SolarAPP+ is a web-based PV-permitting tool for residential systems provided at no-cost to AHJs. NREL will release updates as code revisions and new technology support emerge.
Changes made in each software update are listed below. To better understand how these changes may impact permitting processes, please visit Contractor's Guide: Releases Notes for a more detailed description of actions or adjustments needed by our installer community as they fill out the SolarAPP+ individual project application pages. For a view of planned improvements and new features, please visit SolarAPP+ Product Roadmap
2.4.0 Released on May 19, 2022
- Enabling additional Admin roles to support ramping for jurisdictional onboarding
- A permanent link to this "Release Notes" page has been added to the contractor Projects Page for ease of access
- Enabling PCS as a feature for jurisdictions to turn on
- Export of Revision Approval Documents now include updated inputs
- Error message R674 for sub panel inserts now populates where the error was empty previously
- Restored Installer jurisidictional search feature
2.3.0 Released on May 5, 2022
- Made security improvement updates.
- Enabled Subpanel Inserts for PV Only in all jurisdictions
- Added appropriate specificity around Type distributed generation (DG) cable for conductors installed without a raceway as it pertains to NEC 2017/2020
- Added confirmation that the eligible equipment for compliance with ESS fire hazard detection requirements has been confirmed with the jurisdiction.
- Updated code references for IRC's R328.4(3) and R328.4(4) approrpriately.
- Reconciled backend CEC data syncronization after CEC updated their formatting
- Incorporated additional validation to ensure DCDC converter products are chosen only for DCDC converter architectures
- Improved readability for long individual entries on all pdfs.
- Enabled fee absorption option for jurisdiction should the jurisdiction choose to absorb the processing fee
- Added Unit Testing for onboarding new jurisdictions
- Improved accuracy around the calculations to determine Combined ESS energy capcacity
- Adjusted the order of a few long form items to be more readable and logical, particularly around confirming you have reviewed SolarAPP eligiblity.
- Added 3 new tooltips to help the user understand the questions
- Address validation/assignment issue in Pima/Tucson resolved.
2.2.0 Released on April 21, 2022
- Made security improvement updates.
- Updated fire bulletin for energy storage projects to include ventilation requirements for ESS products that offgas.
- Changed electrical code year verbiage, and wire types, added notes for ESS weight, seismic zones and wiring configurations in the eligibility checklist.
- Tooltips, & some note formatting
- New verifications for PV inverter input Voc and Isc
2.1.0 Released on April 4, 2022
- Modules and racking are now being checked for UL2703 compatibility
- Multiple tool tips added and updated to assist users through project submittal.
- Clicking next through page navigation now saves the data from that page only, instead of resaving all inputs from previous pages.
- Corrected a bug where “Racking Systems” was labeled “Rapid Shutdown”.
- Updated the final button in the workers comp overview to clarify the process of previewing the user’s inputs before the payment and submittal process to the AHJ.
- Added references to Table 240.6(A) from the NEC.
- Added previews of the Fire bulletin and eligibility checklist directly into the project submittal page.
2.0.0 Released on March14, 2022
- Site messages displaying based on relevancy to signed in or non signed in users.
- Displaying inputs for fire sprinklers and roof area for BIPV and BIPV + Storage projects
- Editorial updates to “Racking” section inputs
- Create UL2703 grounding and bonding database
- Fixed referrer tagging in links that take users out of SolarAPP+ (Youtube, Help Scout)
- Updated NGINX
- Improved the framework for stress testing the system
- Fixed a glitch removing a small risk of AHJ settings being deleted.
- Added documentation to Github on development spec interpretation.
- Added inputs and logic to enable ESS projects to be compliant with 2021 IRC and July 1st amendments to California Fire Code
- Update to CEC documentation and compliance checks for ESS projects
- Improved reliability of test servers when projects are queued
- Corrected display of fire requirements for BIPV depending on code years
- Accela API integrations for approval ID and inspection card
- PHP version updated to v7.4
- Improvements to submission process and server calculation logic to reduce the risk of DOS on the server
1.9.0 Released on February 15, 2022
- Added seismic design category question to jurisdiction onboarding forms
- Changed language on application question on system height from the rooftop: "What is the maximum distance from the module backsheet to the rooftop?"
- New eligibility checklist item added: projects must be installed on permitted structures.
- Added public website links to download the SolarAPP+ Fire Bulletin
- Incorporate page breaks in Fire Bulletin to improve legibility
- Upgraded to Laravel version 6
- For AHJs using the standalone method, enabled the option for AHJs to choose to absorb Stripe processing fees in the onboarding forms
- Added Fee Field List as a reporting option for administrators to better manage AHJ fee structure
- Server maintenance times now displayed on banner located on SolarAPP+ home page
- Under the application section "New Panelboard for Relocated Loads," removed exception for wire sizing derates
- Updated various code references, including revised code citations for roof mounting planes, roof covering material, roof fire classification, roof pitch, and ground snow load.
- Corrected and updated labels on load calculations for the main service panel and new subpanels
- Revised language on inspection checklist items related to array conductors and rapid shutdown devices
- Enhanced Main Panel Upgrade Fees for Stand Alone AHJs
- Added ToolTips to provide additional guidance on questions related to utility service feed rating
- Added link to CEC Solar Equipment list in ToolTip for energy storage equipment
- Added inspection checklist item: "Disconnecting means for supply side equipment is marked as 'suitable for use as service equipment'"
- Updated logic for calculations related to PV combiner panel, wire count
- Added inspection checklist item for DC-DC converters
- Updated logic surrounding point of interconnection inspection items
- Input data files created for testing FC RIDs, PV+ST and BIPV+ST with ACM inverter, Microinverters, and/or DC-DC inverters.
- Adjusted windspeed input by replacing non-standard AHJ override with a string interpolation and a standard AHJ override
- Installers now required to enter phone number in registration forms
- Added test to accurately show that the installer has been fully onboarded
- Various system fixes to accommodate building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)
- Language edits to ToolTips
1.8.0 Released on January 26, 2022
- Built in support for NEC 2020 and IRC 2021 code cycles.
- Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) logic improved, and the inspection checklist question, "Where relocated loads are extended greater than 6 feet, then AFCI breakers are installed according to Article 210," will now always show when installing a new subpanel.
- On jurisdictions that enforce the 2020 NEC, Power Conditioning System (PCS) tie-ins are now available at the Main Service Panel, Existing Subpanels or New Subpanels.
- Modifications were implementation to the interconnection section in the inspection checklist and long form for greater flexibility in checking compliance with all eligible Code Cycles (2017/2018 and 2020/2021). In addition, Power Conditioning System (PCS) was added as a new method of interconnection.
- Modified "Interconnection at Main Service Panel" of the inspection checklist. The Center-Fed 120% rule and End-Fed 120% rule options were merged into one rule to avoid discrepancies with the approval documents and the installation.
- Code references were improved to enable the software to accurately reference 2017/2018 vs 2020/2021 code cycle references, depending on the jurisdiction's eligibility settings.
- File upload locations were modified by tagging uploaded documents with unique identifiers in the SolarAPP+ database, improving system robustness.
- Added functionality for displaying contractor helper text (tool tips) adjacent to more complicated input questions was implemented in the application forms.
- All code references were removed from input dropdowns. References can now be found in the helper texts (tool tips).
- Various compliance checks for NEC 2020 requirements for solar-plus-storage projects were built into the system.
- The NEC and IRC/IBC code cycle will now be included in the long form under the section "General" - "Project Information".
- Specific minimum service size checks will now be performed for Main Lug Only Panels, only allowable under NEC 2017.
- The Fire Bulletin is now a PDF that is instantly generated for each project based on the jurisdiction's account settings.
- The homeowner name is now required as an input on the first page of the application form.
- Support for multiple code cycles now enabled for all jurisdictions, e.g., to allow for selection of NEC 2017 or NEC 2020.
- Various language improvements to application forms and approval documents, addressing feedback from regulatory officials.
- Installer upload documents can now be downloaded individually by system admin to improve customer support.
- Published SolarAPP+ Adoption at a Glance page.
- Published updates to SolarAPP+ Press Page.
- All links in the application form will now open a separate tab in the browser.
- Provisions from the California Title 24 amendments adopted July 1, 2021, were moved from the Fire Bulletin into the project application forms.
- Fixed multiple misspellings
- "A Main Panel Upgrade is being performed" long form output will no longer display "N/A", only "Yes" or "No" when applicable
- Inspection checklist issue fixed by removing unnecessary display of the following question: "Maximum number of THWN-2 conductors in the raceway with the wire being used to reduce the AFC to less than 10kA, excluding any equipment grounding conductors."
- Inspection checklist item moved from the "Installation Details" to "General Guidelines": "Conduit sizing to be confirmed at time of inspection. Contractor to provide conduit fill calculations where requested by inspector"
- Demo environment fix: Bug with duplicate approval documents and approval IDs resolved.
- Moved the question "Are the ESS model 1 and PV Inverter certified as a single unit with no field wiring between the battery components and the inverter components? (Note: Only up to two PV string inverters are supported)" after "Upload datasheet for ESS model 1" to improve permit application flow.
1.7.0 Released on December 13, 2021
- Added General Guidelines section at the top of the inspection checklist to clarify that equipment must follow instructions in manufacturers' documentation, wire size values are a minimum and may be upsized, and installed OCPD ratings must exactly match those on the inspection checklist.
- The calculated sum of 125% of the continuous output current from the generation sources will now be rounded to the nearest integer, allowing the platform to accommodate provisions of the NEC that allow for rounding of half amperes in calculations.
- Selection of NM Wire is now restricted to AC Modules and Microinverters.
- Added structural checks for energy storage system (ESS) mounting equipment to align with ASCE-7-16 13.1.4.
- Projects may now utilize multiple DC coupled battery models, expanding SolarAPP+'s eligibility and allowing for greater flexibility.
- Expansion of allowable backup initiation Devices by enabling support for internal, external, and meter-mounted microgrid interconnect devices (MID) and automatic transfer switch (ATS) technologies.
- Added support for multiple ESS Models on a single permit application.
- Added support for supply side connections using a main lug-only panel.
- Inspection checklist and long form language improved for readability and polish.
- Local Settings and Integration Method jurisdiction onboarding forms improved to allow for easier configuration and set up.
- Existing and New Subpanel projects updated to allow for the use of an existing subpanel tie-in along with a new subpanel in projects. For example, contractors can now use a main panel insert.
- Created new optional input of project valuation to meet local jurisdictions' requirements.
- Added microinverter rating as an eligibility requirement in the eligibility checklist: "Whenever used, microinverters or AC Modules must be rated for a 20A branch circuit overcurrent device," and removed the attestation from the application forms.
- Clarification on combiner panel OCPD question in the application form: "What will be the Overcurrent Protection Device rating of the PV inverter only combiner panel output?" Moved the question to the "Equipment - Inverter" input section.
- Installer Dashboard function to filter by jurisdictions improved
- Added a "cancel" button to the Edit Fees page for jurisdictions
- Removed logic that would cause the "sum of breaker" rule to return a compatibility error on certain edge cases
- Installers directed toward links to the input training instead of licensing menu if onboarding is incomplete
- Fixed compatibility check bug with code compliance checkbox attestation in "Installation Applicability and Compliance" section
1.6.0 Released on October 28, 2021
- Modules/DC-Series String: adjusted acceptable range for maximum quantity of modules in a DC series string. Modified compatibility conditions for longest DC string: 30 for DC-DC converters and 17 for MCIs.
- Added function on jurisdiction project dashboard to export a CSV file of all submitted projects
- Project dashboard can now be filtered by installer and project type
- Consolidated local settings, integration method, and address validation into single Configuration page
- Reorganized dropdown menus to improve navigation
- Standardized template on dashboard pages
- Added display that summarizes the following data: breakdown of project types, number of installers, number of approved projects, and number of revisions
- Added function on installer project dashboard to export a CSV file of all submitted projects
- Project dashboard can be filtered by jurisdiction, state, project owner, and date range
- Improved ability to edit installer profile page
- Reorganized dropdown menus to improve navigation
- Installers can now view jurisdictions in their defined territory, view the status of their license (e.g., expired, verified, pending verification), and add/edit licenses on the 'Jurisdictions' page in their account
- Included option to add a new territory under the installer's active jurisdictions
- Enabled installers to edit uploaded licenses (changes status to "pending validation")
- Added required training (How to Use SolarAPP+ For Rooftop Solar Projects) to onboarding pages
- Added message to indicate server timeout during UUID verification
1.5.1 Released on October 19, 2021
- Updated Fire Bulletin (Less Than/Greater Than)
1.5.0 Released on October 14, 2021
- Order of equipment inputs refined; contractors now enter (1) architecture type, (2) manufacturer, (2) model, and (4) data sheet.
- Table calculation error messages improved for clarity
- Product Piloting Functionality, allowing AHJs to enable/disable contractors for piloting project types (e.g., for limiting PV+ST submissions)
- Added new functionality to change project type, e.g. from PV to PV+ST
Released on October 6, 2021
- Approval uploads dashboard (My Uploads) enabled for contractors under the account dropdown menu.
- New language for input questions: combined strings in parallel.
- Optimizer and Mid Circuit Interrupter (MCI) revamp to expand equipment databases for improved code compliance verification.
- Internal Optimizer database.
- Internal MCI database.
- Ancillary Equipment attestation to ensure all equipment is rated equal to or greater than the connected overcurrent device and installed per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- PV inverter and ESS voltage and short circuit current must now be displayed in labels on site, now added to the inspection checklist.
- Equipment Rating options for Load Side Tap and Supply Side Connection expanded in equipment dropdown lists.
- Current carrying conductor questions language improvements.
- Improved order of inputs regarding electrical equipment.
- Inverter architecture is now part of the inspection checklist.
- Workers' comp upload feature enabled for AHJs that require it.
- Enhanced platform support for inputs that can have a varying number of answers, e.g. structural mounting planes.
- Miscellaneous language improvements.
- New AHJ UUID validation: data to validate property addresses improved to ensure AHJs have a unique UUID.
Released on August 19, 2021
- Current Carrying Conductors: improved language for clarity around several inputs under circuit requirements. Installers are asked to specify the number of conductors in a raceway from the array to the inverter, excluding equipment grounding conductors.
- Microinverters Custom OCPD: Installers now have the option to enter custom overcurrent protection device ratings for combined inverter outputs.
- Wire Sizing for Microinverters Custom OCPD: updated calculations to reflect accurate wire sizing for the combined output of custom microinverter overcurrent protection devices.
- Improved labels for the generation panel by adding long form table references to increase flexibility for overcurrent protection devices.
- Added links to more easily access the SolarAPP+ Help Center on the home page.
Released on August 5, 2021
- Energy Storage Equipment expanded to support for DC Coupled Batteries with a Hybrid Inverter. SolarAPP now includes storage systems battery equipment listed in the California Energy Commission database.
- Load Side Taps Enabled: Added new section to electrical page, 'Point of Connection at Subpanel Feeders,' allowing contractors to select equipment and compliance methods for interconnection at subpanel feeders.
- Energy Storage System (ESS)-only Combiner Panel: For PV + storage projects, contractors may indicate whether they are combining inverter outputs in an ESS-only combiner panel with no loads. If 'Yes,' Contractors must specify busbar size.
- Standardized breaker and bus sizes: changed input fields to dropdown menus for various items to ease the inputting of information and reduce user error. Among other aspects, contractors may now select from a range of values for OCPD ratings and busbar ratings for new subpanels with relocated loads
- Improved and updated error messages for clarity when contractors input ineligible specifications.
- Generation Sources Combiner Custom OCPD: Added new section for projects with ESS inverter outputs that are combined in dedicated generation sources panel with no loads. OCPD devices must match or exceed checklist/long form minimum.
- Minimum DC Wire Sizes: Contractors are allowed to enter wire sizes that match or exceed the minimum on the inspection checklist.
- "Roof" section on inspection checklist changed to "Roof and PV Array"
- Supply Side Connections: "Point of Connection at Service Feeders" section created for project questions related to supply-side connections, and "Supply Side Connection" section created in the long form.
- Questions on minimum DC wire size for microinverters under "PV Source Circuit" section made visible only if the contractor selects "No" for the question, "Is 1 Microinverter used per module?"
- Added "Signup for Newsletter" opt-in to profile page.
- Corrections to system infrastructure: input order for equipment, backfeed calculations, equipment options for energy storage, etc.
- Visibility of point of interconnection question - "Will all power production outputs have the same point of connection?" - made conditional on whether the project involves multiple inverters or AC mods inverter architecture.
- Clarified the calculations displayed in long form items: microinverter branch continuous output current and AC module branch continuous output current
Released on July 1, 2021
- California Interim Code Update: included relevant code updates to the Fire Bulletin so SolarAPP+ can support CA jurisidictions
Released on June 29, 2021
- Installer onboarding revamp: added field for contractors to input licensing information, ability for contractors to add contact information, etc.
- Enable contractors to enter custom OCPD sizes for string inverters if OCPD meets or exceeds SolarAPP+'s calculated minimum.
- Fixed bug that undersized allowable branch circuits of microinverter/AC module by changing to calculation of backfeed calculated from continuous current instead of OCPD sum.
- Incorporated main panel upgrades (with associated fees) and main breaker derates as eligible system add-ons.
- Conduit fill calculation removed, allowing greater flexibility for inspectors in the field checking wire size.
- Implemented new demo server, allowing AHJs to test pilot projects in SolarAPP+.
Released on June 8, 2021
- Standardized overcurrent protection device and bus sizes – added dropdown menus for each field in project forms to ease equipment selection.
- Added new fields in application form and inspection checklist for projects using Energy Storage System (ESS) only combiner panels.
- Load side taps and supply side connections: Compliance checks and inspection checklist items for load side taps
- Load side taps and supply side connections: included supply side connection category in project inputs and long form
- DC coupled energy storage: included support equipment from battery list from California Energy Commission (CEC)
Released on May 25, 2021
- Stripe payment for AHJs resolved
- Inspection forms: overcurrent protection calculations
Structural: inputs for mounting planes, flush mounts, roofing material additions
Inspection forms: overcurrent protection calculations
- Structural: inputs for mounting planes, flush mounts, roofing material, etc.'
- Self-onboarding dashboard for AHJs; integration with existing permitting software
- Updated equipment in CEC database
- Questions expanded to include new details regarding main panel upgrade, main breakers, main service panels in project application forms, inspection checklist, approval documents
Released on May 11, 2021
- Compliance checks for supply side connections
- Website redesign to improve navigation and dashboard user interface
- Added input fields for main panel upgrades into project submission forms and inspection checklist.
Released on April 28, 2021
- Interconnection method for subpanels: Main Panel’s Compliance Tie-in Method Check override resolved
- "0" now valid input for maximum number of DC current carrying THWN-2 conductors in raceway
- DC Wire sizing on string inverters with DC-DC Converters using parallel strings, valid input revisions
- Longform output (R242), the displayed sum of overprotection current now equals the displayed sum of sized backfeed breakers
- Value displayed for the maximum number of DC current carrying conductors in raceway for AC module architectures revised
- Scroll when editing in input boxes resolved
- Display error resolved: “What is the subpanel overcurrent protection (breaker) Amp rating?”
- New and revised questions on project forms for PV+ST project application, microinverter, OCPD combined inverter in inspection checklist
- Expanded the roofing material list to cover all the roofing materials listed in Chapter 9 of the IRC, including elastomeric roofing.
- Application status updates: Can 'Edit' an approved application to 'Draft' status.
- 72" maximum spacing between standoffs to address absence of point of load limitation
- Upsizing for breakers for inverter continuous output currents that are on the limit of current thresholds to incorporate NEC 220.5 (B)
- Minimum working clearance requirement in the inspection checklist refers to NEC 110.26
- Revised project inputs to allow PV wires to be sized without a raceway