Solar System Modeling
Genability supports modeling energy production data for your customer's solar photovoltaic (PV) system directly in Explorer, or uploading production data generated from a third-party tool (PVsyst, PVSIM, PVWatts Grid Data Calculator, System Advisor Model, etc.).
Explorer supports PVSyst's native output format. PVSyst can be configured to output different solar production fields, delimiters, and units. Explorer supports most of these. Specifically, Explorer recognizes the PVSyst field "E_Grid" as the energy produced by your system and uses this for energy price calculations. In the absence of this field, "EArrMPP" or "EArray" are used. To upload data, from the "Profiles" tab within any account, click "Create a Profile", "Upload Data," and browse to the CSV in your file system. The "Service Type" should be set to "Solar PV" and the "File Format" to "PVSyst."
Explorer supports SunPower's solar modeling tool, PVSIM. Simply upload the .xlsx file created by PVSIM directly into Explorer using the Upload Data button. The "Service Type" should be set to "Solar PV" and the "File Format" to "PVSIM."
To upload production data from other third-party tools, the data should be formatted according to the simple Google PowerMeter format. Note that production values should be positive and not negative. The CSV file can then be uploaded from the "Profiles" tab of any account. The file "Service Type" should be set to "Solar PV" and the "File Format" to "CSV.
Solar system and energy production modeling is also accessed from the "Profiles" tab (by clicking "Create a Profile," then "Model Solar Production") of any account. Explorer integrates with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab's (NREL) PVWatts API to estimate system energy production. PVWatts can be configured to describe the location, design, and performance of your system so that energy production estimates reflect your unique configuration. The following parameters are configurable within Explorer's Model Solar Production module:
System Size - is the nameplate capacity or DC rating (kW) of the PV array. By default, we assume you want to offset about 90% of your electric load with solar energy so we estimate the system size required to accomplish this. Default system size is based on the formula:
System Size = Average Daily Usage x % Load Offset / 100 / Derate / Peak Sun Hours
Average Daily Usage - is the annual average daily usage (kWh), derived from the electric load profile associated with the account.
% Load Offset - indicates the percentage of the electric load profile to be offset by the PV system. We assume 90% (i.e., that your site can accomodate a system of this size).
Derate - is the end-to-end DC to AC system conversion efficiency. We assume NREL's default value of 0.77, which is based on assumptions about the efficiencies of several lower level system components.
Peak Sun Hours - is a measure of the insolation (kWh/m2/year) or solar radiation available at the system site. We use station and insolation data from the National Solar Radiation Database.
The default system size can be overidden by populating the field with your custom size.
Derate - is the estimated end-to-end DC to AC system conversion efficiency. We assume NREL's default value of 0.77, which is based on assumptions about the efficiencies of several lower level system components.
Tracking - indicates whether the PV array is fixed or utilizes single or double axis tracking.
Tilt - indicates the angle at which the PV array is tilted relative to the ground surface. We default to the site location's latitude coordinate, which is typically the angle which maximizes energy production over the entire year. This can be overriden with a value dictated by the angle of your rooftop or your particular design approach.
Azimuth - is the angle your PV array faces relative to North (0 degrees), in a clockwise direction. We default to 180 degrees (due South), the optimal angle for solar production in the Northern Hemisphere. Since your rooftop or design may not accomodate this, the value can be overriden to suit your unique situation.
Avg Daily KWh - indicates the average daily usage (kWh) of the electric load profile associated with the account. The value is used in the default system size formula above and is displayed for informational purposes. It is a non-editable field since the value is derived directly from the load profile.