It was not all too long ago when you needed a number of calculations to search for the ideal PV plant configuration. Back then, you needed ample patience and a healthy stack of paper. Installers and plant planners now use design applications, such as Sunny Design from SMA, which is now also available as a web version.
“With Sunny Design, the world’s leading inverter manufacturer SMA sets the bar high. Both the graphical presentation and the program design are ideal. You can design a comprehensive PV system in just a few steps, with an abundance of configuration options to boot,” wrote the renowned trade magazine Photon Profi in last year’s October issue praising the design software.After you have fed the program the most important information and all the required specifications, you receive the optimum plant configuration within a few minutes.
The Sunny Design online version has been available since the end of November. The planning and design software can be used in all common web browsers on PCs, iPads and other tablet PCs. It does not need to be installed. The new web version also impresses with its increased user-friendliness.
You will find our answers to the four most important questions surrounding the new Sunny Design online version below.
1. Which advantages does a web version offer?
According to the market research company IDC, almost 70 million tablet PCs were sold worldwide in 2011. And market researchers are even assuming that this figure nearly doubled in 2012. It’s obvious that these mobile Internet devices, which are being used both privately and professionally, have long since been ready for the masses and are virtually everywhere in our everyday lives. So, why shouldn’t we also use them for planning PV systems?
“Sunny Design Web is an important and key enhancement, especially for the US market,” says project manager Dr. Thomas Straub. Not only because there, the number of tablet users is considerably higher than in Europe, but also because such a web-based solution offers a host of other advantages. For example, the user no longer needs to install the program and plant design can theoretically be accomplished almost anywhere – as long as there is an Internet connection. Furthermore, the software is automatically updated, always providing the user with the latest version.
In addition, the user interface was given a total face lift and was optimized for touch operation on tablet PCs in particular.
2. What new options does it offer plant planners?
There are many new functions that should make it easier for plant planners to design economical PV systems. As we were developing Sunny Design Web, we especially focused on how to reduce investment costs and included new technologies such as self-consumption with a storage system. The strengths of modern design software include harnessing the potential of a PV system as well as exploiting its economic aspects.
“Here, the yield must also be considered as well as self-consumption and system costs,” states Straub and adds, “essentially, the perfect balance between yield and system costs are key for ensuring an economic design. This is why we developed a new approach for calculating the required system’s inverter performance even more precisely. After all, the more economical the inverter’s design, the lower the system costs.
3. What does it offer in terms of increased self-consumption and self-consumption with energy storage systems?
With Sunny Design Web, you can determine a household’s potential self-consumption rate. The calculation is based on various load profiles which are already saved. However, you can also import your own profiles. What’s special about the web version is that for the first time, planners can predict self-consumption with a model that includes storage systems. As a result, they have the option of selecting a Sunny Island system and the desired storage capacity and are provided with the potential self-consumption rate based on a detailed simulation.
4. Does the new version cost anything?
No. Sunny Design Web has been available for use at no charge since the end of November last year at: www.sunnydesignweb.com. After you have successfully registered, you are provided with a free project administration service. In addition, you can install your own PV modules, locations, load profiles and project templates. Apart from the new online version, the proven “Sunny Design” desktop version is of course still available.
If you have other questions, you can use the comment function to ask us at any time.
Social media, online marketing and interactive brand communications for the Medium Power Solutions division.
Product solutions for small to medium-scale PV plants, electromobility, Sunny Home Manager, SMA apps, sponsoring, events and trade shows related to renewable energies.
What even my colleagues don't know about me:
Originally I wanted to pursue the profession of a graphic designer. Gerrit has worked for SMA until April 2014