Comparison of Solar Energy Analysis and Shadow Analysis

I recently have been emailing with one of our customers about differences between Solar Energy Analysis and Shadow Analysis. I want to take this opportunity and share some parts of this conversion with you. This two plugins are made for different purposes, but at this articulate I would discus differences in solar radiation patterns.
I will start from compering results from Shadow Analysis (first picture) and Solar Energy Analysis (second picture). Both analysis below are made for spring equinox.
Inline image 1
Shadow Analysis
Inline image 2
Solar Energy Analysis

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Latvian version of Shadow Analysis

I am happy to announce that, recently we finished working on Latvian version of Shadow Analysis.

It would not be possible to accomplish without a help from Rolands Bruzgulis form

Below there are some renderings done with Latvian version of Shadow Analysis. We have introduced new colour to distinguish this version from those dedicated for other countries. I hope you will like it.

At the moment Shadow Analysis can help in dealing with building regulations in countries like: Latvia, Poland, Australia, France, China. Moreover, it is being used to help deign solar panel installations  worldwide.

Shadow Analysis goes to Market

I am glad to announce that today Shadow Analysis goes to market.

For more info about the program go to:

Demo of Shadow Analysis is avaible under this link:

Program is available in English and Polish language versions.

If you are interested in purchasing the Shadow Analysis, please drop me an email at janiaktomasz at gmail dot com .

Shadow Analysis – Analemma

I was recently testing Shadow Analysis plugin for the accuracy of the produced results, and comparing it to other tool traditionally used for analyzing daylight conditions. When testing plug-in against “linijka slonca” ( ang.: sun ruler tool  created by Mieczysław Twarowski which is approved by Polish Standards way of calculating shadow length) I find something what really  surprised my.

Sun, at noon of local solar time, is not at exactly pointing south in most of the day during the year. Actually if you would plot positions of the sun at precisely the same time of the day, during the year you would get 8 shape curve.

It is called Analemma. It is caused by earths elliptical orbit, if it was circular sun at noon would be directly on south  ( as I was expecting to be). Apparently it is typical to all stars. In any case it is almost impossible to spot it with the naked eye. The one way to observe it is to make photos from the same position at precisely the same time of the day during all year. Because I do not have camera to spear, and most of all I do not have all  year to wait for the results, I have tried to simulate Analemma with SketchUP. Below you can see the result of it.

In SketchUp you can not observe the sun movement directly, so I did it by plotting the shadows casted by the object on the flat surface. Shadows on the picture above are measured at noon on the 24th of each month. Analemma created this way is not exactly the same shape as the one observed on the sky. The difference occurs because observations are plotted on the horizontal no vertical plane, and because of different shadow lengths throughout the year. This experiment shows that Analamma has some impact on the shadow length and direction. The experiment also proved that SkechUp can be use as a precise tool  for analyzing shadow and daylight conditions.

Next time I will try to write few words about the outcome of comparing Shadow Analysis Plug-in with traditional methods for analyzing daylight conditions.

Shadow Analysis Plug-in (Simulation of Exposure to Daylight 2)

We finally managed to finish beta version of Shadow Analysis plug-in for SketchUp. It is available for tests now. Below you can watch video presentation of it.

The video was fast-forward slightly, it takes around 8 minutes to render analysis showed on the presentation.

Please also have a look on the gallery of the analysis we produced with the plug-in.

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Plug-in has been written in Ruby. During the work we had some major problems with using libraries for image precessing and finally we had to do it in hex. I have a feeling that it could not be the fastest solution, but it is the most stable and universal one from those we tested already.

As far as we know Shadow Analysis works OK on windows XP and Vista, with SketchUP 7 and 8. Plug-in does not work with SketchUp 6.

We are still working towards making it produce hight resolution picture in 1-2 minutes or preferably in real time.

If you would like to test beta version of our plug-in, please drop me an email and I will send it to you.

If you would like read about the plug-in in polish visit my brothers blog PiotrJaniak