Updates November 2019

Layout using bifacial modules, sizing using power factor requirements, delivery point power limit.

pvDesign - version 3.3.20

November has seen the addition of many new features and improvements to the software. Below you will find a description of each feature:

  • Layout using bifacial modules: We added the option to simulate using bifacial modules and structures. You will be able to get the layout, design report, bill of quantities and drawings; however, the energy simulation is not yet available for bifacial modules. To use bifacial modules, look for the "Type" column in the table of modules, and the "Designed for" column in the table of structures. We will be adding bifacial modules and structures to the database as quickly as we can, and in the meantime you can email us if you want more equipment added to the database.

How to select bifacial modules and trackers

  • Plant sizing with power factor requirements: It is now possible to take into account the power factor requirements when sizing the photovoltaic plant. We will estimate the required power factor at the inverter output to meet a specific requirement at the substation. The DC/AC ratio is calculated using the active inverter power, so when the power factor at the inverter output changes, the size of the DC field will be adjusted. The power factor is also taken into account in the energy simulation.

Plant sizing using power factor

  • Delivery point power limit: Set a delivery point power limit to cut off the energy production if a certain active power value is exceeded. The limit is applied at the substation output. If the active power limit is left at zero, the energy production would be zero after the cutoff is applied, so it is not possible to simulate without changing the value.
  • Other energy inputs: Users may now modify the iron and copper losses of the transformers in the power stations and the substation. The plant availability is now split in plant availability and grid availability.
  • Flat horizon profile: During the past few days the PVGIS web service has suffered some downtime. This caused the site upload to fail due to the unavailability of the horizon profile. As a workaround, it is now possible to select a flat horizon if the PVGIS service is unavailable. The flat horizon can also be used to disable the far horizon losses in the energy simulation.

The following improvements and bug fixes were made:

  • We fixed a bug which caused the electrical current value in the listing of cables to be wrong for MV and LV AC cables.
  • We added some energy losses which were missing from the web view in the design page.
  • We fixed some typos in the design and energy reports.
  • We fixed a bug in the layout simulation process which caused some simulations to fail unexpectedly.
  • We fixed a bug which made the user profile page fail on saving changes.
  • We made improvements to the structure modals, to show the new fields used in bifacial structures.