We redesigned for you the “design process” workflow, by making the map the central element. We allow users to directly visualize how changing inputs affects their layout; thereby, accelerating and optimizing a design even better than before!
Our guiding principle for this year is making pvDesign a fully interactive software. Allowing you a much quicker and easier way to iterate your designs, while also finding the most optimal ones.
That’s why we redesigned for you the “design process” workflow, by making the map the central element. With this redesign, we allow users to directly visualize how changing inputs affects their layout; thereby, accelerating and optimizing a design even better than before!
Now by simply looking at the map, you can get a bird’s eye view of all your design parameters and you can check your estimated power values at all times.
If you want to know more about the reasons for this change check out our blog post.
Where are the inputs now?
In the ‘Location’ tab you are able to upload all the files necessary to define the characteristics of your project location.
In this section, you can upload your site in KML format and select between the sites you have already uploaded for the project.
In this section, you are able to upload your topography in CSV format and select between the elevation files you have uploaded for the project and the ones already available in pvDesign.
1.3. Meteo data
In this section, you will be able to upload your meteo file in CSV format of different providers or choose one already available in pvDesign.
In the ‘Equipment’ tab, you are provided with the option to select the main equipment of your project among the extensive public database of pvDesign and your private equipment database. You will also be able to define some characteristics related to the selected equipment.
2.1. PV module
In this section, you are able to select your module and see its characteristics.
In this section, you can select between central or string inverters, each with their own characteristics. In case of using a central inverter, you can select the option to include a secondary inverter. When you are using East-West structures (defined in the structures settings) you can also select the MPPT configuration.
In this section, you are allowed to appoint the type of structure you are going to use in your project, the options are:
- Fixed structure
You will be able to select the model from our public structure database and can also define all other characteristics (e.g. mounting system) such as:
- Number of strings per structure
- Number of structures per linked-row tracker
- Modules per string
- Mounting system
- Minimum ground clearance
- Pile length
- Mono/bi/tri -pole (for fixed and East-West structures)
- Tilt angle (for fixed and East-West structures)
- Ridge distance (for East-West structures)
2.4. Power station
In the power station section, you can model the power station to your desire. You are to define:
- The number of inverters per power station
- Transformer losses (Iron and copper)
- Service indoor or outdoor
In the ‘layout’ tab, you are able to define the inputs that affect the layout like the capacity you want to install or distances between components.
3.1. Power requirements
The power requirements section allows you to choose between operating with a maximum capacity or specific capacity. In addition, energy clipping can be enabled. Other parameters you can select are:
- DC/AC ratio
- Number of inverters
- Rated power
- Peak power
This design section enables you to set any distance between the components of your PV plant like:
- Pitch distance
- Clearance distance
- Distance between structures
- Distance to perimeter
3.3. Layout configuration
The layout configuration section lets you select any alignment to the infrastructure of a PV plant. The design choices are:
- Type of layout: Regular block or adaptive design
- Roads: Horizontal, vertical and perimeter
- Width of roads
- Structure alignment: Uniform arrangement or border adaptation
- Rotation: Rotated, offset or turning angle axis
3.4. Power station location
This section gives you the opportunity to determine the location and dimensions of the power station.
In this tab you can define the slope limitations of your structure and the earthworks limits to modify the surface of the plant and install more structure.
In this section, you can choose to remove the structures that exceed yours limits.
In this section, the limits of the topography tool can be defined.
- Structure installation limits as slope in % (For North-West and East-West slopes)
- Apply earthworks up to as slope in % (For North-West and East-West slopes)
- Undulation tolerance as the variation of the defined post length in cm.
- Apply earthworks up to as variation of the defined post length in cm.
5. Grid point
In this tab, you can define the grid point interconnection of your project.
5.1. Electrical sizing
In this section you’ll be able to define the electrical standard you want to use for the sizing of the interconnection facility.
5.2. Connection type
In this section you’ll be able to define:
- MV and HV level
- The type of interconnection facility between switching and breaking station or substation.
- Type of arrangement in case of substation
In this section you’ll be able to define the following losses:
- Losses of the transformer of the substation (iron and copper losses)
- Overhead line voltage drop
5.4. Grid requirements
In this section you’ll be able to define the power factor in the substation input or output.
In this tab, you can define the electrical parameters of your PV plant.
6.1 Solar Field
In this section, you can define:
- The string grouping inside a structure
- The configuration between the strings and the inverters
- The number of strings linked together
6.2 Cable sizing
In this section you will define the sizing of all the electrical systems of your project. You can choose:
- The electrical standard
- The maximum voltage drop
- The ground temperature
- The soil thermal resistivity
You’ll be able to define the parameters for each type of cable:
- String cables
- String box to inverter cables
- MV cables
The parameters you can define are:
- The section
- The maximum number of unified section
- The maximum number of circuits per polarity
- The material: Aluminum of Copper
- The insulator type: XLPE, EPR or PVC
- The core: single DC or Multiple DC
- If the cables are under direct sunlight
This tab is where you’ll define all the parameters related with the energy yield calculation.
In this section, you can choose the number of years of the simulation.
Here you can define if you want the horizon data from PVGIS 5 or a flat horizon.
7.3 Surface Albedo
pvDesign gives you the possibility to choose between various surface albedo options or choosing the MODIS sensor.
7.4 PV Module Losses
In this part, you can choose the values for some of the main PV plant losses.
- First Year PV Module Degradation
- Yearly PV Module Degradation
- Soiling Losses
- Module Quality
- Module Light-Induced Degradation (LID)
7.5 PV Plant Losses
Here you will find:
- The power consumption of the plant’s auxiliary systems.
- Photovoltaic plant availability
- Grid availability
You can also enable the inverter’s auxiliary consumption losses for the primary and secondary inverter which are:
- Auxiliary consumption
- Consumption threshold
- Night loss
7.6 Advanced Configuration (Energy Tab)
Here you can also modify the following parameters:
- Constant heat transfer coefficient
- Wind loss factor
- Table transparency
- IAM loss model
- Time shift
In this tab, you can define the prices per unit and the taxes for all the entries of the Bill Of Quantities (BOQ) or choose to load an existing CAPEX Template.
You can select between two different currencies: USD ($) and EUR (€) and set the value for the Operating Expenditures (OPEX) and the discount rate.
For any other questions or more information regarding this topic, you can contact us at: email@example.com