AppliCad Releases Solar Wizard Software for Solar Design and Planning

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Specialist CAD developer, AppliCad Australia, have released their commercial version of Solar Wizard; a software tool used to accurately determine solar radiation and shadow maps on 3D CAD models of existing and proposed structures, developed from aerial images and architects blueprints. The output includes very clear graphics of the proposed installation and a spreadsheet of production data for engineering and ROI calculations.

This sort of advanced 3D CAD technology allows us to do so much more for the solar industry with a whole lot less.

Developers at Australian specialist CAD developer, AppliCad Australia, have released their commercial version of Solar Wizard, a software tool used to accurately determine solar radiation and shadows from aerial images and architects blueprints.

Solar Wizard helps designers accurately determine levels of solar radiation for all structures, existing or proposed, and installed equipment using 3D CAD models and the NREL TMY3 insolation tables, or their own measured radiation data - all in just a few minutes!

Ray Smith, CEO of AppliCad explains - “We took our beta version of Solar Wizard to the US editions of InterSolar and SPI shows last year to show the industry experts. While we based the solar software on well established 3D CAD design tools tested in industry for over 20 years, the specifics of this particular application were new to us. With what we learned at the trade shows and with feedback from our beta testers, the work we have undertaken is finally complete and ready for commercial use. It is a very exciting time for us and the industry. This sort of technology allows us to do so much more with a whole lot less.”

The Solar Wizard software determines the solar radiation on any structure at any location on the planet and also maps the effect of shadows from surrounding structures and/or objects such as trees, chimneys, satellite dishes and attic vents etc.

Full 3D animations of the transit of shadows and annual insolation maps team up with report data.
“A roof structure may appear to be a very suitable location for the installation of solar panels or solar thermal heating depending on how much a roof is affected by nearby structures or trees.” said Development Manager, Mr Leigh Menzel.

‘It is now possible to determine quite precisely how much solar energy a particular roof will receive during the average year, and indeed, the output from the proposed installed array.” Menzel continued. “This information is represented graphically on the screen and is also saved as a text file for re-use in engineering and accounting programs to determine effective return on investment (ROI). The combination of the information generated by AppliCad’s Solar Wizard with existing ROI tools creates a more complete client proposal for integrators and installers.”    

The developers at AppliCad have worked together with their beta testers to develop a system that can calculate the suitability of a roof or structure to fit solar panels using nothing more than an aerial image and some gross measurements. The tool is based on a 3D CAD (computer aided design) system that provides all the required tools to model structures in 3D automatically from simple perimeter measurements. This means that the tool describes real roofs represented in their surroundings. The sun in the model illuminates the 3D built environment and simulates how surrounding buildings, terrain and vegetation cast shadows.

The shadow effect can be calculated for each month or for a complete year, and this means that certain parts of a roof may turn out to be unsuitable for collecting solar energy, even though the roof has both optimal direction and gradient. In this way, it is possible to calculate the total solar radiation on each part of a roof structure within a given area, calculated as kilowatt hours per square metre. Measured data may be user defined or extracted automatically from the NREL TMY3 data tables using USAF ID codes.

Once the most appropriate location has been determined, the operator places the desired array on the model and then recalculates the radiation as it would hit the proposed array. The software creates a detailed data file incorporating ambient temperature and insolation data for the proposed installation to be subsequently used in the creation of custom engineering and ROI reports. These reports can be a template in Microsoft Word or Excel and populated automatically directly from the Solar Wizard software.

The integrated advanced report generator allows the operator to generate detailed client proposals based on the findings with site drawings and photographs. Making use of aerial images overcomes the need to make expensive site visits at the early proposal stage saving time and gas.

Please contact AppliCad to discuss your requirements and for a personal tour of the new software, on your computer using a web meeting.

About AppliCad
AppliCad is a specialist CAD/CAM application software development company based in Melbourne, Australia. It has been developing CAD applications since 1991 and now exports their specialist software to solar, roofing and cladding companies to 127 countries around the world. AppliCad has representative offices in the USA and the UK.

Contact AppliCad on 1 877 830 3158 or go to their web site for detailed information - http://www.applicad.com.

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