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Exporting fixed-tilt frames to PVsyst
Exporting fixed-tilt frames to PVsyst

Export, Scene, Design, Layout, Ground, Terrain, PVsyst, DAE, PVC, Fixed, Tilt, Yield, Production, Error, Orientation

Vito Bindokas avatar
Written by Vito Bindokas
Updated over a week ago

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In this tutorial, we will discuss steps that need to be taken in order to import your 3D layout to PVsyst for yield estimation.


When exporting to PVsyst we have two files format options to choose from:

  • .PVC is recommended for PVsyst 7 and higher versions.

  • .DAE is used for 6.8 and lower versions.

After selecting either the .DAE or the .PVC format, two options will be presented:

  1. Frames - PVcase will export frames and shading objects;

  2. Terrain and frames - PVcase will export frames, shading objects, and selected terrain meshes as well.

πŸ›ˆ Note: The terrain and frames option will appear if you have a terrain mesh already generated in the layout.

Frame export

To export only the frames and shading objects, click on Export to PVsyst; then choose the Frames option. Having done so, a new window will pop up where you will need to choose the file format .DAE or .PVC. Then, give the file a name and choose the location where the file will be saved. To finalize click Save. Example below:

Terrain and frame export

To export the frames, shading objects, and terrain the steps are fairly similar click on Export to PVsyst; Then choose the Terrain and Frames option. Having done so, you will be prompted to select terrain mesh and press space or enter on your keyboard. Then a new window will pop up where you will need to choose the file format .DAE or .PVC. Then, designate the files names and choose the location where the file will be saved. To finalize click Save. The design will be saved as .DAE or .PVC and the terrain mesh will be saved as .csv file. Example below:

πŸ›ˆ The density and size of the mesh impact the import speed of PVSyst.
πŸ›ˆ If you would like to learn how to prepare terrain mesh on a topographic survey, click here:

How to import .PVC files to PVSyst:

1. Open - and select the Near Shadings tab.

2. Click on Construction / Perspective.

3. Click File β†’ Import β†’ Import a 3D scene (3DS, DAE, PVC), and select your exported .PVC file.

4. In the Import results pop-up window, PVsyst will automatically read the units that were used while creating the project in PVcase.

5. Click OK.

6. Alternatively, in addition to the frames, you may also import the terrain by selecting File β†’ Import β†’ Ground data (CSV)

πŸ›ˆ The density and size of the mesh impact the import speed of PVsyst.

Additional notes:

PVsyst PVC and terrain misalignment

When importing the PVC file, this prompt will show:

If no terrain mesh is going to be imported, the Automatic Box can be left as checked. But if the user wants to subsequently import the terrain mesh, then and the Automatic box must be unchecked and the values need to be changed to x=0, y=0, z=0.

The reason for this is that when you import the terrain data, it's automatically set the import at the origin of PVsyst, but when you import the PVC, it detects from the origin of your AutoCAD file. So this action will set your PVC file to the same origin as your terrain file.

Automatic identification, "You have defined fields with x different orientations":

When defining PV fields in a shading scene, PVsyst will always try to identify their orientations automatically, grouping all similar fields into the same orientations. This is normal behavior because the field properties give all the information needed to do so.

Problems arise when the fields are not created with a regular layout, for example when they follow the ground slope, meaning that there are too many orientations:

When this happens, don't click on "Update Orientation Parameters"; in the 3D scene, in Tools --> Orientation Management, we need to either increase the grouping tolerance or delete all the orientations and assign the frames to the same orientation (recommended):

PVsyst will retain all the individual table orientation properties even though it will show one orientation in the final report, while you actually have more.
Once the orientations are unified, the warning might be shown:
("The orientation of the collector plan for shadings doesn't match the one defined in the "Orientation" parameters of the PV array")

At this point, you have to click the Update Orientation Parameters. When you click this, the parameters will be updated and should resolve themselves; If it does not, you have to correct the orientation parameters.

The area of the 3D fields is lower/higher than the area of the modules defined in the subarrays

If this warning is shown, please make sure the settings in PVsyst "System" are correct. Especially, check if they match PVcase in and output:

You can check the current module settings in PVcase with the function "Frame information":

If you change module size or power in PVcase "Frame creation", before exporting again to .PVC, make sure you either regenerate the area or apply "Swap preset" in order to update the settings in the design first.

If you need further help on this, please send us (via chat or screenshots of the mentioned PVsyst settings and your .DWG file, so we can look into it.

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