Energy3D is a computer-aided engineering tool for designing, analyzing, and constructing green buildings and power stations that utilize renewable energy. Users can quickly sketch up a realistic-looking structure or import a structure from an existing CAD file, superimpose it on a map image, and then evaluate its energy performance for any given day and location. Based on computational physics and weather data, Energy3D can rapidly generate time graphs (resembling data loggers) and heat maps (resembling infrared cameras) for in-depth analyses. At the end of the design, Energy3D allows users to print it out, cut out the pieces, and use them to assemble a physical scale model. Energy3D has been primarily developed to provide a simulated environment for engineering design (SEED) to support science and engineering education. As its simulation results are accurate and its user interfaces are friendly, it may also be used as an entry-level energy simulation tool for professionals.
Accurate solar radiation modeling
Averaged over 150 US locations, the mean daily insolation predicted by Energy3D is within ±14% of the measured result for a horizontal surface
and ±10% for a south-facing vertical surface, respectively. The following images show the comparison of calculated and measured data for 20 US cities.
The measured data are from
the National Solar Radiation Data Base collected by the US Department of Energy.
Insolation on a horizontal surface (monthly breakdown):
Insolation on a south-facing vertical surface (monthly breakdown):
Intuitive building performance analysis
Solar power stations design and analysis
Energy3D supports the design, simulation, analysis, and optimization of both photovoltaic solar power stations
and concentrated solar power stations.