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  • Solar Design Software

    I'd be interested in knowing what designers and installers use for PV design software for grid tied and stand alone systems.

  • #2
    Hi ridgeline,

    Here are a couple links that may be of help:

    http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildin...bjects_sub.cfm

    http://sketchup.google.com/

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info!

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      • #4
        RETScreen software

        You can download RETScreen for free at www.retscreen.net. You have to sign up but it's free from the Canadian government.

        It can be cumbersome to use, but the weather data is useful, and you can cut and paste easily into Excel to manipulate data.

        Enjoy!

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        • #5
          Auto Cad. That is the one we use here.

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          • #6
            For solar design software, I'd recommend www.solardesigntool.com. It's easy to use and works really well.

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            • #7
              Solar Panel Designer

              Have you tried Solar Panel Designer?
              You can get a Free trial here http://www.visualbuilder.co.uk/solarpanel.htm
              Really easy to use and has some great tools designed specifically for Solar installers.

              Some features below:

              Worldwide graphical database
              Design of PV and Solar in any grid
              Automatic calculation of income


              I hope this helps

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              • #8
                Remote PV Solar Design using 3D models and imagery

                SolarDesignTool now offers the capability to design systems remotely using 3D models. You just order a model and design the system, complete with an array layout. No site visit needed in order to create a preliminary design that you can use to close a deal. Super quick. The tool has come a long way in the last 3 years.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dmpolvo View Post
                  SolarDesignTool now offers the capability to design systems remotely using 3D models. You just order a model and design the system, complete with an array layout. No site visit needed. Super quick. The tool has come a long way in the last 3 years.
                  That is true office engineering! Sit in the chair, drive AutoCad or similar and declare what a wonderful job has been done while assigning the blame for screwups on others.

                  No site visit needed my aching butt!
                  [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by russ View Post
                    That is true office engineering! Sit in the chair, drive AutoCad or similar and declare what a wonderful job has been done while assigning the blame for screwups on others.

                    No site visit needed my aching butt!
                    Actually that's how I start a proposal to get to a ball park figure to qualify a potential customer.
                    It's just not green to be driving all over to come up with a ballpark (+/- 5%)
                    I've done enough of these to be able to get very close.
                    Of course a site visit is necessary to nail the cost down to the penny and make sure the system fits. (Google Earth is close but not dead on.)
                    Rich
                    WWW.solarsaves.net

                    NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

                    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

                    http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

                    www.gaisma.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by russ View Post
                      That is true office engineering! Sit in the chair, drive AutoCad or similar and declare what a wonderful job has been done while assigning the blame for screwups on others.

                      No site visit needed my aching butt!
                      Lol. Don't hate. I'll make an edit - No site visit needed for a *preliminary design* that can be used to close a deal. Of course, a site visit will be needed for a final design. These capabilities are needed if independent contractors want to compete with the big players. If you have any doubts, sign up and give it a shot. As long as there is quality ortho and oblique imagery available for the site, you'll be saving a ton of time and money not paying for gas and a half-day long site assessment for a project that may not even sell.

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                      • #12
                        Not free but I have both Polysun and T-Sol or PV-Sol. Very professional.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dmpolvo View Post
                          Lol. Don't hate. I'll make an edit - No site visit needed for a *preliminary design* that can be used to close a deal. Of course, a site visit will be needed for a final design. These capabilities are needed if independent contractors want to compete with the big players. If you have any doubts, sign up and give it a shot. As long as there is quality ortho and oblique imagery available for the site, you'll be saving a ton of time and money not paying for gas and a half-day long site assessment for a project that may not even sell.
                          Don't know what the 'hate' stuff is - though I do admit to having an intense dislike for useless types.

                          Anyone trying to close the sale of a system to a customer without having seen the actual rooftop/installation area is a fool and is trying to make a fool of the customer.

                          At a minimum, the customer should have a guaranteed all in price, production guarantees, work scope and an approximate installation schedule before signing anything.

                          What Rich said is correct that preliminary estimates can be done in the office - no problem. As far as Google - I guess in the states it is better but it gets real flaky around he world - If Columbus had Google earth to guide him he would have probably ended up in Nigeria.
                          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by russ View Post
                            Don't know what the 'hate' stuff is - though I do admit to having an intense dislike for useless types.

                            Anyone trying to close the sale of a system to a customer without having seen the actual rooftop/installation area is a fool and is trying to make a fool of the customer.

                            At a minimum, the customer should have a guaranteed all in price, production guarantees, work scope and an approximate installation schedule before signing anything.

                            What Rich said is correct that preliminary estimates can be done in the office - no problem. As far as Google - I guess in the states it is better but it gets real flaky around he world - If Columbus had Google earth to guide him he would have probably ended up in Nigeria.
                            This solar design software uses 3D models with an accuracy of up to +-3 inches. The large companies in the States are selling based on preliminary remote designs. After closing the deal they follow up with a site visit. This tool allows smaller contractors to compete with the larger companies. The larger companies are flooding the airwaves and all the advertising space with solicitations for instant quotes. This helps level the playing field for the small independents. In places where these larger companies don't operate, contractors have less competitive pressure to close the deal fast. Even still, while some prefer a site visit to establish a relationship with the customers, others prefer to close the deal over the phone, or show up on site with a quote based on a preliminary design. Doing things this way does not preclude establishing a guaranteed price, yield, or work scope prior to signing a contract.

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                            • #15
                              We get complaints from some of those customers that got screwed. Rules of the road for the customer as this is a lot of money -

                              1) Be wary - to many salesmen have no idea - last week they were selling ladies underwear

                              2) Don't sign anything without -
                              - a firm layout
                              - a firm equipment list with model numbers
                              - production guarantees
                              - known equipment guarantees
                              - an approximate schedule
                              - knowing the installation companies back ground - preferably references you can check
                              - a guarantee on roof repairs
                              - in writing that they take care of all paperwork required

                              3) Don't sign anything if the sales company has not seen your situation - there are many variables and if they run into extra expense many will cut corners somewhere - and you get screwed with zero recourse.

                              I am sure Rich or KRenn can add to the list - many points and please do - for the average guy they need to protect themselves.

                              If you sign a contract based on remote work only and later you have problems - it is your own damn fault! Some sales company are interested in their profit only.
                              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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