We’re introducing the biggest release of PVcase to date with major improvements to existing functionalites and new ones as well:
Location and time based shading analysis.
Civil analysis for table slope and collision.
Basic shading object creation.
Adjustable table height after generation.
Fixed-tilt and E-W frame placement
Location & time-based shading
You can now set a location for your project and the location will be used for shade-free frame placement and other shading generation features.
After you’ve set your location you can pick whether you want to limit the shade based on an angle (the old shading limit angle approach) or whether you want to limit the shade based on a specific time so that frames are placed shade-free at that particular time in the set location.
If you’re setting the location then it is best to use the shading limit at a certain time and not the angle approach to utilize the actual sun position at that location.
For the sake of the only cover the new functionality we’ll cover the shading limit defined by time. After having selected the location you can go and pick out the date and time of day for the frames to be generated shade-free.
Once you’ve set up your shading limits you can now continue with generating the frames – PVcase will place them without any shading at that location during that time. We’ll cover the shading projection creation after we talk about Basic shading object creation.
Basic shading object creation
We’re introducing a new ribbon item for shading objects which will constantly be updated with more complex and PV specific objects. Right now we can choose from three objects:
You can customize each of the shading objects and add them to the drawing.
Additionally, you can also copy and move the created objects and PVcase will automatically adapt them to the new terrain. Feel free to fill up treelines by simply copying the trees around.
One of the best aspects of this is that you no longer need to create these shading objects in PVsyst and can streamline this in PVcase and then export them using the PVC format to PVsyst.
Shading generation from frames and objects.
Shading from frames to frames
For the final step, we can also generate the shading from the tables we’ve created. The first thing we need to do is once more set the time for the shading creation. One of the best aspects here is that we can also plot a range of shading.
The next step would be to select the frames from which we want to cast the shade. We can do this by using the select objects button and selecting the frames. This selection will stay for further use so we don’t need to keep reselecting the objects. After clicking on show shading the software will project the shading from one frame row to the one above.
Shading from objects onto frames and terrain
We can also plot the shading for the basic objects we’ve created by doing the same sequence.
The main difference from frame to frame shading is that the shade of an object is plotted on the terrain and also on the frames.
Remove objects from a selection
As with all object lists in PVcase you can remove the objects from selection by right-clicking on the list item or hitting DEL.
Table placement on terrain
Terrain tolerance always on
In previous PVcase versions we had the option to place tables without checking for collision or keeping absolute clearance based on a certain value. We’ve observed a lot of problems arise with having the terrain tolerance turned off resulting in surprises when taking the project to later stages.
There will no longer be an option to turn off terrain tolerance thus saving headaches and also allowing a more thorough approach to the civil design aspect and opening up a lot of new possibilties present in this update.
Adjustable frame height
One of the first changes that can be observed in the park settings tab is the ability to set the table height for the entire generation. Before this was limited to have the frame height defined by frames rather than by generation.
This gives you the ability to change the reference height and use the adapt to terrain to lower or raise a table after having already generating it.
This works really well when you have piling information displayed as as you can change the height of the table and it will automatically update the pole height value giving you the ability to easily alter table heights to fit into the allowed piling range.
Slope and collision checking after table placement
For an easier and more time saving workflow we’ve moved the slope and collision checking as a post-table placement functionality. You will no longer be forced to rerun generations every time you want to check for a different slope or collision.
The first tab in the new civil analysis window is relating to table slopes. Here you can set a certain slope value and indicate the tables which exceed that value. As mentioned before the layout no longer needs to be regenerated and you can run multiple iterations based on different allowed slope ranges.
One of the things that we’ll also included for tracker tables is the differentiation between north and south facing trackers so that you can easier understand which trackers are facing north and will be limited in terms of energy production.
What’s really great about this change is that it also allows you to easily count how many tables are facing north or south by simply filtering out the types in the layout information window.
In this same window you can use the Show details button to populate the slope angle of each table and easily hide them by hitting Hide details.
For those familiar with our previous terrain tolerance window the new collision analysis interface should also be routine. Here we can set a certain value for how close the terrain can get to the tables and then color code these same tables without needing to rerun the generation over and over again as before.
We also have a visual on the right where you can see which tables will be indicated based on your collision settings. The default orange tables are the ones which have terrain getting too close to the table, then we have the simple blue tables that are in the OK range and then purple ones are those that have a ditch underneath them.
One of the changes we wanted to make specifically for single-axis trackers is the ability to analyze collision through a piling range perspective giving you the option to set both a minimum and maximum pole length.
You can also count how many tables you have that are exceeding the allowed pole range for one reason or another by opening up the layout information window and filtering out the indicative frame types.