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System Design Board

The system design is based on a quick and simple procedure:

  • Specify the desired power or available area
  • Choose the PV module from the internal database (pull-down menu)
  • Choose the inverter from the internal database (pull-down menu)

PVsyst will suggest an array/system configuration, that allows you to conduct a preliminary simulation.
The software includes a color-coded warning / errors messaging system. If there’s a mismatch, an issue or a warning with your design, you will be informed accordingly within the corresponding frame/window.

Video tutorials

System sizing: Visual tool

A specific tool gathers all the constraints relating to the sizing of a specific system :

  • For the number of modules in a series: the upper diagram shows the I/V curve of the PV array, together with the MPPT range, voltage, power, and current limits of the inverter.
  • For the inverter sizing: the second graph displays the annual distribution of the array power, with the array and inverter nominal power.
  • The optimal sizing of the inverter is based on the acceptable overload loss throughout the year. It usually leads to over-size the power ratio (array nominal power with respect to the inverter nom. AC power), by a factor of 1.25
  • You can define different losses such as near and far shadings. Specialised tools are also provided to evaluate different losses due to wiring, module quality, mismatch between modules, soiling, thermal behaviour, mechanical mounting, system unavailability, etc.

3D Shading Scene

  • User-friendly object manipulation and creation
  • Easy import from external CAD tools (Sketchup, Helios3D, AutoCAD, etc) Easy import of topography files in CSV format
  • Quick design: sheds layout, table areas
  • Orientation identification and scene validation
  • Sun Point of View Simulation
  • Multithreaded shading calculations
Video tutorials

Simulation and results report

The simulation calculates the energy distribution throughout the year.

Main results:

  • The total energy production [MWh/y] is essential to the yield and profit evaluation of the PV system under study.
  • The Performance Ratio (PR [%]) describes the quality of the system itself.
  • The specific energy [kWh/kWp] is an indicator of production based on the available irradiation (location and orientation).

The report shows the main energy gains and losses (PDF report available for export with several customisation and comparison functions).

It is a powerful tool that enables a quick analysis of the system’s behaviour and also to consider potential improvements in the design.

Video tutorials

Grid Storage

Storage in a grid system is a complex feature, as it may have different objectives, leading to specific strategies and different PV system configurations.

Up until now, we have developed 3 strategies in PVsyst:

  • A storage for enhancing the self-consumption of the PV system owner.
  • A storage for ensuring peak shaving, when the grid injection power is limited.
  • A storage to ensure availability of power to the user, when the grid is deficient, with frequent power cuts.

In each case, the energy flows are different and lead to different simulation results. We use here the case of self-consumption as an example.

Meteo databases

Main features :

  • Direct search for a given location from an on-board mapping (OpenStreetMaps)
  • Complete interpolation of the Meteonorm 8.0 program for any location on earth

Available weather databases:

  • Meteonorm 8.0
  • NASA – SSE
  • PVGIS – TMY (5.1 & 5.2)
  • NREL / NSRDB TMY
  • Solcast TMY
  • Solar Anywhere TGY
Video tutorials

PV modules and Model Management, Inverters

PV modules and model Management:

  • Sandia model implementation and comparison with PVsyst model
  • Tools for optimization parameters (low-light, I/V curve)
  • New parameters (tolerance, IAM profile, Vmax UL)
  • Optimizers (SolarEdge, Maxim, AMPT, TIGO et Huawei)

Inverters

  • New parameters (Transfo, CEC efficiency)
  • Multi-MPPT with asymmetric inputs (unbalanced) and advanced Power Sharing
  • Improved selection and search by manufacturer
Video tutorials

Ageing

Multi-year batch simulation:

  • For different operating years, with the same weather data
  • For a set of yearly weather data files
  • Results and graphs on the report

Bifacial calculations

Bifacial model for fixed tilt rows (unlimited sheds) and tracking 1-axis systems (unlimited trackers)

  • Calculation of irradiance reaching the ground, and of the reflected light reaching the front and rear side of the PV modules
  • Calculation of direct and diffuse irradiance from the sky for both sides of the PV modules
  • Adjustable parameters to account for strucrture shadings, mismatch due to non-uniform irradiance on the rear side, and bifaciality of the PV modules

Optimization tool and batch mode

Serialized simulations and sheds optimization tool:

  • Changing the spacing between rows
  • Bifacial: changing the height from the groundBatch mode

Batch mode

This powerful tool can help you make design choices by monitoring key simulation results for almost any input parameter in the variant:

  • Much wider range of input and output parameters
  • Batch simulations with detailed output results
Video tutorials

Economic evaluation

System cost evaluation:

  • CAPEX (installation cost)
  • OPEX (operating costs)
  • Ability to define customised costs for your system

Pricing strategy:

  • Detailed definition of feed-in tariffs: fixed, variable or customised, hourly or seasonal variations
  • Resale policy: connection fee, yearly rate variation, time or price guarantee
  • Economic parameters for self-consumption

Advanced financial analysis:

  • Investment funds distribution: own funds, loans or subsidies
  • NPV (Net Present Value) and LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) calculation
  • Inflation, discount rate and detailed depreciation management

Profitability analysis:

  • Yearly balance sheet, payback period and return on investment rate
  • Graphical results: tables, plots and pie charts
Video tutorials

Solar Pumping

Simulation of a solar pumping system:

  • Hydraulic characteristics of the borehole or river
  • Water tank system characteristics
  • Hydraulic circuit characteristics
  • Water requirements definition (yearly, monthly, daily)
  • Selection of pump, PV modules and pump controller from the internal database
Video tutorial

Isolated system with storage

Simulation of a grid-isolated system with storage:

  • This tool enables the simulation of an off-grid installation with energy storage (park with batteries)
  • The basis of this tool is the definition of the user’s needs (loads)