Updates March 2022

New cable routing algorithm, customize medium voltage cables

pvDesign - backend v5.6.14, frontend v1.6.1

In March we released a key change to the layout calculation model of pvDesign. We have released a complete revision of the cable routing algorithm, designed to address the issues of the old algorithm in complex geometries, and to make the design easier to build from an engineering perspective.

We also released a new feature to allow for more customization, many quality of life improvements and a ton of bug fixes.

New Features

The following features were released in March:

  • New cable routing algorithm: We have completely revamped the cable routing algorithm of pvDesign. The first priority was to improve the MV system. The new MV cables closely follow the roads, trying to avoid the structures as much as possible. This was especially problematic in sites with complicated terrain, as shown in the video below. The MV lines are now connecting power stations using straight lines, resulting in trenches which are easier to build. Finally, when an MV cable has to cross an area to go to the substation, it will now follow a path using the roads in the area. The second priority was to improve the LV routing as well, and the new algorithm produces LV cables which are better aligned and follow more logical paths around structures.
  • User defined MV cables: It is now possible to predefine the tracing of MV cables interconnecting areas to the substation and between each other. To do so, create a folder in the KML file named “mv cable”, and define the trajectories as paths connecting the two areas. The new trajectories can follow geographical accidents and avoid bodies of water, resulting in more accurate cable lengths, which will in turn affect the sizing and cost estimation.
  • Intersection of restricted areas allowed: We have improved the site upload process to allow for restricted areas to intersect each other. This will help when defining more complex sites with overlapping restrictions, and will also reduce the chance of failure when importing KML files from external sources.

Bug fixes and improvements

In March, we released the following bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed a bug which caused simulations to fail when the substation area was very slender.
  • Improved power station positioning when using regular blocks.
  • Fixed an issue which caused simulation results not to be repeatable.
  • Added the Chinese language translation for east west structures.
  • Fixed an issue in the French design report which caused power units to appear twice.
  • Added new columns to the listing of cables, detailing the number of cores, whether or not the cable is under direct sunlight, temperature added by being under direct sunlight, and number of circuits in a group.
  • Fixed several issues which occurred when there were very narrow corridors between available areas.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the layout document to be rendered incorrectly.
  • Added the following new CAPEX units: total cables and total trenches, segregated by level.
  • Fixed an issue which caused problems with power station positioning with horizontal roads and embedded power stations.
  • Fixed an issue which caused low voltage cables to ignore restricted areas.
  • Improved the routing of MV cables around perimeter roads cut by internal restricted areas.
  • Fixed a bug which caused a simulation failure due to the energy calculation when the site was very small.
  • Fixed a bug which occurred when switching the inverter type.
  • Fixed the calculation of parameters in the multiple designs dialog when east west structures were selected.