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Ecotect Tutorial : Solar Availability Using Analysis Grid

Synopsis

This ECOTECT tutorial explains how to calculate the amount of solar availability using the analysis grid.

Duration

You will need about 20 minutes to complete this tutorial.

Training and Accreditation

Successfully completing this tutorial fulfills one of the practical skills required for completing Level 2 of the Solar Radiation Analysis training module.

Resources Required

To complete this tutorial, open the Stadium.eco file located in the Examples folder of your Ecotect installation.

Tutorial

  1. Open the example file, and turn on the display of the analysis grid - it is currently configured to cover the entirety of the stadium pitch. Go to the Calculate menu, and select the Solar Access Analysis... menu item.
    Display the default analysis grid in the example file.
    Display the default analysis grid in the example file.
  2. The following wizard dialogue box appears, presenting a series of options on how solar availability can be analysed. Any of these options will provide some kind of information on solar availability, such as number of daylight hours, watt hours, megajoules per square metre, or as percentage values. For this tutorial, select the Shading, Overshadowing and Sunlight Hours radio option and then click Next.
    Select the Shading, Overshadowing and Sunlight Hours radio option.
    Select the Shading, Overshadowing and Sunlight Hours radio option.
  3. Specify the calculation period for the solar availability - this can be for a specific date and time, the current day (as set in the model), or for a particular time period. For this tutorial, select For Current Day, being the 21st March.
    Set the calculation period.
    Set the calculation period.
  4. The analysis values for the period can be displayed in a number of ways, such as cumulative, average or peak values. When calculating solar availability, read carefully how each of period-based values are calculated, and then select the most appropriate option for your needs. For this tutorial, select the Cumulative Values radio option, and then click Next.
    Select how the analysis values will be totalled up.
    Select how the analysis values will be totalled up.
  5. The next wizard dialogue box screen determines whether model object or the analysis grid is used for the solar availability analysis. As this is meant to be a tutorial about calculating solar availability over the analysis grid, select the Analysis Grid radio option. Click Next to continue.
    Select the Analysis Grid calculation option.
    Select the Analysis Grid calculation option.
  6. Overshadowing will obviously have an impact on the level of solar availability. ECOTECT can calculate overshadowing in one of two ways - using existing shading masks calculated as part of the inter-zonal adjacency checking process, or 'on-the-fly' as part of the solar access analysis calculation. As we are using an analysis grid to display the results, only the second option applies. Use the slider and drop-down box to specify the level of accuracy for the shading calculation, and then click Next.
    Select the Analysis Grid calculation option.
    Select the Analysis Grid calculation option.
  7. The final wizard screen summarises the selections made. Make any adjustments if necessary, and then click Ok to commence the solar availability analysis.
    The wizard summary screen.
    The wizard summary screen.
  8. ECOTECT commences the analysis process, which should take a few minutes. When complete, the results are displayed across the analysis grid according to the settings you specified in the wizard.
    Solar availability calculated for the analysis grid.
    Solar availability calculated for the analysis grid.

Useful Tips

  • When selecting the analysis grid option in the wizard, there is a sub-option use full 3d extents of analysis grid. If checked, this calculates the results of the analysis grid in three dimensions, showing multiple levels of data. This can be useful for examining changes in solar availability at different heights, for example. Note, however, that not all types of data can be displayed on a 3D analysis grid, such as direct and diffuse radiation.
  • Use the skills you have mastered in the manipulating the analysis grid and the position and size the analysis grid tutorials to control how the analysis grid data and visualisation is displayed.


Ecotect Tutorial : Incident Solar Radiation Graphs

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