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.
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