Product Review

Measuring Solar Access with the Solmetric SunEye

May 1, 2007

Now, Solmetric Corporation has digitalized this process with its SunEye—a sophisticated, easy-to-use tool for measuring solar shading and calculating monthly and annual solar access. The SunEye includes a built-in digital camera with a fisheye lens. A user holds the SunEye or mounts it on a tripod, keeping it level using a built-in bubble-level and orienting it to the south using the built-in compass, then clicks to take a photo. The heart of the system is a Hewlett-Packard iPAQ processor that captures and computes the digital image data.

A straightforward interface allows the user to calculate the percentage of solar access, graphically showing the obstructions by time of day and month, and to simulate removal of the solar obstructions by erasing those areas on the digital image—to show the effect of cutting down a tree, for example. Digital files can be processed in the field or uploaded to a Windows computer (Macintosh interface not yet available) for review and printing.