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solar   /    Jun 15th 2021

The Top 5 Best Solar Design Software - Pylon, Aurora, HelioScope, SolarPlus, OpenSolar

Making the right choice when looking for the best PV software will make a meaningful and long-term impact to your business.

In this post we provide a brief summary of each solar design software along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Pylon Solar Design - $0 Monthly Fees


Pylon Solar Design Software has no monthly fees and Hi-Res Imagery Included


Pylon is popular because it is easy to use and affordable. The design studio is gesture-friendly to improve design times on Desktop and iPad.

Some solar installers say that their design times have been cut by 50% by using Pylon.

Another difference is Pylon includes high resolution imagery in its software. Most solar software sell this as an add-on.

Pylon has high resolution imagery with 5.5cm per pixel resolution with 90% coverage in Australia, USA, and New Zealand. We have seen solar installers cut their imagery and software bills by 2/3 by joining Pylon


Pylon’s pay-as-you-go model reduces your overheads. Pay - $4 Per Project, and No Monthly Fees.

Aurora Solar


Aurora Solar is a good choice for utility-level solar installation businesses, popular in the USA for commercial and utility-grade solar designs. While providing users with a good feature-set, Aurora Solar is very pricey.


  • Utility-Grade Designs
  • Energy Modelling


  • $$ very expensive
  • Proposals are corporate - not compelling to residential market

Find out more about Aurora vs Pylon here.



OpenSolar is known as the ‘free’ option for solar design software. But is OpenSolar really free?

OpenSolar onboards solar installers like you for free, then refers them to Nearmap for high-resolution imagery. Nearmap locks you into a contract and charges you a monthly fee. Nearmap presumably pays OpenSolar for each solar installer they refer.

If you need support, that will cost you $280 per month for 8 support tickets, and $35 for every support ticket after that. If you need help setting up, you will be charged up to $2,500. This is paid through another company called SunWiz. Sunwiz shares revenue with OpenSolar.


  • Free


  • You need to pay $$$$ to use it
  • OpenSolar has dubious data ownership agreements in its T&Cs

While OpenSolar’s feature set is usable, some customers find them lacking as an all-around solution.

Learn more about OpenSolar vs Pylon here



HelioScope is another good choice for your solar installation business. The feature set is one of the better we have seen; HelioScope compares to Pylon well.

However, you will be stuck paying monthly fees as well as buying your own imagery. Additionally, you will not have a CRM and integrations are limited. HelioScope is not a complete solar design solution.


  • 3D Solar Shading
  • Residential Load Profiles
  • Solar Design features


  • $ per user per month

Learn more about HelioScope vs Pylon here



SolarPlus combines a CRM with solar design tools. SolarPlus did not previously have imagery included, but with SolarPlus V4 they include MetroMap imagery.

The pricing for SolarPlus is complicated. You will pay a monthly fee, but they also have per prospect fees and and kW per hour caps.


  • CRM Included


  • Very Pricey $$$
  • Low Hi-Res Imagery Coverage
  • Pay Per User Per Month
  • Solar Design Features are basic

Learn more about SolarPlus vs Pylon here

Our Recommendation - Best Solar Design Software: Pylon

We recommend Pylon Solar Design software. It has the best feature-set for the best price, giving you more value for money.

Your data is private, and you can grow your team for $0 Monthly Fees, and Unlimited Users.

Proposals are compelling and convert well.

Solar CRM integrates seamlessly to increases solar lead volume and handles 2-way SMS and email for communication.

Try it for free today.


Oseh Mathias

Oseh Mathias

Oseh Mathias helps solar installers learn more about Pylon and close more deals with the #1 Solar Design & CRM Software.

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