Updates August 2022

Overhead line basic engineering, improved layout of roads and cables, new BESS SLD document

pvDesign - backend v8.0.32, frontend v3.3.0

This month we released a huge new feature, the basic engineering of the overhead line connecting the substation to the grid. The project to develop this feature has been long and arduous, but we believe the result is great and that this release complements the capabilities of pvDesign.

The algorithm which lays roads, fences and cables has been greatly improved. The new algorithm will produce more natural results, with roads that get closer to the structures in the perimeter of the blocks. An analogy of what the new algorithm does is that roads will surround structures like a rubber band. This improvement results in lower length of roads, cables and fence.

August also saw the release of a new meteorological data integration with Solcast, a new document for the BESS engineering, and improved elevation and site details modals.

New Features

The following new features were included in this release:

  • Overhead line basic engineering: pvDesign can now generate the basic engineering documentation for the overhead line connecting the PV plant to the grid. To use this feature, add a path element in the KML file with the name "OHL". This element represents the path that the overhead line will follow to the grid, and it must start at a point inside the substation. pvDesign will position the towers, size the conductors, and calculate electrical characteristics and mechanical loads to validate the design. The algorithm will consider the elevation of the ground as well, to position more towers where necessary. Two new documents will be available after the simulation: the overhead line design report, and a drawing with profile views of the entire line. Additionally, the bill of quantities has been updated to include the OHL entries.
  • Improved layout of roads and cables: We made great improvements to the algorithm which designs the roads (and which is also used to lay down cables and the fence). The new algorithm produces roads which are closer to the structures, similarly to how a rubber band adapts to irregular shapes. This improvement is especially noticeable with configurations using perimeter roads and complicated site definitions. Additionally, LV cables are now less likely to be laid down outside the fence area, especially when they have to cross restricted areas, in which case they will follow the existing fence.
  • New MV-LV SLD for Batteries: We have added a new document to the BESS documents package. It is a SLD drawing, available in DXF and PDF formats, which includes the electrical connections in the BESS. The entire system is represented: the batteries themselves, inverters, power stations, and cables. Each MV line in the BESS is represented in its own page.
  • Solcast integration: It is now possible to automatically load TMYs into pvDesign using the Solcast API. To do so, you will need to enter your API key in the My Company page, in the integrations tab. Data can be loaded automatically for every project when a site is uploaded, or on a per-project basis.
  • Improved elevation and site details: The modals representing the slopes of the terrain (elevation details) and the areas of the KML file (site details) have been remade to use Mapbox. The new versions load faster than before, especially for large sites. We have also simplified the layer structure of the terrain slopes DXF document.
    Elevation details

Bug fixes and improvements

These bug fixes and improvements were released in August:

  • Fixed a bug by which the role of users couldn't be edited by managers.
  • Reimplemented the counter of projects in the Info tab in the My Company page.
  • Updated translation texts in the front end.
  • Fixed a bug which occurred when the first user was added to a company.
  • Fixed a bug which prevented CAPEX template creation if the currency was changed.
  • Improved the users management page.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the minimum historical temperature not to update when uploading a site in design process.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the power station service mode to be incorrect.
  • Made some changes to the PV Collada file to improve compatibility with PVsyst.
  • Fixed an issue which caused road shortcuts created by the user to be deleted when the shortcut was outside the fence.
  • Fixed a bug in the BESS layout which was caused by incorrectly considering the UTM convergence.
  • Disabled the offset and turning axis layout rotation modes for east west structures.
  • Updated the translations in the Chinese and French documents.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the switching and breaking station not to consider the BESS rated power.
  • Mitigated a potential problem in the terrain interpolation which could cause non-deterministic behavior.
  • Fixed a bug where if the overhead line was a straight line it was simplified to a two-point line.
  • Fixed some bugs which caused simulation failures due to the improved roads layout.