2 – Insert solar panels (Skelion tutorial)

Insert panels The `Insert components´ button opens 3 dialogs depending on the selected objects Let's start selecting an edge and a face. The edge can be a border or any other edge in the same plane. There are 2 conventions for the azimuth: 180º or 360º. Let's begin with the following values. We choose a relative tilt of 35º and click outside of the box to obtain the real azimuth and tilt of the panel. The test panel width is 0.50m The gap is equal to zero We choose the landscape orientation Lets assume `your own pitch´ is equal to 0.7m (and click on `fill face´) Skelion inserts components row by row following the selected edge, in the direction most similar to North, (opposite in the southern hemisphere) We can check the values using the measure tool and see that the pitch is correct. With the protractor we can mesure the relative tilt. 35º as we determined earlier If we click on the PSI symbol, a new window shows the azimuth and the tilt of any surface We can select any face.

We must take into account that a surface has 2 sides and the tool always calculates the orientation of the positive (white) side. We can see in this case that the dark side is in front and the white one behind, so that's the reason for the different orientation values. Now we will use a pitch depending on the shadow (clicking on the blue `insert component button´) Let's take a pitch that is equal to the shadow cast by the panel on the solstice at noon (and click on `fill face´).

We can verify if the shadow and the distance are correct for that date. To put the panels coplanar we only need to insert a relative tilt of 0º. To have space between the rows, we must set `Your own pitch´ equal to the width plus the space we want. If we choose another pitch option, the space between the rows will be zero because coplanar panels don't cast any shadow. Let's see now, how the `fill in rows´-option works. For example we set the tilt at 35º, choose any of the pitch options, and click on ´fill in rows` Skelion will draw a row at any point on the face we click at, but mantain the pitch distance if we click close to the last row, or just at the point if we click further than the pitch distance. Here we can see the effect of the use of the option `row alingment´. `Stack components´ piles up components in the same row. Its not a good option for ground power plants because it slows down the calculations. `Gap vertical´ allows you to create a corridor between n columns and `Gap horizontal´between n rows.

The `Portrait´-option turns the components. Skelion inserts components row by row, from South to North. Independently of the the mode (portrait or landscape). We select several faces and open the`Multiple faces´-dialog. For coplanarity we insert the relative tilt of 0 The panels will follow the steepest direction. The space between the rows can be adjusted using X extra-space or introducing "your own pitch" On this face, if we want to start inserting from the bottom, we can use the `one edge one face´-dialog and `change direction´.

We must geolocate the model to have real shadows. In the menu-point `Window´ choose `model info´, then geolocation, and click on `set manual location´. By default, the model is located in Colorado. With the ` add location´-button or using the google toolbar, we can use google maps to geolocate the model. Let's choose Tokyo. We select an area, an now our model has real shadows in Tokyo. We have a small problem. The image is a bit rotated. This is because the true north does not coincide with the green SketchUP-axis. With the solar north plugin – for SketchUp pro only – we can see the difference. Using the button `rotate north´, we move the true north to the green axis, because Skelion uses it as true north. With the green button beside it, you can undo the alignement, if necessary..

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