Updates October 2021

New terrain XYZ document, improved equipment positioning, batch design improvements

pvDesign - backend v5.2.4, frontend v1.2.6

In october we released many improvements which should increase the quality of the results and polish the user experience.

New Features

The following new features were released:

  • New Terrain XYZ document: This CSV file contains a sampling of the elevation values in the terrain in which the PV plant is located. The values reflect the presence of earthworks platforms. The elevation points are sampled using a regular grid. Opening the CSV file in Microsoft Excel allows users to deeply analyze the results, for example drawing charts showing profiles of the terrain.
  • Improved equipment positioning: The algorithm which positions the low voltage equipment (e.g. the string combiner boxes) has been remade and optimized. Now the boxes are grouped in columns or rows (depending on the roads criteria) to reduce the length of trenches.
  • Batch design improvements: After the initial release in september, we have been gathering user feedback and evolving the user experience of the feature. We made many small improvements to the design of the user interface and the interaction between the inputs set by the user. We also fixed some bugs when changing between unit systems in the interface.
  • Substation earthworks: pvDesign now automatically calculates the earthworks required to flatten the substation area. The resulting earthworks volumes are shown in the interconnection facility design report, and the platform is shown in the Layout 3D.
  • Design creation time improved: We reduced the time it takes to create a design. This is especially noticeable when creating multiple designs, which should now take just a few seconds to start the simulation process.

Bug fixes and improvements:

We also released the following small improvements and bug fixes:

  • We fixed some simulation bugs which resulted in errored designs.
  • We fixed an issue which occurred when regular blocks and string inverters were selected.
  • We improved the behaviour of the search bar in the CAPEX templates page.
  • We improved the design report so that the secondary inverter information is not shown if no secondary inverters are actually used in the PV plant.
  • We improved the selection of terrain for the layout 3D. Now the terrain boundaries are selected using a convex hull enveloping the PV plant, which results in a higher resolution for the terrain.
  • Fixed a bug which occurred when maximum capacity and peak power mode was selected, and the PV plant was very small. In some cases inverters without strings were installed.
  • Fixed some bugs which resulted in errors in the energy simulation when the production was zero.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the structure codes in the topography analysis document to be too big.
  • Added a center road in small PV plants, when no other roads are better.
  • Improved the algorithm which selects the roads access position.