Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps energy construction contractors choose the right solar software to design the layout of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Showing 1-20 of 82 products

Procore

Procore manages your projects, resources and financials from project planning to closeout. The platform connects every project contributor with the owner and general or specialty contractor. The centralized dashboard allows managers... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 62 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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JobNimbus

JobNimbus is a CRM and project management solution suitable for home service companies. Manage your contacts, tasks, and projects from start to finish along with detailed reporting capabilities. With JobNimbus, businesses can manage... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 36 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ComputerEase

Deltek, together with ComputerEase, provides cutting edge, integrated construction accounting and project management software. This innovative, user-friendly product not only improves the way contractors run their business, but it... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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UDA ConstructionOnline

UDA Technologies’ ConstructionOnline offers a web-based, integrated approach to project management, project scheduling, and customer management. Designed for emerging construction businesses in the homebuilding and remodeling industries,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica Cloud ERP delivers a cloud and mobile technology platform designed for mid-sized customers with a complete, real-time view across the business anytime, anywhere, and on any device with a browser. From on-line accounting... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Accubid Electrical Estimating

For electrical, industrial mechanical, and ICT contractors who need a flexible estimating tool to quickly and accurately create estimates, Trimble’s Accubid Estimating is a full-featured estimating solution. Available in multiple... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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CMiC

For 40+ years, CMiC has delivered enterprise software to general, specialty and heavy/highway contractors as well as project owners. The CMiC platform can be deployed as a multi-tenant SaaS solution, as a private Cloud (PaaS) or on-premise.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Jonas Enterprise

Jonas Enterprise is an intuitive, integrated solution for contractors that has been present in construction and service management for over 25 years. The application offers service, accounting, and operations project management capabilities... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Oracle Primavera

For more than 30 years, successful projects around the world have relied on Oracle’s Primavera solutions to plan, build, and operate critical assets. It is the only solution that integrates project and portfolio planning and delivery... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Explorer Eclipse

Eclipse by Explorer is a cloud-based construction accounting and project management solution designed for contractor businesses. It caters to medium to large construction companies belonging to different construction businesses, such... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Plexxis

Plexxis offers comprehensive solutions created specifically for the most demanding specialty sub-contractors. With on premise, subscription, cloud-based and mobile options, Plexxis delivers office and field efficiencies for accounting,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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B2W Estimate - Estimating & Bidding

B2W Estimate software for heavy civil construction estimating and bidding enables contractors to bid with speed, accuracy, and strategy. Users can pre-populate a centralized database with cost data and structures for labor, tasks,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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McCormick Estimating Software

McCormick Plumbing & Mechanical Estimating software was developed specifically to handle the needs of construction firms that operate in the plumbing and mechanical piping trades. The software’s strength lies in the estimating, takeoff,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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Assignar

Assignar is a cloud-based construction management solution suitable for businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include timesheets, custom forms, inspections, scheduling, compliance management, invoicing and payroll. Workers... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Infinity

Infinity is a cloud-based construction management solution that helps small to large enterprises manage HR operations, field layouts and building information modeling (BIM) services. Users can configure role-based access across projects... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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A.C.E.

Actual Cost Engineering (A.C.E) is a cloud-based construction management solution designed for all major building trades. Key capabilities include estimating, project management, scheduling and job costing. A.C.E. enables contractors... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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MEC Pro

MEC Pro is a desktop browser and mobile-friendly cloud-based platform for small to medium-sized residential and commercial contractors who need a system to project estimate, quote, get deposits, create jobs, source materials and track... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Jobber

Jobber is a cloud-based field service management software solution that allows small and midsize service businesses to manage field staff, provide customer support, and expand business operations either through a mobile app or a desktop... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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AccuLynx

AccuLynx is a cloud-based CRM and business management application with iOS and Android apps designed for the roofing, gutter, siding, windows and other exterior construction trades. Contractors can use AccuLynx to manage every aspect... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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e-Builder

e-Builder is a cloud-based construction program management solution for capital projects that provides performance data across the project lifecycle. Facility owners can track business processes with centralized project information,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Buyers guide

Designing the layout for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is a complicated process that many energy construction contractors need to manage while overseeing material costs and customer requirements.

Not only do contractors need to calculate the exact cost of raw materials required to install the solar panels, inverters, or power optimizers, they often also need to provide detailed return on investment (ROI) reports calculating annual energy savings for both commercial and residential customers.

All these administrative tasks can result in contractors having less time to spend on designing solar panel layouts. Enter solar design tools, which reduce administrative clutter by automating the design process and manage costs and customer requirements in a centralized dashboard.

In this buyers guide, we'll take a look at how solar design software helps automate key processes.

Here's what we'll cover:

  • What is solar software?
  • Common features of solar software
  • What type of buyer are you?
  • Benefits of solar software
  • Key considerations when purchasing solar software

What is Solar Software?

Solar software (aka solar design software) helps residential and commercial solar construction businesses plan and design layouts for installing PV panels on rooftops or other locations to optimize energy efficiency. These systems also help business manage solar sales proposals by showing customers PV panel design layouts, track material costs for PV system installations, manage energy storage, and generate energy usage reports and estimates.

HelioScope solar software

View of photovoltaic solar system design in HelioScope (Source)

Common features of solar software

Solar software often comes loaded with features, many of which may not be specific to your business needs.

When making your software purchase, focus on the core or common features offered by your shortlisted solutions to ensure you invest in the right tool. Here are the common features you should look for when evaluating solar software:

2D and 3D drawing

Create 2D and 3D drawings of area layouts for PV panel installation.

Animation

Create 3D animations of PV panel layouts to gain a holistic view of PV electrical fittings.

Electrical schematic design

Create blueprints of the electrical schematics required to connect PV panels to main electrical units.

Bill of materials

Create a list of every part or component that makes up a product, including product numbers and quantities.

Data import/export

Users can import/export images, files, and PDFs as needed.

Reporting dashboard

View information related to solar power consumption, financial analysis, and energy savings in a single dashboard.

What type of buyer are you?

Choosing the right solar software depends on the size and requirements of your solar industry business.

Here are three common types of solar software buyers and their unique considerations:

  • Small and midsize businesses. In this segment, buyers have a limited software budget, and their primary concern is often tool pricing. As small and midsize energy construction contractors typically offer solar energy solutions to residential units or smaller businesses, they can use cloud-based solar software instead of on-premise tools to stay within their budget.
  • Large enterprises. Businesses in this segment require software with advanced functionalities, and often have a larger budget to work with. Larger energy construction contractors cater to a wider audience, often installing solar panels on a bigger scale (e.g., warehouse rooftops, industrial buildings). Cloud-based solar software allows larger construction enterprises to choose from a suite of features such as 2D PV layout design, proposal generation, and sales management.
  • Best-of-breed buyers. This segment of buyers has mixed business requirements, similar to those listed above. Since they offer solar energy solutions to residences as well as bigger industrial units, these contractors often need solar software with a complete suite of features.

Benefits of solar software

No matter which of the above three buyer segments you belong in, solar software can help your business. Let's take a look at three key benefits:

  • Reduces raw materials waste. By creating the exact layout for each panel's installation, solar software helps business gauge the amount of raw materials required for electrical fittings to avoid waste.
  • Aids proposal and sales management. For customers who aren't sure how much they'll save by using solar power, solar software helps business generate proposals to highlight overall ROI post-installation.
  • Estimates total energy consumption for prospective systems. Once a PV layout is created, solar software reporting dashboards can estimate overall annual energy savings and assess the cost benefits of solar panel installation.

Key considerations when purchasing solar software

Your final step when purchasing solar software is evaluating these key areas to ensure your business makes the ideal purchase:

  • Integration with third-party software. Are you already using imaging software such as AutoCAD to design solar panel layouts in 2D and 3D? Ensure that the solar software you purchase integrates with this and any other design software you use.
  • Customer support. Does the solar software vendor offer 24/7 customer support? Are there any training modules or FAQs that can help you troubleshoot encountered issues? Make sure the vendor offers any and all support your business needs before purchasing.
  • Mobile application. Determine whether the solar software vendor you're considering offers a mobile app so employees can use the solution while working off-site.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.