The Sun is the most important source of energy that sustains life on Earth. The Sun has been venerated in many cultures and mankind has constantly sought ways to harvest the power of the sun. The Sun is an important element in designing buildings and structure but the Sun is also both an ally and a foe for building designers. Designers can harness this source of energy while mitigating aggravating factors by Solar Shading Simulations.
Solar Shading Simulations take into account:
- Site & building geographic position
- Date & Time
- Altitude and Azimuth (Point of view)
- Properties of fixtures (Doors, windows etc)
- Shadow-voltaic systems
Solar Shading Simulations facilitates good passive solar designs that provide adequate heating and lighting while rejecting excessive solar heat gain.
3 main considerations of Solar Shading Simulations
A. Applicability of Sunlight as a source of lighting
- Getting adequate Sunlight penetration into the building compound
- Uniform and constant distribution of Sunlight
- Avoid potential disamenity (visual discomfort & glare
B. Sunlight as a Heat Source
- Depending on geographical location, the Sun as a heat source may be welcomed or discouraged.
- Countires located in the tropics tend to reject solar heat gain
- Building Orientation in conjunction with sun path
- Strucutal materials used to invite or discourage solar heat gain
C. Shading Effect
- Visualize and simulate the shadow cast by the Sun
- Shape, size, intensity, and length of shadow changes according to time & date, difference in latitude and location
- Sunlight is either encouraged or discouraged from penetrating into a building by utilizing shading devices. Shading devices reduce HVAC loads and thus improve building energy performance.
3 main types of devices used for shading :
- Natural (vegetations)
- Interior devices (Curtains, blinds, drapes, and window films )
- Exterior Shading device (awnings, overhangs, windows, and envelope/roof design)
Related: Daylight Reflectance Analysis