Screen Shots - IVTracer

PV-DesignPro | SolarPro | Worldwide Hourly Climate Generator | IVTracer | ModuLab | SunPlot3D

IVTracer is a versatile tool intended for use by a variety of people associated with the manufacture, marketing, distribution, design, integration, testing, and operation of photovoltaic systems. IVTracer can actually be applied for individual cells, individual modules, or arrays of modules in a system. It can also be used as an educational tool for illustrating the performance characteristics of photovoltaic modules under different operating conditions.

Module manufacturers can use the Sandia electrical performance model in conjunction with IVTracer to fully describe the performance characteristics of their modules from low to high irradiance levels and from low to high operating temperature. IVTracer provides a convenient means for module manufacturers to market their product by making it possible for distributors to understand performance characteristics at a glance, including the environmental parameters that influence performance in different applications.

Designers and integrators of photovoltaic systems can use IVTracer to perform a quick comparison of performance characteristics for different modules in a specific application. In addition, IVTracer provides an easy means for determining the expected extremes and nominal values for maximum-power voltage and for open-circuit voltage, parameters that often influence the voltage set-points used in inverters for grid-tied applications, and in charge controllers for battery charging. The Sandia electrical performance model used in IVTracer, is also incorporated in more sophisticated system sizing and analysis programs, PV-DesignPro, that enables system design based on annual energy production.

System performance ratings are facilitated by using IVTracer. The "backwards" feature activated by clicking the "Ratings" button provides a means for entering field measurements and having the program work backwards to determine predicted performance under standardized reporting conditions. The standard conditions included are the ASTM Standard Reporting Condition (SRC) and the PVUSA Test Condition (PTC).

System performance monitoring is possible under all operating conditions using IVTracer. Using field test procedures documented by Sandia, and the same electrical model applied to modules, a set of performance parameters can be established for an entire array of modules. Once these parameters are determined, IVTracer provides a quick means for determining anticipated array output given the prevailing environmental parameters.

In the classroom, IVTracer is an ideal means for illustrating the current-voltage characteristics of photovoltaic modules, and for demonstrating the irradiance, spectral, thermal, and optical influences that influence the power available under different operating conditions.