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

  • Current preset - 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.
  • Frame placement order - there are two frame placement orders you can choose from for fixed-tilt that will impact table placement order for a row. The differences can be seen in the image below:

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 to be shade-free with that limit angle. (Assuming sun azimuth of 180 degrees)
    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 South as the 0 reference angle.
  • Frame orientation - South or North facing frames can be selected depending on project location. 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 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.
  • Terrain you can select or reselect the terrain objects.
  • Indicative frames - change the colors for tables that exceed the allowed inclination or are in violation of the allowed hill or ditch tolerance.

For information about tree shading settings please click below:

Defining generation and exclusion 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)

Generation

Once the parameters are all set, the generation can be done by selecting one out of two generation types.

Generate single area - generate tables in a single area by selecting the area's polyline and drawing the alignment line.

Alignment line - PVcase aligns tables towards a line that can be drawn on the boundary of the PV area, inside our outside. When drawing the polyline simply select as many points you need and hit ENTER or SPACE after you're done. In the image below you can see different variants when the line gets drawn at certain parts of an area.

🛈 To learn more about drawing alignment lines please click below.

Generate multiple areas - this generation should be used when multiple areas are next to each other and need to have rows aligned between them. To use this generation simply select the areas you want to generate and draw a shared alignment line for all of them.

Difference between the two types of generation can be seen below.

Shadow frames

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

🛈 To learn more how to work with shadow frames please click below.

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