Full Process Plant Design.

Best in class hardware and software

Sunpulse uses the latest AutoCAD Civil 3D plugins available for design bringing new standard practices to the solar industry in Japan. We have focused on using industry leading technology to bring the brown field level of solar design necessary on complex 3D terrains.

This means that Sunpulse can confidently export detailed engineering drawings of the solar power plants design directly to our construction partners.

Our difference

  • Applying GIS technology to the solar PV plant development process in Japan. We use a system that works from digital elevation models to calculate the following: Slope,  Aspect, Hillshade,  Ruggedness Index and Relief. 
  • A helpful bridge to international finance.
  • Sunpulse works closely in an integrated design approach with permitting, civil engineering firms and Sunpulse as the SOLAR design specialists.
  • We can produce a 3D Digital Elevation Model (DEM) based on data from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI maps) at a 5m resolution.  (Please contact us if you need a 1m interpolation also.)
  • We use our drones to fly over the site and take pictures. These are then post-processed in software to build the best quality 2D maps and 3D models (with sub-cm accuracy). 
  • We can also use the data to calculate point clouds and volumetric calculations of the land based on the above datasets of varying accuracy depending on your needs.

Some examples of our DC interconnection design algorithm and shading design cases.

For Japan & 3D Terrains

Sunpulse has solid understanding of Japanese industrial design and engineering culture and frameworks from a combined 12+ years of working in the solar industry inside Japan and a solid bridge to local construction firms that will build using our detailed engineering drawings that are provided to them.


In Japan, much of the useful land is not flat. The land that wouldn't be considered in other markets is considered and this adds to engineering, permitting and financing complexities. This means that a 3D surface model of the land is necessary. This is different to many solar plants overseas whereby large-scale solar designers have never had to focus on complicated 3D terrains. We can issue XYZ files, point clouds, shape files, .obj models, and also DXF, and DWG models. We can also post process the raw data to produce suitable solar power plant basemap files. 


We do a number of analysis on our basemap dataset including but not limited to hydrologic modeling including watershed analysis and terrain analysis including contour line computations and TIN surface computations.

Cut & Fill Design Framework

  • 3D base layer pre-drone surface creation. (GSI maps at 5m mesh.)
  • 3D base layer after drone surface creation. E.g. after site has the trees removed. (Geoorthomosaic < 5cm uncertainty.)
  • Array based alignments, profiles & corridors. (AutoCAD Civil 3D)
  • Cut & fill volumes based on corridors. (AutoCAD Civil 3D)
  • Net Cut, net fill. (AutoCAD Civil 3D)
  • Follow up construction progress management (CPM) with periodic drone flights.
  • Documentation for contractors.

Engineering Drawings Outputs

  • GSI Maps XYZ model for contour and TIN surfaces.
  • Watersheds layout.
  • Road and trenchline placement map.
  • Array zones including the calculation of shading limit angle on 3D surfaces, inter-row spacing optimisation. 
  • String placement and optimisation according to two separate automated least distancing algorithms.
  • 3D surface for DC and AC cable lengths.
  • Complete parts list export including XYZ location of all poles, all string and combiner boxes.
  • Calculation of trenchline, inverter and transformer locations.
  • Automated AutoCAD 3D terrain and array export directly to PVSYST for detailed yield analysis studies.
  • 20-80 page engineering drawings project package typically for a 2MWp DC solar plant. These packages will increase in size depending on the number of trenchline maps.