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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Hi Djordje,

This is amazing news! Having a library of PV modules was probably the most important thing missing, at least for me, from these wonderful tools concerning PV system analysis on real projects.

Thanks for your work!

Kind regards,


Hi Theodore,

It's Jason Sensibaugh's "fault".
Glad you find it useful!!

Another update to PV components:

Again, thanks to diligent and ingenious work by Jason Sensibaugh, it is now possible to chose from almost 14000 custom crystalline silicon and thin film modules from California Energy Commission Modules Library, with the new "Import CEC Photovoltaics Module" component.

Not only USA module producers are included but also those from other countries like: China, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Germany, Australia etc.
This is an addition to the previously available 500 modules from Sandia Modules Library.

A small .gh file example is attached below, along with CEC Modules Library file.

Previously named "Photovoltaics module" component is now called "Simplified Photovoltaics module", to distinguish itself from the new "Import CEC Photovoltaics Module" and "Import Sandia Photovoltaics Module" components.

So to recapitulate:
The "Simplified Photovoltaics Module" component is used to define general crystalline silicon module.
While new "Import Sandia Photovoltaics Module" and "Import CEC Photovoltaics Module" components enable picking a custom module from Sandia and CEC module libraries:







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