Photovoltaic Array & Solar Panel

PV Array & Solar Panel

Photovoltaic Array Analysis Software

Model, Analyze & Study Impact of Solar Farms on the Electric Grid

Photovoltaic (PV) Array comprising of solar panels are the predominant power generation components of renewable distributed energy resources (DER), solar farms with grid-tied inverters, islanding microgrids, and smart grids. PV Array converts solar radiation energy into direct current using semiconductors and then to alternating current electric power through inverters.

Solar Panels

ETAP Renewable Energy module includes three methods for studying photovoltaic power systems when combined with the appropriate network analysis capabilities and simulation scenarios:

PV Array & Solar Panel Software Key Features

  • Model unlimited solar panels individually or in groups
  • Series and/or parallel connection combinations to form a solar array
  • User-definable Solar panel library with manufacturer parameters and P-V, I-V characteristic curves
  • Estimate photovoltaic characteristics curve based on rating parameter from manufacturer datasheet 
  • PV inverter dynamic modeling using ETAP User-Defined Dynamic Model
  • Use Solar Irradiance Calculator to determine irradiance based on specified date, time & location
  • Combine solar irradiance patterns with Time Series Unified AC & DC Power Flow to simulate daily, monthly or yearly power injection from a PV farm & PV parks
  • Create multiple solar irradiance categories for predictive “what if” studies & scenarios
  • Built-in inverter model eliminates the need for unnecessary node connections
  • Includes modeling of Inverter Maximum Peak Power Tracking (MPPT) controller

Design & Analyze Solar Farms

Solar designers and planners can model and size, discrete solar photovoltaic panels, grid connected inverters, solar combiners and collector systems, system grounding, and more.

Solar UniLF

PV Integration Impact on Transmission Grid

System planners can represent solar plant as a single machine mathematical model of PV (Photovoltaic) Array to understand the impact of PV penetration in the grid under varying solar and temperature conditions.

System dynamic behavior can be studied by changing solar irradiance, tripping the PV plant, simulating system faults at PV connected buses. Study results determine extent of system vulnerability with increase in penetration and uncertainty of PV power generation.


PV Impact on Distribution Grid as DER

In today’s modern grid, the penetration of solar generation has a noticeable impact on distribution networks. Distribution system planners can utilize ETAP PV Array combined with a suite of analysis modules and Intelligent Geospatial Diagram to study impact of rooftop solar or generation hosting capacity of the feeder in addition to its load hosting capacity.

ETAP PV Array & Solar Panel Solution

Photovoltaic Array and Solar Panel elements are part of the Renewable Energy module and integrated with ETAP calculation modules and visualization foundations including:

PV Array & Solar Panel Modeling

Photovoltaic characteristics including P-V and I-V curves are defined in the user-configurable ETAP Photovoltaic Library or specifying the maximum peak power voltage (Vmpp), maximum peak power current (Impp), open circuit voltage (Voc) and short circuit current (Isc).

ETAP considers the effect of performance coefficients (α, β, γ) that define ranges in irradiance and cell temperature to automatically calculate the expected power output from the photovoltaic array.


Solar Irradiance Calculator

Photovoltaic Array element includes a built-in Solar Irradiance Calculator based on sun position to estimate solar irradiance incident upon a location. Solar Irradiance is the power per unit area available at a location due to solar radiation.

ETAP Solar Irradiance Calculator is especially useful when designing or estimating electrical power output from the panels without knowledge of the entire network.


P-V and I-V Characteristic Curve Estimation

In ETAP Photovoltaic Array Library, the characteristics curve can be estimated based on the maximum peak power voltage (Vmpp), maximum peak power current (Impp), open circuit voltage (Voc), short circuit current (Isc), and series connected cell number (Ns). 

The estimation calculation is conducted with either a One-Diode or Two-diode Circuit Model and curve fitting techniques within user-definable maximum deviation. Estimated curve is populated into the PV editor for system calculation.

P-V and I-V Characteristic Curve Estimation

Expanded Photovoltaic Array Library from CEC list

In addition to the existing PVA models, more than 17,000 models from California Energy Commission (CEC) Solar Equipment List have been imported into ETAP Photovoltaic Array Library with estimated characteristic curve in ETAP 20.5.0.

Expanded Photovoltaic Array Library from CEC list


Methods for Evaluating DC Arc Incident Energy in PV Systems

Methods for Evaluating DC Arc Incident Energy in PV Systems

Renewable energy systems continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the energy industry. This presentation focuses on the understanding of how photovoltaic (PV) technology behaves under dc arc conditions. A comparative analysis of the arc flash incident energy calculation method developed in collaboration between National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and ETAP details the effect of PV module I-V and P-V curves under arcing conditions. Examples of the application of the proposed calculation method to the test measurements are included.

Photovoltaic Array & Solar Panel

Photovoltaic Array & Solar Panel

An overview to photovoltaic array modeling and simulation using the ETAP software for solar panel sizing and grid impact analysis.


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