From pv magazine Spain.
Generate in a matter of minutes the work that takes a month to solve. That is the promise of RatedPower, the Spanish company that created pvDesign, a software to optimise the design of solar plants.
Developing a large-scale photovoltaic plant installation requires topographic, meteorological analysis, equipment selection, and a highly detailed electrical and civil configuration. The work of several weeks of a multidisciplinary team of engineers is required to carry out these tasks. With pvDesign, the customer specifies those parameters and the software develops the optimal design in seconds. This way, it is very easy to compare different solutions and find the best result. In addition, the platform generates more than 300 pages of engineering (layout, one-line diagrams, reports) and economic (BoQ, energy report) documentation related to this design in several languages and in editable format.
“At RatedPower we revolutionise the way engineering is done by creating a much more automated, fast, flexible and accurate method that has proven to improve the profitability of our customers’ solar plants. By sweeping millions of iterations, pvDesign finds the best plant configuration and automatically generates more than 300 pages of detailed documentation (reports, designs, etc.) ”, Gabriel Cañadas, business development, explains to pv magazine from RatedPower.
The Madrid startup was founded in 2017 based on the experience of three entrepreneurs: Andrea Barber, Miguel Ángel Torrero and Juan Romero. The three founders, while working in the renewable energy sector, realised that there were many inefficiencies in the design, engineering and construction process of solar photovoltaic plants around the world. This is how the idea of developing a tool that could provide a technological solution to solve this problem that affected the entire industry was born: pvDesign. The same year of its foundation they won the EDP Open Innovation, the global startup competition promoted by EDP and SeedRocket, the main competition for technology startups in Spain. They were also selected by Google for Startups Campus to be part of the Residency patronage program, for the growth of newly created companies with one or two years of experience; and in 2019, they won the Explorer Young with ideas program, from Banco Santander. There are also numerous public institutions that have recognised the high technological and disruptive component of the solution: RatedPower has been named as one of the main innovators in Energy by the World Energy Council and the German Energy Agency, and has obtained the Seal of Excellence of the European Commission. They pride themselves on not having received external private financing from any investor, but they have relied on public institutions such as the CDTI or the European Commission.
Now, with 26 employees, the company has big names in its client portfolio on 5 continents, such as Iberdrola, Shell, Cobra, Engie, Shanghai Electric… “Thanks to pvDesign, more than 1,000 GW have been optimised to date in more from 100 countries ,” adds Cañadas.
When asked how they reach their customers, Gabriel ends by saying that “when new customers are interested in the product, we enable a free trial for two weeks. Let them experience, let them use it. They are convinced not only by the result, but the fact that they have at their disposal a faster, more repeatable and automated plant design that, in the words of one of our clients, results in a 5% reduction in LCOE, which translates 20% more profitability than the solar plant ”.
The next plans contemplate scaling the scope of the platform, include functionalities that add value and consider the latest technologies that are appearing, such as their latest feature, bifacial modules.
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