To be successful, solar companies constantly need to generate new solar leads, manage prospects, and provide first-class service to existing customers.
The right package of solar software can make these tasks much easier.
In this article, we will look at some of the best applications that can save commercial solar installers valuable time, money, and staff resources. while helping them win more business.
There are a few categories of solar software that can simplify business operations and processes for commercial solar installers and energy providers:
- Lead generation
- Proposal creation
- Asset management
- Project management
The time saved by leveraging such software can instead be spent on connecting with property owners and scaling your business.
Let’s review a few specific applications from each of the categories we mentioned and point out how they can benefit solar professionals.
Solar Lead Generation Software
The Reonomy platform can help solar installers quickly and easily find hyper-targeted property owner leads in any U.S. market.
Multi family and commercial real estate assets of any kind can be searched based on location, building and lot characteristics, sales and debt history, and ownership and tenant information.
Once you identify a property of interest, you can see the name of the owner, whether an individual or an LLC. You will also gain access to the contact information of all parties associated with the ownership, including LLC members.
Following these steps, you can use the platform to generate an endless list of hyper-targeted property owner leads that may be in need of solar services.
You can then use the contact information you accessed through Reonomy to reach out directly to these owners and make your pitch.
Solar Design Software
Commercial solar projects can be complicated and as a result, expensive. Whether you’re installing PV solar panels on a 50,000 square foot commercial roof, or lining a cornfield with solar, coming up with a proper, efficient design is critical for maximizing energy production and cost savings.
Here are a few solar design platforms that commercial solar companies may find helpful.
SunDAT is a solar design software geared toward helping installation companies maximize PV layouts on the most complex boundaries. The platform is capable of producing module layouts with optimal space utilization and automatically placed roads or aisles, regardless of site obstructions and topography.
SunDAT can be used for all types and sizes of commercial solar projects, from a 1MW parking canopy to a 150MW utility-scale ground mount.
PVComplete offers a couple of different solar design tools that can help installers streamline projects from concept to construction.
PVSketch is a web app that allows solar salespeople to create endless layouts and production models for their customers.
The company’s other product, PVCAD is built on Autodesk technology. The software allows solar engineers to create designs with automatic stringing, shadow modeling, energy production, and more.
The two applications can be used together or separately. PVSketch designs can be imported to PVCAD when commercial solar installers are ready to move into the engineering and permitting phases of a project.
HelioScope is a product by Folsom Labs that integrates power simulation engineering, advanced algorithms, graphics, and computer vision to help commercial solar companies with designing, engineering, and selling solar arrays.
The software can help installers improve their PV solar design speeds by up to 10 times.
PVsyst lets users follow a simple process to create preliminary solar system designs. Just set your desired power or project area, then choose the PV module and inverter from PVsyst’s internal database, and the platform generates a proposed solar configuration that can be used for simulations.
The software also features a color-coded warning and error system that can alert users of potential system mismatches or other problems with the design.
Solar Proposal Software
Proposal software allows commercial solar companies to provide timely, accurate bids to prospective customers.
Instead of taking days or even weeks, solar professionals can generate multiple proposals seamlessly in a matter of minutes with the applications below.
The Aurora Solar proposal software allows commercial solar companies to design and quote solar systems with simply an address and an electric bill.
No more traveling to conduct a site walk, take measurements, or evaluate how much direct sunlight a site gets. Aurora Solar’s unique remote site analysis feature helps users generate accurate solar proposals in minutes.
Aurora Solar proposals integrate design and financial feasibility, thereby providing realistic estimates of the financial returns a customer might reasonably expect if they were to move forward with the project.
MODsolar is geared toward smaller solar companies looking to gain wider traction in their local markets.
The platform allows users to generate proposals in less than five minutes. You can churn out individualized bids, including a custom-fit solar PV design and information about incentives and financing.
Importantly, the MODsolar design software is simple – users do NOT need to be CAD experts to generate proposals with this program.
Solar Monitoring Software
There are various solar monitoring applications on the market these days. Some tools measure an installation’s potential ROI. Others calculate a project’s performance.
This type of software helps commercial installers with tasks beyond lead prospecting, system design, and proposal generation. Instead, these tools can be used to assist clients with reporting over time.
TrueCapture by NEXTracker combines advanced sensor, weather forecasting, and machine-learning technologies to help maximize the solar production of commercial PV solar systems.
The application continuously adjusts its solar array tracking algorithms in response to factors like changing weather conditions, and can deliver 2% to 6% energy gains.
Tigo Energy’s TS4-M monitoring software can detect and diagnose any solar performance issues remotely. The application sends notifications that allow owners to proactively intervene and maximize their system’s uptime, while reducing O&M costs.
TS4-M can be combined with Tigo’s other applications, such as TS4-F, which provides a rapid shutdown solution in the event of a fire.
PQube 3 by Power Standards Lab monitors DC voltage and AC output simultaneously in real time. These power diagnostics are combined with recorded environmental specifics such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, vibration, and solar irradiance.
This aggregate data helps owners understand the health and efficiency of their PV array at any given point in time.
Solar Asset Management Software
Solar asset management applications can be used for a variety of purposes, including performance monitoring, contracts and compliance, tasks and work orders, invoicing, reporting, financial analysis, document management, and more.
BluePoint is an asset management solution for renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, hydropower, and more.
The software provides a 360-degree view of your assets, allowing you to track and extend their lifecycle. All data is kept in a secure, cloud-based solution.
BluePoint is particularly helpful for those who own or operate multiple assets, as asset information can be presented within a single dashboard, indicating total MW capacity, upcoming milestones, contracts, open tasks, and more.
The platform’s tagging feature allows data to be searched easily by keyword, system, or portfolio.
Arbox specializes in asset management software for the solar and wind industries. Its flagship product, Arbox HAP, is a cloud-based platform that can help you run your assets more efficiently and maximize your production.
The software allows users to perform both technical and financial asset management in a single platform. Features include operational administration, financial management, performance monitoring, and report generation.
ACTIS, a solar asset management software by Alectris, provides users with tools such as real-time monitoring, service and asset management, PPA billing, project management, technical and financial reporting, cost management, sales and marketing, and more.
The software can monitor KPIs for individual systems as well as KPIs aggregated over an entire solar portfolio. Additionally, asset managers are automatically alerted if cash flows drop below expectations so they can adjust the system as needed.
Solar Project Management Software
Large commercial solar projects can be complicated, with many moving parts at any given point in time. That’s why solar project management software is so critically important to commercial solar installers.
Rather than getting stuck in the weeds of a project, these tools allow solar companies to take a step back, and focus on generating new leads instead.
ENACT is an integrated solar project management platform that allows users to design systems, identify financing, monitor installation, and provide asset management.
In particular, ENACT’s installation management features stand out. The tool enables users to monitor milestones through its workflow system, manage subcontractor bid processes, create project checklists and schedules, and coordinate multiple workflows.
The software is tailored toward corporate solar customers, from industrial investors to retail and hospitality.
SolarNexus combines CRM, design tools, proposal generation, and project management within one solar platform.
This software is intended to help smaller commercial solar installers streamline processes, such as designing and quoting projects, so they can spend more time scaling their business.
SolarNexus is one of the oldest solar project management applications in the market, and as such, is highly trusted within the industry.