Hello all . . . this is Kevin, ModSolar’s CTO and VP of Product Development. For my first blog post, I want to tell you about a new enhancement that we just added to the ModSolar Platform.
With the recent launch of our patent-pending panel layout technology, it’s become more important than ever to properly draw the panel regions on the map. Rest assured — the ability to “draw a box, and it’s filled with panels” (as one of our users described this exclusive feature) is only the start of our product plans in the area of system design. We’re continually collecting feedback from our users and adding improvements. So let me tell you about the latest: “Snap Azimuth.”
Whenever you complete a region, you can specify the slope (if it’s a sloped roof mount) as well as the azimuth: the direction that the roof slopes. (In the case of a flat roof or ground mounted PV system, it’s the primary direction for orienting the panels.) Typically, the roof slopes down towards an edge, such that the azimuth line crosses that edge at a right (90 degree) angle. The roof joists will either run across the slope (parallel to the edge) or down the slope (parallel to the azimuth line), and those joists directly influence the mounting of the racking, which in turn determines how the solar panels will be laid out.
With our panel layout technology, we’re using software to show you how the panels will look when placed on the roof. If the azimuth line is misaligned — even a TINY bit — the panel layout can be affected in a BIG way. But who can draw an azimuth line so that it crosses the roof edge at PRECISELY a 90 degree angle? I sure can’t.
Ahh, but the computer can! And that’s exactly what the new Snap Azimuth feature does. When you have Snap Azimuth turned on, when you drag the azimuth line across a roof edge and release it, the azimuth will be “snapped” to a new location so that it crosses that edge at PRECISELY a 90 degree angle. (Or, for you math geeks, PERFECTLY PERPENDICULAR.)
As long as Snap Azimuth is turned on, the azimuth line will be guaranteed to be perpendicular to the roof edge — even if you drag a corner to a new location, add a corner, or delete a corner. Snap Azimuth can be turned on (or off) independently for each region, using a new button that appears in the window that pops up when you click in the center of the region.
This is just one in a series of enhancements we’ll be introducing in the coming weeks and months, to improve the accuracy of panel layout, while still maintaining the simplicity that is the hallmark of the ModSolar Platform. Our goal is to make your proposal generation and system design process more efficient, and your business more successful. We love to hear how we’re doing in pursuit of that goal, and how we can do better, so keep that feedback coming!