UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory

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Sun path chart program

This program creates sun path charts in Cartesian coordinates for: (1) "typical" dates of each month (i.e.; days receiving about the mean amount of solar radiation for a day in the given month); (2) dates spaced about 30 days apart, from one solstice to the next; or (3) a single date you specify. You can select whether hours are plotted using local standard time or solar time. In addition, there are a number of options available to allow you to alter the chart's appearance.
Resulting charts are displayed in your Web browser window, and they are meant to be printed out. Two formats are currently available: PDF (Adobe) and PNG (a standard international graphics format).
The create sun path charts in polar coordinates go to the polar sun path charts Web page. For more information, visit our Web page about using sun charts.

Step 1—Specify location

  Use these values:
        Latitude (decimal degrees)
        Longitude (decimal degrees)
    [Important: south latitude and west longitude are given in negative degrees. Minutes and seconds must be converted to decimal degrees; e.g., 30 min. = 0.5 deg.]
  Look up location with:
        US 5-digit ZIP code

Step 2—Specify time zone

  Time zone

Step 3—Choose data to be plotted

  Plot dates 30 or 31 days apart, between solstices, December through June
  Plot dates 30 or 31 days apart, between solstices, June through December
  Plot dates having average solar radiation for December through June
  Plot dates having average solar radiation for June through December
  Plot only this date (YYYY-MM-DD):
  Plot hours in local solar time
  Plot hours in local standard time

Step 4—Set chart format parameters

  Extend azimuth axis from 0° to 360°
  Crop azimuth axis to fit plotted data
  Extend elevation axis to 90°
  Crop elevation axis to fit plotted data
  Show hours in AM/PM style
  Show hours in international style
  Color sun path curves
  Set style of sun path curves to
  Make sun path curves pixels wide
  Color hour curves
  Set style of hour curves to
  Make hour curves pixels wide
  Color chart label

Step 5—Specify labeling options

  Enter optional text, such as location name, for display in the chart label. Parameters such as latitude will be shown automatically.
  Line 1
  Line 2
  Place label in upper left corner
  Place label in upper right corner
  Place label in lower center

Step 6—Choose file format for chart

  PDF (Portable Data Format).
We recommend this format, provided you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. PDF files can be easily resized to fit any printer page size.
  PNG (Portable Network Graphics).
This format may be useful to you, especially if you have Netscape Navigator version 4.x, or later, for Microsoft Windows. However, this format cannot be resized without using a graphics editor. Hint: If the file doesn't print on a single sheet of paper, check your printer settings and browser page settings (margins). It is also possible to import the PNG file into a document and resize the image in the document before printing the page.

Step 7—Click the 'Create chart' button


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© 2022, UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory.
Last revised: March 5, 2022.

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