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Civil analysis

Slope and collision checking after table placement

Slope and collision checkings are post-table placement functionalities. Meaning that it's not necessary to rerun generations whenever you wish to verify different slopes or collision limits.

Slope analysis

The first tab in the new civil analysis window is relating to table slopes. Here you can set a certain slope value and indicate the tables which exceed that value. It's is possible to execute multiple iterations based on different allowed slope ranges.

The slope angle is measured according to the frame axis and the best way to understand it is using the Front-view tool.

We can easily see that the tables are following the slopes of the terrain and the software indicates how much is varying regarding the main axis. Having a closer look into one of the tables we can see how these slopes are obtained

When working with trackers, it's also possible to proceed with north and south-facing differentiation. This means, that software automatically identifies the frames and changes the interface, allowing an easy understanding of which structures will be affected in terms of energy production.

Those frames can be later filtered out in Layout information, therefore you can also quantify the impact of north and south-facing slopes on installed capacity.

In this same Civil analysis window, you can use the Show details button to populate the slope angles of each table and easily hide them by hitting Hide details.

Collision analysis

As with the slope analysis, we can set a certain value for how close tables can get to the terrain and then color code these same tables without needing to rerun the generation over again.

Fixed-tilt and east-west systems

We also have a visual on the right where you can see which tables will be indicated based on your collision settings.

Orange tables are the ones that surpassed the hill limit, meaning that they may collide with the terrain. The terrain collision gets checked throughout the entire table. Because the pole length might be in range but collision could still happen.

Blue tables are within the hill and ditch limits, therefore not requiring any additional grading or civil analysis.

And the purple tables are those that get too far from the terrain. Different from the hill limit, the ditch limit is just checked at the pole position or in a radius from it. Meaning that if you are only interested in checking the pole locations, you should set the parameter Ditch from the pole to be similar to the pole radius.

In the example below, we have a table with 0.800 m. set as the Lowest point Reference height on flat terrain. (Reference height in Park settings) The allowed hill and ditch limits are set at 0.200m.

This means that tables that have a hill underneath (at any point of the table) that is bigger than 0.200 m. will be indicated as orange.

And we can see how much is the variation in each corner of a module, by pressing Show details:

In an opposite manner, tables that have 0.200 m. ditch at any point underneath the table will be indicated as being too far away from the terrain, coloring them in purple, as can be seen in the figure below:

All other tables that have no hill or ditch problem will not be indicated and their lowest and highest points will be in the displayed ranges (though a hill or ditch is possible but not exceeding in defined limits).

Single-axis tracker

When working with single-axis trackers we would like to highlight the ability to analyze collision through the pilling range perspective, which gives you the option to set both a minimum and a maximum limit for the pole length.

To better understand how the lower and upper limits work, we recommend generating the Piling information through the Layout information menu. The poles will be numbered and the length of the piles revealed.

For instance, if we have frames with 0.800 m. as the height at the lowest point, the range for the Pole reveal - which is automatically calculated by PVcase on the Park settings tab - is between 2.541 m. and 4.301 m. Entering this information as the lower and upper limit on the civil analysis tool will allow PVcase to indicate all the frames that are outside those limits.

At this very moment, we are not considering any tolerance. Therefore the software will color-code any frame in which the pole length is lower than 2.541 m and greater than 4.301 m. Having a pole length lower than 2.541 m, in this case, means that the panels may collide with the terrain when the turning angle is at its highest values (i.e +60º or -60º). Because the height at the lowest point is also lower than 0.800 m. It's worth emphasizing that PVcase works with a millesimal resolution. In the picture below, we can see that the table is colored in orange because a group of poles has a minimum pole length of 2.540 m.

Despite having their colors changed according to a different pole length range, the height of the frames remains the same. Here we can see how the color of a frame will be affected by changing the lower and upper limits of the piling range:

If you wish to change the frame's height, it will be necessary to proceed with the alterations on the Park settings tab and later using Adapt to terrain which will also automatically update the Piling information numbers.

Last but not least, it's possible to count how many tables you have that are exceeding the allowed pole range for one reason or another by opening up the layout information window and filtering out the indicative frame types.

Exporting to EXCEL for further work

As a final step, you can export all of the piling information along with coordinates and pole lengths to excel for a piling BOQ and group the poles based on their reveal lengths.

Don't forget that the pole length is for the entire pole along with the torque tube so based on the settings you might need to subtract its size from the pole aerial length column.


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