SunEye & PV Designer Release Notes

Version 4.91.8447 – 07-Mar-2022

  • Automatic attempt to fix problems with Windows Mobile Device Center installation

Version 4.90.8430 – 13-Jun-2016

  • Fixes bug where solar access could be a few % low in cases where obstructions, such as the roof itself, are outside the panel’s field of view
  • Fixes bug where error sometimes appears when exporting PDF report
  • Enables access to PV Designer without a license

Version 4.80.8095 – 3-Nov-2014

  • Fixes bug where some specific areas of the city list do not display when selecting a session location

Version 4.80.7256 – 30-Apr-2014

  • Adds the option to include Obstruction Elevation graphs on the SunEye shade reports
  • New feature to “auto-set” the azimuth and tilt using the compass and tiltmeter prior to capturing skylines
  • Minor bug fixes

Version 4.72 – 6-Feb-2014

  • Increases the maximum number of designs in PV Designer from 4 to 10
  • Adds the count of modules per design to the PDF summary from PV Designer
  • Minor display bug fixes

Version 4.71 – 27-Jan-2014

  • Fixes PDF export bug where PDF shade reports could not be written to some locations directly from the desktop software

Version 4.70 – 11-Nov-2013

  • New feature allows transfer from earlier device software without the need to update the device
  • Fixes bug where magnetic vs true panel azimuth needs to be reset after skyline capture
  • Edit paint brush size stays set as in 4.68 and earlier

Version 4.69 – 31-July-2013

  • New features to support UK region MCS shade evaluation
  • Added new compass calibration verification feature
  • Added sunpath lines to edit mode display
  • Changed edit paint brushes to circles in desktop companion
  • Updated German translations

Version 4.68 – 26-Mar-2013

  • Maintenance update to improve the reliability of the software installation

Version 4.66 – 9-Mar-2013

  • Adds module snap to PV Desginer, eliminates global warnings for missing inverter parameters (warning still appears in limit check)
  • PV Designer now available as a one-time-license.
  • Fixes bug where SunEye hangs after power down with USB connected
  • Many other minor bug fixes

Version 4.65 – 18-Jan-2013

  • Added feature in Skyline Properties to change heading of camera for a skyline after it has been acquired. Changing magnetic declination in Session Properties now automatically adjusts camera heading for skylines in which magnetic declination was used to determine true heading of camera. These features are intended to allow the user to correct data discovered after-the-fact to have been captured with an incorrect true compass heading.

Version 4.64 – 7-Jan-2013

Improvements for Japanese customers:

  • Installer now translated to Japanese
  • Japanese weather stations added to PV Designer
  • Japanese cities list improved and sorted by prefecture
  • PV Designer and SunEye desktop GUI translations added and improved
  • Fixed problems when generating Japanese language reports
  • Latest User’s Guide with Japanese translation

Version 4.63 – 16-Nov-2012

  • Update to address Japanese locality.

Version 4.62 – 9-Nov-2012

  • Fixes missing component error when installing on Windows 8 computers.

Version 4.61 – 6-Feb-2012

  • Adds PDF reports with embedded images as an alternative to html reports.
  • Fixes connectivity problems with older SunEye 210 units shipped before February 2011.

Version 4.60 – 13-Oct-2011

  • Operating System upgraded on 210 device units shipped before February 2011.
  • Desktop software can be upgraded to without upgrading the SunEye device, using “SKIP”.
  • SunEye 100/110 devices are not affected by this upgrade.

New features include the following:

  • Advanced weather data is now available from Meteonorm, in addition to the weather stations that have been available. Meteonorm provides a more comprehensive dataset, and advanced interpolation to provide data for the precise latitude and longitude of the session. Minimum and maximum temperature data can also be automatically downloaded using Meteonorm weather.

Version 4.57 – 15-Aug-2011

New features include the following:

  • Extension kit audio interface now uses tones instead of speech. Details here (PDF).

Version 4.56 – 16-May-2011

New features include the following:

  • Japanese language support on the desktop and user guide

Version 4.55 – 25-Mar-2011

New features include the following:

  • Extension Kit mode to enable use of SunEye Extension Kit for measurements up to 17.7 ft (5.4m) up. Allows snapping skylines by rotation of SunEye on the telescoping pole of the Extension Kit.
  • Autocorrection for tilt and azimuth. Azimuth will be autocorrected up to +/-30 degrees from reference direction (South in Northern Hemisphere, North in Southern Hemisphere). Tilt will be autocorrected up to +/-5 degrees from level.
  • Quick Skyline Capture mode. Automatic Skyline processing can be delayed to enable multiple measurements to be taken more quickly. Then the processing can be triggered later either manually on the device or automatically when the session is transferred from the device to the computer.
  • Average/Maximum obstruction elevation display on device and in desktop software.
  • New file output in reports .hor files for average of multiple skylines. User specifies which skylines are included.
  • Create New Session in the desktop software, enables Sessions without Skylines, and therefore enables PV Designer without Skylines.
  • Sample session is included for software evaluation with shading skylines and PV Designer designs.
  • Time zone property of a session can now be changed in the device or in the desktop software. This enables correction of data that was captured with incorrect time zone setting.
  • Session Panel Azimuth/Tilt default can be adjusted to keep last value entered, vs. always defaulting to “south and latitude” for each new session.

Version 4.50 – 27-Oct-2010

PV Designer enhancements, including the following:

  • Arbitrary polygon (non-rectangular) roof shapes. User can add/move/delete corners and define arbitrary polygon shape for array. Trapezoids, triangles, and complex shapes can be defined.
  • Show Angles at each vertex of polygon roof area.
  • Show Distances for each side of polygon roof area.
  • “No-module” zones for on-roof obstructions. Rectangular or Ellipse shapes defined on roof area to define keep-out zones. Used for visual reference for on-roof obstructions, such as chimneys, roof vents, skylights, etc.
  • Simulation enhancements to include wind speed and more closely match PV Watts on-line tool in the unshaded case.
  • 1-axis and 2-axis tracking options are added to the existing fixed azimuth/tilt orientation. Energy calculations include selected orientation.

Version 4.40 – 8/4/2010

  • Windowed Solar Access. A window is defined by a range of months and time of day, and solar access calculations are performed only for this window. When Windowed Access is enabled, the window is displayed in red in the Annual Sunpath view and on the preview image in skyline preview mode. New Windowed Access files are available for the session average and for each skyline, and the windows can be defined in the report export wizard.
  • “Retry” option for skyline snap if the alignment is incorrect (azimuth or tilt).
  • PV Designer Layout enhancements. Changes to the Layout View include the following: Aligning and distributing selected modules on the array plane; Displaying ruler, grid, and cursor x-y location on array plane; Zoom into the array plane to have more precise view of the modules, using a zoom slider control or the mouse wheel; Pan across the array plane by right-clicking and dragging to move location of display when zoomed in; Ability to specify “no-module” zones by specifying distance from array plane edges. When modules are moved into this zone, they are shaded to show the issue.
  • PV Desinger On-line database. The module and inverter database is now online. When updates are available, the user will be notified and the updates can be downloaded without a full update of the software.
  • PV Designer enhanced simulation speed. Simulations and display of insolation chart and calculated results is now faster.
  • Various performance enhancements and minor bug fixes

Version 4.30 – 5/21/2010

  • Simplified installation for 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.
  • “Align with Target” mode. Provides an alternative SunEye alignment to a reference azimuth using visual information available at the site, instead of the built-in compass, which may be impacted by metal objects nearby. The targets could be a distant tree or pole whose direction is known, or a rooftop reference such as the seams or tiles on a roof surface.
  • Solar Access for 1 axis and 2 axis tracking. Solar access calculations are now provided for 1 and 2 axis tracking in addition to fixed arrays.
  • Support for Canadian cities.
  • PV Designer equipment database updated. The data for modules and inverters is updated, including with the latest available data from the California Energy Commission (CEC).
  • PV Designer can use multiple inverters. Ability to have multiple inverters in a single design, as many as one per module.
  • PV Designer inverter “gas gauge”. Single display shows how module layout and stringing affect voltage, current, and power versus inverter limits.
  • PV Designer New Design and Layout “Guides”. Provides guidance for New Design process and new features for layout.

Version 4.2 – 3/16/2010

  • Enhanced skyline detection. User can select Sky Type to improve SunEye’s automatic detection of obstruction and open sky. Improves performance in challenging lighting conditions.
  • User Compass Cal added. Enables field calibration of SunEye electronic compass.
  • Various SunEye bug fixes.
  • Magnetic Declination calculation for Session Location was updated to use IGRF-11 Model, the 11th Generation International Geomagnetic Reference Field model. See the website: here. May result in changes to magnetic declination values up to 1-2 degrees.
  • PV Designer localization added for French, Italian, German, Spanish
  • PV Designer English/Metric units added.

Version 3.0 – 12/18/2009

  • Full feature release of the PV Designer. The ability to add custom modules and inverters, and automatic report generation were added from the previous trial release.
  • Includes trial activation and purchasing of PV Designer.
  • The following notes are intended to describe aspects of this software release.
  • Equipment database. The data for modules and inverters is preliminary. Where data is known to be missing or incomplete, notations are provided. This may have significant impact on the calculations of energy production. User specifications can be entered using the custom equipment function.
  • Partial shade model and SolarMagic™ calculations. The calculations for AC kWh are adjusted for shade, weather, and string effects. The algorithms used provide an estimate. However, results may vary and the calculations do not provide any guarantee of actual.
  • Limit checks are performed on the designs:
    1. The system operating voltage is checked to ensure it is in the operating range of the inverter. The minimum voltage occurs at the maximum temperature, and the maximum voltage occurs at the minimum temperature.
    2. The maximum open circuit voltage is checked to ensure it does not exceed the maximum voltage of the inverter. The maximum voltage occurs at the minimum temperature.
    3. The maximum system current is checked to ensure it does not exceed the maximum current of the inverter.
    4. The worst case maximum system power is checked to ensure it does not exceed the maximum power of the inverter. It is assumed that the worst case maximum system power occurs at the maximum insolation and minimum temperature.
  • The Min/Max temperature values are defaulted to conservative values and to be accurate must be reset by the user in the Weather Area.
  • Currently the designs are limited to a single input on one inverter. In addition each design contains a single plane. It may be possible to simulate multiple planes and/or multiple inverters using the “Combine” feature which sums the energy from up to four (4) designs.
  • Solmetric SunEye sessions are required for operation of the software. An example session is available at for illustration but shade calculations can only be done using skylines from the Solmetric SunEye.
  • Derating. Derate factors, such as wire losses and other factors that reduce output are incorporated into each design. These values are defaulted and to be changed must be input by the user for each design. Derate factors are expressed in percent.
  • Summary reports are not available in the free trial version. Expanded reports with greater detail and graphs and images of the designs are available in the paid subscription version.
  • English-only user interface. Although the Solmetric SunEye and the Desktop Companion Software are available in five languages (English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish), the language of the PV Designer software is currently English only.