Solar Tools

These components operate independently of the DIVA-for-Rhino toolbar.

Sun Position Component


Useful to quickly optimize overhangs or shades for specific time frames of year. Inputing a series of hours during the day and a series for each day of the year will produce the corresponding solar vectors. Placing these vectors at the bottom of a window sill can allow shading element to become a part of the parametric geometry. The solar position algorithm used by the component follows the formulas described in "Solar Engineering of Thermal Processed", 3rd edition by Duffie and Beckman (2006).




L: Latitude in degrees.

M: Month integer (1-12)

D: Day integer (1-31)
H: Hour number (0-24)
DOY: Day of Year integer, optional. This will override the Month and Day input. This input is used for inputing a series, such as 1 to 365.
Lon: Longitude, optional. If input is 0 and time zone input is 0 then calculation proceeds with solar time. Input the longitude and time zone if local time is required (eg. Minneapolis is -93).
TZ: Time Zone, optional, enter the correct time zone if a specific Longitude was selected (eg. UTC/GMT for Minneapolis Minneapolis is -6)
V: Solar Vector.
T: Time stamp.

Solar Envelope Component

The solar envelope is a design tool described by Ralph Knowles which creates the largest build-able volume that will not shade its neighbors for a specified period of time throughout the year. References

C: Curve, a closed planar polyline which defines the neighboring boundaries where some minimum of direct sunlight is guaranteed. This is placed at the surrounding neighbors building footprint, window sills, or roof tops depending on where solar access is deemed important.
L: Latitude in degrees.
Ts: Start time in hours (0-24)
Te: End time in hours (0-24, should be larger than Ts). The largest buildable volumes will be generated if the start and end time “straddle” noon. So for a 2 hour solar envelope, choose 11 and 13.
E: Solar Envelope, a closed Brep which defines the maximal buildable volume that will give the neighboring context the specified minimum solar access throughout the year.

Solar Fan Component

A design tool which creates a volume that should not be blocked if a space is to receive some specified amount of direct solar access during a certain time of the year. This concept is the reverse of the solar envelope. Rather than defining the limit that one can build on a given site, this defines a limit that the surrounding context cannot build into to protect the solar access to the site. Generally this is used for outdoor spaces like playgrounds, parks, and gardens. The solution is an approximation because it involves lofting between a limited set of solar vectorsReferences

C: Curve, a closed planar polyline which defines the boundary of the outdoor space which requires direct solar access.
L: Latitude in degrees.
F: Average first Frost Date, the day of the year integer which define the critical portion of the year when the solar access is needed for plants or when the outdoor space would be typically used.
D: Distance of Envelope, used to calibrate the envelope to the scale of the scene.
F: Solar Fan, closed Brep describing the volume that should not be blocked to meet the parameters specified.

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