This article explains how to create your own cost templates inside pvDesign.
In pvDesign, you can create and use cost templates that the software uses to calculate the CAPEX, specific price, and LCOE of your PV plant. pvDesign will also generate a financial report based on these prices.
This section can be accessed directly from the left-hand sidebar. Over here, you can either create new templates or modify existing ones in your private database.
You'll see two tabs, one is the public database with templates of several countries with cost values from IRENA, you can't modify these templates but you can clone them and edit them according to your needs and these will be saved in your private database. The second is your own private database where you can create templates for your company only.
To create a new template, simply go to the Private tab and click on the “+” symbol. This will open a dialogue that requires you to enter the template name, the required currency, and to select between two options, either to use an existing template or to start from scratch. You can use templates from the public or the private database. If you clone a template from the public database, the new modified one will be saved in your private database.
You can also directly clone or delete a template by clicking on the respective icon over each template card.
Regardless of which option you select, there are various actions that can be done with the templates. These include:
- Creating new entries, categories, or subcategories
- Deleting existing entries, categories, or subcategories
- Modifying their name
- Selecting the reference unit
- Inserting the price/unit
- Inserting a tax percentage
Once you are done creating a template make sure to click on the “Save and exit” button. You can also save your changes while working on it with the "save changes" button and undo a change by clicking on the “Undo” button. Modifications of the chosen currency can be done over here as well.
You can also copy a column of numerical values from Microsoft Excel and directly paste it into your pvDesign template. This can only be done inside the same subcategory.
By default, when you create a new design, pvDesign will automatically select the CAPEX values from IRENA for the location, but you can also select your own template to use.
Once a template is created in your private database, you can use it during your simulation process to calculate the CAPEX, specific price, and LCOE of your PV plant and generate a financial report.
Inside the simulation process, in the “Costs” tab, you can select the desired template and add the OPEX and discount rate values.
Here, you can also modify the currency if you prefer and change the name of each entry, reference unit, price per unit, and tax percentage.
Once any change is applied to a template, you can use it to create a new template by clicking on the “Save as a new template” button. You can also undo changes by clicking on the “Undo” button.
If you clone a design where CAPEX were defined, the values will be persistent in the cloned design.
If you modify the template inside the design process but do not save it as a new template, pvDesign will keep of copy of the modified version. If you clone a design with modified CAPEX entries, the cloned design will have the same modifications. pvDesign will show you a tag "modified" next to the CAPEX template name to warn you.
The values entered in the Cost Tab will allow the software to calculate the Total Price, the Specific Price, and the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
The LCOE is calculated following the formulas shown below.
- OPEX: stands for operating expenses. It refers to the cost required to make sure that the energy plant is working properly during its lifetime.
CAPEX: is the capital expenditure. It refers to the investment cost required to develop the project.
- Energy production j: is the energy produced by the plant minus the nighttime energy consumption during year j
- r: is the discount rate.
- j: is the year under study.
- n: is the total number of years of simulation defined in pvDesign. This parameter reflects the PV plant’s lifetime.
A financial analysis will also be generated by the software. This financial analysis consists of a detailed document where all the units and prices of all the entries selected in the Cost tab are shown.
By creating cost templates inside pvDesign or using the default values, pvDesign will automatically calculate the CAPEX, the specific price, and the LCOE of your design and generate a financial report.
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