Jump to content

Importing terrain and module layouts


Recommended Posts


using PVsyst 6.49 for utility scale ground mounted projects, I would like to import a) terrain data and b) PV table layouts because the possibilities with the current 3D modeller is rather limited to smaller projects.

I have currently the chance to export SRTM terrain data from WindPro in the following formats:


- KMZ (Raster overlay or line overlay)

- Image

- Shape (Lines or Closed Lines

- Polygon Shape

- Point Shape

Is there any way to convert these into the PVsyst's 3D Modeller?

The actual layout in a non-rectangular, "randomly" shaped area I currently do in AutoCAD. Is there a way to import this layout (for example as Shape file) into PV Syst's 3D Modeller?

Through importing both the terrain and the layouts I would like to calculate the near- and self-shading effects more accurately.

I remember from the training a month ago that you mentioned an update of the 3D Modeller to come soon which will also make importing easier. How is the status?

Thank you very much for your help!

Best regards


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Hello Hannes,

I´m also facing the same issue, unfortunately I don´t see any connection with shapefiles, kmz or ASCII..

I think the closest we can get is to use AutoCAD in between and work in conversions (ESRI formats--dwg--PVsyst). Also, apparently there´s a sketchup 3d format that is readable by PVsyst, but I dind´t have the time to work on.

How did you solve your problem?

PS.: Same background here, I have been working with wind farms (windpro) and now switching gears to work with PV utility scale.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


You can import ground data as ASCII XYZ, using the menu "File -> Import -> Import ground data (CSV)".

About shading objects and PV tables, you can import scenes from Sketchup or AutoCAD in the latest version of PVsyst.

You can check out the PVsyst help (F1) to get more details about these two imports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am also trying to simulate a PV 1-axis tracking plant with the uneven terrain and the surrounding mountains (shadings).

I successfully exported the ground data from AutoCad to a .csv file and then imported it into PVsyst. But i then read in the Help that Ground data is transparent (no use for shading).

Then i realised that PVsyst can place PV fix tilted sheds on the ground data. But apparently it cannot place trackers on ground Data.

I guess this is because it would make backtracking complex/impossible?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I once wrote a guideline how to do...hope I can share it here tomorrow.

Btw: be careful using these data, afaik for the US it is offered a 1 arcsecond resolution (tiles of approx. 30x30 m),ROW is in 3 arcseconds (approx. 90x90 m resolution), so do not use it for construction execution purposes. In an initial stage it is though really helpful for preliminary eatimations.

I use AutoCAd Civil for processing these data, maybe it also works with other AutoCAD products and also with some GIS applications but i cannot confirm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


- click the link I provided before

- select yout region by defining a rectangle

- select SRTM Global Data as data source (select the raster version, for every spot on earth there is at least a 90 metres resolutions, sometimes also a 30 metres solutions is available)

- select "GeoTiff" as output format

- enter an email address and a job title then download the file

you now can open the file in several CAD or GIS products, following is a description of how to extract the data using AutoCAD Civil

- start AutoCAD Civil

- select "create surface from DEM" _CreateSurfaceGridFromDEM ("digital elevation model", GeoTiff is available to select in the GUI). You now have a raster surface in AutoCAD Civil

- now create an empyt TIN-surface in AutoCAD Civil

- expand the tree of your new TIN-surface in the prospector tab

- edit your sufrace by selecting "add surface" and add the raster-surface you created before

- now you can see your surface in WGS84 projection

- transform the coordinates from WGS84 to a metric projection

- display the points of your surface by editing surface style (if not already enabled)

- select the TIN surface and the use the ribbon to extract its point _SurfaceExtractObjects

- select points only in GUI

- now use a visual style so that the surface is not displayed and you'll see ACAD points in the dwg now

- now enter _dataextraction in the command prompt and select points only

- then select only X,Y,Z positions

- export to a *.csv-file

- open *.csv-file and eventually edit it (depedning on local country settings, remove header line and first two columns, save this file

- open a new dwg in AutoCAD Civil and apply your desired grid reference to it

-create a new TIN-Surface

- add point data by right clicking and select the *.csv-file you created (check also point data format!) and enable check-box for transforming coordinates

- now you have your TIN surface in a metric system, you have access to the point data by extracting the points from the surface

it works similar in GIS applications. biggest challenge could be to understand mapping projections and select a proper one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I have successfully converted my plots from kmz to DAE, using FBX converter unfortunately it doesn't load into PVsyst when I imported it. Does it something to do with my Autocad version? because I am only using Autocad LT? Do i need to use an Autocad 3D?

I have tried another option scenario for importing my plot, that is to use global mapper to convert my kmz file to csv but still it did not load once I import it in the PVsyts as it says that less than 3 points have been found. :(

Appreciate your kind response the soonest.

Kind regards,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...