One of the best things that solar contractors can do to prepare for solar in the new homes market is to get familiar with designing and selling solar for new construction and ensure that they have a strong process in place. This will help ensure they can hit the ground running when Title 24 goes into effect in 2020. Additionally, if they can successfully complete some of these projects in the coming year, they’ll be better able to demonstrate their expertise in this area.
Designing solar for a building that’s not yet constructed differs from traditional solar design in several significant ways. First, without an existing building, it can be difficult to know how many solar panels will fit on the roof or other parts of the site and determine the best location for the array. Second, to determine how much energy the solar installation will produce, it is critical to understand how much shade will fall on different parts of the site. This assessment is complicated by the lack of an existing structure. Finally, without imagery of an existing building, salespeople need new options to communicate to the customer what the solar design will look like.
Fortunately, solar sales and design software provides solutions these challenges and others by making it possible to create an accurate 3D model of the new home based on the builder’s roof plans or permit set and then take shade measurements and forecast energy production. Aurora Solar has developed guidance for contractors on how to design solar on new homes. These software solutions can also help new entrants to the solar market, such as builders and roofers, get started with the solar design process.
Gwen Brown is content marketer of Aurora Solar.
— Solar Builder magazine