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SMA's latest tool for designing solar power systems

By Kristy Hoare on in Solar Technology

SMA's latest tool for designing solar power systems

If you are about to get a solar power system installed and you are trying decide whether the panels should go on the 30° slope roof on your north east facing garage roof or your 20° north west house roof, then this latest tool from SMA will help you figure out the perfect design.

Sunny Design's easy to use tool can help you choose a SMA solar inverter that will be optimal for your system, it can tell you how much power loss you can expect and an estimation of how much power you can expect a system to produce.

One draw back of this tool is that you can only select Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin as your location, which does limit that accuracy of things like the annual power generation estimation.

To get started click here to go to the Sunny Design home page.

Once you have registered, create a new project to get started.  After entering your location, on the next page it asks you to select a manufacturer and pv module.  If you don't know which solar panels you are going to use select Sunrise as the manufacturer and the PV module as SR-M572190 (12/11). This is a fairly standard solar panels size that many installers use.

Next select the amount of solar panels you would like, when you change the amount of panels it will automatically alter that peak power amount (kWp), this number is often what installer will refer to as the system size.  In the next box along you can change where about the panels will be positioned, the orientation and the tilt of the panels.

Under 'inverter design' you can either select an inverter from the 'inverter filter' where you can browse different inverters to choose from, or you can use the 'design suggestions' where SMA has made some suitable inverter recommendations, otherwise you can use the 'automatic design' button where the software will choose the best inverter given the information you have provided.

In the wire sizing page, the software has given some fairly standard answers so unless you know the exact details for your system then you can skip to the next section, either the overview or the self-consumption calculator.  If you choose to include the self-consumption calculator it is best if you know your energy consumption, otherwise you can enter the amount of people in the household and it will come up with an estimation for you.

The overview gives you all the statistics you need to assess the system design.  Click here to view an example of what the overview reports on. 

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