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After finishing with the stringing, we can proceed with the placement of devices. Just click on the Electrical devices tab and select the PV area:
The software will automatically count how many strings are available in the selected PV area.
The next action is to select the system type:
Based on the system election, different configurations will be presented in the next section. On the left side, we enter the configuration itself and on the right, we can check the output of our system:
Before starting the placement of devices make sure that all of your bigger devices (Central Inverters and Transformers) were converted to AutoCAD blocks.
Also, make sure that you have polylines that will ultimately be used as alignment lines. We advise using your future trenchlines as alignment lines. This way, your devices will be automatically placed along with them, as can be seen here:
In case you are working with tracker corridor lines, you may also use them as alignment lines. It's allowed to use different alignment lines for the same transformer/central inverter.
The next step is the placement of devices, here there are 2 options of workflow that are complementary to one another: auto-generate mode and semi-auto mode. The Auto-generate mode works by placing full devices, this means that PVcase will count DC boxes or string inverters and the numbering will be done following the rule defined here:
The following GIF exemplifies a connection using the Auto-generate mode:
As mentioned before, when working with the Auto-generate model the software will place the devices according to the orders defined on the Device numbering and String numbering sections. In the example below you can see how the numbering sequence goes for strings for Left to Right (horizontally) and From trenchline (vertically):
In this sense, the semi-auto mode allows better control in terms of customization, and also the number of strings connected to a harness, DC combiner box, or string inverter may vary. Whenever we select strings one by one as objects we're also giving the numbering sequence by this selection. So, the first string you select will be labeled as the first one, the second string object will be labeled as the second, and so forth:
In case you want to finish a connection of a specific box with fewer strings, just press the spacebar or enter after the selection of the strings, and PVcase will tell you that the string amount is not matching to what was previously defined:
You can select either Yes to all or Yes. The difference is that on the first option the software won't ask you again if you want to continue connecting the strings, and it will accept any string amount selected.
When working with a harness system, its placement will depend on the numbering sequence, in which they have been selected. PVcase will always try to place these devices mid-way between the positive and negative ends.
Posterior to the connection, use the Overview tab to have a look at your connected devices. Here it's possible, to Locate objects, Edit number, Add strings, Select cables (after the cabling design), and Delete devices.
The Locate object option will highlight in the design the position of the selected devices:
The second option, Edit number will prompt a box where you can enter the new number for a device or string:
Add string allows the user to add strings to a connected box, as can be seen below:
PVcase will count the number of strings selected and ask for an alignment line. In case you are not satisfied with the connection just select the strings and use the Delete option to erase them.
Another functionality offered by the overview tab is to use the Turn-on/Turn-off button for the electrical layers, this way AutoCAD will lag less and perform better while connecting the remaining strings:
In situations where only a few sub-elements of an electrical hierarchy are hidden, there will be a half-lit light bulb to indicate that.