PVComplete Integrated Equipment Database

Integrated Equipment Databases Generate Faster & More Accurate Solar Layouts

In Industry Perspectives by info@pvcomplete.com

In the past, designing a PV project has required developers and installers to collect spec sheets from module, racking and inverter suppliers and manually account for equipment measurements and installation requirements in their solar layouts. An out-of-date spec sheet could throw an entire project off — over the course of an entire row of modules, one inch can make a big difference. Plus, any equipment changes require a manual layout reconfiguration.

Now, PVCAD and PVCAD Mega eliminate these cumbersome and inefficient processes by offering an integrated and always-up-to-date equipment database from which project designers can select equipment options. Featuring thousands of different module, inverter and racking products, the cloud-based database is easy to update with new equipment options and the latest specs. 

The benefits of an equipment database-informed design approach include:

  • Module Dimensions
    Many companies have developed their own module block libraries, which are cumbersome to maintain and use, with layout designers manually inserting a block to represent every module. With PVCAD and PVCAD Mega, modules are auto-inserted into the layout, and layouts are automatically updated to adapt to any change in module dimensions in real time. The software ensures an exact roof fit, especially when working in tight spaces. 
  • Installation Requirements 
    Using manual processes, it is difficult to determine the precise location of roof attachments. Plus, certain modules can’t be paired with certain racking systems because they don’t meet the racking’s dimension requirements. PVCAD and PVCAD Mega can confirm that the equipment you have selected are compatible to be installed together.
  • Electrical Calculations
    PVCAD and PVCAD Mega evaluate module voltage, inverter voltage together with the project location’s temperature limitations and automatically calculate optimal string length. This enables developers to boost the accuracy of early stage designs and bill of materials by calculating wiring needs up front.
  • Racking Selection
    PVCAD and PVCAD Mega empower solar project designers to choose the best mounting system for a given roof based on a quantitative analysis of fit, production, total BOM cost and more. In addition, the database’s extensive racking detail optimizes layouts by including essential clearances in situations where the racking extends past the module edge.

Selecting design criteria from PVCAD and PVCAD Mega’s integrated databases not only saves time, but also reduces the risk of costly errors and omissions. Developers and installers can eliminate estimates and general assumptions by factoring in exact materials at the outset and designing to product specs.

The integrated equipment databases also make it possible to easily compare multiple site plans in a design to determine which equipment choices deliver the best project outcomes.

Plus, the integrated databases make it easy to update layouts at any point in the project cycle, whenever equipment changes. 

Give PVCAD or PVCAD Mega a test drive and see for yourself how much more efficient and accurate solar layouts can be.