Solar PV Design – the basic calculations…

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Skilling India…for the solar revolution…

The full SPV design slides from my train-the-trainer session for Solar COEs are shared here. SPV Design is essentially optimizing the solar PV site taking into account the site specifications across different components and with respect to specific customer requirements ( budgets, energy targets and space utilization constraints).

It has been a privilege to convert my solar knowledge gleaned in my PhD era and in various hands-on skill sessions over the years into a practical National Occupation Standards for solar skills.

A good project is based on a good engineering design.  It is not a quick fix assembly of components at the site. In today’s design software, you can design an optimized solar PV site by simulating different modules, inverters, rooftop conditions across the year with a near and far shadow analysis. A good design is also the basis for a good proposal and winning the customer confidence in the solar integrator competence!

There are a range of software in the market. PV Syst is one of the earliest software that does a reasonable job of simulation and basic design. However, it lacks powerful 3D scanning and detailed near-and-far shadow simulation as well as heat maps of the panel surface.  For several of these features, it is normal to use another software like Sketchup with Skellion plug-in for 3D SPV design.  Of course, software like Helioscope and Solarlabs can give an excellent, highly workable SPV design with generation details and loss analysis, 3D rooftop solar PV design and heat maps with near-far shadow analysis!

At ESSCI, we are creating a set of Centers of Excellence for SPV trainings. We conducted the SPV Design workshop for these COEs this month. 3 sessions covering the solar design software are over and I am covering the session on the manual design of SPV on 17th November.  I will also do a quick overview of some of the SPV design software for the reference of the trainers. ( We have shortlisted Solarlabs as the SPV design software for the COEs – and more on this will be covered in a later post).

The full slides for the SPV manual design are shared in the deck below.

AKASolar PV Design Calculation basics Nov 20 v2

A recording of the session is shared here separately.

The 4 part solar PV design workshop covered hands-on design using Solarlabs cloud-based AI software. SolarLabs delivered the hands-on training and guided the trainers on their exercises. The participants went thru the following Udemy Course Link before starting the exercises-

I have specially covered the steps in the manual design process so that the trainers understand the calculations that are the basis of the design optimization. In real life situations, you need a combination of both the software design as well as the manual calculations to be able to address the field situations.


And here are couple of quotes to inspire the engineers in us.

2 Responses

  1. It was a wonderful session. Gained lot of information and interest in this area.
    Thank you sir,
    Sridharbabu Yarramaneni

    • Ashwini Aggarwal

      Dear Dr.Sridharbabu

      Appreciate your support. Once we go thru the hands-on site installation sessions, you will be fully equipped to carry the flame (of knowledge) thru to others…

      Warm Regards