OpenSolar 3D Design Tool Provides Unmatched Accuracy in New Findings by Two of the Solar Industry’s Leading Expert Resources

SYDNEY & SAN FRANCISCO–()–OpenSolar, Inc., a solar SaaS company keenly focused on empowering solar installers with the world’s most accurate and entirely free solar design and sales platform, today announced the findings of independent, third-party assessments that validate the unmatched accuracy of its solar design tool. As a result, by utilizing OpenSolar’s industry-leading design tool, solar installers will have full confidence they are providing customers with the most accurate photovoltaic (PV) designs that fit their solar energy needs. Combined with other key features of OpenSolar’s free-to-use platform, including access to a range of state-of-the-art hardware, a portfolio of competitive solar financing options, and on-demand customized permitting proposals, the company enables solar installers to convert more prospects into booked sales while saving time and eliminating the costly licensing fees attached to other solar design and sales platforms.

As part of OpenSolar’s validation process, the company engaged with PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) and the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), two of the solar industry’s most trusted expert resources, to provide independent, third-party assessments of the accuracy of its design tool. The assessments include the following processes and findings.


OpenSolar asked the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which has been benchmarking shading accuracy of solar design tools for years, to assess the company’s 3D design tool. NREL compared the shading estimates provided by OpenSolar’s remote 3D tool with assessments made on the same roof using a SunEye, the world’s leading hand-held electronic shade measurement tool for on-site assessment. NREL found the accuracy of OpenSolar estimates to be best-in-class.​

  • OpenSolar’s assessment of Sun Access Values was accurate to within +/- 3%
  • The current US market leader was only found to be accurate to within +/- 5%

Site Assessment

OpenSolar engaged PVEL, the leading independent lab for the global downstream solar industry, to assess the accuracy of its system-generated site models. PVEL took measurements both in the field and in OpenSolar across a wide range of differently shaped and sized roofs. PVEL found the accuracy of OpenSolar’s models to be best-in-class.​

  • OpenSolar’s assessment of scale was accurate to within 1 ⅓ feet 100% of the time (no other tool provides as narrow a tolerance)
  • OpenSolar’s assessment of pitch was accurate to within 4 degrees over 97% of the time (no other tool provides as narrow a tolerance OR such high compliance)

Energy Modeling

OpenSolar’s energy modeling (the conversion of key inputs, including pitch azimuth and shading into the key output: production) is based on NREL’s most advanced System Advisor Model (SAM). The company engaged with PVEL to validate the integrity of OpenSolar’s implementation of SAM, when comparing it to industry standard energy modeling tools like PVsyst or standalone implementations of NREL’s SAM. PVEL found:​

  • OpenSolar’s energy modeling is consistent with standard engineering practices
  • OpenSolar’s production figures are within 0.0%-0.2% of standalone SAM estimates
  • OpenSolar’s production figures are within 0.1%-1.9% of PVsyst estimates

To view and download the full reports visit

“Our assessment of OpenSolar’s software confirms that its implementation of the SAM energy production model engine is accurate and in line with industry standards for residential and commercial projects and its 3D ray tracing calculations of beam shading are as good or better than other available products,” said Ryan Desharnais, Chief Technical Officer of PV Evolution Labs (PVEL). “We also sent measurement teams to a wide range of residential rooftops and verified the accuracy of OpenSolar’s physical site assessments. When taken together, these findings demonstrate that OpenSolar can produce high-quality energy generation estimates for solar projects.”

“OpenSolar’s best-in-class design accuracy has been vetted thousands of times over by installers globally since our launch in 2019,” said Andrew Birch, OpenSolar’s Co-Founder. “Now, following the assessments made by two of the solar industry’s most trusted expert resources, we can undoubtedly lay claim to providing the most accurate, all-inclusive photovoltaic designs in the industry for free through our platform.” Birch continued, ”I pose the question to solar installers globally, ‘why pay for a PV design tool that’s less accurate when you can use the industry’s most accurate tool entirely for free?’”

About PV Evolution Labs (PVEL)

PVEL is the leading independent lab for the downstream solar and energy storage market and a member of the Kiwa Group. As a bankability testing pioneer, PVEL has accumulated more than a decade of measured reliability and performance data for PV and storage equipment. Today PVEL provides developers, investors and asset owners with a suite of technical services for mitigating risk, optimizing financing and improving system performance throughout the project lifecycle. PVEL’s flagship Product Qualification Programs for PV modules, inverters and energy storage systems connect manufacturers with a global network of 400+ downstream partners representing 30+ gigawatts of annual buying power. Learn how PVEL makes data matter at

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

​​NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC.

About OpenSolar

OpenSolar launched in 2019 with a mission to scale solar globally by providing installers with innovative software technology and an equally innovative business offering – the world’s first entirely free-to-use design and sales platform. Solar installers can use OpenSolar’s end-to-end platform to build complete customer proposals, including the industry’s most accurately designed systems, an array of state-of-the-art hardware, on-demand customized permitting proposals, and a portfolio of competitive financing options. Instead of charging a licensing fee to utilize its software, OpenSolar provides its software free of charge and instead derives revenue from its partner affiliates in hardware and finance. By utilizing OpenSolar, installers can avoid costly software licensing fees and instead, invest more money into other areas of their businesses, confident they are using the very best design and sales tools available in the market, all for free. OpenSolar is based in Sydney, Australia, with remote offices in the U.S. For more information, visit

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