Comparing Predicted and Measured Results of Solar Radiation

By Charles Xie

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Solar simulations in Aladdin are based on a revised solar radiation model based on ray optics that also considers the effects of air mass, sky diffusion, ground reflection, and sky clearness from the weather data of the current location. The accuracy of solar simulations in Aladdin is directly responsible for the authenticity of the engineering projects that it supports. The authenticity provides a strong justification for replacing traditional prototype-based design activities with CAD-based design activities — while CAD-based activities remove some hands-on elements in prototype-based activities, accurate simulations in CAD can boost the fidelity and quality of the design work as a compensation. As an example, the following embedded Aladdin model allows you to compare the predicted and measured results of solar radiation intensity on a horizontal and vertical surface (south-facing). The default location is Tucson, Arizona, USA. But you can change it with the Map Tool.

Live model above (view in full screen)

As of May, 2022, Aladdin includes weather data from 762 locations worldwide. But we only provide sensor data for comparison for 150 locations in the US. The data source is the National Solar Radiation Database published by the US Department of Energy.

How accurate is Aladdin's solar simulation?

The following screenshots show the comparison between predicted and measured solar radiation intensities for four US locations.



Prediction vs. measurement in four US locations (Tucson, AZ; Boston, MA; Miami, FL; Seattle, WA)



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