- The PVcase 3D solar design software was developed by the Solar Delta engineers together with individual software experts that make a specialty out of renewable energy sector engineering. The first version appeared in 2009. At the end of 2020, the PVcase team launched the second version with advanced shading features.
PVcase 2.0 is notable for its improved simulation tools based on the 3D design solutions and accurate layout disposition. One more thing is to say about the latest version of this solar design software is its capability to integrate with PVsyst. This option is essential for solar tracker design. Users are able to import PVcase solar tracker designs to PVsyst using the special-purpose file formats (.PVC file format).
Users can try a free trial of the PVcase 2.0, having filled in the online form on the official website of the 3D solar design software. The free-of-charge pack is provided for a 2-week period. The user should specify contact information and the business email. It is possible to select a preferred introduction language (English or Spanish).
Right after the online form is filled in, the user gets access to the free trial of the PVcase software. All the functions and design tools are available in the welcome free-of-charge plan. This is an opportunity for PVcase users to find out more about available options and explore new updates added in the second version of the PVcase 3D solar design software.
It is necessary to click the Start action button to download imagery or start with the simulation templates. Then users should name their PVcase project and start modeling using digital tools of this software.
System Modeling & 3D Design
The PV system modeling stage starts with layer properties and project settings. The PVcase software offers various tools to specify accurate parameters. For example, the Project Settings section contains project, design, and height specifications at once. The user can specify:
- Inner spacing and pitch parameters;
- Azimuth and frame orientation settings;
- Availability of aligned rows;
- Reference height parameters.
After that, the user can try the new feature of the PVcase software - shading design and shade-free terrain table placement. It is necessary to select the PV area polyline to continue modeling.
One of the benefits of the latest PVcase software version is its opportunity to design the project within the 3D environment. This way layout disposition becomes more accurate and absolutely automated. Users can skip 2D google Maps terrain modeling with the PVcase 2.0.
Advanced inter-row shading analysis is one more strong side of this software. Not all the programs and tools for solar designers contain the option of detailed shading analysis with the season, time input, and time specifications for accurate measurements.
Having specified the required parameters, the user can observe the shading plan of the current project. The next stage of the system modeling is 3D shading object creation. Obstructions and other objects are depicted graphically on the 3D plan. The special-purpose window with object settings appears. The user can select the size, height, and other parameters of the shading item. For example, it is a line of trees 2 meters in height and 9 meters in length.
The shading object preview is also available for convenient 3D simulation. Three-dimensional items will appear on the plan. The general volumed picture is seen with the help of the preview mode.
Wiring & String Modeling and Optimization
The PVcase 3D design solar software is suitable for large commercial and utility-scale PV systems. Its wiring and string optimization process includes ohmic losses and voltage drop analysis. Both DC and AC specifications are taken into account for the analysis of transmission losses:
- Boxes, combiner boxes, inverters;
- Inverter output to the power transformer;
- Inverter output to the substation.
The PVcase software obtains an automatic sizing tool that allows Pv designers to calculate the exact amount of cable length that is required for the current PV project.
Integration with PVsyst
The latest version of the PVcase software provides designers with an opportunity to integrate with PVsyst. This option is essential for solar tracker design. Users are able to import PVcase solar tracker designs to PVsyst using the special-purpose file formats (.PVC file format). The detailed scene is imported to PVsyst, so the process becomes seamless within one 3D solar design software.
The Final Word: PVcase Pros & Cons
In comparison with other solar design software, PVcase 2.0 is an advanced digital tool for PV system modeling. All the available options are presented in a simple and well-explained way. PV designers without AutoCAD skillset and another tech knowledge base can create projects in 30-80 minutes. But this 3D solar design software is not lacking in weak spots. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of PVcase 2.0:
- A free 2-week trial
- Advanced 3D modeling for PV projects
- Shading and detailed slope analysis
- Wiring and string optimization
- Integration with PVsync
- No information about pricing
- Only scheduled demo
- A little tutorial materials
- Absence of financial and other reports.