PVSyst and Solar Photovoltaic Technical (2-3 days)

PVSyst is a powerful software that simulates the energy flow through a photovoltaic system in order to estimate energy output, performance ratio and other parameters. It is the de-facto industry standard for bankable energy yield assessments.

In this interactive workshop we discuss the physical and technical context of the components and effects such as horizon, nearby buildings, lightning rods or ageing, and explain how they are implemented in PVSyst.

We are working through case studies of grid connected as well as an offgrid system.

1. Introduction

  • The components of a photovoltaic power plant.

2. Siting and Meteo Definitions

  • The need for geographic and meteorological data and their implementation in PVSyst.

3. Orientation

  • Fixed mounting structures vs trackers
  • Capturing light reflection from the ground: albedo
  • Gains and losses from tilting panels
  • Types of trackers: single axis (N-S, E-W, vertical) and dual axis trackers - defining trackers in PVSyst.
  • Backtracking strategy
  • Comparison of energy gains

4. The electrical system: modules, inverters, cables


  • The equivalent circuit of a module
  • Influence of cell temperature on module performance.
  • Influence of choice of photovoltaic material.
  • Standard testing conditions
  • Inverters: main inverter parameters, measuring inverter efficiency and overload behaviour
  • Configuring modules in series and in strings: calculating possible ranges for numbers of modules per string and number of strings.
  • Impact of under- and over-sizing the inverter
  • Inverter concepts: central inverter concept, string inverter concept and others.


  • Using PVSyst component library
  • Importing component definitions and manual input of components
  • System sizing

5. Shading

  • Shading on panels result in energy losses: types and their implementation in PVSyst
  • Temporary shading: soling, snow
  • Far-shading: horizong
  • Near-shading: partial shading of modules caused by nearby obstacles such as buildings and trees
  • Near-shading from thin objects such as lightning rods or overhead lines.

Building a 3D scene in PVSyst with module layout to view effects of shading and to minimize impact.

6. Other Losses

  • Discussion of other causes of losses:
  • lack of cooling
  • facility maintenance
  • module manufacturing tolerances
  • ageing of panels
  • reflection of light on the pretective glass
  • auxiliary devices such as fans or monitoring equipment
  • modules mismatch and string voltage mismatch.

7. Simulation and Reporting

  • Configuring, viewing and exporting reports and data output from the simulation.
  • Batch simulations
  • Calculating P-90 and P-95 levels for annual energy production and performance ratio
  • Using variants
  • PVSyst optimization tool: varying several parameters such as tilt and azimuth to maximize output.

8. Standalone Systems

  • Using PVSyst to size and analyze off-grid solar photovoltaic systems based on a user load profile:
  • Direct DC-DC coupling
  • Hybrid photovoltaic and battery system (DC)
  • Hybrid photovoltaic, battery and generator backup (AC)
PV System Components
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