Best Solar Design Software

Over the last few years, the popularity of solar panels and renewable energy have increased significantly. Between government incentives, more accessible technology, and the worsening effects of climate change, PV solar energy is looking to be the best energy option from both a financial and environmental standpoint. The solar industry has seen even more popularity since the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine.

As popularity in PV solar energy increases, so too does solar design software. This solar PV simulation software increases the customer’s knowledge about their solar PV system, helps maximize design layouts, and can help with solar installation business management.

Since more people need this software, there are several software manufacturers, including Folsom Labs and Homer Pro. This can make it difficult to know which software to get.

In this article, we offer reviews of the best 4 grid connected solar design software and discuss other helpful information about PV system design well. We hope that these reviews make the decision making the process easier. Let’s get started.  

4 Solar PV Design Software

Here are the 4 best solar PV simulation software to consider:

Helioscope

Helioscope is an advanced solar PV simulation software that makes the process of engineering and selling PV solar panels easier. The software uses Google Maps to offer remote shade analysis, CAD interface layouts, and energy yield calculations.

Features

Helioscope offers user-friendly capbilities that make it photovoltaic system design easy for beginners. Unlike other PV simulation software, it is available entirely online, meaning you do not have to download the software to your computer. In case you get stuck, the interface offers explanatory popups to make the process easier.

The features relating to its solar PV design are incredibly useful. The system includes a feature that assists with the module layout. It tells you exactly what areas of the home to avoid based on shading and other factors. This will make it much easier to get the planning done quickly and efficiently.

The Helioscope shading analysis is actually one of the best on the market. It offers reports based on the available Meteo data and offers a complete report. Although this report is detailed, it is simple and to the point. Anyone from an experienced system user to a beginner will be able to understand what the report is saying.

You will pay for this product through a monthly subscription, which will be very helpful if you do not have a large sum of money to pay upfront, and it provides free updates. You can even sign up for a 30-day free trial to test out the product before purchase. These features make this option better for those on a budget.

Pros

  • Do not need to download
  • Easy-to-read reports
  • Complete shading analysis
  • Free updates
  • Monthly fee
  • 20-day free trial

Cons

  • Requires access to Google Maps
  • Must know address beforehand
  • Does not include animation
  • Does not include simulating detailed graphs

Aurora

Aurora Solar is a leading software for solar PV design. It offers SmartRoof technology that allows PV solar installers to create 3D CAD models of a potential site within a few minutes. This software can predict how many solar panels can fit on a property, energy production, and installation costs. The shade reports are equivalent to on-site measurements and accepted by all major rebate authorities.

Features

How Aurora works is that it models the site from an uploaded blueprint. This allows the software to create title-4 compliant PV system designs quickly and accurately. You can use Aurora in both the performance and prescriptive methods. This will allow you to size the minimum required solar PV system for the home. The product also offers a high-quality shade report. This shade report is accepted as the required documentation for solar access to PV systems.

Aurora software is incredibly helpful if you want to use multiple energy resources on your project. Other software types do not have the technology to handle this, but Aurora Solar has more to offer. The technology will also handle multiple fill zones.  

This software is currently the only one to formally receive a California Energy Commission certification for a PV solar assessment tool. All around, the Aurora software is a great resource for solar PV simulation and system design.

Pros

  • Used for both performance and prescriptive method
  • Multiple features to ensure you are educated
  • on solar installation
  • CEC Certification
  • Fast-acting
  • Professional-grade

Cons

  • Not user-friendly
  • More expensive

Solargraf

Solargraf is one of the best web-based software and system design tools since it helps you create quotes, manage projects, design templates, and offer professional estimates for PV solar system installation. This software is so accurate that it can reduce a standard quoting that takes three hours down to three minutes.

Features

Solargraf uses HD imagery from a variety of mapping services like Google Maps, Bing Maps, Eagle View, and Nearby apps. This allows Solargraf to generate quotes based on the layout of the house in real-time. Hence, the installer using this software can edit, adjust, and negotiate with clients on-site with little to no hassle. This makes it great for all users.

This software offers a variety of features to optimize PV solar placement. For example, it offers shading analysis to make sure that the solar PV panels are efficiently accessed by sunlight. All of these additions are user-friendly and intuitive even for a beginner.

Where Solargraf really stands out for solar installation managers and project management. You will be able to manage your projects, electric signatures, stamps, permits, financing, and quotes just with a few clicks through this tool. It even handles customer proposals and many other aspects. You will no longer have to track as much of the business side of things since this software does it for you.

Depending on your budget, you can either pay for this product monthly or yearly. Solargraf also offers customer support via email, phone, and online tutorials.

Pros

  • Superior business management features
  • User-friendly
  • Fast-acting
  • Real-time results

Cons

  • Must know the exact address

Dvinci.co

If you are interested in software that works for all parts of your solar PV system installation, then you may want to consider the Dvinci.co software platform. Like the other options on this list, this software offers PV system design planning and help, but it is more than a design tool. In addition to design, it offers features for all phases of PV solar system installation and renewable energy production. If you want all-inclusive software, this is the option for you. It is easily the best product on the list.

Features

Since Dvinci.co offers Software for all steps of the installation process, it comes with a number of features. We will only highlight some of the most important for installation design purposes since that is what we are reviewing today.

Like the other software on this list, it offers shade analysis and energy generation estimations. This will allow you to optimize the placement and predict energy savings for the client. The system also offers weather data, which further increases the accuracy of the energy output estimates.

Dvinci.co also offers real-time analysis. This connects you to your clients in a more easy and efficient way. You can show them your PV sales proposals on-site, alleviating a lot of stress and coordination on your end.

In addition to this software’s impressive features, it is incredibly easy to use. This company wanted to make solar panel installation easy for anyone so that the world could better transition to more renewable energy and increase solar power use. As a result, the software is incredibly easy to use, even for new users.

Out of all the products on our list, the Dvinci.co is by far the best due to its extensive offerings and user-friendly design. This is definitely the option for you if you want an all-inclusive software for PV solar installation, but it may cost too much if you don’t intend to use all its functions.

Pros

  • All-inclusive
  • Easy to use
  • Fasting acting

Cons

  • Expensive

All About Solar PV Design Software

What is it?

Solar PV system design software is a helpful tool that helps design and execute residential and commercial solar construction plans. Although SAM technology (system asset management) is a newer device for solar PV installation, they are now an industry norm, if not a necessity, because they make the process of designing and installing solar panels easier and more efficient.

Many of these systems also incorporate other features that help with the installation process. For example, they can help determine installation price, energy production, and more. This allows you to maximize the efficiency and use of your PV solar panels.

Helpful For Both The Consumer And Installer

Solar PV design software is beneficial from both the consumer’s and the installer’s perspective. As the consumer, you will have a better idea of exactly how much energy you can create and save through your solar panels. This will allow you to better budget and know what to expect from your system.

From the installer’s perspective, PV software helps track business management, maximize solar PV system placement, and ensure to the customer that they are spending their money on the best installation and system possible.  

Factors To Consider

Since most PV solar software technology is backed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, you don’t so much need to consider be effectiveness or functionality of the software; you can assume that most software is efficient and helpful. Instead, you more so need to focus on specific capabilities that may be helpful for your individual needs.

Your Needs

When choosing a SAM technology, you need to know exactly what you need from it. Do you want the software to manage the sales proposal? Or do you just want it to aid the customer in terms of layout and expectations? Your needs are the top decision makers for which system to get.

If you do not know exactly what you need or are not the person in charge of the photovoltaic PV installation, then it will be difficult to select a software that is actually beneficial for your company and installations.

On the other hand, being in charge of the installation process or having a clear idea of your exact needs will help you select software based on its capabilities. All of the options on this review are great choices regardless of your needs because they’re grid-connected and will boost PV solar energy options

Integration

Know exactly how you want to use your SAM technology and integrate it into your PV design system. If you do not have a clear idea of how the system can or will integrate into your design process, you may waste a lot of money on something that does not function properly.

This is especially true if you work with a third party PV system. Make sure that the software you are selecting actually works with the third party system to ensure efficiency, functionality, and a good purchase.  

Cloud Storage Accessibility

Almost all of the SAM apps, including those associated with solar PVinstallation, are cloud based. This means that you will be able to access your software, solar power designs, and renewable energy options wherever you need it. Make sure that your company has access to a reliable and user-friendly cloud system so this does not cause you any problems in the future.

Although cloud accessibility is relatively easy today, make sure that you do your research before on cloud storage with your ideal software to save you time and trouble down the line.

Conclusion

With climate change getting progressively worse, it is important to transition to renewable energy. Solar power and solar energy are the best ways to fight climate change, resulting in the increased use of PV systems.

Solar PV design software is a necessity for solar installation. With the software, you’ll be able to effectively plan PV solar layout, show consumers that you are a professional installation company, and know the exact energy output of the installation.

Of the systems we looked at on this list, the Dvinci.co is by far the best since it offers options beyond layout and design. With that being said, it is more expensive and may offer more features than you actually need.

To decide exactly which SAM technology to get for your company, simply assess and evaluate how you will integrate this system into your plan and what your exact needs are. If you are able to pinpoint those issues, you will easily be able to find a highly functional and efficient design system for your solar panel installation.

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