Frequently asked questions and answers!
If you are designing your installation using Google Maps and the graphics quality is poor, unfortunately we cannot help.
The quality of satellite images depends only on the company from which the images come.
The only solution in such a situation is to create a visualization using a photo of the object.
The minimum distance between rows of PV panels when placed on the ground in an open space or on a flat roof is important to avoid the shading effect.
The choice of this distance is closely related to our geographic location, as well as the dimensions of our panel, its orientation and the angle that makes our panel with the ground. Based on these parameters, we are able to calculate the minimum distance between the panels.
Let’s start with the geographic location. In this context, the height of the sun’s elevation above the sky is important – as we know, it is the lowest on the winter solstice, i.e. on December 22. Now, depending on the geographic location – the hemisphere, zone and the exact location expressed in degrees, we can calculate the height of the sun.
The next step is to calculate the height of our panel. For this we will need the angle of inclination between the panel and the ground, as well as the length of the panel. Of course, knowing the specific measured height makes it easier, but unfortunately at the design stage we rarely have such information.
We use the law of sines to calculate the height:
L/ sin90 = h/ sin(a)
h= (L / sin90) * sin(a)
Knowing the height and angle of the sun’s elevation, we can determine the minimum distance between the panels:
D= h / tan(Hs)
In the next update of our application, we will introduce a calculator that will allow and facilitate the calculation of the minimum distances between panels for any place on Earth!
Instructions for determining the perspective grid on the visualization, depending on the roof on which we prepare the project.
In this case, creating a perspective depends primarily on the shape of the roof on which the installation is designed.
In the instruction below, we present our propositions of perspectives depending on the type of roof we are working on.
1. Triangular roofs.
*) The first suggestion is to use the entire length and height of the roof.
After entering the dimensions, we line up the perspective grid lines so that they align with the line of the tiles. After setting the line, we will most often get a parallelogram (only in the photo, in fact it is a rectangle) described on a triangle if the photo is taken at an angle, or a rectangle described on a triangle if the photo is taken straight ahead. When setting the perspective, it is possible, and sometimes it is advisable, to go beyond the roof with the rectangle.
*) The second suggestion is very similar to the first with the difference that we need the half of the roof and the height.
We set the dimensions and grid lines again according to the tile line. After the operation is completed, the side edge of the roof should form the diagonal of the perspective rectangle. When setting the perspective, it is possible, and sometimes it is advisable, to go beyond the roof with the rectangle.
*) The third suggestion is to set the perspective rectangle to any rectangle on the roof, e.g. a window, a characteristic feature of the roof, a specific number of tiles.
In the photo above, we adjust the perspective to a specific number of tiles, the size of which we know, which will allow us to provide dimensions.
2. Trapezoidal roofs
*) The first suggestion will be to adjust the perspective grid to the shorter, upper dimension of the roof and its full height. This method allows the greatest accuracy and in most cases is the simplest, because at shorter distances we are able to set the perspective grid more accurately. After specifying the dimensions, set the mesh so that its lines coincide with the line of tiles or some element of the roof.
*) The second suggestion is to use the longer bottom edge of the roof and its height. After entering the dimensions, we line up the perspective grid lines so that they align with the line of the tiles. When setting the perspective, it is possible, and sometimes it is advisable, to go beyond the roof with the rectangle.
*) The third proposition, as in the case of triangular roofs, will be to set the perspective grid to a certain object on the roof, eg a specific number of tiles.
3. Roofs with complex slopes
*) The first suggestion for placing a perspective on the above slope is to define a grid based on the short upper edge and the full height of the roof. The biggest problem in this case may be a good representation of the length of the upper edge on the lower edge, but if we match the grid lines with the line of tiles, it will automatically have the appropriate length.
*) The second suggestion to place a Perspective Grid for the present roof is to use a longer length and the height of the lower roof to the neck. This allows us to slightly shorten the mesh by almost half its height and the possibility of more precise matching of the mesh line to the line of tiles. In this case, we need to extend the grid line beyond the panel distribution area. In perspective, areas of the grid may intersect, which is not possible when selecting areas for panel distribution.
*) The third suggestion is to set the Perspective Grid based on the length of the bottom edge of the roof and full height. As in the previous example, we need to go beyond the roof area and cut another perspective area.
*) The last suggestion, as in the case of other roofs, is to define a perspective grid on an area that is a characteristic part of the roof or a certain number of tiles with known dimensions.
How the azimuth change and the angle of inclination affect the total annual electricity production?
Depending on changes in the azimuth and angle of inclination of the panels are presented in the following instructions.
1. Change in total annual production depending on the azimuth change.
The reference production level is the total annual production with the azimuth set to 0 degrees and the slope angle of 25 degrees.
During tests, we maintain a constant distance between panels, a constant angle of inclination and a constant power value under steady conditions.
As you can see in the graphic above, our reference output is 16,396 kWh (Szacowana produkcja roczna). In the following sections, the photos will present the following values of the deviation from the azimuth towards the west in steps of 10 degrees.
1.1.The azimuth of the panels 10 degrees
1.2. The azimuth of the panels 20 degrees
1.3. The azimuth of the panels 30 degrees
1.4. The azimuth of the panels 40 degrees
1.5. The azimuth of the panels 50 degrees
1.6. The azimuth of the panels 60 degrees
1.7. The azimuth of the panels 70 degrees
1.8. The azimuth of the panels 80 degrees
1.9. The azimuth of the panels 90 degrees
In conclusion, we see a clear decrease in power along with a stronger deflection of the installation from the south (or north depending on the hemisphere). The entire summary is presented below in graphic form.
|Azimuth [stopnie]||Annual production[kWh]||Decline in production[kWh]|
As we can see, to some extent the change in azimuth does not cause significant changes in the total annual production.
For example, changing the orientation of the panels relative to the south by 10 degrees causes a decrease in production by 15 kWh, but a change by 30 degrees already causes losses of 230 kWh, and a total change of position to the west direction is 1.55 MWh loss.
2. Changing the angle of inclination of the panels relative to the sea level.
In this section, we will discuss the change in total annual output relative to the change in the angle of inclination of the PV panels.
As a reference level, we will take the flat position of the panels, i.e. the angle of 0 degrees, no deviation from the south (azimuth 0 degrees) and constant power under steady conditions.
During the tests, the distance between the panels is kept constant and the shading and the area of the panels distribution related to the need for greater spacing of rows with increasing inclination angle are not taken into account.
As we can see, our reference production is 14 730 kWh (Szacowana produkcja roczna). In the following sections, the photos will present successive values of the tilt angle, changing in steps of 5 or 10 degrees.
2.1. The angle of inclination of the panels is 10 degrees
2.2. The angle of inclination of the panels is 15 degrees
2.3. The angle of inclination of the panels is 25 degrees
2.4. The angle of inclination of the panels is 30 degrees
2.5. The angle of inclination of the panels is 35 degrees
2.6. The angle of inclination of the panels is 40 degrees
2.7. The angle of inclination of the panels is 45 degrees
2.8. The angle of inclination of the panels is 50 degrees
2.9. The angle of inclination of the panels is 60 degrees
2.10. The angle of inclination of the panels is 70 degrees
2.11. The angle of inclination of the panels is 80 degrees
2.12. The angle of inclination of the panels is 89 degrees (it cannot be 90 degrees)
|Lp.||Inclination [stopnie]||Annual production [kWh]||Decline in production [kWh]|
As we can see, the values of the total annual production reach the highest value at the angle of inclination equal to 35 degrees. However, a setting between 30-40 degrees does not generate much visible losses in the total annual production. On the other hand, it is clearly visible that the inclination angle of less than 20 degrees and greater than 60 is unfavorable due to the fact that the annual losses there are already greater than 1 MWh.
Instructions of designing PV panels on the example of a sloping roof based on a photo of the building.
Instructions of designing PV panels on the example of a sloping roof based on a photo of the building.
1. Create new project and then choose Create new design on: Sloping roof photo:
2. Select the photo on which you make the project. The application automatically begins the Draw areas process on which we would like to create PV panels.
3. Define the area by clicking on the vertices of the surface you are interested in.
After designating the surface on which the panels are to be located, we can proceed to the next step – Adjust perspective.
4. Adjust perspective.
When you switch to Adjust perspective, the blue perspective grid appears. It should be arranged in such a way as to reproduce the arrangement of the roof in the photo, and also to provide known dimensions, e.g. the height of the roof and its length. It may also be a skylight or a known number of tiles of known size. The grid lines reflect the orientation of the panels on the roof.
To be sure that the panels will be generated evenly, you can arrange the grid lines to coincide with the line of the tiles.
At this point, we also recommend that you read the instructions on Adjusting the visualization perspective in the photo of a pitched roof available here.
5. Generate panels and Area settings.
In this step, on the right side, first of all, select the model of panels to be placed on the roof (1), set the Tilt of modules (2), the azimuth of modules(3) and change the orientation of the panels (4). If you make a mistake, you can go back to the previous steps to change your perspective, for example.
If you need high accuracy, the drawing can be zoomed in or out using the “+” and “-” buttons or by using the mouse scroll.
The dependence of the angle of inclination of the panels and azimuth setting the total power production has been described here.
When selecting the model of panels, you can use the extensive database of manufacturers in the public warehouse (1), and also add your own panel (3) by specifying its basic parameters. All added items are in the company warehouse (2).
It should be remembered that only a user with administrator permission can add panels to the Company warehouse and that person can set access permissions for employees, i.e. they can only have access to the Company warehouse or to all panels of the public warehouse.
After choosing Generate panels, the application automatically takes us to the Editing layout.
6. Edit layout.
The Edit layout option allows us to undo or restore (1) the movements made, move the photo (2) on which we make the project, select multiple panels (3), duplicate selected panels (4), delete selected panels (5). The application also shows us how many panels we have used and what power we are able to generate from them (6).
Select multiple panels (3), we can select some cells and then duplicate (4) or delete (5) elements. Having selected panels, we can freely place them on the roof of the designed building. To deselect a given panel (s), having the option selected, select multiple panels (3), you need to deselect each panel one by one; while having selected panels without selecting multiple options (3) just press anywhere in the photo.
It should be remembered that after each editing of the position of the panels and / or changing the parameters, the panels must be regenerated by Generate panels.
7. Save the project.
When saving, remember to crop the photo properly. The application saves the project as it was left when it was created. For a better visual effect, it is best to properly zoom in and center the image
This was the last step of the design instructions in the photo of the pitched roof. The next stage of the project is its valuation, which is discussed in a separate instruction here. If you still have problems with creating your projects, please contact us using the Chatbot (bottom right corner), watch one of our guides here or arrange a free online training: link.
The photo used for the project is a project of an external company: https://www.archon.pl/projekty-domow/projekt-dom-w-jablonkach-4-p-m3512263ccce00
Can I create a project using more than one photo of the roof slope? Will the program count the number and power of panels?
Using the EasySolar application, you can add e.g. three visualizations for three different directions of the house roof.
If, for example, three visualizations are added, the program automatically counts the power and number of panels that have been prepared.
I added panels to the previously prepared mesh in the visualization, but I cannot save the project. The following information is displayed: “Generate panel before before you start editing their layout”.
Information displayed by the application when we want to save the project.
Most likely, the project has another surface drawn on which no panel has been generated. You should go back to the Draw areas step and delete the unnecessary surface.
Returning to the Draw areas tab, we can see that we have created a surface that is too narrow for PV panels to be generated on it. The program does not allow you to save a visualization with no generated panels on any surface.
We need to delete this surface and then we can save the visualization.
When creating a visualization on a sloping roof or using Google maps, the user can use the public warehouse database or add a panel by himself in the Add panel option – the function is available only to users with administrator permission! We will be able to use the photovoltaic panels that we have added in the future, because they will be stored in the company warehouse.
To add a panel to the application, we need the basic rating parameters of the cell so that the program can properly use it in the application.
Yes, but only when designing by selecting the Photo of a Sloping roof option (having a photo of the roof).
Just open the menu by clicking on the three dots and select Delete.
To do this, open the created project and then select the Design the System tab. Next, we choose whether we create a visualization using sloping roof photo perspective of the object or aerial view using Google Maps.
Aerial view is an option we are working on! It will be available soon.
The program allows you to create installation projects up to a maximum of about 5 MWp. In this range, the performance of the application can drop significantly, making it difficult for you to continue your work. The program may also stop working properly.
In the case of such large installations, we recommend dividing the visualization into two parts. How to do this is shown here.
The problem is with the coordination of the photo stored on the phone. It is read differently on the phone and differently by the browser.
Please try to crop them a little in some simple photo editing tool like Paint. Trimming will result in deleting the coordinates stored on the phone and saving new ones, correctly read by the browser.