Further tailoring pvDesign to US standards

The United States is a leading country in the Solar market and it’s a priority for us to always be aligned with this market’s needs. From now on, our clients will be able to access an improved implementation of the NEC standards, use the IEEE standards, download documentation in imperial units, and upload SolarAnywhere or NREL TMYs directly.

Gabriel Cañadas

25 Nov, 20 / UPDATED 15 Apr, 21

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Solar PV accounted for nearly 40% of all new electricity-generating capacity additions in 2019, installing 13.3 GW (+23% from 2018), of which 8.4 GW was utility-scale (+37% YoY and 63% of the total pv installed), to reach 77.7 GW of total installed capacity.

Wood Mackenzie, taking into consideration COVID-19 effects, forecasts a 33% annual growth in solar PV installations in 2020, with nearly 18 GW of new installations expected, corresponding 14.4 GW to the utility-scale segment. This new capacity will continue to grow in the following years with an expected 83.2 GW installed from 2020 to 2025.

Taking into consideration these numbers, RatedPower has identified the US solar market as one of the most important ones and therefore has allocated specific resources to have pvDesign always aligned with this market’s needs.

To this respect, RatedPower's pvDesign now:

  • Has improved the way the NEC (National Electrical Code) is implemented for cable sizing.
  • Has introduced the IEEE Standards (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) to size interconnection facilities.
  • We provide all of the downloadable documentation in Imperial Units.

NEC

During the past months RatedPower’s engineering team has been working hard to improve how the NEC is implemented when designing solar PV projects with pvDesign. Among the most important improvements we can highlight:

  • Cable ampacity tables have been updated.
  • The NEC insulations have been included.
  • The ground temperature, thermal resistivity, and trench depth correction factors have been added.
  • The sizing of cables regarding the voltage drop has been changed and improved.

IEEE standard

With regards to the implementation of the IEEE standard, pvDesign users can now have their substation (electrical devices, insulation coordination, short-circuit calculations and the busbar calculation) sized in compliance to this standard.

IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that is based in the United States and that was formed from the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the institute developed many standards that became, later, international. Among those standards, there are the ones that define electrical guidelines and protocols mainly used in the United States.

Imperial units

It has been made clear by our US clients that having an option to download the documentation provided by pvDesign with Imperial Units was essential. Therefore, in order to adapt to our clients' needs, in addition to having the interface in Imperial Units, all the documentation in pvDesign can now also be downloaded in Imperial Units.

Meteo data importer

Last but not least, after understanding that SolarAnywhere's and NREL's are the most commonly used TMYs in the US, we have incorporated a meteo data importer that allows users to directly upload their SolarAnywhere, NREL, Meteonorm or SolarGIS TMYs.


Recently added meteorological data importer

All in all, RatedPower will continue to adapt pvDesign not only to the US market, but to all of the markets where it has presence, trying to fulfill its customer specific needs while staying a global tool.

If you have any questions regarding the methodology or any other standards you would like to see implemented, please feel free to reach out and tell us more about your ideas. Request a free demo to see this in action.

What you should do now

Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways we can help you grow your solar business and reduce LCOE of your PV plants.

  1. Get hands-on with a free pvDesign demo. If you’d like to learn the ins and outs of how top photovoltaic software can help your engineering team, go ahead and request your free demo. One of our solar experts will understand your current design and engineering workflows, and then suggest practical tips on how to speed up them though the right tool.
  2. If you’d like to learn insights, ideas and inspiration for the low-carbon energy transition for free, go to our blog or visit our resources section, where you can download guides, templates and checklists solar successful pros use.
  3. If you’d like to work with other passionate experts on our team, or learn more about our purpose and corporate values, then see our Careers page.
  4. If you know another solar designer, developer or engineer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn or Twitter.

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Gabriel Cañadas

Business developer

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