This tutorial contains GIF images.
If they fail to load please visit the help center via the web browser.
You can zoom this page with Ctrl+.
Collision checking after table placement
Collision checking is post-table placement functionality. Meaning that it's not necessary to rerun generations whenever you wish to verify different slopes or collision limits.
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.
We have a visual on the right where you can see which tables will be indicated based on our collision settings. Which can be terrain limit:
or piling range:
When working with terrain limit PVcase will check for the clearance distance. This means that you can set up a minimum and a maximum clearance based on the table height.
In the following example, PVcase will color in orange all the tables that have height at the lowest point lower than 0.5 meters.
And we can check that by clicking on the Show details button:
The terrain collision is verified throughout the entire table. PVcase fixes the right and left lower corners of each frame, meaning that at those points the reference height is always 0.500, and the rest of the points will have different heights according to the undulations of the terrain. Using the Show details option, we can check what are the absolute values from each one of the module corners to the ground. Values in the black mean that at the point the height is within the specified range and in orange outside the upper and lower limits.
And we can easily prove these values by taking a front-view of our frame and manually measuring the table height:
Blue frames are within the clearance range we have specified. Still, in our example, we have given a range of 0.25 meters. Looking carefully at the image below, it's possible to verify that we don't have a single value outside this limit, therefore not requiring any additional grading or civil analysis:
And the purple tables are those that get too far from the terrain.
Following our example, all the frames with a clearance distance higher than 0.750 meters will be color-coded in purple:
In the example above, only the fixed corners of the frame were within the limited checking range.
The second option for the collision analysis is to work with the Piling range. By working with the piling range, it's possible to set the required pole length for the first and last pole of our frame, and indicate those that go out of range for both limits.
We can easily check what is our pole lengths at Frame and park settings:
In the same way that we can check the detailed information for Terrain limit, we can also check poles outside the lower and upper limits specified:
By clicking in show details, PVcase populates tables with pole lengths. Poles within the lower and upper limits are in blue and those outside it in red.
PVcase will color code in orange, frames that have either the first or the last pole that are shorter than the lower limits that have been set:
In our particular case, we can see that our frame has poles outside both limits:
Alternatively, frames that are higher than one of the upper limits will be colored in purple:
Civil analysis for single-axis trackers works similarly to what we have seen so far. PVcase can check a clearance distance from the table to the ground.
This distance will be measure considering 0 degrees of inclination:
In the example above PVcase will mark in orange all the frames that have a clearance distance lower than 1 meter, and in purples the ones with clearance distance higher than 1.4 meters:
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 clicking on Show details, and PVcase will populate the pole length of the selected frames. Which is similar functionality to Piling information:
For instance, if we have frames with 0.650 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 1.542 m. Entering this information as the lower limit, and defining an upper limit, which is generally associated with the maximum pole height provided by the tracker manufacturer, 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 1.542 m and greater than 1.850 m. Having a pole length lower than 1.542 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 0.650m. It's worth emphasizing that PVcase works with a millesimal resolution.
Taking the first pole as an example, a pole length of 1.506 is indeed equivalent to a height at the lowest point of 0.614 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 pole length:
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.