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Dynamic simulation with our photovoltaic planning program for the design and optimization of photovoltaic systems, with storage systems


The further PV feed-in tariffs decrease, the more important it is for architects, engineers and PV system planners to convince their customers that self-consumption also contributes to the profitability of solar electric systems. With our dynamic simulation program PV*SOL®, you can now calculate self-consumption even more precisely, because it is as yet the only version that is able to simulate storage systems. In addition, it imports load profiles measured in one and 15 minute steps.

The automatic configuration is able to deliver within seconds all the meaningful inverter combinations for a PV system with a maximum of 100 000 modules. You can also simulate systems by the minute with any number of module arrays in different orientations. You have the possibility of selecting multiple system inverters and combining them with other inverters - even if they are equipped with different MPP trackers.

Online help

System Requirements

PV*SOL englisch

  • Internet Access
  • Processor: Intel i3 or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB
  • Hard Disk Drive: 850 MB
  • Monitor Resolution: at least 1.024 x 768 pixel
  • Operating System: Windows 7 (latest service pack), Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Graphics: DirectX- compatible (at least Vers. 9.0c), 1 GB, OpenGL – Support
  • Other: Microsoft .Net Framework 4.7.2 Redistributable Package


Program Details

NEW! Additional Features for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles can now be divided into several groups. For each group the user can determine the vehicle type, number and expected kilometers. The timings at the charging station can be set individually for each group on 7 days of the week.

As previously, the user can select their electric car from the database. They then enter their daily mileage, and PV*SOL® premium calculates how much PV energy can be used to charge the car. The software also calculates the cost per 100 kilometers, with and without the use of photovoltaics.

NEW! Revised Detailed Circuit Diagram

The circuit diagram will greatly simplify construction work. Particularly in the case of complex systems, attention has been paid to a clear representation of the configuration of the individual modules and strings, right up to the inverter and the feed-in point. All possible and necessary safety devices can be added at a later stage to the automatically generated circuit diagram.

NEW! Calculation of Bifacial Modules

Another useful addition is the inclusion of the calculation of bifacial modules. After the automatic transfer of the necessary data from the 3D visualization, the irradiation is calculated for the backs of the mounted modules. The irradiation gains and the resulting yield are shown in the energy balance and project report.

Polymorphic Interconnection in Combination with Optimizers

Flexibility has been significantly increased with regard to the configuration of the modules, which are automatically placed on an object. The new possibility of polystring configuration allows completely different strings to be connected parallel or in series to an MPP tracker. This is required, for example, to connect an east-west roof parallel to one MPP tracker. Even different modules in a string can now be interconnected, e.g. defective modules that are no longer available which need to be replaced by similar new ones. Modules with different orientations can now also be connected in one string via the integration of power optimizers (e.g. SolarEdge, Tigo). These new functionalities increase the flexibility of the design process enormously and allow even more detailed configuration and simulation of the PV system.

Energy Flow Diagram

Other useful additions for the optimization of a system are the output of the I-V characteristics for each time step of the simulation, as well as an energy flow diagram representing the overall system including the battery system, appliances and also an electric vehicle.

Other Features
  • Several models are now available for the distribution of the global radiation into direct and diffuse components, as well as the calculation of the diffuse radiation on the inclined surface (see screenshot).
  • When using power optimizers (e.g. SolarEdge, Tigo), the inverters and optimizers can be selected and represented realistically.
  • The U-I and U-P curves are now shown for each time step.
Design of Grid Connected Systems with Battery Storage

Plan your own battery storage system by quickly and easily selecting the batteries used and defining the battery inverterand charging strategy. Alternatively, you can load complete battery storage systems from leading manufacturers. Due to the reliable and validated simulation models, you can make even more precise statements about the self-consumption and self-sufficiency rates.

High and Low Tariffs (HT/LT) for Designing Plants

With the expanded electricity tariff models system in PV*SOL® designers can take high and low tariffs (HT/LT) when designing plants. This function is especially interesting in countries where HT/LT, net metering and time of use tariffs are widespread. 

Economics: Net-Metering

PV*SOL now allows a further model for remuneration of solar power, the net metering. Here, the energy produced by the pv system is fed into the grid and balanced with the energy which has to be used from the grid.

Off-Grid Systems with AC Coupling (with SMA components)

With the new design for off-grid systems, you can professionally plan and simulate AC coupled stand-alone systems. As usual in our software all necessary planning steps are displayed. This includes the dimensioning of the pv system, the batteries and inverters as well as the simulation of the yield, the economic efficiency and the battery life time.

Optimizing Module Configuration

The configuration of the modules can be carried out automatically or manually. You can decide whether you want to configure multiple module areas with one inverter or choose an inverter for each module area - or combine both. The current status of the system check for the complete configuration, each inverter and MPP tracker is displayed at all times in the configuration window. This means that you always have an overview of ​​whether your chosen configuration is in the design, tolerance or restricted area. Another highlight is the option "Suggest Configuration", which allows you to quickly and easily load the best configuration from your favorite inverters into the design. After configuration, the assignment of modules to strings can be individually adjusted, for example if required by the shading situation.

Component Database

The extensive module and inverter database currently contains over 18,200 module and 4,400 inverter data sets that arecontinuously updated and extended by the automatic updatefunction. The data is maintained online directly by the respectivemanufacturers. You can speed up the selection of components byadding lists of favorites.

Climate Data Generator MeteoSyn

The MeteoSyn climate database contains around 450 data setsfrom the German Weather Service for Germany with the averagingperiod 1981-2010, as well as over 8,000 global data sets, based on meteonorm 7.0 with the averaging period 1986-2005. You can easily select the climate data via an interactive map. You can also create new climate data either by interpolation fromexisting measured values or on the basis of your own monthlymean values. The climate data record used for your design is saved in the project.

Photodimensioning with Photo Plan

The integrated photo dimensioning program Photo Plan is a toolto quickly and easily visualize your customer’s roof using a photo. With a reference dimension, therespective roof with the planned PV system can be presentedphotorealistically and all thenecessary roof measurementstaken. Photo Plan thereforeprovides real decision support!

Dimensioning of all AC and DC cabling

To deliver genuine results, the program calculates both the string cable losses as well as the AC and DC cable losses per inverter. On the cables page, you can enter cable lengths and cross sections, and let the program calculate the resulting total loss from the array output (under STC conditions). In addition you can dimension the electrical protective devices and the DC topology via various distributors. During a pre-planning phase, you can enter the total loss (under STC conditions).

Economic Efficiency Calculation

In PV*SOL®, you can enter detailed costs for modules, inverters, and mounting. Loans take into account discounts, amortization, and tax payments, as well as the month a system is started up. The EU’s varying remuneration for systems up to 30 kW and above, the graded rates for systems on roofs, on building facades, and in open areas are already integrated and can be modified where required. On the basis of VDI guideline 2067, PV*SOL® calculates electricity generation costs and the pay-back time in addition to the capital value. The selection of multiple feed-in tariffs is possible, and their terms can be defined as follows: parallel, consecutive or offset. Deeming can be considered when designing systems with self-consumption in the UK.

The user also has the option to

  • enter annual depreciation
  • draw up annual expenses by entering individual items with statements on varying useful life
  • use tariffs for Germany and Spain as predefined files
  • set up further tariffs
  • print out the results with a range of graphs and tables.
Clear Presentation of Results with Yield and Consumption Diagram

The detailed results overview contains a presentation of the simulation results. The detailed financial analysis includes a cash-flow table and detailed energy balances with all the profit and loss figures. All simulation results can be exported to Excel in hourly resolution.


Overview of Program Features
Languages (Program):
English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish

Languages (Presentation):
English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish
Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Norwegian, Swedish, Slovakian, Turkish

  • NEW: DC-coupled storage systems can also be simulated. DC systems with generator or load-sharing are available to select.
  • NEW: Output of yield probabilities (e.g., P90).
  • NEW: Sizing help for battery storage systems.
  • Import and selection of multiple load profiles.
  • Easy configuration of pv systems which multiple system inverters.
  • Displaying of simulation results per module area in the project report.
  • Maximum Feed-in power cliping selectable at the inverter or at feed-in point.
  • Simulation of lithium-ion batteries is possible.
  • Optional simulation of minutes or hourly values.
  • The project report is available in Turkish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and now also in Slovak, Norwegian, Croatian, Portuguese, Hungarian.
  • Full feed-in and net metering
  • All databases are extended and updated on a monthly basis
  • Any number of module arrays can be freely configured with system inverters in combination with other inverters
  • Optimal sizing assistance for inverter configuration
  • Graphical PV coverage tool for any roof shape in 2D
  • Technical circuit diagram for utility applications with DXF export
  • Import of load profiles in minute steps with minute simulation
  • Detailed presentation of results with diagrams and tables
  • Detailed energy balance with all occurring losses
  • Configurable project presentation including title page, system configuration, data sheets
Feature Matrix

Frequently Asked Questions: Heat Pumps



We have again compared the simulation results from PV*SOL® with actual measured PV module data. For all PV modules, for which manufacturers provide details on the part-load performance of their PV modules,  the projected yields after simulation with PV*SOL® correspond very closely with the measured results of the PV modules, due to the precise efficiency curve.

If, however, the manufacturer has not provided details, so that for these PV modules the corresponding efficiency curve in PV*SOL® must be based on standard part-load performance data, the simulation results are considerably lower compared with the measured results, at least for crystalline PV modules.

In order to meet the current development trend for crystalline PV modules, in version 5.5 of PV*SOL Expert the standard part-load performance efficiency curve has been adjusted. Therefore the yield can increase up to approximately 3% in the latitude regions of 30° and 5% in the mid latitudes (50°).

This concerns the following crystalline cell types:

- Si monocrystalline
- Si polycrystalline
- ribbon
- microcrystalline


The SolarEdge system includes module-level DC-DC power optimizers and string inverters.

PV*SOL does not perform system design for SolarEdge inverters and power optimizers. Please use the SolarEdge Site Designer for string sizing, inverter and power optimizer selection.

Then PV*SOL can be used for energy estimation of the design obtained from the SolarEdge Site Designer.

For a detailed description please see the following PDF.

The SolarEdge Power Optimizers are only available from the program version PV*SOL Expert 6.0.


When you try to generate a project report the following message appears: „DLL nicht gefunden“ or „DLL not found“.

Please download the missing dll file here , unzip it and copy the "Projektberichtdll.dll" file to your program directory. If you are using the default directory it should be as follows:

Windows XP:

C:\Programs\Valentin EnergieSoftware\PVSOL xxx\dll\

Windows Vista/ Windows 7

C:\Program Files\Valentin EnergieSoftware\PVSOL xxx\dll\


A horizon with an elevation angle of 2° all-round is entered as a shading object as a default in the program version up to PV*SOL Expert 5.5. This setting leads to a small yield reduction due to horizon shading. If you wish to delete the horizon object, please select the "Horizon" menu item in the terrain view and delete it by changing the elevation angle from 2.00° to 0°.


The net present value is displayed, and not the amount of the feed-in tariff. This means that the feed-in tariff every year is shown minus the capital interest calculated since the starting point. If you wish to see the course of the feed-in tariff over time without interest being taken into account, please set the annual average return on capital employed to zero.


In PV*SOL premium and PV*SOL the number of modules per sub-array is limited to 100,000. Within the 3D visualization you can plan with a module number of up to 5,000.



Your module does not have 100W, but only 98,5W. The output given by manufacturers is often rounded. The actual nominal output, as calculated in PV*SOL, results from the MPP current and MPP voltage under standard test conditions (STC).


This is not possible directly from PV*SOL. However, you can copy the table to the clipboard (button “Copy Table”) and then paste it into e.g. Word or Excel. You can then print the table from there.


If you want to determine the number of modules by using the roof dimensions you have to select the option "Determine Output from Roof Surface" in the "Technical Data" window. The button "Roof Parameters" beside this is then activated. Click the button to access the "Roof View" window.


The climate data are stored in a database. In PV*SOL Pro/Expert they can be viewed by using the menu item "Results" - "Energy and Climate Data". Select the desired data category, like "Radiation", "Wind" or "Temperature" and press the "OK" button. To view more detailed results you can scale the graph via the "Axes" - "X-Axis" menu. Choose your desired time and display interval. The graph can also be viewed in tabular format. To do this click on the "Table" button. The table can be exported for further processing, e.g. in Microsoft Excel.

In PV*SOL premium and PV*SOL the Excel export in the presentation window can be used to display hourly values of the climate data.


Yes. In the dialog "Technical Data" - "PV Array" you can select between single and dual axis tracking:

- With single axis tracking, an azimuth of -90° to 90° is taken into account, with a vertical rotation axis.

- Dual axis tracking calculates the situation with movement of both rotation axes.

In both cases, the technical limits of the tracking system are not taken into account. This means that if the tracking system can only be rotated up to a certain angle, this is not taken into consideration by the software.

To use this feature in PV*SOL Expert please select system planning without 3D visualisation.


The PV Solar Surface Area is the area that forms the basis of the manufacturer’s measurement of module efficiency. For simulation, the program determines the Solar Surface Area from the calculated power and efficiency (ETA), using the following formula:

PV Solar Surface Area = Nominal output(STC) / (1000 W/m² * ETA(STC)) 

In some cases, the resulting figure is different from the Gross PV Surface Area. If, for example, the manufacturer does not take the module frame into account when calculating the ETA (STC), in order to obtain a better ETA (STC), the Solar Surface Area will be smaller. For a Solar Surface Area that corresponds to the Gross PV Surface Area, you should click on the calculator symbol to calculate the Module Efficiency.


With PV*SOL you can build modules and inverters from different manufacturers into a system and mount these at different orientations and inclinations. To do this, the program splits the system into a number of different sub-arrays.
A PV array/sub-array is a PV surface unit made up of the same types of module mounted together and set at the same angle and orientation. If you have a number of inverters connected to an array, these also have to be all the same type and configured in the same way.
You are able to define up to 6 sub-arrays in PV*SOL Pro/Expert. In PV*SOL premium and PV*SOL the number of sub-arrays is arbitrary.


Yes, because the module array is simulated in terms of its installation type, azimuth and tilt angle of the modules and its height above the ground, independent of whether the modules are installed on a roof or on the ground. In the 2D planning you should select "Free-Standing" for the installation type. The height above ground can be defined in the "Losses" window. In the 3D visualization please select one of the open areas as coverable object.


The decisive factor for the yield is the part load efficiency. In this area, amorphous modules usually have a better efficiency than monocrystalline modules. The part load efficiency is presented in the efficiency characteristic curve which can be displayed under "Databases" - "PV Module" - "U/I Char. – Part Load" by clicking the "Efficiency Char. Curve" button.


No, with our PV programs it is not possible to calculate costs. There are no component prices or other costs included in the software. Every user will need to find out the costs for the planned system themselves. The system price determined by the user has to be entered in the "economic efficiency calculation" dialog and forms the basis of the economic efficiency prognosis. Default values are provided in the economic efficiency calculation and should not be viewed as average or empirical values. They need to be adjusted by the planner.


Whether the system is roof-integrated or roof-parallel does not play a decisive role in visual planning in the 3D tool, and thus the 3D tool does not yet differentiate between the two. Categorisation of the system as being roof-integrated or roof-parallel only occurs after 3D planning has been completed and you have returned to PV*SOL in the dialog "Losses" under Installation Type. Please select the option " With Ventilation" if your system is installed on a substructure parallel to the roof cladding or "Without Ventilation" if the system is integrated into the roof cladding. The calculation then takes the corresponding temperature situation into account. You can access the dialog "Losses" via the losses icon in the PV*SOL Expert main menu (a white bar in a red circle). Please note that you have to choose "free-standing" if you like to plan mounted systems.


This message means that an important hardware feature for the 3D display is not available on the graphics card being used.

Possible reasons for this:

- DirectX version lower than 9.0c.

- DirectX 9.0c is not supported by your graphics card.

- You are using a terminal server solution. The DirectX graphics component is not capable of running on a terminal server.

- You are using a Windows emulator. Not all Windows emulators support DirectX.

In many cases an update of your graphics card drivers can help.


Go to the menu "System" - "Technical Data" and then choose the "PV Array" tab. For mounted systems select the installation type "Free-Standing". You can either enter a set number of modules (select "Define Module Number") or you can select "Determine Output from Roof Area", in which case you can click on the "Roof Parameters" button to open the corresponding dialog. With mounted systems ("Free-Standing" installation type) and "Determine Output from Roof Area" when you click on the "Roof Parameters" button an additional dialog appears showing the minimum distance between modules.

Please note that mutual shading of the modules is not taken into account in the simulation.

How do I design a mounted system in the 3D visualization of PV*SOL Expert? Learn more here.


All modules are calculated with the part-load characteristic curve (efficiency or ETA curve). The specific part load operation for the modules is in some cases given by the manufacturer (see "Databases" - "PV Module" - "U/I Char. – Part Load"). In all other cases a characteristic curve is used that is specific to the cell type. It is possible to select from 11 different cell types. For the 5 thin film types: amorph, HIT, CIS, CdTe and triple a-Si, standard characteristic curves are available for typical part load operation. For the other 6 cell types the standard operation for monocrystalline modules is used.


The specific annual yield is calculated as follows:

specific annual yield = (energy produced by PV generator – energy from grid / (exact) PV output

Four decimal places are included in the calculation. The value for the energy from grid can be viewed in the "Results" – "Annual Energy Balance" dialog and in the Detailed Project Report.


The energy from grid is comprised of the appliance’s electricity requirement which is met by the grid (if connected) and the PV system’s own requirement (for inverter stand-by and night use).


The current feed-in tariffs can be downloaded from the Download area of our website. Please save and extract the *.zip file in the tariff folder of your PV*SOL program. Under "Options" - "Paths" - "Electricity Tariffs", you can see where the tariff folder is kept on your computer. If you want to set the new feed-in tariff as the "Standard Feed-in Tariff for New Projects", you can update this under "Options" - "Settings" - "Projects".

In PV*SOL advanced and PV*SOL basic the new feed-in tariffs are delivered via database update.


Start a new project with the option "System Planning without 3D visualization".  Open the "Technical Data" dialog. In the "Technical Data" dialog window please change to the "PV Array" tab and choose the option "Create preview of roof layout with Photo Plan". The button "Photo Plan" is now activated and you can access to Photo Plan.

Please note that Photo Plan is only available starting PV*SOL Pro 4.5 and PV*SOL Expert 4.5.


Please go to the "Electricity Tariff" window by choosing "Conditions" and then "Tariffs (Grid Connected Systems)" in the menu bar. Now select the "Net Metering" option. Leave the window with the "OK" button. Your entries made previously retained when switching between the grid concepts.


Usually the reason for that is the part load operation behavior of the modules. The specific data for every module are entered in the database by the manufacturers. They have the possibility to enter a specific part load operation point for their modules in our database. Then a specific part load operation curve is calculated for the module. If the manufacturer don’t enter the specific part load operation point and select the "standard part load operation" option a curve for the cell type is used (e.g. monocrystalline) for the calculation. Which part load operation curve is used for the selected modules can be seen in the database.


In PV*SOL premium and PV*SOL please open the tariff database via "Databases > feed-in tariffsand select the icon "New". Afterwards enter the required data.

To create your own feed-in tariffs in PV*SOL Pro/Expert you have to select the feed-in option in the databases menu. Please enter a name and choose your preferred country. Now insert the period of validity for tariff, the number of power levels and the inflation. Afterwards you can enter the feed-in payments in the table. Finally you have to save the file.


In PV*SOL advanced the Excel export can be found in the presentation window.

In PV*SOL Pro/Expert you are able to have a look at the detailed results via the “Energy and Climate Data” button. Please select your preferred data. With a click on “Table” you can switch the graph display to the table display.  Thereafter you are able to change the values to different intervals (e.g. week, month, year) by using "x-axis".  Use “File” => “Copy” to transfer the data to the clipboard. In Excel you can now insert the data with “paste”.


In PV*SOL premium and PV*SOL you will find these settings in the window climate, grid and system type under AC Mains.

In PV*SOL Pro/Expert please use the Feed-in Management of the Losses window. Here you can set the maximum feed-in in percentage of the nominal maximum pv array power. If you for example have 40 modules of 200 W then your theoretical maximum power is 8 kW. In the losses window you have to enter 75 % to reach a maximum feed-in power of 6 kW.


Power optimizers can be assigned to the PV system, one or several subsystems or one or several inverters in the tree view of the configuration. Please select first the configuration which should be used with power optimizers. Afterwards activate the power optimizer option by clicking on the "Star" icon.

Auswahl Leistungsoptimierer

The selected system part is now marked by a star.


We are currently working on the implementation of a separate simulation model for the use of this battery type. But with a few tricks you can simulate systems with Li-Ion batteries in the current PV*SOL anf PV*SOL premium. How to enter the necessary data and an interpretation of the simulation results can be found here.

Program Screenshots