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Modeling Terrain following trackers from PVcase in PVsyst
Modeling Terrain following trackers from PVcase in PVsyst

PVsyst, TFT, terrain following trackers

Sophie Nguyen avatar
Written by Sophie Nguyen
Updated over a week ago

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To properly import the position of TFT frames into PVsyst while overcoming different PVsyst limitations, TFT frames are separated into bays when imported into PVsyst.

To modify the partition for TFT, according to PVsyst:

  • If all the modules are connected to the same string, the string partition is one rectangle in both sizes (i.e. 1 x 1).

  • If the bottom and the top row of each table are connected to two different strings, you should split your table into 2 rectangles-strings.

However, if the user is keen to connect strings by frames as close to the design as possible, the user can overcome this by creating two separate variances with two separate 3D shading scenes. The user should ensure both designs have the same amount of modules, joints, motor gaps, and piles.

Variance 1

Variance 2

Frame type

N-S horizontal axis tracker

Terrain following tracker


Model electrical loss due to shading

Model overall production

How to turn TFT to N-S horizontal axis tracker in PVcase and vice versa:

  1. Make a copy of the TFT frame preset

  2. Uncheck the “Terrain following tracker” checkbox

  3. Ensure all other technical parameters are identical (image below)

  4. Use Swap preset to change between different frame types

The user should complete the settings for any main and optional parameters for both variances identically before modifying the 3D shading scene. In the first variance, the user can create a string partition in the 3D shading scene and compute the shading factor table according to the module string

Once the variance is ready to simulate, the user must export the 8760 report which includes the Electrical Shading Loss using the steps below:

  1. Advance simulation

  2. Select “Output file”. Ensure the “Enable output file” checkbox is selected

  3. Select “File name”

  4. Expand “Array” element

  5. Select “ShdElec” to export the Electrical shading loss in the 8760 report. (Other parameters are not within the scope of this article)

When the 8760 is exported correctly, the user will receive the message below:

The user can access the file via: C:\Users\user_name\PVsyst7.0_Data\UserHourly

In the second variance with the TFT 3D shading scene, the user can compute the shading factor table by linear shading.

Simulate the project and repeat the steps to obtain the 8760 report.

Once the user has the 8760 reports from both variances, the final production is computed by subtracting the E_grid from the variance 1 by the ShdElec from the variance 2

E_Gridfinal = EGrid2 - ShdElec1

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