It is a very exciting time for us and the industry. This sort of technology allows us to do so much more with a whole lot less.”
The Solar Wizard software determines the solar radiation on any structure at any location on the planet and also maps the effect of shadows from surrounding structures and/or objects such as trees, chimneys, satellite dishes and attic vents etc.
Full 3D animations of the transit of shadows and annual insolation maps team up with report data.
“A roof structure may appear to be a very suitable location for the installation of solar panels or solar thermal heating depending on how much a roof is affected by nearby structures or trees.” said Development Manager, Mr Leigh Menzel.
‘It is now possible to determine quite precisely how much solar energy a particular roof will receive during the average year, and indeed, the output from the proposed installed array.” Menzel continued. “This information is represented graphically on the screen and is also saved as a text file for re-use in engineering and accounting programs to determine effective return on investment (ROI). The combination of the information generated by AppliCad’s Solar Wizard with existing ROI tools creates a more complete client proposal for integrators and installers.”
The developers at AppliCad have worked together with their beta testers to develop a system that can calculate the suitability of a roof or structure to fit solar panels using nothing more than an aerial image and some gross measurements. The tool is based on a 3D CAD (computer aided design) system that provides all the required tools to model structures in 3D automatically from simple perimeter measurements. This means that the tool describes real roofs represented in their surroundings. The sun in the model illuminates the 3D built environment and simulates how surrounding buildings, terrain and vegetation cast shadows.
The shadow effect can be calculated for each month or for a complete year, and this means that certain parts of a roof may turn out to be unsuitable for collecting solar energy, even though the roof has both optimal direction and gradient.