Getting Started on the Terabase Platform

Design your first utility-scale solar power plant in less than one hour
This tutorial is an introduction to the Terabase platform and is suitable for users with all levels of experience. In less than one hour, you will design a utility-scale solar plant that will be automatically optimized for performance, layout, and other variables. This exercise will walk you through a typical workflow covering the following steps/phases of development:
1
Land Prospecting

Select an optimal location

2
Site Layout

Define boundaries for solar power plant

3
Plant Configuration

Select solar modules and other components

4
Simulations

Compare results based on different inputs

5
Results

And collaborate with stakeholders

PART A: Starting a project

Start by logging in to the Terabase platform.
  1. Click the "Create a new project" button.
  2. Name your project and add a customer name if applicable.
Next, we'll be choosing a general location for you power plant, in of the following ways:
  1. Enter an address to jump to your location.
  2. Manually explore the map, zoom in, click the pin icon from the left menu, and then drop the pin to mark your project starting location.
  3. Upload your own KML file. Once uploaded, you can define specific layers of the KML as your power plant boundary and/or exclusion area.
When you're happy with your choice of location, click "Save" to begin your project and move on to the next phase.

PART B: Land prospecting

In this section, you'll be choosing an optimal piece of land in the general area you previously selected for your plant.
  1. Click the first button from the tool menu on the right to open the “Advanced layers” tab.
  2. Enable the necessary layers to help you choose a site. For this exercise, we recommend the following:
  • Surface information > Slope visualization
  • Surface information > Flood
  • Energy Infrastructure > Transmission lines
  • Energy Infrastructure > Substations
  • Land information > Parcel
  1. If any of the layers are difficult to read, you can adjust the transparency using the first button () next to each layer in the “Advanced layers” menu.
  2. Choose a large land parcel near a substation (indicated by a blue triangle), or near transmission lines (thick orange lines).
  3. Click on the parcel of land to look up the landowner and other zoning details. For this exercise, you may disregard the parcel information.

PART C: Create a site plan

The next step is to draw the outer boundaries of the power plant site, add any exclusions, and to place a substation.
  1. Once you have chosen a parcel (or several parcels adjacent to each other), click on the “Site plan” tab from the left menu.
  2. Click the Boundary button to enable the boundary/ exclusions/ substations tool.
  3. Click the Polygon button to draw your boundary, approximately following the borders of your parcel. Click the X button to exit Boundary mode.
  4. Click the Exclusion button and choose the Polygon tool to exclude a small corner of the plant boundary (this would be useful if there was an existing structure or a topographically incompatible area on the parcel). Click the X button to exit Exclusion mode.
  5. Finally, click the Substation button, enter the length and width of land needed for your substation (or use the defaults), and place your substation within the boundary of your site plan OR outside the site plan. The platform will calculate the cabling lengths and losses based on substation location and distances to key components.
  6. Click “Save plan” from the left menu.

PART D: Simulate your power plant

Once the site plan is established, we're ready to configure the power plant by selecting solar modules and other components, and then running a simulation based on the user-provided specifications.
  1. Click the “Simulations” tab from the left menu.
  2. Click “Create a new simulation” and click Next.
  3. Choose your product selection (PV module type, racking system, and inverter type). For this exercise, we recommend choosing the default options. However, most of the components can be further customized by entering your own specifications or by choosing specific brand-name components.
  4. Select key parameters for your Scenario Analysis
  • Select option 'A' if you already know your requirements. Then select your GCR and DC/AC Ratio.
  • Select option 'B' if you want the platform to optimize. As you change the variables, you’ll be able to preview preliminary design iterations. Based on your previous selections, you’ll see the the range of MWac min to MWac max.
  • Select GCR, typically between 0.3 and 0.4
  • Select DC/AC Ratio, typically 1.1 to 1.3
  • If you enable target power, your list of options will narrow.
  • Select as many checkboxes as you would like to run through our simulation engine

PART E: View results

When the plant simulation is completed, you can view the results in two ways:
  1. View and compare summaries in the browser.
  2. Download complete performance and cost reports (Summary of Results, EPC cost estimate, and BoQ) in Excel (.xls) format, and/or download project site KML file.

PART F: Sharing your project

All done!

If you have additional questions or would like a more in-depth demonstration of the platform's more sophisticated features, please schedule a demo, or email support@terabase.energy.

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