Design of Ground Mounted Photovoltaic Power Plants

Electrical Engineering

About this course

This course thoroughly explores photovoltaic (PV) plant design, employing PVsyst software to cover the design process from site assessment to financial analysis. Throughout the semester, students will work in pairs on a PV plant design case study provided at the course outset, culminating in a presentation at the exam. The curriculum starts with lectures on site assessment, solar data analysis, and the influence of weather on PV performance. Advanced topics include horizon shading, system orientation, row-to-row shading optimization, inverter modeling, and the physical layout design of PV plants, alongside optimization tools within PVsyst. Group presentations throughout the semester offer opportunities for feedback and iterative improvement of the project. The course concludes with insights into contemporary practices in the PV industry presented by invited industry experts, equipping students with the competencies to design efficient and economically viable PV systems. The course is aimed at individuals seeking a comprehensive understanding of PV system design and analysis, emphasizing collaborative learning and practical application.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the learner will be able to: At the end of the course the learner will be able to: •Utilize solar resource data to calculate optimal tilt and orientation for a ground-based PV plant, applying principles of solar geometry to estimate initial DC capacity. •Evaluate PV module and inverter technologies to select suitable components, and design the PV array's sizing and electrical configuration for optimal system efficiency. •Employ PVSyst for detailed modeling and simulation of PV plant designs, including the development of a single-line electrical diagram (SLD) and selection of mounting systems. •Perform a comprehensive energy and financial analys to compare design options, and use PVSyst to perform sensitivity analyses and batch parameter simulations to refine designs. •Design the physical layout of the PV plant, including detailed sizing of PV tables and electrical cables, ensuring alignment with standards and project constraints. •Execute P50/P90 simulations to assess the probabilistic energy yield and financial viability, incorporating risk and reliability into the project analysis. •Critically evaluate the final PV plant design against industry standards and benchmarks, identifying strengths and areas for improvement in the design process. • Foster collaborative learning and teamwork by engaging students in group projects focused on PV plant design, encouraging peer feedback and iterative project refinement through presentations and discussions

Enrolment details

NB! This course is open for enrolment from May 14 – July 29, 2024. In case no ‘Apply now’ information is shown in the right-hand side, please check enrolment information under ‘Help’ – ‘How do I register’ for your institution.


Oral examination and reports


The course will be held fully online as a mix of live online lectures, recorded lectures, group exercises, student presentations of mini-assigments, self-study and work on the course project assignment.

Additional information

  • Credits
    ECTS 5
  • Level
  • Contact hours per week
  • Instructors
    Sune Thorsteinsson
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of DTU (Denmark).


  • Start date

    3 September 2024

    • Ends
      6 December 2024
    • Term *
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      14 May - 29 Jul 2024
    Only 8 days to enrol
    Apply now
These offerings are valid for students of TUM (Germany)