Solar Site Modeling

Aurora has the most advanced solar CAD suite on the market.

Easy-to-use roof modeling

Trace roof outlines over a satellite image with a couple of clicks. Model simple surfaces or complex roof structures. With Automatic Edge Detection, Aurora will intelligently classify edges, calculate azimuths, and apply fire-code setbacks to your model for you.

 

LIDAR-assisted modeling

Complement satellite imagery with LIDAR (light detection and ranging) data, making it much easier to create accurate 3D models for design and shading analysis.

Watch a video of it in action here

Sun path diagrams

Aurora’s interactive shade simulator can show you an animation of the sun’s movement for any time, day, or month.

 

Draw trees and obstructions

Aurora allows you to easily insert trees and obstructions, taking the shadows cast by these into account in any simulations.

 

Quickly apply fire-code setbacks

Input jurisdictional requirements and Aurora will display fire-code setbacks as you design. Furthermore, the Validation Report will alert you if any modules violate your setback requirements.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is solar energy modeling?

Solar energy modeling is a very important function of accurate solar design software used to simulate the potential electricity a future solar power system will generate. Combining the technical information of an engineered plan with the specific variables of the unique physical property, solar energy modeling can help developers create accurate site designs from anywhere in the world.

While on-site assessments are typically made after a sale, solar energy modeling can be used to create an accurate idea of a property’s solar potential without having to physically visit the site. Today’s solar energy modeling software is extremely advanced and continues to improve with the help of computer vision and AI.

How do I get solar irradiance data?

Solar irradiance data is everywhere, thanks to the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB). The NSRDB’s extensive collection of real solar irradiance figures contains hourly global, direct, and diffuse radiation data collected from 1,400 stations across the United States over several decades.

This data was made possible by the National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Northeast Regional Climate Center, and NASA. Because of this project, thousands of architects, developers, and engineers have been able to produce irradiance models for solar energy systems in the United States.

Irradiance data is built into Aurora, so anyone using the software has instant access to it.

What is grid modeling?

In solar energy development, grid modeling is the practice of simulating a potential installation’s impact on the local utility grid and nearby power systems. Grid modeling is important when considering the effects of residential solar, and also when proposing larger, utility-scale installations or community solar projects.

Grid modeling for solar energy systems has to take into account flexible and variable power generation as it relates to peak hours for both potential solar production and local electricity demand. Today, the MAFRIT (Multi-Area Frequency Response Integration Tool) from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information is the primary grid modeling tool used in the United States.