This article will cover how to use the horizon shading functionality in OpenSolar to accurately model far shading, as well as an explanation of the correct formatting to use for horizon shading files or .hor files.
What is Horizon Shading?
Horizon shading in OpenSolar is designed to model the shading impacts from objects which are very far away (such as mountains) and would not be captured in any near-shading 3D models.
The impact of horizon shading is normally defined by setting what angle the distant shade obstruction makes with the horizon for a given azimuth.
You can model the impact of shading from the horizon in OpenSolar and the rest of this article will explain how to do that.
How to use the Horizon Shading Functionality in OpenSolar?
In OpenSolar, you can upload horizon files (.hor) which will then set the horizon shading for projects where OpenSolar 3D is active.
Note: To activate OpenSolar 3D, click on the Design Mode button on the top right corner of the Design page and select the 3D tab. Then make sure you press Select to save this mode.
You must also have at least one of the following views active in your maps: Google 3D, Nearmap 3D or None.
In order to manage the Horizon shading, you can click on any particular panel group (it will impact all panel groups the same) and then go to the shading section:
You can then click on the Horizon Shading button (Note, this button will not be available if OpenSolar 3D is not active).
From here you can upload and manage files:
- Click on the bin icon to delete the currently uploaded file
- Click on the Upload New Horizon File to upload a .hor file
You can also see the horizon shading which has been uploaded by zooming out in Studio:
You can also see the impacts of the horizon shading file by going to any panel group and going to the shading section:
How to Format the Horizon Shading File?
When you upload a .hor file OpenSolar expects to receive two columns of values:
- One for the azimuth values
- And one for the angle values
An example file of a horizon file is attached to this article (at the bottom) which shows azimuth values from -180 (south) to 179 (south). For each of these azimuth values there is a horizon angle value defined.
Note: You can also define the azimuth from 0 (north) to 359 (north).
In the example attached, each of the azimuth values is assigned a value for the horizon angle but it is not necessary to do this. You can just include the pairs of azimuth values and horizon values that will impact the solar array. Any other values that are not defined will be assumed to be zero.
You are also able to edit the .hor file by opening it in a text editor software and re-saving it.