• At EU PVSEC, imec, EnergyVille and PVcase have revealed their software solution that can accurately predict energy output of a PV plant at the design stage
  • It can be hugely beneficial for bifacial PV plants as the first blind tests of the prototype software conducted by a potential launching customer showed ‘best-in-class’ results
  • They plan to launch the software solution to commercial market in H1/2020

A software solution that allows easy design and accurate prediction of the energy yield of state-of-the-art PV power plants is something Belgium based research institute imec along with EnergyVille and Lithuanian software company PVcase have designed and presented at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference 2019 in Marseille in early September (EU PVSEC).

The trio say first blind tests of the prototype software conducted by a potential launching customer showed best-in-class results for bifacial PV plants. The product is expected to hit the market during H1/2020. They anticipate bifacial technology to account for 40% of all installations in the next decade.

Predicting energy yield of a PV power plant during design phase could be a crucial indicator of the success of the project and also ensure return on investment, something imec and team believes is not fully exploited due to limited modelling capabilities of currently available software tools for bifacial and sun-tracking systems.

The simulation software proposed by the trio, uses imec’s simulation methodology along with the knowledge of PVcase’s in site planning and software development which they argue offers the potential to develop a commercially available solution offering a streamlined workflow to design PV power plants including accurate energy yield at ‘acceptable costs’. PVcase has also transferred imec’s computation core in a user-friendly web-based environment that enables the use of cloud computing.

Talks are ongoing with additional partners, potential investors and launching customers, imec said.

In February 2019, imec and EnergyVille proposed a new simulation framework to accurately assess energy yield of bifacial PV systems and claimed back then the framework may be validated on large-scale installations in real-life conditions (see Simulation Framework For Bifacial Energy Yield).