Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Solar heating simulations in Energy3D

We are adding some new features to our Energy3D software that will allow the user to carry out passive solar design of one or multiple buildings (or even an entire city block). These new features will calculate the distribution of solar energy density over an area such as the vertical surface of a wall of a building or the horizontal surface area of open space. The results will be visualized as color heat maps overlaid to the surface. The information in these color maps can be used to help students make decisions when they are searching for optimal passive solar designs.

These new analytic tools will be used in our Passive Solar Urban Design Challenge that requires students to design a city block with new buildings that have maximal solar heating in the winter and minimal solar heating in the summer, without severely obstructing solar access of existing buildings in the neighborhood.

These new features are integral parts of the existing heliodon simulator in Energy3D, which allows the user to adjust the sun path. The video in this blog post demonstrates this.

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