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In this tutorial we will discuss steps to be taken in order to create fixed-tilt system layout in selected area.

Before generating tables, Frame & Park settings along with Layout generation settings must be set.

Frame and park settings

To start of with fixed-tilt table generation you need to first setup your framing and placement of tables. To do so - click on Frame & park settings and go through the three tabs in there.

Frame creation

Frame presets - create, save or delete your presets (presets apply for the current DWG and can be imported/export to other DWGs)
Module parameters - define your main module parameters.
Frame parameters - define your main frame parameters.
Custom piling - define your piling setup and pole distances for the frame.

Placement setup

Framing type - select either fixed-tilt or single-axis trackers or east-west.
Preset library - this is where all of your created presets for this DWG can be selected for generation. You can select multiple amounts of tables.

Park settings

Park parameters - define your frame placement parameters:

  • Table distance settings - input the Shading limit angle and PVcase will calculate the pitch distance and row spacing required for frames placed on a flat ground for that shading limit. You can also input the reference row spacing or pitch distance and PVcase will display the shading limit angle. The distance values can also be restricted by minimum and maximum inputs for inclining and declining slopes to maximize capacity.

  • Column spacing - minimum distance between frames in E-W distance for fixed tilt.

  • Azimuth - changes frame azimuth taking the South as the 0 reference angle.

  • Frame orientation - South or North facing frames can be selected depending on project location. Example, for projects in the Northern hemisphere use South facing.

  • Fixed pitch - option to generate a layout with a fixed pitch distance while on terrain. (note: will result in inter-row shading losses)

Frame height settings (advanced) - define frame placement on terrain. If you wish to learn more about this concept - click below:

Layout generation settings

  • Select restriction zone layer (boundaries on this layer will be avoided by frames)

  • Select units (milimeters/meters or inches/feet)

  • Topographic layout option allows to generate on terrain survey or on flat surface (satellite data).

  • Optimized frames option hides unnecessary objects (3D modules, poles) to increase performance of AutoCAD.

  • Maximum inclination frames option allows to place and color code frames that are exceeding the allowed table inclination limit.

  • Hill and Ditch tolerance frames option allows to place and color code frames that are exceeding the terrain tolerance limit. (Defined in Frame & park settings)

For information about tree shading settings please click below:

Defining boundaries and exclusion zones

Defining generation boundaries (PV areas)

Generation boundaries or PV areas are defined as a region drawn with a closed polyline. In order to create such a boundary - you can use AutoCAD's polyline function or any other drawing tool that will give you a closed boundary (i.e. rectangle) 

Usually, this region or boundary is separate from the actual site boundary and is offset from it.

🛈 Be sure to always close the polyline by using the close command (enter C into the command line while still drawing the line) or attaching the polyline end vertex to the start point with the green object snap.

Boundary troubleshooting

This error message appears when there are problems with the PV area region. Try checking the vertices to see whether you might have any polyline crossing over each other that create  smaller areas or perhaps vertices on top of each other.

Defining exclusion zones (offset areas)

Exclusion zones - by default, the PVcase offset layer is regarded as the exclusion zone layer. You can change which layer should be regarded as the exclusion zone in Layout generation settings.

This means, that any closed areas on this layer will force the software to avoid placing frames in that area - you can draw it using the same approach as you would for a PV area. (Closed polyline)


Generate single area - generate tables in a single area by selecting the area's polyline and specifying the alignment side and generation start point by clicking on a location.

The alignment and starting point will be dictated by which corner of the area you select. For example: Clicking on the top left corner will start generating tables from the left side and align them towards the top part of PV area.

Generate multiple areas - generates tables in multiple areas by selecting multiple areas and alignment for each of them.

This generation should be used when multiple areas are next to each other. Multiple area generation will align frames from two areas to avoid shading from one area to the other. 

Shadow frames

After generation, if frames were manipulated (e.g. moved, copied) they will be colored in red and will not be counted inside Layout information.

🛈 To learn more how to indicate and deal with shadow frames please click below.

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