Radiation Map

ClimateStudio supports the calculation of annual or monthly solar radiation falling on select surfaces in the scene. The simulation uses direct and diffuse irradiation values from the EPW weather file (selected under location) and bins solar radiation coming from different parts of the sky for every month of the year. The underlying monthly cumulative skies are then used as the reference sky under which solar radiation levels are being calculated. The purpose of a solar radiation calculation varies from identifying suitable positions for placing solar cells or to design a static shading system. These simulations complement Direct Shading studies.

To set up a radiation map, the following subpanel inputs are required:


Once all required input subpanels have been populated, a simulation is invoked by pressing the start button.


ClimateStudio uses a progressive path-tracing version of the Radiance raytracer to simulate radiation maps distributions. While a simulation is in progress, new iterations are added to the simulation results until the user-specified number of passes has been reached. Details on the simulation settings can be found in the Path-tracing Settings Subpanel. The Radiation Map workflow has some additional options under simulation settings.

Low/High outdoor temperature threshold [oC]: Defines a results bin that only considers solar radiation for hours when the ambient temperature is above/below the threshold temperature.

Simulation Results

Upon completion of the first pass, the simulation automatically switches into the ClimateStudio results panel.

The image below shows a radiation map analysis of an urban setting. All scene elements that have been selected as analysis surfaces and are colored according to the annual solar radiation that they are exposed to in the viewport on the left. On the right, monthly radiation values for the sensor selected in the viewport are shown. The table on the lower right provides summary statistics for all selected surfaces.


Annual and monthly radiation levels can be filtered as follows:

  • Total/Direct/Indirect Solar Exposure: Toggle to show all solar radiation incident on a sensor or just direct or diffuse contributions.

  • All Hours/Warm Hours/ Cold Hours: All or a subset of hours are selected based on the threshold temperatures set under simulation settings (see above).

  • All Surfaces: By default mean radiation levels are shown for all surfaces. Results for an individual sensor can be selected by hovering over the viewport.

  • In order to get radiation values for individual roof surfaces, the building breps have to be “exploded” in Rhino and roof surfaces have to be defined as individual surfaces.

  • All results may be exports via the CSV export menue on the top right of the radiation map results.