How PlanPv works
We want to show you how you can use PlanPV to design a solar project and generate proposal easily in just a few steps.
First you should go to http://www.planpv.com and type your location address on Google map. then select the address and push create to continue. Please note that if you want to save your project for later, It's better that you create a free login account. But if you don't need to save your project, then you can go ahead with no login.
You can write a name for your project if you want to save it. Also you can see the weather information or property information if your project is located in USA. But you don't need to enter anything in this part and you can just simply push next
Next step is information about your utility and rate plan. If your project is located in USA, it automatically brings your local utility and rate plans and you can see your bill title to see what rate plan is base of your electricity bill calculation. If your project is out of USA, it brings up a form to enter your local summer and winter electricity rate.
Next step is information about your electricity usage. We know it's hard to find one year electricity bill of your project and enter related numbers. But there is an easy way to just enter annual bill amount and it fills out all monthly numbers for you automatically. You should click on Wizard icon and then select annual bill from drop down menu and enter your annual bill. Then push Start analyzing and it fills out your monthly bills automatically.
Now you should see how many panels you need for your electricity usage. So you should click on new array.and then click on optimize for zero bill.
Then push on optimize and wait until it calculates your recommended system size. then push on apply optimized design. The system size DC should be less than 5 Kw in free version.
Now you can put panels on your house or project place to see how it fits. You should push on Draw on map and then move your panels over your roof. you should make sure you have enough space for panels and there is no blocker on the place that you are putting your panels. Then save and then save the array and push next.
Now you should see if there is any tree around your panels. If so, you should click on shading and then select a tree type from drop down menu. Then enter tree's height in foot. if you are not sure about the height you can start from creating 30 foot tree and place it over your real tree. if it's not fit, right click on tree to remove it and create another one with smaller or bigger size. Now you may see color dots on your panels that shows how much shading effects on their solar production.
Next step is to figure out if there is any better rate plan for your electricity. in this step you can switch your rate plan to see if you get a better saving. For example if you are in a flat or tiered rate plan maybe it's better to switch to a time of use plan. Please be aware that all rate conversion is not allowed and you may need to check with your utility. You can also optimize your system size from here to see what is the best DC size for converted rate plan. After you found a good conversion rate, you can push next.
Congratulation! You designed your system successfully. Now in this step you can see how financial works for you. You can push on proposal to lean about the project that you have designed. You can check the loan or cash amounts and see how it saves money for your project up to 30 years.
We recommend you to create a login and save your project. then you can come back, edit and see how that changes effect on your saving. You can save up to 10 projects in your free account.