Energy3D is a computer-aided engineering tool for students to design, analyze, and construct model green buildings. Students can quickly sketch up a building and then evaluate its energy performance for any given day and location. Based on computational physics, 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 students to print it out, cut out the pieces, and use them to assemble a physical model. Energy3D has been developed for children of age 6-18 and can be used in math, engineering, or physics classes.

Accurate solar radiation modeling


Averaged over 100 US locations, the average 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):

(More results...)

Insolation on a south-facing vertical surface (monthly breakdown):

(More results...)

Intuitive building performance analysis


Twelve-month solar irradiation heat maps of a house (location: Boston, MA):



Energy usage and sensor graphs:


Printed paper models




Developed by Saeid Nourian & Charles Xie. © 2011-2014 The Concord Consortium.

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