algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Hi folks,

Last month Honeybee got PV panels simulation components based on EnergyPlus.

Our Ladybug and Honeybee pets love to work together. As a result of this, we are releasing PV simulation components for Ladybug too. They are based on PVWatts v1 online calculator, supporting crystalline silicon fixed tilt photovoltaics.

You can download them from here, or use the Update Ladbybug component instead. If you take the first option, after downloading check if .ghuser files are blocked (right click -> "Properties" and select "Unblock").

You can download the example files from here.

Video tutorials will follow in the coming period.


In the very essence these components help you answer the question: "How much energy can my roof, building facade, solar parking... generate if I would populate them with PV panels"?

They allow definition of different types of losses (snow, age, shading...) which may affect your PV system:

And can find its optimal tilt and orientation:

Or analyse its performance, energy value, consumption, emissions...

By Djordje Spasic and Jason Sensibaugh, with invaluable support of Dr. Frank Vignola, Dr. Jason M. Keith, Paul Gilman, Chris Mackey, Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari, Niraj Palsule, Joseph Cunningham and Christopher Weiss.


Thank you for reading, and hope you will enjoy using the components!

EDIT: From march 27 2017, Ladybug Photovoltaics components support thin-film modules as well.


1) System losses:

PVWatts v5 Manual, Dobos, NREL, 2014


2) Sun postion equations by Michalsky (1988):

SAM Photovoltaic Model Technical Reference, Gilman, NREL, 2014

edited by Jason Sensibaugh


3) Angle of incidence for fixed arrays:

PVWatts Version 1 Technical Reference, Dobos, NREL, 2013


4) Plane-of-Array diffuse irradiance by Perez 1990 algorithm:

PVPMC Sandia National Laboratories

SAM Photovoltaic Model Technical Reference, Gilman, NREL, 2014


5) Sandia PV Array Performance Module Cover:

PVWatts Version 1 Technical Reference, Dobos, NREL, 2013


6) Sandia Thermal Model, Module Temperature and Cell Temperature Models:

Photovoltaic Array Performance Model, King, Boys, Kratochvill, Sandia National Laboratories, 2004

7) CEC Module Model: Maximum power voltage and Maximum power current from:

Exact analytical solutions of the parameters of real solar cells us..., Jain, Kapoor, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, V81 2004, P269–277


8) PVFORM version 3.3 adapted Module and Inverter Models:

PVWatts Version 1 Technical Reference, Dobos, NREL, 2013


9) Sunpath diagram shading:

Using sun path charts to estimate the effects of shading on PV arrays, Frank Vignola, University of Oregon, 2004

Instruction manual for the Solar Pathfinder, Solar Pathfinder TM, 2008


10) Tilt and orientation factor:

Application for Purchased Systems Oregon Department of Energy


11) Photovoltaics performance metrics:

Solar PV system performance assessment guideline, Honda, Lechner, Raju, Tolich, Mokri, San Jose state university, 2012

CACHE Modules on Energy in the Curriculum Solar Energy, Keith, Palsule, Mississippi State University

Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE) Version 2.0, Hammond, Jones, SERT University of Bath, 2011

The Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI) of Photovoltaics: Met..., Raugei, Fullana-i-Palmer, Fthenakis, Elsevier Vol 45, Jun 2012

12) Calculating albedo:
Metenorm 6 Handbook part II: Theory, Meteotest 2007


13) Magnetic declination:

Geomag 0.9.2015, Christopher Weiss

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Replies to This Discussion

Oooo,this is a masterpiece!!! Bravo!

This is going to be a big one Djordje- Thank you for the great work!

BIG MASS, Great JOB Bro.

Excelent upgrade to the bugs!!
Thanks Djordie.

Thank you!!!

This is so great!

Great stuff and congratulations!

This is amazing! Worked like a charm! Great work!

Hello Djordje,

I am using your tool to analyse a pv installation on the roof of a high rise building. Works like a charm and gives all results. However, I have 11 different surfaces as my pv system that I am inputting to the components. The results come out one for each of the surfaces, along with a big number of sunpath shading graphs (I imagine for each). Is there a way to sum these up? I mean I can, and I am, manipulate the data structures when it comes to results. However, I was wondering if we can get a cumulative sunpath shading. Now that I think about it that wouldn't make much sense. Would it be possible to get different (coloured?) patches on a sunpath shading for each surface?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,


Hi Theodoros,

Would you be so kind to open a new topic on this issue?
And attaching your .gh file would make it much more easier to give a reply.
Thank you in advance.

yeah.. same problem here. 

Multiple surfaces = multiple sunpath shading would be great if this could be summed to one mesh

One more vote on that from me!

Guau!!! great job, Djordje!!! :) I've tried your components recently and they are awesome!!! 

Just in case someone else have the problem that I found (and it took me many hours to realize...) : the PV surface should be oriented with the normal vector to the sun direction (it's SO obvious but I was founding an error and didn't know it was that stupid detail ;))






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