Our company is often asked why we do not have a specialized page “Solar Power Generation Calculator” on our website. The fact is that Avenston’s specialists have long and thoroughly studied this issue and came to certain conclusions, the results of which we want to share with you.
Let’s start with the definitions. Usually, when the “Solar Generation Calculator” is discussed, they mean a simplified tool for the preliminary calculation of the planned generation of electricity from a solar power plant. There are a lot of such calculators on the net. Almost every company that is or wants to be engaged in the installation of solar power plants has them. With their help, it is possible to simulate the target parameters of a solar power plant, such as its location (roof-top or ground), type (on-grid, hybrid, autonomous), capacity, spatial orientation and geographic location, and as a result of calculations – to obtain predicted data on electricity generation (monthly, daily or cumulatively for a given period of time, for example, for a year). Sometimes solar module calculators may have a financial section that will show the approximate figures of the required investments (the cost of a solar power plant), data on the expected savings or income (in the case of selling electricity at a “green” tariff) and the payback period of such investments.
What is the reason for the popularity of this tool? The fact is that almost every solar power plant calculator allows people who are interested in the issue of solar energy to quickly and accurately simulate the target system and get answers to their questions. Most often it can be the following: “What area is needed to install XXX kW of solar panels?”, “How many solar modules can be installed on XXX sq.m. roofs?”, “What is the difference in generation from the similar solar power plants located in different regions of Ukraine?”, “What is the price of a solar power plant with the required parameters?” and many others.
Getting quick answers to simple questions in one place is quite convenient. With the help of available online calculators, within a few seconds, you can calculate the approximate production of electricity from solar power plants with various parameters, such as the area of the photo panels and the angle of inclination, as well as find out the required battery capacity to ensure the necessary autonomy. In addition, such calculators often allow you to instantly calculate the preliminary cost of an object, assess the economic effect and return on investment, and send the calculation results to the email you specified. So what’s the catch and what disadvantages do you get along with the undoubted advantages? We will talk about this below.
Although the solar power calculator is the first step to own solar power for many, it does not provide accurate answers. Usually, bona fide companies explicitly state that the results generated by their solar calculators are indicative and in reality will differ from the calculated values. The fact is that an accurate calculation of the parameters of a solar power plant requires taking into account a large amount of initial data, which is simply unrealistic to collect in one place and automate the calculations so that they are performed without the participation of a qualified engineer. The generation of electricity from a solar power plant depends on many factors, such as the brands and types of equipment used in its composition, as well as the future weather conditions for the operation of this system. In addition, technologies are being improved and equipment is constantly changing both in terms of its technical parameters and cost. In order to keep the Solar Generation Calculator up to date, a lot of labor is required, which is usually beyond the power of small installation companies. As a result, the user receives either initially inaccurate data, or specially improved, but inaccurate indicators.
To avoid incorrect data and insure against incorrect conclusions, we recommend using proven tools that are developed by independent organizations or scientific institutions. Only they have the necessary resources to support their products and can guarantee the reliability of the results. We have already covered some of them in the article “Tools for modeling solar power plants”. Of course, very often working with these tools requires knowledge of the English language and the presence of some technical base, which makes it difficult for them to be widely distributed in our market.
On the other hand, companies actively working in the Ukrainian solar energy market have long accumulated vast practical experience of both pre-design calculations and parameters of solar power plants, as well as huge amounts of factual data that confirm or refute the results of theoretical calculations. Therefore, we suggest not to use unreliable data from many solar power station calculators, but to contact companies that will gladly do all the necessary calculations for you at a higher technical level. Moreover, such calculations have long been completely free. Any potential customer of a solar power plant can easily request several technical and economic calculations from different companies and compare them with each other. Preliminary calculations of generation or cost will be provided to you as soon as possible. And more accurate values of predicted generation can be calculated at your individual request after a detailed discussion and agreement of all the initial data of your project. It does not matter whether you need to determine the interdependence of the volume of electricity produced and investments for a solar power plant that sells electricity to the grid, or operates for its own needs, the most correct option would be to seek advice from professional solar installers.
Previously, we used our own solar PV power calculator and even developed several generations of this tool. But over time, we realized its ineffectiveness compared to professional solutions from specialized institutions. It was for the above reasons that we decided to abandon our own online solar generation calculator in favor of live communication with customers and discussing all the details of the future project. Moreover, individual forecasts prepared by our engineers using the most current versions of modern software, solar simulators and technical modeling tools always turn out to be of higher quality and more reliable.
For an individual forecast of generation, cost or any other parameters of the future solar power plant, please contact Avenston Engineering. Our staff will advise you and select the most optimal options for you. And the resulting calculation will be as close to reality as possible, taking into account not only the dry theory, but also the results of more than 10 years of intensive operation of the solar power plants we have already built.