T*SOL and PV*SOL software allow you to enter shadowing data and so can give a precise calculation of solar fraction. This information can be gathered by using tools such as the Solar Site Selector, which uses a sun-path sheet to display relevant annual sun-path curves with respect to daily sunshine hours. By entering this data into the software you can fully assess the likelihood of shadowing on planned module or collector surfaces, thereby optimising solar energy systems' performance. For more information click here.
Is it possible to import horizon files into PV*SOL or T*SOL? Which tools are compatible?
Yes, you can load horizon files in the shade window by using the import function. Our software is compatible with the following systems: Horicatcher (Meteotest, Schweiz), Horizon (Energiebüro AG, Schweiz) and SunEye (Solmetric, USA).
What capabilities and limitations do the demo versions of Valentin Software programs have?
Free demo versions of Valentin software are available in our download section. In the free demo versions you can view all the program components and features, but cannot save or print. For the simulation, only sample data and a limited number of climate records are available. You can use the manual and program help to obtain an overview of the content and capabilities of the program.
Fully functioning one-month trials of the software with access to all databases are also available from us for a charge. Please see our website.
Is Valentin Software accredited by the MCS or SAP?
Valentin multi-language simulation software is sold worldwide, supported by the performance data direct from the either the manufacturers or certified test certificates. Bearing in mind the multitude of system variables, there is not yet a single international agreement on simulation algorithms or climate files for the identical equipment that is fitted internationally. Irrespective of the algorithms used, it is the database information and operator accuracy that has over-riding affect on the simulation results.
In the absence of an agreed accreditation, we suggest that best practice is to provide input data transparently, and clearly describe and justify the approach taken when creating simulation summaries. This technique will allow verification by others via algorithms of their choice.
Please find below some information related to SAP and MCS accreditation:
There is no method yet provided under the MCS scheme to accredit simulation software. PV*SOL and T*SOL are widely used by industries across the world and specifically supported by major brands who provide data for the products shown in the programs. Whilst the results from the relevant appendices of SAP are obliged to be given by MCS installers to domestic customers, this is no substitute for using professional simulation design software that can consider peak voltages and/or temperatures.
The following paragraphs are taken from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme documents that underpin much of the government's renewable subsidy scheme. I've highlighted in green where these permit (indeed encourage) use of proprietary simulation software such as PV*SOL and T*SOL.
The Standard Assessment Procedure for energy rating of buildings (SAP) is mentioned on our website (http://www.solardesign.co.uk/sap/index.php) and much of it applies to both PV*SOL and T*SOL.
The basic message is that SAP is extremely limited in its function as a domestic national averaging method and is not intended for professional design of systems, whereas our software is for design and anticipates a wide range of variables including non-domestic applications.
This paragraph is taken from SAP 2009. The important part is highlighted in bold: "For SAP calculations dwellings have a standard occupancy and usage pattern, which are typical values of quantities that in practice vary substantially between dwellings of similar size and type. The occupancy assumed for SAP calculations is not suitable for design purposes, for example of hot water systems."
Microgeneration Installation Standard: MIS 3002
REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTRACTORS UNDERTAKING THE SUPPLY, DESIGN, INSTALLATION, SET TO WORK COMMISSIONING AND HANDOVER OF SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) MICROGENERATION SYSTEMS
4.3 System Performance
An estimate of annual energy performance shall be made using Appendix M of the Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy rating (SAP) methodology (www.bre.co.uk/sap2005), taking account of the actual orientation, pitch and overshading conditions.
This estimate shall be communicated with the client at or before the point that the contract is awarded and shall be accompanied by the following disclaimer:
"The performance of solar PV systems is impossible to predict with certainty due to the variability in the amount of solar radiation (sunlight) from location to location and from year to year. This estimate is based upon the Government's standard assessment procedure for energy rating of buildings (SAP) and is given as guidance only. It should not be considered as a guarantee of performance."
Additional estimates may be provided using an alternative methodology but any such estimates must clearly describe and justify the approach taken and factors used, and must not be given greater prominence than the standard SAP estimate. In addition, it must be accompanied by a warning stating that the result should be treated with caution if it is significantly greater than the result given by the standard method
Microgeneration Installation Standard: MIS 3001
REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTRACTORS UNDERTAKING THE SUPPLY, DESIGN, INSTALLATION, SET TO WORK COMMISSIONING AND HANDOVER OF SOLAR HEATING MICROGENERATION SYSTEMS
4.4.4 Be accompanied by an estimate of annual energy performance calculated as follows:
For domestic installations, using Appendix H of the Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy rating (SAP) methodology (www.bre.co.uk/sap2005). This estimate shall be communicated with the client at or before the contract is awarded and shall be accompanied by the following disclaimer:
"The performance of solar heating systems is impossible to predict with certainty due to the variability in the amount of solar radiation (sunlight) from location to location and from year to year. This estimate is based upon the Government's standard assessment procedure for energy rating of buildings (SAP) and is given as guidance only. It should not be considered as a guarantee of performance."
Additional estimates may be provided using an alternative methodology but any such estimates must clearly describe and justify the approach taken and factors used, and must not be given greater prominence than the standard SAP estimate. In addition, it must be accompanied by a warning stating that it should be treated with caution if it is significantly greater than the result given by the standard method.
For non-domestic installations, a performance calculation using proprietary software is permitted. This information should be communicated with the client at or before the point that the contract is awarded.
Each licence is designed for use on individual workstations and does not permit networking. This means that there cannot be simultaneous access to the program's databases. However, the program on each workstation can be set so its databases are stored at a single server location, hence allowing access to stored projects by other licensed users. Simultaneous access to a stored project, component or similar is not advised or supported by us.
There is no doubt that PV*SOL results will be different to SAP, because SAP only uses an annual averaging method based on the Sheffield climate whereas PV*SOL uses hourly dynamic analysis. SAP only makes very approximate allowances for efficiencies, shading and string configuration etc. and is not intended for professional design. For example SAP does not predict peak voltages, tariff adjustments or individual module shading risk. In effect, SAP simply multiples the peak wattage by 80% to derive the annual energy in kWh/year!
If you wish to attempt synchronisation, the first step is to use the same climate base. The file below is an hourly approximation of the climate used by SAP 2009 that can be imported into T*SOL or PV*SOL via the climate dialogue. If carbon dioxide mitigation is required then relevant pollution figures will also be required (upon request via our website).
How can I change the currency units in the program into Euros or another currency?
The unit of currency in the programme depends on the system settings in your PC.
You can change the currency setting for your operating system in the system settings (depending on the operating system version, you can do this under Regional and Language Options or under Country Settings).
With Windows XP click on Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Customize > Select Currency Tab and adjust accordingly.
With Windows 7 click on Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Region and Language > Additional Settings > Reset > Yes > OK > Apply > OK
Which climate data files are delivered with the software, and what is the source of the data and the historical period upon which it is based?
All Valentin programs come with the same selection of climate data files. In addition, PV*SOL Pro, PV*SOL Expert, T*SOL Pro and T*SOL Expert include the climate data generator MeteoSyn, which can be used to create additional climate data files.
The source of the weather data is often indicated in the PV*SOL climate data database and, yes, it does vary across the world. Where no reference is obvious, this is normally a data set from Meteonorm in Switzerland. NASA data is sometimes used. Where original data is in daily format, PV*SOL uses an algorithm to produce hourly values using a mathematical model called INSEL. T*SOL and PV*SOL both now come with a free module called Meteosyn, which allows you to create custom climate locations by interpolation and then save them into your database.
The historical period of data collection or observation varies but is almost always an average taken over a time-span of at least 5 years. For example, much of UK data is between 1981-2000.
Meteonorm contains a database with climate data from 7,756 stations around the world. The program's calculation algorithms provide the basis for generating hourly values for global radiation, temperature and other meteorological parameters. Users can import their own measurement data or interpolate the meteorological data from the closest known station for any location in the world. These hourly values can be converted for any tilted angle. The graphical editor allows the influence of a distant horizon to be simulated.
The program allows the user to define the required data output format. This data can be exported into T*SOL and PV*SOL.
The CD contains an extensive manual in PDF format (in English). Within the programme, users can select the following language versions: German, English, French, Spanish and Italian.
Meteonorm is a product of the company Meteotest in Bern (Switzerland) and is available for purchase through The Solar Design Company - see our website.
The climate data delivered with the program shows different values compared to those shown when user-created climate data is used. Which values are correct?
The word 'correct' cannot really be used in this context. Climate data usually comes from different sources, can be determined by different measurement methods and can be collated from different average values or different periods of time. Different algorithms can be used to generate the hourly values from monthly values. Climate datasets will therefore never usually be identical. The climate data for Germany comes from Deutscher Wetterdienst - DWD (German Weather Service) and is for average values over a period of 20 years during 1981-2000. The climate data delivered for locations outside Germany come from various, partly regional, sources (not from PVGIS or comparable internet services).
It should be noted, however, that climates generally change over long periods and it is unlikely that you will see any statistically meaningful difference between a 20 year data set from 10 years ago and that of a more recent set. It should be considered that it is the long-term prediction of output that most people seek and more recent climate data may not represent that correctly any more than the existing bundled period. Nevertheless, it is your choice and there are also fee-based climate data files available from the UK Met Office and the Swiss company Meteonorm, available from the Solar Design Company.
Does MeteoSyn work with Windows Vista or Windows 7? (only affects older versions of the software)
To determine which Windows 7 edition you are using please open the system information window of your computer by pressing the 'Windows' and the 'Pause/Break' button simultaneously. In the 'Windows edition' section your Windows 7 edition is shown.
If you are using an edition of Windows 7 without compatibility mode MeteoSyn will not work.
Otherwise you have the possibility to run Valentin programs in the compatibility mode.
Click with the right mouse button on the program icon on the desktop and choose 'Properties'. In the properties window choose the tab 'Compatibility'. Enable 'Run this program in compatibility mode for:' and choose 'Windows XP (Service Pack 3)' in the drop down menu below. Leave the 'Properties' window by pressing the 'OK' button. On every program start a new information message appears.
Please note: In some cases it is possible that MeteoSyn will not work under Windows 7 even if the compatibility mode is activated.
For your back-up copy, please confirm that T*SOL has already loaded and this plus all other programs are closed. Then download the following file, unzip it to your desktop and then double-click the icon to run it:
If you have already done this, please do it again and tell us what happened by using screenshots for any error messages. Once this program correctly loads, there should be no problem.
If this does not load correctly, then you should use your original copy of PV*SOL or T*SOL on the first computer to search for the climate directories with the search term '*.wbv'. Then copy some climate files to a USB stick and transfer to the same directory on the back-up computer. All this is done with PV*SOL or T*SOL and all other programs closed. When copying is finished, open PV*SOL or T*SOL and it should find the climate files. If not, tell PV*SOL or T*SOL where the '*.wbv' climate files really are by using Main Menu > Options > Drives > Climate Files
Meteosyn is a different part of the program which only works with XP Pro. There is no plan for the optional Meteosyn feature to work with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Instead, for now use your first XP Pro machine to create all the new climate files you need. Eventually there will a place on the website to download new climate files directly under any operating system but we can not give you a date yet for this. Another solution is to buy Meteonorm with much more climate data for the world in hourly format which can be purchased from us.
The Net Metering icon has disappeared. What do I do?
It has come to our attention that, when using some versions of Windows 7, performing a system check in PV*SOL can cause the disappearance of the Net Metering icon from the system schematic screen. This is a minor issue which will shortly be resolved. The temporary fix is simply to select:
Menu > Conditions > Tariffs > Net Metering
This should be done just before simulation. No data is lost from the project.
Alternatively, you can run the system check from the main screen showing the circuit schematic, rather than from within the Technical Data dialogue.
After starting the simulation, a message appears that the wPDF200A.dll file is not available. What can I do?
The wPDF200A.dll file is required in order to create the Project Report in PDF format. The file is a part of Microsoft Windows Systems. Please copy the wPDF200A.dll file via the following link: http://solar-software.de/downloads/support/wPDF200A.dll and paste it into C:\WINDOWS\system32 or C:\WINNT\system32, depending on your Windows System.
I got the message "The operation timed out" or "the time limit is reached" when downloading a new software release through the automatic update process. What does this mean?
The program needs a relative constant and stable internet connection. If this is not guaranteed, then the program aborts the download of data.You can try to download the latest program version from the download section of our webpage. Please execute the downloaded setup file. The old program version doesn't need to be uninstalled.
I have an unresolvable error. I have been advised to fully uninstall and reinstall the program. How do I do this?
If an error persists and the cause cannot be easily determined, follow these steps:
Reinstall program without uninstalling previous version.
Uninstall and Reinstall
For complete full uninstall. Note: Upon reload, this uses up an activation attempt. This should not be a problem for someone who uses the program normally. Nevertheless, only use this method as a last resort after first trying the simple uninstall:
- Shut down all applications and search the entire computer for any 'All files and folders' for directories that incorporate 'Valentin'
- Use the Refine Search option for including hidden and system files.
- Consider if a backup of any files that are about to be deleted is needed. In which case copy and paste all found files into a temporary directory.
- Delete all directories called 'Valentin EnergieSoftware', there will be about three.
- Reboot computer and reload program and Climate files from desktop.
There is a third step, but please contact us for more information as this is a complex and tricky process.
How do I enter my Proxy Server information in Valentin software packages?
In PV*SOL Pro 4.5 / Expert 4.5, 5.0 and 5.5, from the system schematic screen, go to Options > Settings > Update Check. Tick 'Use Proxy', enter the proxy server name or IP address and the port which it uses.
In T*SOL Pro 5.0, from the system schematic screen, go to Options > Default Settings > Internet Update. Tick 'Use Proxy', enter the proxy server name or IP address and the port which it uses.
In T*SOL Expert 4.5, from the system schematic screen, go to Options > Default Data > Internet Update. Tick 'Use Proxy', enter the proxy server name or IP address and the port which it uses.
I have a Proxy Server. What is the easiest way to get updates in PV*SOL / T*SOL?
Follow the instructions on how to enter Proxy Server Information in Valentin Software (above). In the proxy box enter 184.108.40.206 and in the port field enter 80.
If your proxy server doesn't work using these settings, you need to find out your proxy server information. You can:
a) Ask your local desktop support.
b) In Windows 7, XP or Vista; Open Internet Explorer, select Tools > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings (These options are available in the current version of Internet Explorer 8. Earlier versions may vary). The address to the proxy server will be displayed under the "Proxy server" heading if you use one.