The algorithms have been specially programmed for Siemens PVplanet, the PV Plant Engineering Tool. The software provides engineers with several hundred different plant designs in a single operation. The user will only need to provide parameters such as the topography of the construction site and the module and inverter types that will be used.
The user can also change parameters such as orientation, spacing and inclination of solar arrays to study the impact of the quality of the planning result. Even cost estimates and income calculations can be included. It performs a simulation of the weather in the region in question, the course of the sun throughout the year and the physical module performance including shading effects. With the results of this computation and an estimate of the investment and operating costs, the planning tool can come up with a figure for the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). Planners can also compare their results with similar configurations to test their parameters and make adjustments as required.