SketchUp for Solar PV Systems


Online Short Course – Start Today!

SketchUp for solar PV systems is a complete course for you to create professional 3D models and 2D drawings in one day!

SketchUp by Trimble is arguably the most widely used computer aided design software in the world today.  It’s offered in free and paid versions, and allows users to draw and design in 3D.

This course provides step-by-step video instruction for drafting a commercial solar PV system in SketchUp. View the project you will complete in the video below:

You will learn to:

  • Use Nearmap, Google maps and Sketchup’s inbuilt location function.
  • Use Sketchup tools to create a realistic view of existing buildings including all features of the roof.
  • Correctly place PV modules on the roof.
  • Perform Shading analysis to optimise your system design.
  • Create AC and DC SLDs to include in your reports.
  • Create professional site plans and string layouts.
  • Use the flyover video tool to impress your clients.
  • Export your SketchUp data to use in AutoCAD and PVsyst.

You will also have a quiz at the end of each chapter to assess your knowledge.

Is this course for you?

This course is ideal for students with prior solar design knowledge moving beyond residential solar designs. This course won’t teach you how to design solar PV systems.

This course uses SketchUp Pro which can be downloaded for a free 30 day trial or purchased here. It is possible to complete this course without a SketchUp licence. However, we highly recommend that students have access to the SketchUp Pro or Studio full licence or trial version.

Endorsed by SketchUp on LinkedIn:

This course is eligible for 30 core CPD points with the Clean Energy Council (CEC), valid until 9 March 2023, and 6 hours professional development with Engineers Australia.

Enrolment Instructions:

This course uses Auto-Enrol, which means students gain immediate access to the full course upon enrolment. 

  • If you are enrolling yourself in this course, do not tick the “Purchase for someone else” box. Your account on this website, created during checkout or a previous purchase, will provide the details required for your automatic account creation on our student training portal. You will receive course login details via email within a few minutes after purchase.
  • If you are enrolling one or more students other than yourself, please tick the “Purchase for someone else” box. You will receive an email within a few minutes after purchase. Use the link included in this email to enter the student/s details (this may include yourself), and the accounts will be created on our student training portal.
  • Ensure names are entered as they should appear on the completion certificate. Student’s names and email addresses can only be altered after enrolment by GSES staff. Ensure email addresses are entered correctly, as this is how course access is provided.

If you experience any technical issues during enrolment, please contact the GSES office on or +61 2 9024 5312. Staff will be available to assist during business hours only (AEST/AEDT).


Prior solar design knowledge is highly recommended.

Course Outline

Part 1: Introduction to SketchUp 3D

  • Introduction to SketchUp working space and tools
  • Importing the site image from Google Maps and Nearmap (for Australia)
  • Creating a 3D model of the building using the imported image
  • Drawing roof edges, ridges and obstacles

Part 2: Module Placement and Shading Analysis

  • Place solar panels on the roof, considering the roof materials and structure
  • Using the shading tool to complete the array configuration
  • Create an inverter station elevation
  • Add aesthetic details to your model such as people and trees
  • Create scenes and animations of your model

Part 3:  LayOut System Documentation

  • Learn how to use templates and create your own page template
  • Use Microsoft Excel (or other spreadsheet programs) for calculations to add to the documentation
  • Create site plans, DC Single Line Diagrams and AC SLD’s as part of the system documentation.
  • Export 2D and 3D designs into a professional package.
Training Outcome

Students that complete the course successfully will receive a certificate of completion.

This course is eligible for 30 core CPD points with the Clean Energy Council (CEC), valid until 9 March 2023, and 6 hours professional development with Engineers Australia.

Materials and Equipment

A computer with internet access is required. Dual monitors are recommended.

Delivery Method and Duration

This course is estimated to take 6 hours to complete. The course is self-paced and has an access duration of 1 year, so you can refer back to it after finishing. The delivery is done online through videos and quizzes.

Cancellation and Refunds

A full refund is available within 14 days of purchase, on the condition that the student/s have not yet logged into the student portal. Due to the online nature of the course, no refunds are possible once the course has been accessed on the student portal.

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