Helioscope has become one of the most popular solar PV design tools today. It is easy to use and simple to understand. It has a lot functionalities that are essential to anyone who are into solar energy. No wonder, a lot of users have been creating solar PV system designs using this software.
By the end of this article, readers will learn how to create their first solar PV system design. This step-by-step tutorial will serve as their quick-start guide in designing solar PV systems using Helioscope.
Folsom Labs is the developer of the solar PV design tool Helioscope. This tool aims to simplify the process of designing and engineering of solar power systems. It claims to make the solar design process 5 to 10 times faster for solar designers. Helioscope provides a web-based user interface with solar layout tools and energy simulation.
As an online solar design tool, Helioscope has a list of useful features. This includes the following below.
Check out this top features a solar software must have!
Basically, this solar software is for everyone who wants to create photovoltaic (PV) system designs. From beginner to expert, Helioscope will be able to provide the users with a great solar PV simulation experience.
In this tutorial, we will guide you step-by-step from account creation to making your first Helioscope solar simulation.
Helioscope can be accessed from any modern browser. Since it is web-based, users can create solar PV designs using their computer, laptop or even mobile phones.
By following these steps, you will be able to create your Helioscope Account. Folsom Labs is giving a free 30-day trial for new users.
Helioscope gives a 30-day trial for new users. Users will be able to freely use all the features that Helioscope has for a month. Signup link.
In this step, you will need to fill in the form with your details. It will require your email address, first name, last name, company (if applicable), and your password.
After that, you need to log in to your email account. You will receive an email from Folsom Labs regarding your Helioscope account. To activate your account, click the link as specified in the email.
Once you finish activating your account, you can now log in to Helioscope.
Having a solar design tool allows you to create an optimal plan for a solar power system. Helioscope provides a lot of features to help solar designers easily prepare solar PV designs and simulations.
As part of the Helioscope quick start guide, we will create an example project step-by-step. By following this guide, you will be able to create your solar power system design using this tool.
Log in to Helioscope website using your account then click the “New Project” button on the right-hand side.
Fill in the form with the project name, address, description, etc. You can also enter the exact coordinates of the place where you intend to design the system. Otherwise, you can also use the map to specify the location. On the map area, you can pan by clicking and holding the left click mouse button while moving it. You may scroll up and down by pressing CTRL while scrolling on your mouse wheel.
Once ready, click the “Create New Project” button on the lower right-hand side.
On the design page, click the “New” Button.
Enter the description for your first solar PV design. Then, click the “Create New Design” button. This will lead you to the solar panel layout page.
To start the solar panel layout, click on the “New” button on the field segments.
Click on the corners of the selected roof. To close the shape, you need to click the first corner. The shape outline will turn green when you hover your mouse over the first point.
With Helioscope’s automatic layout rules, solar panels will populate the area you selected. However, you may need to change the parameters to attain the design you desire.
In this case, the roof is not perfectly facing south. So, we need to adjust the Azimuth from 180 degrees to 116 degrees.
Another way to align the panels is by clicking on the Azimuth field and pressing up or down keyboard button. This will adjust the modules by changing the angle plus or minus 1 degree every time you click up or down.
From here, you may also choose the modules you want to use.
Click on the icon with the description “Electrical” to choose the inverter.
As default, Helioscope chooses Enphase micro inverters for this project. However, you can change this by clicking on the inverter menu and searching for your preferred inverter.
After choosing your inverter, click the “Save and Exit” button to save your progress and check out the simulation results.
Congratulations! You have just designed a 44.8kWp solar power system on a building roof.
To get your simulation report, click on the “Reports” tab. Then, click the “Simulate” button.
Generate the solar PV design and simulation report by clicking the button as shown below.
Finally, you can have the simulation report in PDF format ready to be presented to anyone. This tool will be beneficial for solar contractors, consultants or even students.
Here is a quick tutorial from Folsom Labs on how to create commercial solar design using Helioscope. This covers the layout of solar panels, choosing inverters, solar modules and simulation. The video clip runs for 5 minutes.
The Folsom Labs did a great job in developing Helioscope. Here are some of the advantages of using this solar PV design tool for your projects.
Although this tool has so many great features, we still need to present the other side of the coin. Here is the list of the disadvantages Helioscope has.
Helioscope packs a solid set of features that solar engineers, designers and consultants need. It is a stable software that presents a great user experience when it comes to solar PV system design.
If you want to learn more about designing solar power systems, here are our other articles related to simulation of solar energy systems:
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