View Full Version : PV Sol alternatives?

08-02-2011, 10:01 AM
We have just set up in the industry and have been recommended PV Sol as a system where we can simulate solar PV installation. Having received a month long trial I can honestly say, from a position of working with bespoke software all my career, that it is the least user friendly software I have ever come across! You certainly can't teach it to yourself no matter how much you know about Solar PV. After putting in details for a current installation we were told that it would not pay for itself for 75 years?! Is there an alternative system, or is there another company selling it who may be a little more helpful than solardesign.co.uk? They sold me a month trial for

08-02-2011, 12:27 PM
I like the PVwatts website

you might have to poke around nrel.gov to find your area, but you put in your array specs, and you get back, a year long guess, as to what your power production would be. Just add your electric rates to that, and you come up with payback period.

Bright sunny sites pay back in 5-7 years, cloudy, gloomy sites may never pay back.

08-02-2011, 01:18 PM
Look at Solar Pathfinder (About $500USD) including the pathfinder assistant software which is pretty self explanatory. This includes a world wide database for weather history.
Up sides are it is accurate, inexpensive, and capable of doing thermal and PV.
Downsides the actual instrument you photograph is not particularly user friendly when trying to use by yourself on a steep roof.

Another is solmetric Sun eye The new one.
Expensive, ( 2200USD) only does PV. The software is obscenely expensive and requires an annual contract.
The instrument itself is very easy to use with one hand.

08-04-2011, 05:16 PM
Dear Redham,
Valentin Software has a North American office that you can contact by phone or email. The toll free number is 888.786.9455, or the local number is 951.530.3322, the email is . There is no fee for technical support or customer service. The local website is

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