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  • http://www.valentin-software.com/sites/default/files/downloads/handbuecher/en/manual-pvsol-en.pdf http://www.valentin-software.com/en/downloads/handbuecher/manual-pvsol-expert-6-0
  • http://www.valentin-software.com/sites/default/files/downloads/produktflyer-und-broschueren/en/comparison-photovoltaic-programs.pdf http://www.valentin-software.com/en/downloads/produktflyer-und-broschueren/program-comparison-photovoltaics

PV*SOL Expert

Dynamic simulation program with 3D visualization and detailed shading analysis of roof-integrated or mounted grid-connected photovoltaic systems.


A real-world representation of the shading from surrounding objects is extremely important for precisely calculating yields. You’re therefore looking for a program which takes shading into account as analytically as possible? PV*SOL® Expert does just that! You can visualize all roof-integrated or mounted systems - even in the ground - with up to 5,000 modules in 3D and calculate shading on the basis of 3D objects.

The user-friendly 3D menu navigation is divided into the six sections of terrain view, object view, module coverage, module mounting, module configuration and cable plan. Simply select possible shading objects and position them on the terrain or the building. PV*SOL® Expert then calculates how often on average the modules are shadowed by the objects and displays the result in graphical form.

Your benefit: the visualization in 3D mode provides you with detailed information on shadows cast at various times of the day and year and consequently on likely reductions in yield.

System Requirements

PV*SOL Expert englisch

  • Internet Access
  • Processor: 2,5 GHz Pentium PC
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Hard Disk Drive: 700 MB
  • Monitor Resolution: at least 1.024 x 768 pixel
  • Operating System: Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Graphics: 3D, DirectX- compatible (at least Vers. 9.0c), 512 MB, OpenGL – Support
  • Other: Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0

Program Details

Simulation of Solar Power Plants of up to Two Megawatts in 3D mode

PV*SOL® Expert enables users to plan and visualize roof-integrated, roof-top and free-standing plants with a power of up to two megawatts. The maximum number of solar modules that can be visualized in a 3D mode has been increased from 2,000 to 5,000.

Simulation with Power Optimizers in 3D mode

PV*SOL® Expert can also simulate the influence of any power optimizer chosen. Thanks to the detailed shading analysis down to the level of the module itself, PV*SOL® Expert can now determine exactly, for each application, whether the use of a power optimizer is advisable and economical.

Interface to the programme k2base

PV*SOL® Expert has now received an interface to the programme k2base for the designing of mounting systems. Simply and comfortably, all of the information can be exported as XML files and processed directly for the assignment of as many roof surface areas as desired – for example, the dimensions and exact position of the modules. The additional costs for developing the roof-top view with the mounting system software have been omitted.

Modeling of PV Area and Vicinity – The Terrain View

PV*SOL® Expert leads you in a few easy steps to your target. First, you select one or more PV array buildings from a collection of common building types and sizes as required. Dormers, bay windows, walls, saw tooth roofs, and projecting roofs can also be covered with PV modules. It is possible to model the available roof area with millimeter precision by entering measurements for the roof overhang and restricted areas. You then simply enter the objects that could cause shade – buildings, trees walls, masts, etc. – and size them. Objects in the distance can be taken account of as a horizon line.

Restricted Areas and Shading Objects on the Roof – The Building View

When the dimensioning of the PV array building is complete, in the next step you can position and scale restricted areas and other shading objects on the roof, such as windows, chimneys, dormers, fire walls, satellite dishes, etc.

Textures for 3D Objects

For a realistic image of the building, you are able to personalze all the 3D objects with your own textures.

Module Coverage

The coverage of roof area with the maximum possible number of modules is carried out automatically or manually by selecting the coverable areas. Where required, PV*SOL® Expert can promptly display the annual reduction in irradiation (direct and diffuse radiation) for every point on the PV area and every module. In this way, you can make a more informed decision as to whether a module is viable or not at this position.

Optimizing Module Configuration

The modules selected by the user are then configured together with the inverters. The program automatically configures the individual strings, but the user is able to optimize the allocation depending on the shading situation. For existing configurations, modules can be freely allocated to strings. And in mounted systems, modules can be exchanged within a sub-array. 

Configuration Tree

PV*SOL® Expert offers an excellent side menu with a tree structure showing inverter configuration and associated functions. By clicking on an element in the structure, the selected part of the system configuration is highlighted and the camera zooms in on it. The side menu can be hidden as required.

Cable Plan - Work Area for System Configuration

The cabling of a PV system can be technically visualized and edited as early as the planning phase. PV*SOL Expert supports you with the configuration of modules, strings and inverters. You have a choice between automatic cabling with the optimum configuration option, and manual configuration of PV systems. The cable plan can only be used for roof mounted systems.

Shade Animation

A wide range of animation tools are available to the user when working with the software, so that each shade scenario can be visualized at any point in time.

Yield Simulation

A yield simulation is now run in PV*SOL® Expert’s technical dialog, taking into account the influence of bypass diodes and the partial hourly shading of each module.

Photo Dimensioning with Photo Plan

The integrated photo dimensioning programme Photo Plan is a visualization tool to quickly and easily create your customer’s roof. With a photo and a reference dimension, the roof and the planned PV system can be presented photorealistically. The program can also determine all essential roof dimensions. You only need a few minutes to create your customer’s roof with its very own PV system, according to your customer’s wishes. Photo Plan is therefore a great tool to help home owners make the right decision!

Component Database

In the extensive module and inverter databases, you will currently find data for roundabout 12,000 modules and 2,600 inverters which are continuously updated and extended by the automatic update function. The data are updated online by the module and inverter manufacturers. We then check the data and make it available to you at regular intervals, ensuring that you are always up to date.

Climate Data

The integrated MeteoSyn tool provides you with climate data records from 8,000 weather stations around the world and can interpolate climate data for any location from them. By entering monthly averages you can generate your own climate data sets for futher sites.

Economic Efficiency Calculation

You can enter detailed costs for the modules, inverters, or mounting in PV*SOL® Expert. Loans, discounts, depreciation, and tax payments, as well as the month that the system goes into operation, are all taken account of. Various feed-in tariffs and bands for systems on roofs, building facades, and ground-mounted systems can be saved and amended. PV*SOL® Expert determines not just the capital value, but also the electricity production costs and the amortization period according to VDI Guideline 2067 (VDI: Association of German Engineers).

The user can also:

  • Enter the annual degradation
  • Create a balance of costs by entering individual positions and different periods of use
  • Use pre-defined tariffs for Germany and Spain
  • Enter and save other tariffs
  • Print out the results with a wide range of graphics and tables

PV*SOL® Expert provides a one-page and/or detailed exportable report for your customers. The project report includes the following information:

  • Projected specific annual yield
  • Final yield
  • Performance ratio
  • System efficiency
  • PV generator efficiency
  • Solar fraction
  • Energy and other values
  • Economic efficiency calculation

For a professional customer presentation, PV*SOL® Expert allows you to easily integrate individually labeled 3D screenshots from your project into the detailed project report.

Would you also like to simulate stand-alone systems? Then you should purchase PV*SOL Expert set. The set version additionally includes the program PV*SOL Pro standalone.

Overview of Program Features
  • Simulation of shading in 10 minute intervals
  • Information on the PV coverage of any number of roof areas can be exported as an XML file. The data can be further processed in the software k2base and the right mounting system with a bill of materials can then be determined.
  • Yield simulation takes account of the precise shading ratio for each module
  • Easy to use configuration of modules with inverters
  • Yield simulation for systems with SolarEdge Power Optimizers
  • Automatic and manual PV module roof coverage, taking account of restricted areas
  • Technical visualization of the cabling of a PV system (configuration of modules, strings and inverters)
  • Animated visualization of the course of shade for any point in time
  • Visualization of the annual direct irradiation reduction for each point of the PV area
  • Mounted systems can be planned in 3D mode - including ground-mounted systems
  • Presentation and simulation of east/west mounted systems
  • Adaptation of the system to the roof architecture
  • Optimization of row distances and installation angle
  • Configuration across rows
  • Joint configuration of multiple PV areas
  • Manual configuration in 3D visualization
  • Optimization of PV module coverage and configuration corresponding to the shading situation
  • Modules can be freely allocated to strings in existing configurations
  • Multiple buildings and dormers can be covered with PV modules
  • Saw tooth roofs can be visualized and covered with PV modules
  • Use of own textures for all 3D objects
  • Reactive power supply
  • Derating in small PV systems
Feature Matrix
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Frequently Asked Questions: Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps

Open the heat pump database via the menu item "Database" > "Heat pumps". Now select from the available records a heat pump of the same type with a comparable coefficient of performance (COP) and click with the right mouse button on it. Select from the context menu "Create copy". In the definition window you can enter the model type of the heat pump under product. Enter the required characteristics according to the data sheet. If you do not find all the test points on your data sheet you only have to change the test points which are available and leave the other according to the template. Save everything with "OK".

Heat Pumps

Hot water tanks can help to bridge the off-periods. Furthermore, low temperature heating systems are very inert and can therefore also compensate off-periods. You can thus prove that no supply gaps occur even when using off-periods.


Heat Pumps

This can have various causes.

Hot water priority circuit block the heating:

Even if the performance of the heat pump and the heating element can satisfy the heating load together, it may be that due to the domestic hot water (DHW) priority circuit not enough energy is delivered to the heating circuits . Domestic hot water circulation losses can increase the energy consumption in addition.

=> Check the domestic hot water heating: DHW temperature, size of the heat pump and the heating element and the limits of operation of the heat pump, size of the DHW standby tank.

Monovalent operation mode:

In the monovalent operation mode, the heat pump must deliver all of the energy. If the source temperatures are outside the operating limits, the heat pump is turned off and supplies the heating circuits thus insufficient ( e.g. due to frozen ground when using geothermal collectors or extremely cold ambient air when using air heat pumps). This effect may also occur on a daily basis in the fall, if a low heating demand is present at times with high source temperatures.

= > Operate the heat pump monoenergetic with a heating element.

=> Define a custom heat pump (a copy of an existing heat pump in the database) and adjust the operating limits.

Heat Pumps

The yield of the collector circuit is delivered to the tank. Above a certain size, an increase of the collector area causes that the energy input in the tank is greater than the demand and the tank is heated above the required temperature. At 90°C the collector circuit is turned off. A portion of the yield of the solar system is not used to meet the requirements, but there are increased tank losses generated. These “solar tank losses” are presented on the results page. For optimum sizing of the solar system you have to vary the size of the collector area, the tilt angle and the tank size. Design criteria are efficiency, solar fraction and the solar tank losses.

Heat Pumps

In the program three different seasonal performance factors are shown on the "Simulation Results" page. In addition the SPF according to the VDI 4650 is presented.

Generally the SPF is calculated as follows:

SPF = benefit / expenditure

Depending on the system boundaries which are considered, the energies taken into account differ. It should thus be compared only SPF of the same type.

SPF Heat pump

This SPF limits the energy balance to the heat pump. It is the largest of all SPF and can usually help in assessing the operation of the heat pump. In the monoenergetic operation mode it is usually somewhat higher, since at very low source temperatures (= bad seasonal performance factor of the heat pump), the heating element takes over the supply.

Benefit: The heat supplied by the heat pump heat.

Expenditure: The electricity consumption of the heat pump without external pumps and without heating element.


SPF of heat pump system

This SPF is a good benchmark for the entire system. The efficiency of the heating element is set at 100 %. Furthermore, existing heating circuit pumps on the sink side are not considered.

Benefit: The heat supplied by the heat pump + the energy from the heating element.

Expenditure: The electricity consumption of the heat pump + heating element energy consumption + electricity consumption of external pumps on the heat source side of the heat pump.


SPF Generator system (Heat pump + Solar)

This SPF is usually much higher than the previous SPF, because for the low expenditure of the solar circuit pump a large amount of energy is delivered as a benefit.

Benefit: The total heat supplied by the HP + the energy from the heating element + the energy from the solar collector.

Expenditure: The electricity consumption of the heat pump + heating element energy consumption + electricity consumption of external pumps on the heat source side of the HP + electricity consumption of the solar loop pump.

SPF according to VDI 4650

It is especially relevant for the approval of funding in Germany. This SPF is calculatedby using simple equations decribed in the VDI 4650 (2009). So they may differ from the simulated SPF.

Program Screenshots