Weather sensitivity analyses in layout planning
PVplanet is a planning software for large-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic power plants, developed by Siemens AG in cooperation with Fraunhofer ITWM. The software integrates layout planning, yield calculation, and financial calculations. Several hundred layout variants are automatically generated by the software. For each variant, the energy output and financial objectives are calculated. With this information, the planner obtains an overview on the planning possibilities and avoids trial-and-error planning iterations. With PVplanet, the time for planning layouts can be drastically reduced, whereas the quality of the results increases. One of the most recent developments is a weather sensitivity analysis where, based on multiple different weather data sets for the project site, the impact of weather variations on technical objectives such as energy output and performance ratio (PR) and on financial objectives such as levelized costs of energy (LCoE), net present value (NPV), and internal rate of return (IRR) is evaluated. Thus, EPCs can quantify the risk of attaining their performance ratio guarantee, and investors can evaluate the impact of weather variations on their business case.