Calculate the position of the sun in the sky, track solar penetration throughout the building interior and calculate shadows.

  • Take into account the sun’s path and solar penetration to optimise your building position and orientation early on in the design process.
  • Understand the impact of the sun on a building and assess how to minimise or maximise the effect of solar gains.
  • Assess the shading / right to light impact of surrounding buildings & terrain.
  • Test internal and external solar shading devices 
  • Generate animated, visual, graphical and numerical output for colleagues, clients or planners.
  • Solar shading calculations inform Loads Calculations and Energy Simulations 

Complex solar shading calculations are undertaken which determine how solar rays pass through both external and internal openings.  The path of the sun is tracked across rooms and atriums into internal spaceallowing the exact location and impact of solar gain to be understood.

SunCast calculations draw on:

  • The position of your building and site
  • The date and time
  • The properties of your defined windows, doors and holes
  • Defined shading surfaces: adjacent buildings, topographical shades, local shades, translucent shades 

Simulation Options

  • Perform simulations across any date or time range, at any global location
  • Wizards help you set up studies to your requirements
  • Track solar insolation outside and inside the building
  • Track the sun’s penetration inside the building
  • Simulate external and internal shading devices
  • Incorporate surrounding buildings into the simulation
  • Parallel Simulation Manager pre-processes SunCast for Apache and manages SunCast analysis detailed visualisation, meaning faster calculation times and the ability to ‘queue’ the simulations

SunCast Visualisation Options

  • Visualise results on a 3D model 
    • View real time shadows – choose the date and time you want shown
    • Use solar arc tool to visualise sun position in the sky in relation to the 3D Model. You can choose to toggle on or off views which show: azimuth, altitude, defined time, sun rise and sun set times, autumn equinox, summer & winter solstices
    • Solar arc animation can be turned ON or OFF
    • Shadows and solar arc feature can be viewed on a minute by minute basis across the year
    • View solar energy to evaluate the intensity of the sun externally on the building facade and, amongst other analysis, identify the most effective place to position solar/PV panels   
  • Create animated videos
    • Daily overview of solar movements
    • Single time-step building fly around
    • Define your viewpoint and date/time-step options
    • Video formats supported include .avi, .mpg, .mp4 and .wmv
  • Show/hide shading surfaces: adjacent buildings, topographical shades, local shades
  • Define individual surface colours of walls, floor and ground etc.
  • Switch ground shadow on/off
  • Set height of ground shadow
  • Set status of zones/surfaces
  • Determine your solar energy/intensity parameters for analysis – time period, resolution etc.
  • Make rooms and/or surfaces ‘invisible’ to interrogate the sun penetration clearly
  • Create images for each time-step based on your viewing position
    • Chose the particular date & time
    • Zoom into areas of interest to review & interrogate
    • Display site plan with North orientation
    • Adjustable sky background 
    • Turn on/off grid lines which give perspective and scale (1m/10cm)
  • View scripting
    • Complex user defined sequence of time and view options
  • Numerical output
    • Time-series solar shading information for each internal and external surface
  • Tabular / graphical output
    • Sunrise/sunset table of monthly times
    • Sunrise/sunset annual graph
  • Sunpath diagram
    • Shows solar position in terms of altitude and azimuth
  • All results can be exported to other windows applications for use in reports, presentations and further analysis
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