The answer is as simple (or as complicated) as answering “What is a good car?” Every car has 4 wheels, and steering wheel and yet every car model is different and speaks to a different user. At the heart of this question is the understanding of “who are you”, to answer “What is a good car (for you)?”. In this article we discuss the different kinds of users that exist in the PV Industry, and software options that exists for different users. In doing so, we hope you will be able to relate to one of the users, and then you arrive at your choice of a Solar Software.
If you are just starting out and are an enthusiast who is getting to know Solar Systems, then look no further than PVWatts. This is a good starting point. Or you can also look to Google SunRoof to get solar insolation based potential, which is useful to generate preliminary engagement.
Several companies have solar calculators on their websites to generate rough savings and generation estimates, all good ways to gather customer leads.
If you are a Solar Professional working on very large-scale Utility PV systems, you are probably dealing with complexities of acquiring land, getting quotes from manufacturers, getting financing closure, federal & local permissions to construct on the land, logistics and labor for execution, and then to ensure the upkeep of this system. Such projects take several months, and sometimes years to complete from concept to commissioning.
Solar Design here takes into account very precise estimates of Solar Generation, as getting it right is critical, as minor errors in modelling can result in large losses financially. These are modelled by Experienced Solar Designers, and the popular solar PV design and simulation software tools include PVSAM (which is popular in the USA), Helioscope, SolarGiS and PVSyst.
Note that these software options are focused on modeling solar generation accurately along with shading aspects. You would also need multiple additional systems to operate effectively, including AUTOCAD for final layout, project management tools as well as good cost tracking software.
However, if you are a Solar Professional working on residential and small commercial solar systems, you are likely finding yourself busy in trying to explain the financial benefits of going PV to an end-customer. You need to speak the language of the end customer, so as to pitch the right story and not overcomplicate the messaging.
Each discussion is about getting your customer’s bills, doing a quick design with shadow analysis, calculating an estimation of the solar or solar plus storage savings, pricing the custom designed system, including any applicable incentives, making sure the price fits the customer’s budget, sending a proposal across the customer and completing a contract electronically.
Some customers need solar financing, and getting the best options compared quickly is also crucial. You are also likely to be doing these several times in a day, so automation is the key. These are a lot of steps, and using a single software is crucial for success – jumping from one software to another for each step is not scalable. If you ever wanted to do all of that in under 5 minutes each time, with the customer on the line during a live webinar call, look no further than ENACT SYSTEMS.
If you are a Solar Sales Team Lead for similar sized PV systems, and you are managing several sales personnel, you are likely dealing with assigning leads to the right team members, maintaining the lead aging in a CRM, managing Referral Partners and Lead Sources etc. Then again the inbuilt CRM in ENACT SYSTEMS is likely to be more than sufficient for you.
Finally, if you part of a Post-Sales Operations or Installation Team member, managing installations for multiple customers, you are likely to manage several steps to get the project completion, including site visits, getting final engineering design ready to the last feet of wire needed at site, ensuring compliance with local counties and local utilities, managing all documents related to commissioning. Then again, ENACT’s inbuilt workflow is likely help you stay on top of all tasks and emails and phone calls communication. ENACT offers the best solar software for installers working on Residential and Commercial solar projects.
Any questions? Feel free to contact us here.