AutoCAD : Site & PV System Design for Permitting

This course focuses on solar PV design for residential roofs and these skills can be extrapolated to any other PV application such as commercial or ground mounted systems. AutoCAD, a design software created by Autodesk to generate 2D drawings, blueprints, layouts and schematics, will be used to communicate solar designs to the client and inspectors. The permit process is an essential step before the purchase of equipment. Students will learn the fundamentals of AutoCAD and create a package of the three documents necessary to get an approved permit. The objective is for students to learn to navigate the AutoCAD workspace and layout all the components and electrical systems on paper - an invaluable skill to have as a designer!

PREREQUISITE : Introductory Photovoltaic Design - Kim Curran


1. First Class: Introduction. 2 HOURS

What is CAD?
What is a technical drawing?
Introduction to the AutoCAD Workspace - Ribbon, Tabs and Panels
What is the Cartesian and Polar Coordinate System
Units, Options and Shortcuts
Customizing the workspace

2. Creating and Modifying Objects. 3 HOURS

What is model space and paper space?
Drawing Lines, Circles, Rectangles, Splines and Arcs using different inputs
Introduction to Blocks, Library and Layers
Manipulating Objects: Arrays, Move, Copy, Offset, Mirror, Boolean ops, Fillets and Chamfer
Manipulating Objects: Break, Join, Rotate, Scale, Trim and Extend Objects
Switching units, Measuring & Dimensioning

3. Site study & component line diagrams. 4 HOURS

Studying & Measuring a Residential roof
Structural and Electrical review of the PV System
Creating a Title Block for your drawing
Importing the site jpeg to create an AutoCAD version of the roof
Creating line diagrams of all system components

4. Structural Integrity, Site plan and 3 line diagram. 4 HOURS

Assessing structural loads, roof design and material properties
Review essential NEC and Fire codes needed for this site
Selecting electrical and mechanical hardware and equipment
Drawing a Single Line diagram of the site plan
Creating an electrical drawing - 3 Line Diagram

5. Spec sheets, Mechanical diagrams, Dimensioning and Annotating. 3 HOURS

Creating an electrical drawing - 3 Line Diagram - CONT.
Creating a spec sheet and manuals document
Dimensioning the Site Plan
Creating mechanical diagrams of conduits, Racks and Footings
Annotating (texts and leaders) the drawings

6. Excel in AutoCAD, Printing. 2 HOURS

Creating an Excel sheet linked to AutoCAD
Importing drawings into Paper Space
Organizing the Plans for printing
Saving in PDF format
Plotting and Publishing