Opening a module in your Database section allows you to see the properties of that module, including its electrical, temperature, and mechanical characteristics. This information is generally pulled from module datasheets. You can also enter pricing information for modules.
To use a module in a design, you must add it in your Database section. To do this, click the plus sign directly to the left of the module's name. The icon will turn green, indicating the panel has successfully been pre-selected and saved.
Check out how to Activate your Components here.
Smart modules are solar panels that have integrated electronics, and are indicated by a "smart module" badge. Aurora supports three types of smart modules:
- DC optimized modules: These modules have integrated DC optimizers that allow for module-level maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and elimination of mismatch losses.
- AC modules: These modules have integrated microinverters, such that the output of the module as a whole is an AC voltage and current. These modules also eliminate mismatch losses and allow for module-level MPPT.
- Cell string optimized modules: These modules have integrated microelectronic optimizers that perform maximum power point tracking and eliminate mismatch on a cell string (submodule) level.
When you use one of these modules in a design, Aurora will automatically model the effects of the integrated power electronics. For example, if you use an AC module, you do not need to attach a separate inverter in your design.
When you create a new solar panel in your Database section, you must enter in all the data necessary for Aurora to use that panel in a simulation. Click the pencil icon next to each data field to enter a value for that parameter. You can find the values of most of these parameters in the manufacturer’s datasheet; Aurora does not recommend using any other source of this information. The following parameters must be provided to run a performance simulation:
- Temperature coefficient of Voc
- Temperature coefficient of Isc
- Temperature coefficient of Pmax
- Cell Quantity
- Panel Type
You can find where to enter this information by clicking on the Electrical, Temperature, and Mechanical tabs under Panel Details.
The “Submodule Simulation” field is not editable for a custom component. Submodule simulation is only supported for solar panels in Aurora’s global database for which we have verified the internal cell string configuration and bypass diode connections with the manufacturer, because these can have a significant impact on energy production. You also cannot create a custom smart module.
Aurora uses an equivalent circuit model to simulate the electrical characteristics of a solar panel as a function of irradiance and temperature. When you create a new custom solar panel, or edit an existing one, you will be prompted to “recompute the circuit model” by clicking on the red warning message that appears. Voc, Isc, Vmp, Imp, cell quantity, panel type, and Voc and Isc temperature coefficients are all required parameters to compute the circuit model, so please be sure to enter those values when creating a new custom panel.
A progress bar will appear in the upper right while the model is being computed. Please note that for some panels, it can take up to 10-15 minutes for the model to be computed. You will not be able to run performance simulations with this panel until the circuit model has been set.
If the model is successfully computed, the red box will disappear and the panel is ready to use. If the model fitting fails, an error will appear. Please contact Aurora support if this occurs. If you edit the panel data while the circuit model is being computed, then when the model computation is complete you’ll see an error saying the input data changed. You’ll have to click “recompute” again to fit the circuit model with the updated data.