By Michael Palmquist and Shawn Murphy
The SolarNexus team recently released a substantially re-engineered set of site assessment and PV array design tools that integrates Google Project Sunroof data for automated shade estimates.
Why reengineer the tool?
The SolarNexus PV array design tool was one of the first available tools on the market to allow a user to draw areas on aerial imagery and get accurate array layouts – resulting in many thousands of designs over the years. Producing accurate designs, however, required users to carefully draw polygons that accurately represented roofs – a skill that took a bit of effort to master. And the best shade estimates required input of SunEye measurements because there was no good source of shading information.
Since building our original tools, mapping and web technology has advanced considerably. And Google put forth a concerted effort to apply its earth mapping technology to make site assessment data that incorporates shade available at scale. Our reengineering effort has allowed us to take advantage of these new technologies that simply didn’t exist when we originally released the SolarNexus PV array design tools.
Now before even starting a design, SolarNexus gives everyday users our proprietary Roof Effectiveness Score (RES), providing instant insight into whether a particular site is worth pursuing, and informing them how many roofs they’ll need to use. The new tools make quick work of accurately drawing roofs, getting more accurate array layouts, and estimating production. The results improve sales efficiency, require fewer change orders, and increase customer satisfaction. We’re proud to say that the SolarNexus sales design toolset is arguably one of the best on the market and certainly the most cost effective.