OpenSolar produces a detailed shading report based on the available 3D data in . This shading report is only available when designing in 3D mode with SAM enabled. Please see this article for how to enable SAM for solar designs.
This shading report is created on a panel group basis, meaning that each different group of panels will have its own set of shading calculations.
To view the shading analysis, select a panel array, so that a yellow box appears around it, then navigate to the left toolbar and click the dropdown.
The shading analysis produces an annual sun access figure (87% in the example above), monthly average figures (on the right-hand column in grey) and hourly figures for each month of the year. The yellow 100 in the shade report above indicates that this hour has been selected, and the raytracing for this particular hour can be viewed on the panel array in the design area. For this example, the rays would all be green as this hour implies complete sun access.
These numbers represent the amount of sun access the panel group receives during daylight hours.
100 = Complete sun access
0 = No sun access
Raytracing is depicted below. In this example, a more shaded hour of the day has been selected. You will notice that the shading is shown on the panel group itself, in the form of different coloured dots/rays on the panels. See below:
Here, a more heavily shaded time of day has been selected (~20%), and we can see the effect on each panel sub-string via colour code. Red indicates directly shaded. Yellow indicates impacted by shade but not directly shaded. Green indicates full sun access.
There are 6 dots per panel, and the colour of those dots is indicative of whether the cell is either directly shaded or impacted by the shading of another cell on the same sub string. A red dot indicates that the cell is in direct shade and will not produce, an orange dot indicates that it is not in direct shade but cannot produce as its performance is being impeded by the shaded cell. A green dot indicates that the cell is neither shaded nor impacted by the shade of cells on the same sub string.
Using the shading report is a great way to maximise the output of each given panel array, by designing the system in a way that minimises shade factor.