Case study

Photovoltaic configurator design

Photovoltaic configurator design

Project Overview


Product Designer


Mar – Jun 2023


UX Fans s.r.o. for Centropol ENERGY a.s.


MS Excel

The Product, Challenge & The Solution

The Product

The Šetří celé Česko website is a consumer focused project that was created because of the situation in the energy market starting in 2022 and the needs of users – ordinary people who are looking for ways to save on household expenses. The project includes some general information on how to save money and specific options for drawing state support. The main content is an extensive system of calculators – configurators, thanks to which users can determine the optimal consumption of the most frequently used appliances, electricity, gas, heating and others, and able to save. One of the configurators is also useful for calculating the return on photovoltaic solar panels.

The Challenge

Photovoltaic solar panels currently represent a highly demanded solution based on sustainability and energy savings. Relatively high savings can be achieved due to the very high price of energy, which had to be capped by the government for 2023. As a result, people are considering investing in solar panels, but due to the complexity of PV, it is difficult for them to understand the economic benefits.

The Solution

Based on detailed research and creating a comprehensive set of related data, I designed a PV configurator. The goal of the PV configurator is to provide a personalized, comprehensive, and comprehensible overview of an ROI-focused set of information for a given configuration, and visualization of electricity consumption using PV energy with the possibility of selling surplus back to the network.

The product

Data input and overview

The first part of the configurator contains multiple inputs needed to calculate subsidies, electricity costs and PV configuration based on energy consumption. After entering this information, a solution is proposed that the user can further change according to their preferences.

Based on this, the configurator shows a clear set of figures that is useful in calculating the profitability of investing in photovoltaics.

Market price of installation

Subsidy amount for the given configuration

Final price for the given configuration

Annual electricity savings

Surplus sale value

Return on investment time period

PV Configurator 1

The first part of the configurator with inputs and information

Visualization of electricity consumption

The second part of the configurator shows a graph with the visualization of energy consumption in the given year. It contains a curve using energy generation from PV and energy which needs to be purchased (red and orange parts). Part of the graph is a visualization of the sale of surpluses to the network (green part). The aim of the graph is to show how the performance of the solar panels helps to cover the household consumption and the possibilities for the sale of electricity, which are attainable only in certain months, not all year round.

PV Configurator 2

The second part of the configurator with the graph

Explanation of the calculation

The product also includes an explanation of the calculation. As they had to be simplified due to the complexity of the problem, we inform the users about what our assumptions were.

Related blog post concept

An additional part of the configurator was a blog articles section, the structure of which I designed to give further information that could not be included in the configurator due to its simplification. The article contains an explanation of PV, its advantages and limitations, and recommendations for users who decide to invest in PV, such as how to choose a reliable supplier for PV and other useful information.

What did I learn

Deep understanding of PV issues

In order to design the comprehensive configurator, I had to study in detail how PV works, how subsidies are calculated and figure out how to combine the information into one easy to understand place.

Proposing a clear solution

Based on the wide data set that I processed and calculated in MS Excel, I had to find a solution to how to communicate in a comprehensive but relatively simple way to the users.

Consultation with experts in PV

A great experience for me was consultations with photovoltaic experts, for which I had prepared questions to understand some more complex aspects, and to verify some assumptions I was not 100% confident about.

Preparation of complex data for developers

As part of the project, I prepared a comprehensive guide to all the complex calculations for developers to simplify the configurator development process.

Next steps

What I recommend to do in the future

Keep data updated

Monitor current events in the field of photovoltaics and update the configurator in case conditions change, e.g. drawing subsidies, energy price fluctuations.

Expand information on photovoltaics

Supplement the information in the article or add another configurator that will help achieve even greater household savings, e.g. in combination with heat pumps.