Here, we will learn to modify the design of the solar system using our 3D hologram functionality. Specifically, we will: Generate the hologram, Select and edit panels and their placement on the roof, and Select roofing material and the addition of a battery, if desired by your customer.
In ‘Building a Proposal in the App’, Parts I & II, we input a customer’s home address, updated energy usage to reflect actual annual kWh, and Elli created a preliminary solar system design. So now you are ready to customize the design of the system on the home.
1. From the home page of the design, tap the 3D button. Point your device at a flat surface. Wait for the large blue pin to appear
2. Tap the ‘Place home on surface’ button at the bottom of the screen to generate the 3D hologram of your customer’s home and solar system.
The interactive 3D visual of the customer’s own home complete with a solar system, is of course a wow-factor feature and powerful sales tool to visualize their solar system. From here you can perform the following actions and motions to allow your customer to interact with their solar system, and if desired to edit and customize the design in real time.
3. Actions you can perform from the 3D view, include:
- Physically moving around the house to see the solar system from different angles and perspectives
- Tracing your finger along the arcs of the sun to visualize any shading. These arcs represent the actual path of the sun over your customer’s home on the summer & winter solstice
- Crouching down to view the system from the ground level, or stand to view from above
- Zooming in and out by walking forward and backward, or with a standard two finger pinch motion
To select roof planes to place panels on, add or take away panels, position the array, and execute other design activities, we suggest exiting the interactive 3D screen by tapping the back arrow at the top left of the screen, going back to the home page, where instead of simply tapping on the 3D button to generate the full hologram, this time, hold down the 3D button to generate a more design-friendly 3D rendering of the home where you can quickly and effectively design your customer’s solar system.
4. Let’s start with editing the panels. Elli automatically positions the hologram and home so that north is at the top of the image. Touch the yellow/orange ball in the top right of the screen to display the ‘heat map’. The brighter the yellow, the more solar production potential. South and west-facing panel placement will yield the greatest solar production and financial savings. Note - always avoid placing panels on north-facing roof planes.
5. Tap the desired roof plane to activate panel additions or subtractions
6. A grid outline will appear and you can simply tap the grid blocks where you want to add panels. Or, tap on an existing panel to remove it.
7. Touching the blue circular icon will switch the panels between landscape and portrait orientation, as necessitated by roof design.
Touching an array of panels with one finger you can drag the entire array around the roof plane, or if you want to get rid of the array, simply drag the array of the screen and it is eliminated. Touching the array with two fingers and twisting allows you to align the panels with rooflines and roof edges. Be aware of the faint red lines around the edge of the roof plane, as these represent fire setbacks. Don’t place panels outside those red lines.
8. Tap the gray bar at the bottom of the screen. Here, Elli updates the solar production and percentage offset, and you are able to engage a few additional useful design tools.
9. Toggle the Panel Visibility slider, as this gives you a great look below the panels you are placing to identify and design around any protrusions and roof-related objects.
10. If spacing on a triangular roof plane is limited, you can choose to ‘brick stagger’ the panels.
11. You can also select the appropriate panel wattage from this view, if roof space is limited and a higher wattage panel is required to achieve your customer’s desired offset, or if your customer is brand conscious and desires a panel different than what Elli spec’d.
12. Go back to the home page to view the system size and designed percentage energy offset.
13. Select the appropriate roofing material for your customer’s project,
14. Select a solar storage battery if desired by the customer.
This is everything you need to know about modifying the design of the solar system using our 3D hologram functionality. Next, review ‘Building a Proposal in the App’, Parts IV, & V videos and articles to round out your solar design by adjusting and selecting project financing details, and learning how to share your proposal with your customer for their review and contract signature.