In 2012, Siemens developed a software that allowed them to design ultra-efficient solar parks in just a few seconds, but at that time only Siemens had access to the tool. Now Siemens has announced that they are making this software available to other photovoltaic facility construction firms so that everyone can benefit. The software is called PVplanet and it allows developers to generate the best layout for their specific space, reducing planning time by up to 80% and making each solar park more efficient.
The planning tool works by calculating weather, location, cost to build and predicted output. It can also calculate how far apart each panel should be placed to avoid casting shadows that could impact output and it can tell developers what the ideal angle is for each panel. In addition to all of that, the software generates hundreds of layout options so that the planner can pick the best one, all in the blink of an eye. In a recent example, Siemens states that it was able to help a planner reduce power generation costs by 6% and increase power yield by 350 megawatt hours per year.
Normally a firm would only be able to develop a few layouts and rarely can they calculate the kind of detail that the software is able to capture, which means not only a lower cost for developers, making it a better investment, but also more green energy for the planet. Siemens developed the software along with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics and has been improving the software over the past year, allowing it to help investors calculate risk. The company believes that the program is now ready to help developers—from small operations to massive corporations—to develop efficient, cost-effective solar parks that benefit both the planet and investors.
Images from Siemens