Updates February 2023

Default equipment selection, new topography interpolation method, upload custom horizon profile

pvDesign - backend v9.13.1, frontend v4.9.0

In February we released a long awaited feature: the possibility of selecting the default equipment for new simulations. Using this feature, company managers can simplify the design process for users, reducing the number of steps required to create a design.
We also released a new topography interpolation algorithm for custom topography, which improves the quality of designs when using high resolution topography data, or data generated using contour lines.
Finally, it is now possible to upload a custom horizon profile in CSV or HOR format. The custom horizon profile will be used in the energy yield simulation.

New Features

These new features were released in February:

  • Default equipment selection: pvDesign users can now define the default equipment which is selected when starting a design in a project. The module, inverter and structure can be chosen from the public and private databases. The default options can be set company-wide or in a per-project manner. This change allows managers to automate part of the design process, by speeding up the selection of equipment and setting a standard for the company. Please check out this knowledge base article for more information.
  • New topography interpolation method: Custom topography files uploaded in CSV format will now use a Triangular Irregular Network (TIN) interpolator to generate the Digital Elevation Model (DEM). TIN replaces the Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) interpolation method for custom topography. This new interpolation method is better suited for CSV files generated from contour lines. It can also improve the quality of the DEM when the CSV file has very high resolution (for example, less than 5 meters). The file size limit for topography CSV files has been increased to 500 MB. Additionally, if the file is not too large, the TIN mesh will be used directly as the ground in the layout 3D document, resulting in a very accurate graphical representation of the terrain. For more information, please download the Topography Analysis Methodology.
  • Perimeter roads: Using this new feature, users can generate a layout which only has perimeter roads. Two options are available: full perimeter roads, and minimum perimeter roads. In the first case, the entire PV plant is surrounded by a perimeter road. In the second, the minimum roads are placed to connect the power stations to the access point, discarding redundant roads. These two options are only available if the PV plant has 5 power stations or less.
  • Upload a custom horizon profile: It is now possible to manually define the horizon profile used in the energy simulation, by uploading a CSV or HOR file. The file will contain the elevation and azimuth of each point in the profile. You will find a detailed explanation in the knowledge base article.
  • Improved location details in design process: The details for the site, topography and meteorological data are now shown in the same map as the PV plant in design process. This change is especially useful to overlay the topography details on the plant design, so that slopes can be shown on top of the structures.
  • Better overhead line tower spotting: The algorithm now uses an improved objective function which favors elevated and centered locations. This is achieved by considering the elevation of the terrain and the distance to neighboring towers. We also fixed a bug which could cause simulations to get stuck.

Bug fixes and improvements

The following bug fixes and improvements were released in February:

  • In the Grid Point tab in Design Process, users will now get a recommended value for the High Voltage level, based on the site location.
  • Fixed a bug in which three winding transformers could be assigned only one MV line.
  • Fixed a bug which caused harness cables to be missing in the financial analysis document.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the MV cable connected to the MV point to cross over structures.
  • Fixed a bug which caused LV cables to be unable to get connected to the middle of a partial structure.
  • Fixed a geometrical tolerance error which caused simulation failures.
  • Fixed an issue in the grouping of inverters into power stations when a secondary inverter was defined.
  • Fixed an issue which occurred when deactivating MFA for pvDesign users.
  • Fixed a bug in the layout of structure piles which could cause simulation failures.
  • Improved the calculation of the distance to the ST polygon, and the polygon simplification of areas.
  • Fixed an issue which occurred when connecting areas with MV cables when the areas contained many sub-areas.
  • Improved the layout of LV cables so that they can avoid crossing perimeter roads unless necessary.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the MV lines assigned to a three winding transformer to be assigned to separate MV switchgears.
  • Fixed a bug which caused fences not to be placed in some subareas in very specific cases, when using perimeter roads.
  • Minor changes in the German language documentation.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the power factor estimation to be wrong.
  • Improved the error messages when an issue occurs during the login.
  • Fixed an issue when dragging and dropping in the design comparison.
  • Fixed a bug when adding a new gap between piles in the structure creator.
  • Fixed a bug in the sorting of modules by type in the equipment page.
  • Improved the visual appearance of the tables in the equipment page.
  • Fixed a bug in the CAPEX templates page when a template was created without a name.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the layout turning angle not to be recalculated when changed the layout orientation.
  • Fixed an issue which caused CAPEX filters not to be applied when changing tabs.
  • Fixed translation errors.
  • It is now possible to compared archived designs.