Updates April 2023

Group areas in LV, no roads layout configuration, customizable report covers

pvDesign - backend v10.1.1, frontend v4.14.0

In April we released two new features which will help you improve the quality of your layouts. The ability to group areas in LV is key to reach the peak power requirements, especially when using central inverters. Additionally, it means it is no longer necessary to separate available areas with restricted areas to achieve the effect, simplifying the user experience greatly.

The no roads layout configuration is mean to be used in small PV plants. The removal of roads increases the fill factor of the available area, resulting in higher peak power.

Finally, it is now possible to customize the covers of the reports generated automatically by pvDesign. This change simplifies the workflow of users generating reports for other customers.

New features

The following new features were released in April:

  • Group areas in LV: This new feature allows users to indicate that some available areas can share the LV system. Previously, an inverter could be contained in one area only. This had the effect that if an area was too small, there could be unused structures due to DC/AC ratio restrictions. With this new feature, an inverter can have structures in more than one area, resulting in much higher peak power in certain conditions. Several groups of areas can be defined. Within a group, it is possible to define which areas are filled first and which can be left empty, using the priority selector. To select which areas are grouped, use the "Group areas in LV" option found in the design process preview map. To learn more, head over to this page.
  • No roads layout configuration: It is now possible to generate layouts which don't have any roads. Removing roads leads to a higher area fill factor, because it is no longer needed to leave gaps through which roads may pass. The power station location also changes. When the no roads option is selected, the power stations will be placed as close to the access point of the available area as possible. Finally, this option is only available if the PV plant has 1 power station only, or if each area is smaller than 5 ha. The new no roads option is available in the Layout tab in design process, in the layout configuration sub-section.
  • Customizable report covers: Add a second logo, and the name of your customer, to the covers of the reports generated by pvDesign. To do so, enable the "Prepared for" option in the generate design dialog. You can set the name of the customer in the Prepared for field, and add their logo as well. This additional information will be present in all reports, in DOCX and PDF formats.

Bug fixes and improvements

These bug fixes and improvements were released in April:

  • Improved the dialog used to add designs to the comparison tool.
  • Fixed a bug causing the layout 3D to be missing the help text.
  • Fixed a bug causing the sorting function of the inverters table not to work for the Pnom field.
  • Added a confirmation dialog when deleting a user.
  • Redesigned the dialog to add new users.
  • Changed the units in the dialog used to create structures, and improved the gaps dialog.
  • Improved handling of decimals in the design process page.
  • Fixed a bug which affected the OHL phase conductor cross section value.
  • Fixes an issue with scrolling in the application in small screens.
  • Fixed issues which were causing previews and designs to hang loading.
  • Improved how the grouping algorithm handles unbalanced equipment.
  • Improved the shape of the groups when using border adaptation mode.
  • Fixed a bug which caused simulations to fail in some minimum perimeter layouts.
  • Improved the positioning of power stations in exterior roads.
  • Changed the auxiliary transformer in the substation when AC BESS is selected. Now a circuit breaker is used, instead of a fuse.
  • The susceptance column in the power flow document is now included along other positive sequence values.
  • Improved the speed for loading sites in pvDesign.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the OHL not to be read correctly from the KML file.
  • Fixed the connection of roads between shortcuts and other roads.
  • Fixed a bug which allowed border adaptation to be selected for incompatible configurations.
  • Improved the routing of MV cables when only perimeter roads are present.
  • Fixed a bug which caused MV cables to cross structures in some cases.
  • Improved the routing of MV cables for the no roads configuration.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the recommended value of strings per box to be wrong in some cases.
  • Fixed a bug which occurred when custom topography was used with earthworks and which caused simulations to fail. The bug only occurred if there were extreme topographical features in the custom topography file.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the first site uploaded to a project to be missing the NASA SSE and NASA POWER meteorological data sources.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the PVGIS meteorological data source to be imported incorrectly, resulting in erroneous energy simulations.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing simulations to take longer than expected to complete.
  • Fixed a bug which was causing layout preview errors when cloning designs with deleted sites.