs that you create.
Most users begin a project by entering the customers' contact information. This info will be used to make your proposals personalized to your customer, so before you begin be sure to fill this in.
Next you will enter your customers Energy Consumption information to help properly size the system you'll be designing soon. For a full walkthrough of the Consumption Portal, click here.
To access the Design page for your project, click the 'Get Started' button in the Designs tile.
Expert Models vs. Self Design
After you click the 'Get Started' button in the step above you'll be presented with the option to either send a request to our expert designers or start a new blank model and design the property yourself.
For more information on the Expert Modeling Service click here.
Outlining the Roof
- Select SmartRoof from the menu on the left and choose pitched or flat roof type.
- Move the cursor to the top left corner of the building. Click to place a node.
3. Continue to place nodes sequentially at any corner. After clicking on the first node, release
then move your mouse and click to place a node at the next corner of the building. In our
example we will move to the corner to the right of the building.
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. See more about our Keyboard Shortcuts here - Keyboard Shortcuts
4. To complete the perimeter, hover your mouse over node 1 and click on it to complete the
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.
- Click Obstructions from the Site menu on the left. A menu will appear showing you the types of obstructions you can add: Polygon, Rectangle, or Circle.
- In this example select the Rectangle.
- Move over to the ridge line. Left-click and hold to drag a rectangle. Release when finished.
- Repeat for all other obstructions.
If you have similar obstructions you can select an obstruction and use ctrl + C and ctrl + V (or ⌘ + C and ⌘ + V on Mac) to copy and paste.
Detecting Similar Obstructions
If your site has HD imagery you can detect similar obstructions on the roof by following the steps below:
- Select the obstruction you would like to detect.
- In the right menu click the Detect Similar Obstructions button.
- Click on the Draw Tree in the left menu (or press T on your keyboard as a shortcut).
- Left-click and hold to drag the tree radius. Release when finished.
- Repeat for all nearby trees.
You can select a tree and use ctrl + C and ctrl + V to copy and paste it as well.
Click the Map Split button on the bottom left corner of the screen. Map view allows you to:
- Rotate the view.
- Toggle between a top down view or a 45 degree view.
- Zoom in and out.
Once you have selected Map Split click the Street View button on the bottom of the screen. Click the white arrows to walk along the side of the structure.
After you have completed your drawing you can easily toggle into the 3D view by clicking the 3D box icon (or holding right click) and moving your cursor up. Move your cursor left and right to rotate the view. The 3D view is essential to obtaining accurate roof slopes for system design, and accurate site characteristics for remote shading analysis. It's also a huge hit with customers who want to see what their house will look like with solar.
To adjust the dimensions of obstructions in 3D view:
- Click on the obstruction.
- An upward arrow will appear above the obstruction. Left click on the arrow and move your cursor up or down to adjust the height.
- You can also adjust the height, setback, and radius in the right toolbar menu.
To adjust the dimensions of trees in 3D view:
- Click on the tree.
- An upward arrow will appear above the tree. Left click on the arrow and move your cursor up or down to adjust the tree height.
- You can also adjust the shape, height, crown diameter, crown height, and trunk diameter in the menu on the right.
If LIDAR is available, follow these instructions to automatically scale your building to LIDAR.
Once you have completed your design click the Save button in the top left corner.
Next: Analyze Shading, Add Modules, and Simulate an Energy Output