6 Great Reasons to use PVsyst

6 Great Reasons to use PVsyst

-Rikesh Mathew

6 Great Reasons to use PVsyst

PVsyst is a professional solar design software to estimate and optimize the power output of a solar power plant or system. It is quite a complex design software filled with features – 3D Shading, probability distribution reports, detailed losses through the form of a report, specific graphs and tables. Further more it is expensive for a full professional licence i.e. approximately $ 662/year

1. Premium meteorological Data

Your solar production estimation is only as good as your database. PVsyst employs 4 different databases , some being premium for users to pick from. Decades of hourly data are compiled and computed to provide accurate results. 

Sr. No
Database
Usage
1.
Meteonorm
Ground Based Stations – Preferred
2.
NASA-SSE
Satellite Based – For USA
3.
PVGIS TMY
Radio Topography – Limited/basic data
4.
NREL / NSRDB TMY
Open source – Limited data

2. Large database of major system components

There are two major system components i.e. (1) Solar Panel & (2) Inverters. Not all panels and inverters are the same even if they have the same rated power. Check out this guide I’ve made to show the 5 best parameters to choose a PV panel. The key reasons why are because:

  • Efficiency and annual degradation varies according to raw materials and manufacturing standards which will vary the ability to produce energy and thereby impacting the finances.
  • Warranties offered by different manufacturers vary with could impact your economic feasibility.
  • Historic reputation of the manufacturer keeps your mind at ease when installing your system through cumulative years of their work experience.

So you definitely want to do the simulation on the panels that are chosen by you from the companies available to you in your local market. 

3. Accounting for orientation and tilt of panels

PVsyst places the panel according to the tilt and azimuth dictated by constraints of site or end user. It helps optimise the tilt and azimuth if there are fluid conditions to maximise energy output, giving you a higher return on investment.

4. 3D Shading Scene

PVsyst takes into account any obstructions present in the site. This could be an extension of nature (trees) or surrounding buildings or structures. This is quite an obvious thing to consider while using solar. The shadow that is cast on the panels will vary in dimensions with the position of the sun throughout the day. When taken into consideration, shadows will reduce energy outputs. PVsyst helps optimize panel placements to minimise shading effects as far as reasonably possible.

5. Detailed Losses

There are lots of losses that are part of the system, which are often omitted when you get a sales proposal from a solar installation company. This is not limited to shadows alone, it also includes:

  • Thermal & Ohmic losses
  • Module Quality losses
  • Light Induced Degradation (LID)
  • Soiling losses
  • Incidence Angle Modifier
  • Auxiliary & Unavailability losses

You can learn more about the details in my blog ‘Solar PV Losses‘.

6. Simulating Energy Production

Combining all the above details, you get a very precise and accurate sense of solar energy production forecast. It also provides probability distribution reports to show you the likelihood of producing that energy. You have to remember there are just 3 important factors which determines the profitability of your investment in solar:

  • Cost of installing Solar.
  • Cost of Electricity at site location
  • Energy production from your Solar PV system.

Although it is beyond your control to change the first two factors, using PVsyst, you are able to get an accurate estimate for energy production which will play a major role in calculating reliable potential savings. 

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  1. Pingback: Why Financial Feasibility matters | Rikesh Mathew

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