Here is an overview of the Design process:
Steps for Designing & Pricing a Proposal
1. Draw Roof:
- Explanation: This initial step involves creating a detailed representation or plan of the roof where the solar panels will be installed.
- Purpose: Understanding the dimensions, height and orientation of the roof is crucial for determining the available space and optimal placement of solar panels.
- Select Free Form from the Roof section on the toolbar
- Outline the roof by clicking along its edges
- Explanation: Identify and mark any obstacles or structures surrounding the area, such as chimneys, ducts, sky lights, walkways etc.
- Purpose: Recognizing potential shading sources is vital, as shadows from obstacles can impact the efficiency of solar panels. Also add walkways or select a certain section on the roof when you don't want to add panels
- Select Free Form, Rectangle, Circle, or Walkways from the Obstacles section on the toolbar
- Explanation: Map the location and dimensions of trees in the vicinity of the roof, considering their height and foliage.
- Purpose: Trees can cast shadows on solar panels, affecting energy production. Drawing them around the roof helps in assessing potential shading issues.
- Select Spherical or Conical from the Trees section on the toolbar
- Explanation: Simulate and analyze shading patterns on the roof caused by obstacles and trees.
- Purpose: Shade simulation provides insights into how shadows move throughout the day and across seasons, helping optimize panel placement to minimize shading impact.
- Run shade simulation by clicking on the Shading button at the top of the page and view the irradiance heat map on the roof of the building.
5. Add Panels:
- Explanation: Add solar panels on the roof, considering factors like tilt, orientation, and spacing.
- Purpose: Determine the number of panels needed and their arrangement for maximum exposure to sunlight, optimizing energy production.
- Add Panels from the Panel Layout section on the toolbar. Either Fill roof or add Single Panel.
- Change the panel attributes from the Array Properties section by clicking on View advanced options.
- Explanation: Select an appropriately sized inverter that matches the total AC capacity and the electrical needs of the system.
- Purpose: The inverter converts DC power generated by solar panels into AC power for use in the building. Proper sizing is crucial for efficient energy conversion.
- Add Inverters from the Inverter section on the toolbar and proceed to edit its Properties.
- Modify quantity to match the required AC capacity.
7. Add Battery:
- Explanation: If energy storage is desired, add batteries into the system to store excess energy generated by the solar system.
- Purpose: Batteries allow for the storage of surplus energy during sunny periods, providing power during times of low sunlight or power outages.
- Click on Storage from the Storage section on the toolbar.
- Add Battery from the Properties section on the right.
- Select relevant tools that may be necessary from the Energy section on the toolbar.
- Add Post PV electric Rate, change System Losses, Solar Allocation etc. under this section.
9. View System Results Graphs:
- Explanation: Generate graphs and charts displaying key performance metrics of the solar PV system.
- Purpose: System results provides insights into the system's efficiency, energy production, and overall performance. It aids in identifying any issues and optimizing the system for better output.
- Click Simulate to view detailed design results.
- Click View Results to populate detailed graphs and charts to analyze the system further.
By systematically going through these steps, one can design a solar PV system that is optimized for the specific characteristics of the location, ensuring maximum energy production and efficiency.
10. Pricing the Solar PV System
- Explanation: Financial modeling in solar PV design involves creating a comprehensive representation of the costs and returns associated with a project.
- Purpose: This process helps assess the financial viability, estimate the return on investment (ROI), and make informed decisions.
- Click on Next at the top right of the page after your design is completed to move to the Price & Finance section.
11. Finance & Price Section
Sales Price Breakdown: Choose either a customized costing profile, if available, or modify the price per watt at the top of the page directly.
Incentives and Credits: Choose either from a customized incentive profile, if available, or add incentive values directly by expanding Incentives & Credits section.
Kindly refer to the detailed article for instructions on incorporating incentives and rebates specific to your state/region.
- Finance Options: Expand Finance Options and choose from the customized financial products, including loans, power purchase agreements (PPA), or leases. Compare two finance options along with the cash option for a comprehensive analysis.
You have the flexibility to model finance options with customized Annual Percentage Rate (APR), term, contractor fees, and more. Please refer to the comprehensive article for guidance on incorporating finance options.
- Click Publish to download the proposal template in PDF or generate a preview.