You can use the Nearmap Solar tool to plan out a solar installation directly on our high-resolution imagery, and give your solar customers a realistic rendering of what the completed job will look like.

This guide takes you through the process of:

Accessing the Solar Tool

Use the toolbar to access the Solar tool:

The solar jobs window will appear. Any existing jobs will be displayed in a list.

Creating/Editing a Solar Job

Once you open the Solar tool, you can create a solar job, or edit an existing one. 

In the MapBrowser, click the location at which you would like to place solar panels. The MapBrowser then zooms in to the property you chose and creates a new solar job.

The new solar job opens in the Active Job tab of the Solar tool panel. The solar tool gives your job a title, which you can see in the Title field in the Solar tool panel. By default, it uses the address of the property you are working on, but you can change this to whatever you like. 

Adding and Manipulating Panels

  1. Before adding panels, select the solar panel model that you would like to use. All the panels on this list in the Australian MapBrowser should be Australian CEC approved, but please verify at the accreditation website as approved panels change over time. If your model of interest is not listed, you can create a custom panel type through the Panels tab. To understand what each panel parameter refers to, please see panel and system parameters.

  2. To add one panel at a time, just click the map, or set the Panels box to 1 and click Add. If you wish to add a row of panels at once, just set the Panels box to the size of the row you want, then click Add. You can create a grid of panels by adding a row several times in succession.

  3. To make changes to panels, you will need to select them. A group of panels can be selected one by one if desired. If you press Ctrl while clicking a panel, it will toggle whether the panel is selected or not.

  4. A group of panels can also be selected all at once. First click Select All and then Unselect All to ensure no panels are already selected. Then select the first panel you want in the group by clicking on it. Finally, hold Shift and click the last panel in the group that you want selected.

    All intermediate panels will be selected at once. The panels selected are determined by the order in which they were initially placed, which does not always coincide with their screen locations.

  5. To further control the placement of the panels, use the TiltRotate and Mounting controls.

    Notes on Tilt, Rotation and Mounting

    • Tilt represents the angle between the panel and the ground, not the panel and the roof. In general, you should use the Tilt field to represent your expectation of the roof angle or wedge you'll use in the installation. The white arrow on each panel points toward the lower edge of the panel when tilted (the edge closer to the ground).
    • Rotate controls the direction, relative to North, toward which the bottom of the panel (indicated by the white arrow on each panel) is pointing.
    • Mounting lets you designate whether to place a short edge long edge of the panel parallel to the ground.
    1. Adjust the Tilt of your selected panel(s) to match your expectation of the roof angle or wedge used. This tilt value is with respect to the ground, not the roof. It is 22.5 degrees by default and changes of a few degrees will rarely have much impact on power generation. Tilt also influences how large the panels will appear in the overhead view. The arrow on each panel points to the lower edge of the panel when tilted (the edge closer to the ground).

    2. Rotate selected panels as desired using the Rotate buttons. Keep in mind that rotating the panel 180 degrees effectively reverses the tilt direction, which can have a huge impact on the energy output calculations.

    3. If you want to make the longer edge of each selected panel parallel to the ground, just set Mounting to Landscape mode.

  6. To delete a selection of panels simply press the Delete key, or use the trash can button in the Panels section.

  7. At any time, you can place additional panels or move existing ones by clicking and dragging.

Notes on Panel Manipulation and Placement

  • The total number of panels you've placed in your installation is shown under the Add Panels control. At present, the solar tool is designed to support installations of up to 1000 panels. This limitation is implemented to prevent degradation of the MapBrowser experience. 
  • Panels turn blue when they're selected, and grey when they're not selected.
  • Click Select All to select all the panels in your installation. 
  • If you accidentally lay panels on top of each other, they'll turn red to indicate that you should move them to a better location.

Completing Your Design

  1. Once you are happy with panel placement, it is very important that you set the System Efficiency estimate appropriately for this installation. This is set to 77% by default. Please follow your standard procedures for determining the expected efficiency of a system and enter that. The main component of this is typically inverter efficiency, but this efficiency should include a variety of factors outlined in panel and system parameters.

  2. The solar tool will display an Annual Output. This is the yearly total energy calculated by the solar tool based on historical solar irradiance and temperature data at the location, factoring in panel tilt, orientation, all of the indicated panel parameters, and the System Efficiency you entered.

  3. The estimated Annual electricity savings assume full utilisation of the annual energy output. Unused energy will reduce savings, and the calculation does no include feed-in tariffs or rebate schemes.
  4. Click the Set report image boundaries checkbox to see and adjust the area that will be shown in the report to ensure that it includes everything you want it to.

  5. The final step is to create a solar panel report.