Designing your project with PVsyst: Three things to know for optimal use of the software

Concevoir son projet avec PVsyst : 3 choses à savoir pour une utilisation optimale du logiciel

The design stage of a PV system is crucial to ensure optimal production from the installation and to secure the investment objective. There are several software tools that perform simulations according to the configuration of the installation, its location, orientation and energy requirements, including PVsyst. In this article, Julien Le Bars, Applications and Project Engineer at SMA France, shares his three points for optimal use of the tool (version 7.2.1).

PVsyst PVsyst is one of the reference tools for sizing and calculating solar yields. Although it is rather easy to use, some points of vigilance are still relatively unknown and can distort the results of simulations.

1. Taking AC losses into account

The latest version of PVSyst (7.2.1) allows the power of the inverters to be taken into account for the calculation of AC losses. In previous versions, the power of the PV array was considered, which could lead to significant errors in the calculation of the yields, depending on the type of architecture studied.

2. Power and derating

PVsyst allows the modeling and comparison of several potential systems. However, when comparing two solutions, care must be taken to compare the powers of the selected inverters, taking into account the temperature derating curves of the inverters.

Temperature derating is the controlled reduction of the inverter power. In other words, it corresponds to the temperature at which the inverter no longer operates at its maximum power. Therefore, “temperature ranges” should not be confused with “operating ranges.”

3. Efficiency curves vs. DC voltage

The efficiency curves of inverters vary significantly with DC voltage. SMA always provides the curves for three voltages. These are integrated into PVsyst for more accurate simulation. Beware of models that only include one curve. It is very often the most favorable one, and not the one that corresponds to the reality of your project.

Are you simulating systems with SMA technologies via PVsyst? We recommend that you check the design with the free Sunny Design software.

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This article was published in 2021. As we are constantly developing our solutions, there may be newer or additional options for the tips and techniques in this article.

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