Fire pathways are required for most photovoltaic projects in the United States. Aurora Solar allows you to easily place fire pathways that meet the code requirements of your jurisdiction.
Setbacks, unlike fire pathways, can be optional for installation purposes, such as safety buffers or accommodating an array skirt. Every design must have fire pathways and, depending on installation requirements, some designs may have both fire pathways and setbacks.
1. Auto-place fire pathways: This feature will automatically place pathways on the design. When there are no panels on the roof, Aurora will place the minimum set of pathways required by the international fire code of the project’s AHJ (automatically set based on the location). Auto-place fire pathways are available in both sales mode and design mode. You can see an overview of using this feature by watching this short screen recording.
2. Draw fire pathways: This feature enables users to manually draw the fire pathways in the design based on the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and code year. The inspector will display the AHJ, code year, and the percentage of the building covered by panels. By clicking on the AHJ name, you can access the AHJ Database. The default width of 36 inches, the typical code requirement, will be set, but you can adjust it as necessary.
Roof setbacks define how much distance there must be between the solar system and the edges of the roof. Setbacks can be applied for company-specific design guidelines that are tailored to your specific needs.
You can easily define roof setbacks by:
- Click on the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of your site model.
- You are able to specify a setback for each of the following edge types: eave, ridge, valley, hip, and rake. Additionally, you can specify setbacks around obstructions, as well as a general setback that will be applied to all edges that have no edge type specified.
- You also have the option to define setbacks by Jurisdiction, specifying whether they should be applied at the state or local level.
Once the roof is designed, all projects falling within the designated region will automatically have the setbacks applied.