5MW Design Simulation Limit
The maximum system size we support for a layout in HelioScope is 5MW. Most utility-scale HelioScope users will design a representative building block of 2 - 3 MW and multiply the results up to the total size.
HelioScope models the performance of every single module for every hour of the day, while traditional modeling software only simulates a single module or inverter and multiply up to the total system size. As a result, a 2MW design in HelioScope multiplied up to 50 MW still has significantly more granularity than traditional modeling software.
While design size is one limit, we also recommend keeping the design as simple as possible in terms of the number of design elements (Field Segments, Keepouts, and trees). As each of these design elements is simulated separately, too many design elements can sometimes cause issues with rendering design images or completing simulations. For this reason, we recommend limiting the number of design elements to only those that will impact the design.
Pushing the Limits
In some cases, HelioScope users will try to push the limits of the software and design larger than 5MW. It is technically possible to exceed a 5MW layout, and HelioScope can sometimes run simulations of arrays up to 15MW in total size. However, systems this large can run into difficulties such as slow simulation speed, CAD exports failing (CAD exports are hard-capped at 15MW), and layout images not rendering among others. Unless designing very simple arrays, it is best to break designs down into easily manageable blocks to retain HelioScope's full functionality.
Please note, HelioScope has not been tested for use on systems larger than 5MW so designs above that range may not allow CAD exporting. In addition, the HelioScope support team will not be able to provide guidance on designs above 5MW.