PV-DesignPro

PV-DesignPro logo.

Simulates photovoltaic system operation on an hourly basis for one year, based on a user selected climate and system design. PV-DesignPro is recommended for designs that include battery storage that can be both standalone systems with generator backup, or utility interconnected systems. Systems with no battery storage can be modelled using special instructions. The purpose of the program is 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. It is directed at individuals who consider themselves as professional PV system designers, but has been designed in such a way as to make it possible for a novice designer to evaluate a system design. The program CD-ROM includes a climate database of 239 locations in the continental U.S, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam and a Worldwide Hourly Climate Generator Program that generates hourly climates for 2,132 global locations from monthly data. Also, SolarPro 2.0 solar water heating program is included. Users can select climates simply by browsing the various files in the climate window. Users can also create their own climate files based on data they have available for other sites. Six types of panel surface tracking are incorporated into the program: fixed slope and axis, tracking on a horizontal east-west axis, tracking on a horizontal north-south axis, tracking on a vertical axis with a fixed slope, tracking on a north-south axis parallel to the Earth's axis, and continuous tracking on two axes. Panel shading information can also be entered. See website for details.

Keywords

photovolatiac design, tracking systems, solar, electrical design

Validation/Testing

NIST (see web site)

Expertise Required

Knowledge of electrical design, PV basics.

Users

Over 3000 worldwide, including college Alternative Energy Program. Released June 1998.

Audience

PV system design professionals, architects, engineers, energy offices, universities, students.

Input

Windows 2000-based interface. Electrical system load by hour for weekdays, weekends, and holidays. Panel type from database, number of parallel connections and series strings of similar panels; battery backup charging parameters; AC inverter requirements, climate file.

Output

Solar Fraction charts by month, battery states of charge by month (maximum, average, minimum), annual performance table (energy produced, necessary backup, and states-of-charge), prospective cash-flows of purchased and sold energy, system costs, 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.

Computer Platform

Windows 2000, 16 MB RAM, CD-ROM Drive, 300 MB free hard drive space (mainly for the climate files), and Pentium or faster processor.

Programming Language

Visual Basic 5.0

Strengths

Most information needed for PV designs included in program databases.

Weaknesses

Relatively high level of PV expertise recommended.

Contact

Company:

Maui Solar Energy Software Corporation

Address:

810 Haiku Road
#113
Haiku, Hawaii 96708
United States

Telephone:

(808) 278-9181

E-mail:

Mike@mauisolarsoftware.com

Website:

http://www.mauisolarsoftware.com

Availability

CD-ROM $249.00 + $10.00 shipping and handling. Price includes Worldwide Hourly Climate Generator 1.0 program and SolarPro 2.0 solar water heating program, and more. More information available on web site or call for more information.