Screen Shots - PV-DesignPro
PV-DesignPro | SolarPro | Worldwide Hourly Climate Generator | IVTracer | ModuLab | SunPlot3D
PV-DesignPro is a suite of Windows 95, 98, and NT software designed to simulate photovoltaic energy system operation on an hourly basis for one year, based on a user selected climate and system design. Three versions of the PV-DesignPro program are included on the CD-ROM: "PV-DesignPro-S" for standalone systems with battery storage, "PV-DesignPro-G" for grid-connected systems with no battery storage, and "PV-DesignPro-P" for water pumping systems. Below is a screen-shot of the "S" version.
The purpose of the programs are to aid in photovoltaic system design by providing accurate and in-depth information on likely system power output and load consumption, necessary backup power during the operation of the system, and the financial impacts of installing the proposed system. PV-DesignPro is directed at individuals who consider themselves as professional PV system designers and researchers, but has been completed in such a way as to make it possible novice designers to evaluate system designs.
Included with the program CD-ROM is a climate database of 239 locations in the continental U.S, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Also on the CD-ROM is a worldwide hourly climate generator program with 2,132 international climates that compiles any of these climates in minutes for use with the program. Users can select climates simply by browsing the various files in the "Climate Window" (as shown in the link below). Also, instructions are given for users to create their own climate files based on data they have available for a particular site. Some screen shots of PV-DesignPro-S version and their explanations are shown in the tables below...
Users can select climates simply by browsing the various files in the climate window (as shown in the link below).
The electrical load on the system is input by the user for various hours of weekdays, weekends, and holidays. The hourly loads remain the same for respective weekdays and weekends throughout the annual simulation (as shown in link below).
The PV system array is modeled using various published equations and manufacturer provided panel parameters. The user need only select the type of panel from the database of PV panels, and input the number of parallel connections and series strings of similar panels. Various chart outputs, such as the typical I-V-P curve shown on the array window link below, are available to the designer to estimate performance.
Six types of panel surface tracking are incorporated into the program and are available to the user: 1. Fixed slope and axis, 2. Tracking on a horizontal east-west axis, 3. Tracking on a horizontal north-south axis, 4. Tracking on a vertical axis with a fixed slope, 5. Tracking on a north-south axis parallel to the Earths axis, and 6. Continuous tracking on two axes. As a result, the benefits of utilizing any of the available tracking methods are easily attained.
Maximum power point tracking devices can be entered into the design, however, their overall efficiency must be known. Also, wiring diameter and distance to and from the panels to the battery are accounted for in the design with relative voltage drop and power loss.
Battery backup charging parameters are selected by the user, as are any AC inverter necessary to power AC loads (a database of various inverters is included with the program).
After the system design is complete, the user proceeds to calculate the results by pressing the calculate button. The following results are then presented on the screen (calculation takes 8-15 seconds on a Pentium level machine):
1. Solar Fraction charts, by month of the year
2. Battery states of charge by month (maximum, average, minimum).
3. Annual performance table (energy produced, necessary backup, and states-of-charge).
4. An Annual Energy Cost Analysis that includes prospective cash-flows based on costs of purchased energy, and any sold PV energy.
5. A Lifecycle Cost Analysis that is a comprehensive pro-forma analysis of the system design based on system cost, costs of backup energy, prices of sold energy, maintenance and replacement costs, and the estimated life of the system. A rate of return is calculated, as is an overall price per kWh of the system, and pay back years.
Charts can be viewed that cover every hour of the year and include battery SOC, battery voltage, solar radiation on a horizontal surface, solar radiation on the array, load and backup watts, panels efficiency, panel cell temperature, angles of incidence, slope angle, and the azimuth angle.
Full system reports can be printed that include most of the information contained in the above results. Once the user has completed a design, it can be saved as a file and reused or modified at a later date.
Additional window screen-shots:
How hard is it to learn to use PV-DesignPro? Read the "Quick Start" help file text here.