PV*SOL - The Solar Design Company (2023)

PV*SOL - The Solar Design Company (1)

Model PV systems in 2D

Design systems up to 100,000 modules with an unlimited number of arrays

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Change roof parameters

Model many different roof shapes and show modules and restricted areas

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Plan wiring

Produce a wiring diagram with automatic cable sizing and export to AutoCAD

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Choose from 8,000 climate locations

Interactive map for selection of climate data or create new climate locations by interpolation

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Produce professional project reports

Create customer reports with precise graphs and data

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Shading analysis with 2D modelling

PV*SOL is a simpler version of PV*SOL premium. Compare the two different PV*SOL versions on our comparison page 'Which PV*SOL is for me?'

PV*SOL 2023 summary of features

  • Compare modules, converters and configurations from thousands of database items
  • Design PV systems with no limit on the number of arrays in 2D
  • Climate locations with street-level map resolution
  • Graphic 2D and Photographic roof and ground layout
  • 2D shading with digital terrain import from site surveys or PVGIS online databases
  • Professional and customisable report
  • Visualise detailed energy balance with all stage losses
  • Power clipping to reduce grid export when limited
  • Customisable load profiles with smart meter data import
  • Simulate battery-integrated and off-grid grid systems
  • Simulation of bifacial modules for frame-mounted PV systems
  • Export results to PDF, Word and CSV, line-drawings as DXF/SVG
  • DC, hybrid and AC coupled battery variants
  • Simulation of electric vehicles in combination with PV systems
  • Create detailed schematic diagrams with optional safety devices
  • Option to calculate photovoltaic performance of full feed-in to EN 15316-4-6
  • Single and dual axis physically tracking
  • Off-Grid systems
  • Time of day tariffs can be defined
  • Output of yield probabilities for full feed-in (e.g. P90)
  • Polystring and optimiser configuration options
  • Choice diffuse modelling options
  • Dimensioning to energy losses of all AC and DC cabling
  • Program and report language options
  • Results chart overlays
  • Share custom databases with colleagues online
  • Exportable Parts List with auto list of key design items
  • Online database and itemised parts list
  • Simulation of appliances with surplus PV energy consumption
  • Integration of DHW and space heating with a thermal profile
  • Import of sub-year load profiles
  • Bundled climate files using Meteonorm 8.1, PVGIS and Solcast climate files

Download a free trial of this solar pv system design software from the link above

** All screenshots on this page are also for PV*SOL Premium 3D version **

2D Graphic Coverage

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Module layout can be made from a consistent viewpoint perpendicular to the mounting surface. Custom 2D shapes can be created.

Sun path tracking

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This can be modelled in various orientations including Single North-South axis; Single East-West axis; Single vertical axis of rotation; and Dual axis.

Presentation reports

PV*SOL enables definition of outputs, costs, performance indicators and CO2 fuel savings for a wide range of variables and optimise solar PV performance.

Client reports and on-screen presentations are fully customisable in MS Word. The summary report produces precise tabular and graphical representations of yields, performance ratio, solar fraction and module temperature. Reports can also be saved as PDFs. A spreadsheet result output is also possible. on-screen languages: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish & Polish

Report language options include: Arabic, Bulgarian, Cestina, Chinese, Dansk, Deutsch, English, Espanol, Francais, Hrvatska, Italiano, Magyar, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Portugues, Romanian, Russian, Shqipe, Slovensky, Svenska, Turk, Bengali.

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You can see the outputs of PV*SOL premium in project report form, either for a domestic or commercial system.


PV*SOL includes the PhotoPlan option. With just a photo of the roof and a few reference dimensions, you can create a realistic representation of the property as it would look with installed panels. These can be included in customer reports and offer a useful tool for the design process in deciding where arrays should best be placed.

Mixtures of PV and solar thermal images can be imported, combined with Velux roof windows and multiple roof tile forms and colours.

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Climate data

PV*SOL comes with Meteosyn climate data software. This comes pre-loaded with thousands of global climate data locations and allows you to add custom climate data into your database as required.

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Terrain import

PV*SOL gives direct terrain profile import via map selection as 2D shading.

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Financial analysis

Tabular and graphical financial analysis of system performance is possible. Annual cashflow results can exported to a spreadsheet and the program includes Return on Investment, Amortization (payback) and energy subsidies (both fixed and per kWh) with inflation factors. Time of Day (Time of Use) to each hour can be described.

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Roof parameters

Module coverage can be calculated automatically and a roof layout diagram can be included in the project report. It is also possible to design mounted (framed) modules to face any direction. An 'optimum row distances' dialogue assists with the spacing of mounted arrays.

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Energy Flow diagram

The principle annual energy flow totals can be visualised on a single diagram. This can help explain complex situations.

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Electric Car Option

The electric car option means it is easier to define a movable battery. It is also possible to combine this option with a static battery.

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Grid-connected batteries

Choose between AC-coupled, DC-coupled and hybrid with over 10 battery construction types.

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Thermal design

Design in heat pumps and resistance water heaters.

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PV*SOL - The Solar Design Company? ›

PV*SOL is the 2D solar software design tool for simulating photovoltaic system performance. It is a fully-featured program for those who don't wish to use 3D to model shading and visualise the landscape.

What is PV Sol? ›

PV*SOL is the 2D solar software design tool for simulating photovoltaic system performance. It is a fully-featured program for those who don't wish to use 3D to model shading and visualise the landscape.

What is a PV design? ›

pvDesign is a game-changing technology that is revolutionizing the way solar power plants are designed and engineered. By using digital technologies and heuristic calculations, it transforms traditional engineering through the optimization and automatization of processes.

What is the difference between solar panels and photovoltaic systems? ›

Photovoltaic panels are installed for the conversion of thermal energy into electricity, while solar panels convert solar radiation into heat. This is why these solutions do not compete with each other. Instead, they may complement each other.

What is a PV installation? ›

A photovoltaic system employs solar modules, each comprising a number of solar cells, which generate electrical power. PV installations may be ground-mounted, rooftop-mounted, wall-mounted or floating. The mount may be fixed or use a solar tracker to follow the sun across the sky.

What does PV stand for on solar charger? ›

Solar PV is an abbreviation of solar photovoltaic. The word photovoltaic combines the words for light (photo) and electric power (voltaic).

What does PV mean in solar inverter? ›

A solar inverter or photovoltaic (PV) inverter is a type of power inverter which converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.

What are the three types of PV? ›

There are three types of PV cell technologies that dominate the world market: monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and thin film.

What are the two types of PV? ›

PV systems can be divided into two categories: Grid-connected PV Systems and Stand-alone PV Systems. Grid-connected PV Systems can further be separated into two categories: those that are Directly Connected to the utility and those that are classified as Bimodal PV Systems.

How much does a 10kW solar system generate? ›

A 10kW solar system will generate approximately 40kWh per day on average – that works out to be 14,600 kilowatt-hours a year.

What type of solar panel system is best? ›

Monocrystalline Solar Panels: The most popular and most efficient type of solar panels, monocrystalline solar panels, are popular amongst residences and businesses. They are made of individual pure silicon crystal and can generate between 300 and 400 (sometimes even more) watts of power each.

Do solar panels work better than electricity? ›

Although solar equipment can be more expensive initially, the main reason that people choose solar power instead of electricity is the cost savings. Solar energy is very efficient and able to pay back the cost of installation over a number of years.

Can I install solar PV myself? ›

Again, the answer is yes. If you can drive lag bolts and assemble prefabricated parts, and if you're willing to spend a day or two on your roof (or not, if you're mounting your panels on the ground), you can install your own solar system.

How long does it take to install PV panels? ›

A typical install will take between 4-6 hours, depending on system size. You only need to be there if access needs to be granted to install equipment in the garage, for example. Depending on the solar energy system's size, most home solar panels can be installed in a single day.

How much does PV installation cost per watt? ›

The average cost of a solar panel installation in 2023 ranges from $17,430 to $23,870 after taking into account the federal solar tax credit, with an average solar installation costing about $20,650. On a cost per watt ($/W) basis, solar panel prices in 2023 average $2.95/W (before incentives).

How long do solar PV batteries last? ›

As previously mentioned, lithium-ion batteries with a 4kWh storage capacity have around 4,000 life cycles. Solar panels typically have around a 20 to 30-year lifespan, and when you compare that to just a five to 15-year lifespan for solar batteries, it's almost guaranteed that you'll need to replace them.

What batteries should a PV system have? ›

There are many types of batteries that can be used in PV systems. The lead-acid type of the most common, but lithium-ion batteries are becoming more popular. Table 1 compares these two most common battery types.

What is PV charging voltage? ›

Most photovoltaic panels that are 12v will produce around 16 to 20 volts, and most deep cycle batteries will only need about 14 to 15 volts to be fully charged. As we touched on above, a solar charge controller is used to ensure a battery does not get overcharged.

How much electricity does a PV inverter use? ›

Solar inverters are very efficient, usually 93–96 per cent depending on the make and model - never 100 per cent because they use some of the input DC power to run, generally around 10-25W.

What is PV system voltage? ›

PV voltage, or photovoltaic voltage, is the energy produced by a single PV cell. Each PV cell creates open-circuit voltage, typically referred to as VOC. At standard testing conditions, a PV cell will produce around 0.5 or 0.6 volts, no matter how big or small the cell actually is.

What is the most common PV panel? ›

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most commonly used residential solar panel to date because of their power capacity and efficiency. Monocrystalline solar panels can reach efficiencies higher than 20%, making them the most efficient panel on the market.

What kind of PV system is most common for residential use? ›

For most residential solar systems, monocrystalline solar panels are the best option. While they are more expensive than polycrystalline panels, monocrystalline panels are higher-performing and longer-lasting.

What are the most common PV cell are used today? ›

Silicon. Silicon is, by far, the most common semiconductor material used in solar cells, representing approximately 95% of the modules sold today. It is also the second most abundant material on Earth (after oxygen) and the most common semiconductor used in computer chips.

How many types of solar PV systems are there? ›

There are three main types of solar PV systems: grid-tied, hybrid and off-grid.

What are the four different PV technologies in use today? ›

As you read through, please also open the links within each paragraph to get more information about each technology.
  • Monocrystalline silicon. ...
  • Polycrystalline (or multicrystalline) silicon. ...
  • Amorphous silicon (Thin-film) ...
  • Cadmium Telluride, CdTe (thin-film) ...
  • Polymer and organic PV.

How do I choose a PV system? ›

  1. Solar Panel Cost. This is probably the first factor people consider when comparing solar panels. ...
  2. Solar Panel Quality. This takes into account how the panel is manufactured and the quality of the materials used to build the solar panel. ...
  3. Energy Efficiency. ...
  4. Temperature Coefficient. ...
  5. Durability. ...
  6. Size. ...
  7. Types of Solar Cells Used.

Can 10kW power a house? ›

Is a 10kW solar system enough to power a house? Yes, depending on where you live, a 10kW solar system would be enough to power the average home of a family of four and enough to power the average 2,000 square foot home in the United States.

Can solar power run an air conditioner? ›

Yes, you can run an air conditioner with solar power.

Running AC with solar panels can be a great idea both for saving the environment and for saving your finances. It is conceivable because of powerful solar panels and a converter system. Be that as it may, you may be connected to the grid or be completely off-grid.

How many batteries do I need for a 10kW solar system? ›

In conclusion, a 10kW solar system typically requires a battery bank with a capacity of 20-30kWh, which can require between 100-150 batteries with a capacity of 200Ah each.

What is the biggest problem with solar energy? ›

The Disadvantages of Solar Energy

One of the biggest problems that solar energy technology poses is that energy is only generated while the sun is shining. That means nighttime and overcast days can interrupt the supply.

How long do solar panels last? ›

The industry standard for most solar panels' lifespans is 25 to 30 years. Most reputable manufacturers offer production warranties for 25 years or more. The average break even point for solar panel energy savings occurs six to 10 years after installation.

Do solar panels actually save you money? ›

Solar panels cost money upfront, but will provide significant savings on energy bills over time. The average home can save between $20,000 and $97,000 over the lifetime of your solar panel system, depending on the cost of electricity in your area.

What is the least efficient solar panel? ›

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film panels offer the least efficiency and power production of all residential options. They don't work well for homes with high energy needs and are better suited for small-scale installations such as a shed or stand-alone garage.

Which country makes the best solar panels? ›

China has proved its supremacy in solar panel production by producing two-thirds of global solar modules. Moreover, all major solar panel producers have production facilities in China.

What is the most efficient solar panel layout? ›

This means that the sun is above the equator and therefore your solar panels will be most effective if they are south facing. Panels facing south will face the sun all day long. This gives them the maximum possible time to collect sunlight and convert it into energy.

Do solar panels affect home insurance? ›

Most rooftop solar energy systems are covered by standard homeowners policies, which doesn't change your insurance plan. However, you may need to increase the amount of coverage on your home to account for the cost of the system which can then raise your premium.

What are the negatives of solar panels? ›

Cons of Solar Energy
  • High Cost of Solar Panels. ...
  • Sunlight Dependent. ...
  • Installation Can Be Difficult. ...
  • Space Constraints. ...
  • Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive. ...
  • Environmental Impact of Manufacturing. ...
  • Difficulty With Relocation. ...
  • Scarcity of Materials.
Jan 5, 2023

How many solar panels does it take to power a house? ›

An average home needs between 17 and 21 solar panels to fully offset utility bills with solar. The number of solar panels you need depends on a few key factors, including your geographic location and individual panel specifications.

Can I have 2 solar PV systems? ›

You can add a new solar system, although two systems working side-by-side can make adding batteries and backup trickier. The benefits of this third approach: With a new system, you get a separate warranty. Installing a new solar system may be cheaper than upgrading.

How many kW solar do I need? ›

You can simply divide your annual kWh by 1,200 and you will get the kilowatts of solar capacity needed. So, if the energy consumption reported on your last 12 utility bills adds up to 24,000 kWh, you'll need a 20 kW system (24,000 / 1,200 = 20).

Can you install a home battery backup system without installing PV solar? ›

You can absolutely install a battery without solar, but you get a lot of benefits from solar because you can recharge the battery,” says Nathan Garvey, application engineer for Panasonic North America. A standalone battery system charges from the power grid, except during blackouts.

How often do PV panels need maintenance? ›

Solar panels only need maintenance two to four times a year, but check your solar companies manual for panel specific maintenance care. Fall and spring serve as good times to perform maintenance work because panels can need cleaning following winter where dust and debris can accumulate.

What is the failure rate of PV panels? ›

The loss of output over time, called degradation, typically lands at about 0.5% each year, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Manufacturers typically consider 25 to 30 years a point at which enough degradation has occurred where it may be time to consider replacing a panel.

How often do PV panels need to be replaced? ›

Most solar panels are designed to last 20 to 25 years.

What is the average cost of a PV system? ›

Based on our survey of 1,000 homeowners with installed solar systems, solar panels cost between $15,000 and $20,000 per home. However, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a residential solar system can cost upward of $25,000 per installation.

How many solar panels do I need for 4000 kWh per month? ›

Work out what size panels to use

For example, a household that uses 4,000 kWh per year can divide that usage by 265 to find out it needs 15 solar panels.

How many watts is a typical PV panel? ›

How many watts does a solar panel produce? Most residential solar panels on the market today are rated to produce between 250 W and 400 W each. Rated capacity is explained below.

Is PV the same as solar hot water? ›

While both technologies use sunlight to create energy, they achieve very different results: solar photovoltaic panels turn sunlight into electricity, while a solar water heating system uses the heat from sunlight to heat your property's water supply.

What does PV mean on a roof? ›

What Is a Photovoltaic Roof? Photovoltaic roofs, also known as PV panels, are clean, renewable energy sources. PV panels are placed on rooftops and angled toward the sun. Photovoltaic panels use sunlight to convert photons into electricity.

What is a PV in reverse osmosis? ›

Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy powered reverse osmosis (RO) system can be the best option in secluded and isolated areas of the world that are suffering from a shortage of electricity energy and drinking water. This technique is likely to be the lowest energy demanding technology among other desalination techniques.

What does PV mean in renewable energy? ›

Photovoltaic solar energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that uses solar radiation to produce electricity. It is based on the so-called photoelectric effect, by which certain materials are able to absorb photons (light particles) and release electrons, generating an electric current.

Does solar PV use water? ›

In general, all solar power technologies use a modest amount of water (approximately 20 gallons per megawatt hour, or gal/MWh ) for cleaning solar collection and reflection surfaces like mirrors, heliostats, and photovoltaic (PV) panels.

What are the three types of solar PV? ›

The three most common types of solar panels on the market are monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels and thin film solar panels.

What is a PV hot water tank? ›

PV Hot Water

These systems use photovoltaic solar panels to harvest energy from the sun and send it as electricity to the tank to heat the water. Since no power is sent to the grid, the systems can be installed without utility oversight or approval.

What is the best roof for solar PV? ›

What type of roof is best for solar panels? A south-facing composite asphalt shingle roof with plenty of space is typically considered the best roof design for solar panels. However, solar systems can be very versatile and provide clean energy and cost savings in a wide variety of applications.

What is the best roof pitch for solar PV? ›

30 to 35° is the optimal roof pitch if you are planning to install solar panels. In principle, you can use all roof pitches between 15 and 50°, but they won't be as efficient.

Are solar panels dead load or live load? ›

The dead load for solar panels is “The weight of the panels, their support system, and ballast” per ASCE 7-16 Sections 3.1. 5. A typical uniform load is about 3 psf. However, load from solar panels must be considered as point loads and not a uniform load since the panel load is distributed to individual base mounts.

Does PV heat water? ›

Solar PV panels generate actual electricity which can be used to power equipment on the farm and can be used to heat water to whatever temperature is required.

How does a PV system work? ›

You're likely most familiar with PV, which is utilized in solar panels. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel. This energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.

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