HOW INNOVATION HELPS IN CHALLENGING SITUATIONS. REDEFINING SOFTWARE FOR SOLAR ENGINEERING
At Virto Solar we develop powerful software to automate the solar engineering process of large-scale solar projects. Our software is used by EPC, mounting system manufacturers, installers and wholesale to design commercial rooftop and utility-scale ground-mounted projects.
By removing repetitive and time-consuming tasks, we shorten the design process of solar projects. Thanks to our advanced CAD plugin “Virto.CAD”, and WEB applications “Virto.CORE” and “Virto.MAX” (launch Autumn 2023), engineers are able to save more than 75% of their time. As a result, installers and developers are able to install more solar PV installations in a shorter time frame.
Moreover, our PV software also improves the quality. Since engineers have more time, they are able to experiment and find creative solutions to problems or challenges.
Virto Solar wants to contribute to the transition to renewable energy. We give this transition an important boost by providing advanced, powerful and accessible photovoltaic software.
INNOVATION IS KEY
Providing highly qualitive software, services and support is key to us. In order to achieve this, innovation and R&D are extremely important. Our skilled team continuously works on improving our current products and services by offering regular release and service updates.
Furthermore, we are invested in always being one step ahead and introduce innovative features and new products on a regular basis. We try to identify gaps in the market or issues and shortcomings that engineers are currently facing, and offer efficient solutions. This does not only benefit engineers but also the planet as this will speed up the transition to solar energy.
EFFICIENT SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR ENGINEERING NEEDS
Kim Eyckmans, CEO and founder of Virto Solar, started his career as a Project Engineering at several installer companies. Not only did he gain lots of valuable experience in the solar panel industry during this time, but he also identified challenges and issues in the market.
Kim experienced the importance of “efficiency” and “accuracy”, as he noticed the amount of manual labour that went into the engineering process of utility-scale solar parks and PV rooftop installations. “Weeks – or even months – went into drawing and designing solar module layout plans”, says Kim Eyckmans. “Engineers had to manually calculate both the most optimal placement, orientation and slope of all solar modules, whilst also taking any surrounding obstacles and objects into account”. This process consisted of a lot of repetitive tasks and calculations, which led to loss of concentration and eventually also mistakes and errors. At best, these mistakes were noticed in an early phase and engineers had to only redo the drawings. But unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the mistakes were only discovered during the construction phase. As a result, construction had to be delayed until new drawings were made. “In addition, some of these solar projects required 3D-models, which are expensive to make. Projects were put on hold but they also got more expensive due to the extra costs of the new drawings”, concludes Kim.
“Thanks to my experience and knowledge of the solar industry, I’ve been able to identify the pains and opportunities”, says Kim. “I decided to put this knowledge to good use and develop solutions to improve the solar engineering process”.
Engineers need powerful software that support their solar engineering process. Efficiency, accuracy and quickness are key factors.
In Autumn 2023, we are set to launch our new design and sales tool “Virto.MAX”. This web-based application will include highly innovative features such as 3D modelling by using drone images and Augmented Reality.
THE IMPACT OF DIGITALIZATION
Digitalization has an important impact on our business and our activities.
On the one hand, our software operates digitally – it is connected to the web for images, google earth, etc. In addition, our web-based applications Virto.CORE and Virto.MAX are easy to use, accessible and user-friendly.
More and more prospects and clients are realizing they need specialized software and tools to process, design and create large-scale solar projects. Our web-based applications play a key part in this as they offer lots of customization and storage options.
BOOSTING EFFICIENCY AND ACCURACY
Engineers are able to automate the entire solar engineering process from beginning to end. It makes the entire process easier, faster more efficient and accurate.
Since our PV software automates solar module placement, engineers no longer have to manually draw the solar modules. Other examples include irradiation and shadow simulations, string plans, cabling, trench and tray calculations, and so on.
Not only do we automate layouts and drawings, we also offer one platform with integrations to other parties. We empower engineers by offering one place to store and use all tools. For instance, Virto.CAD has an API integration to several mounting system suppliers. This integration makes it possible to use a manufacturer’s parameters and apply these immediately in a project. This means engineers no longer have go to other websites or programs to open and use solar panel information, but can select their preferred mounting system in one click.
Besides efficiency, we also focus on improving accuracy. Our software also generates a “bill of materials”, a list of all materials needed to finish the project.
All automation results in one big advantage for engineers: we remove the risk of errors and mistakes caused by manual calculations or tasks.
Virto.CAD allows you to calculate ballast – which is needed to offer support to your solar installations. In case ballast is too low for your solar structure, solar modules or solar installations may “move” or shift places. In extreme cases it may even lead to materials flying into the air because of a storm. This can be prevented by using the right ballast.
Another example is cable tray management – we have written a blogpost about this earlier which can be accessed here. Engineers can prevent lots of cabling and cable tray issues in the early design phase of a PV project. By implementing cable tray management – and choosing the right number of cables and cable trays, for instance – one prevents the risk of a shortage of materials. Moreover, it prevents cable trays that are too full.
Another functionality in Virto.CAD is a shadow simulation tool to calculate yield to make sure in advance that the required yield can actually be achieved.
Lastly, the construction plans that are generated are the same as the “as-built plans”. Our software calculates and creates realistic plans that no longer require modifications. This is a great benefit for a project leader as they will not face any issues or problems during construction. As a result, construction can continue within the time and budget that has been made previously.
TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY
We believe it is important to support and boost the transition to renewable energy. Solar energy is one of the most important resources and we are proud to be a part of this process. Our solar software enables engineers and companies to design, engineer and install more solar parks and installations in less time.
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