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PV*SOL premium

Dynamic simulation pv program with 3D visualization and detailed shading analysis of photovoltaic systems with storage 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® premium does just that! You can visualize all roof-integrated or mounted systems - even on 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® premium then calculates how often on average the modules are shaded 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.

Through the detailed analysis of the shading of individual modules, the effect of power optimization on the system yield can also be precisely visualized in PV*SOL® premium.

New features in PV*SOL premium 2018

Online help


System Requirements

PV*SOL premium 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 Vista, Windows 7 (latest service packs each), Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Graphics: DirectX- compatible (at least Vers. 9.0c), 1 GB, OpenGL – Support
  • Other: Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.2 Redistributable Package

Program Details

NEW! Import of 3D Models

For the input of object data, 3D models in different file formats can now be imported into the software via a new interface. This makes it possible to import realistic and detailed 3D objects created with photos taken from different perspectives (e.g. using a drone). This will add another important tool to the already existing possibility of importing floor plans, cadastral maps and screenshots from web-based satellite maps (e.g. Google Earth) directly into the 3D visualization and thus integrating them to scale into a project.

NEW! 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.

NEW! 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.

Solar Power for your Electric Vehicles

In PV*SOL® premium 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.

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 inverter and 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.

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

PV*SOL® premium 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 3D mode has been increased to 5,000.

Modeling of PV Area and Vicinity – Terrain View

PV*SOL® premium 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.

Extrude Buildings Based on Satellite Maps

Buildings and objects can be created quickly and easily by using floor plan drawings and satellite maps. It must be drawn only the respective contours and then the building can be extruded by entering the height. Thus, for example, any building shapes with a flat roof can be produced.

Restricted Areas and Shading Objects on the Roof – 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.

Module Coverage

The coverage of a 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 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.

Yield Simulation

PV*SOL premium performs a yield simulation based on the values entered. A mathematical model is used that allows the accurate reproduction of the characteristic line for each PV module contained in the database. This means that you can also precisely calculate thin film module yields, with the influence of bypass diodes and the partial hourly shading of each module being taken into account.

Financial Analysis

You can enter detailed costs for the modules, inverters, or mounting in PV*SOL® premium. 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® premium 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 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 results are shown in a detailed table in the balance of costs.

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

With the expanded electricity tariff models system in PV*SOL® premium 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.

Photo Dimensioning with Photo Plan

The integrated photo dimensioning program Photo Plan is a tool to quickly and easily visualize your customer’s roof using a photo. With a reference dimension, the respective roof with the planned PV system can be presented photorealistically and all the necessary roof measurements taken. Photo Plan therefore provides real decision support!

Component Database

The extensive module and inverter database currently contains over 14,500 module and 3,500 inverter data sets that are continuously updated and extended by the automatic update function. The data is maintained online directly by the respective manufacturers. You can speed up the selection of components by adding lists of favorites.

Climate Data

The MeteoSyn climate database contains around 450 data sets from the German Weather Service for Germany with the averaging period 1981-2010, as well as over 8,000 global data sets, based on meteonorm 7.1 with the averaging period 1991-2010. You can easily select the climate data via an interactive map. You can also create new climate data either by interpolation from existing measured values or on the basis of your own monthly mean values.

Detailed Circuit Diagram and String Plan

On the circuit diagram page, you can see a representation of your PV system with standardized circuit symbols, e.g. for registration with the energy provider. The circuit diagram can be exported in DXF format. In addition, it is also possible to create string plans for non-mounted PV systems in order to inform the solar engineer about the desired wiring of the PV modules.

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).

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.

Overview of Program Features

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

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


  • Calculation of electric vehicles with battery storage system.
  • High and Low Tariffs (HT/LT) for designing plants.
  • Buildings and objects can be extrudec using floor plan drawings and satellite maps.
  • DC-coupled storage systems can also be simulated. DC systems with generator or load-sharing are available to select.
  • Output of yield probabilities (e.g., P90).
  • Sizing help for battery storage systems.
  • Thermal flat and tube collectors as 3D objects.
  • Optimization of the polygon drawing tool, e.g. definition of right angles.
  • Visualization of the roof structure by displaying rafters and battens.
  • All roof areas in the 3D visualization will now be issued with the most important dimensions in a plan. An export (*.dxf) in most CAD programs is possible.
  • Copying of object groups including all structures and inverter configurations.
  • Simple duplication of objects by specifying the number of duplicates and the distance between them.
  • Selection of custom textures for terrain.
  • Autosave
  • 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.
  • Easy to use configuration of modules with inverters
  • Yield simulation for systems with power optimizers
  • Automatic and manual PV module roof coverage (up to 5,000 modules), 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
  • Simulation of shading in 10 minute intervals
  • 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.

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Program Screenshots