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IRC Institute for Research in Construction

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim Simulations for


Sustainable Design

Written by:
Dr. Christoph F. Reinhart
Institute for Research in Construction
National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0R6, Canada

August 29, 2006


Acknowledgement

The development of this document has been supported by the following


organizations (in alphabetical order).

Kalwall Corporation: Kalwall has been manufacturing insulated, light diffusing, structural
daylight sandwich panel systems for over 50 years and holds the original patents on
these systems. Kalwall products have been installed in a variety of architectural
applications ranging from window systems to complete structures (www.kalwall.com).

National Research Council Canada, Institute for Research in Construction: The institute
is the Government of Canada's principal research organization related to the design,
construction, and operation of buildings (http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca).

Structures Unlimited Inc.: Since 1968, Structures Unlimited Inc. has been installing
composite translucent Kalwall® sandwich panels combined with a proprietary pre-
engineered box-beam system (www.structuresunlimitedinc.com).

The following individuals have provided content and comment to this document:
Magali Bodart, Catholic University of Louvain – Architecture, Belgium
C. Hoffmann, Bergische Universität Wuppertal - Architecture, Germany
Jack de Valpine, VISARC, USA
Laurens Zonneveldt, TNO Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Disclaimer

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and all its partners hereby
disclaim any warranties expressed, implied, or statutory, of any kind or nature with
respect to the information provided in this document, including without limitation any
warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. NRC and its partners shall
not be liable in any event for any damages, whether direct or indirect, special or general,
consequential or incidental, arising from the use of this document. NRC and its partners
do
(1) not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or
usefulness of this document,
(2) not warrant that the procedure described in the document will function
uninterrupted, are error free, or that any errors will be corrected.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 2
Executive Summary: Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for
Sustainable Design

This tutorial introduces the reader to computer-based daylight simulations within


the context of sustainable building design using the Daysim and Radiance software
packages. Radiance is a validated, physically based backward raytracer that can
simulate indoor illuminance and luminance distributions due to daylight for complex
building geometries and a wide range of material surface properties for one sky
condition at a time. Daysim is a daylighting analysis software that uses the Radiance
algorithms to efficiently calculate annual indoor illuminance/luminances profiles based
on a weather climate file. These profiles can further be coupled with a stochastic user
behavior model to predict daylight performance indicators such as annual light
exposure, daylight autonomy, and lighting energy use for different lighting and shading
control strategies. The user behavior model mimics how building occupants interact with
manual controls and is based on field study data. Radiance and Daysim are
complementary and use the same input file format.
The tutorial discusses at which design stages the use of Daysim/Radiance can
lead to more informed design decisions and provides guidance on how to import building
models into Daysim/Radiance using 3-dimensional CAD packages such as AutoCAD,
Ecotect, and Sketchup. The main body of the document contains a series of hands-on
design exercises that demonstrate the use of Daysim/Radiance to quantify energy
savings due to an occupancy sensor, predict the daylight autonomy in a classroom for
different skylight materials, etc..

The reader of this document requires basic knowledge of photometric quantities


TM
and should be familiar with windows based programs such as the Microsoft office
suite and a web browser. A background in building design is an asset but no explicit
knowledge of daylighting and daylight simulations is required.
To work through the exercises, the reader further requires access to a PC
equipped with Daysim, Radiance, and a 3-dimensional CAD program with export
capabilities into 3D Studio (3ds) or Radiance (rad) file format.

How to use No matter what your level of expertise with daylight simulations is, you should at
this
document least browse through chapters 1 and 2. Depending on your choice of operating system
and CAD modeler, you should also read through the relevant sections in chapters 3 and
4. All readers should further work through design exercise 1 in chapter 5 to familiarize
themselves with the Daysim program. The remaining exercises can be visited
depending on individual preference.
A number of gray boxes are provided throughout the document. These boxes
contain additional information that would otherwise interrupt the flow of the main text.
The general content of theses boxes is indicated by the following signs:

a word of warning a question


that might
arise
N a note providing
further details

Rendering The tutorial complements the Rendering with RADIANCE book by Greg Ward
with Radiance
and Rob Shakespeare published by Morgan Kaufmann. While the Radiance book
provides an in-depth description of the Radiance software and the underlying

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 3
simulation algorithms, this document concentrates on the use of annual daylight
simulations for building design using Daysim. In the design exercises selected
Radiance programs are run in the background using the Daysim. The tutorial also
provides an introduction to modeling materials in Radiance and setting Radiance
simulation parameters. The purpose of these introductions is to get the novice
Daysim/Radiance user started. Those readers, who decide to “stick with”
Daysim/Radiance, are encouraged to further work through the Rendering with
RADIANCE chapters relevant to their interests.

A word of advice...
While it is tempting to skip the theoretical chapters 1 and 2 and go right to the design
exercises in chapter 5, you should resist this urge and invest some time into
understanding the concepts presented in these chapterss. This is especially true if you
are the decision making designer. This knowledge will help you to better understand
the capabilities and limitations of daylight simulations. You will benefit from this
knowledge independently of whether you commission somebody else to do the
simulations for you or whether you do them yourself.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 4
Table of Contents

1 The Use of Daylight Simulations in Building Design ...........................................7


1.1 Establish daylighting performance targets for a building.....................................8
1.2 Develop a daylighting concept using rules of thumb and guidelines .................13
1.3 Decide whether to use a daylight simulation tool ..............................................13
1.4 Decide which tool(s) to use and what design variants to investigate.................14
1.5 Prepare 3-dimensional building models for all design variants .........................14
1.6 Import building model and climate data into the daylight simulation program ...15
1.7 Calculate daylight luminances and illuminances ...............................................16
1.8 Convert simulation results into performance measures ....................................16
1.9 Compare performance measures for different design variants .........................17
1.10 Decide on a design variant............................................................................17

2 Simulation Algorithms for Radiance and Daysim ..............................................18


2.1 Daylight simulation algorithms ..........................................................................18
2.1.1 Sky Models ................................................................................................18
2.1.2 Lighting Calculations..................................................................................22
2.1.3 Radiance....................................................................................................23
2.1.4 Radiance Simulation Parameters...............................................................24
2.1.5 Daysim.......................................................................................................28
2.2 Modeling User Behavior ...................................................................................31

3 Daysim Installation Instructions and Troubleshooting......................................33


3.1 Windows TM Operating Systems........................................................................33
3.2 Unix/Linux Operating Systems .........................................................................33
3.3 Troubleshooting ...............................................................................................34
3.3.1 WARNING ... DC file does not contain any uncommented lines... .............34
3.3.2 Daysim GUI does not start (jar-extension unknown) ..................................35

4 Preparing a 3-dimensional Building Model.........................................................36


4.1 Preparing the Building Model............................................................................36
4.1.1 Exporting from SketchUp ...........................................................................38
4.1.2 Exporting from Ecotect...............................................................................42
4.1.3 Exporting from AutoCAD............................................................................42
4.1.4 Differences between the RADIANCE and DAYSIM file formats .................48
4.2 Defining material properties..............................................................................49
4.2.1 Adding materials to the Daysim material database ....................................51

5 Design Exercises ..................................................................................................52


5.1 Exercise: Daylighting Analysis of a Single Office..............................................53
5.2 Exercise 2: Classroom with translucent skylights (Ecotect example) ................77
5.3 Exercise 3: Advanced shading device mode ....................................................90
5.4 Exercise 4: Importing Daysim Results into TRNSYS ........................................94

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 5
6 Miscellaneous .....................................................................................................104
6.1 Radiance Basics.............................................................................................104
6.1.1 Radiance under Windows ........................................................................104
6.1.2 Radiance und Linux/Unix .........................................................................105
6.2 Importing EnergyPlus climate files (*.epw) .....................................................106
6.3 Importing METEONORM Data into Daysim ....................................................108

Appendix A: Overview of DAYSIM Subprograms and I/O Files .............................110

Appendix B: Daylight Coefficient File Format in Daysim .......................................112

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 6
1 The Use of Daylight Simulations in Building Design

This chapter provides some general background on the use of daylight simulations
during building design. A number of daylighting performance measures are introduced
that can be calculated using the Daysim/Radiance simulation programs.

Daylighting Daylighting describes the act of lighting the interior of a building with daylight. The
term is predominantly used in the context of commercial buildings in which the time of
daylight availability and building occupation largely overlap. The objectives of daylighting
are to enhance visual comfort conditions for building occupants and to reduce the
overall energy use of the building.
Daylighting can be facilitated through a careful choice of building massing,
facade orientation and layout. A large number of commercial products are further
available to help designers improve the temporal and spatial availability of daylight in a
building. Examples are daylighting elements that redirect the incoming daylight deeper
into the space as well as shading devices and light-diffusing panels to mitigate glare.
Once the amount of daylight in a space is satisfactory, a suitable electric lighting and
shading control strategy has to be identified to reduce electric lighting use and manage
incoming solar gains. Depending on the type of the space investigated (private office,
atrium, ...) different automated, manual or a hybrid controls will lead to varying user
satisfaction and economic payback due to energy savings.

Daylight How can daylight be systematically introduced into a project? Ideally, the
performance
targets building designer should help the client to define a set of daylight performance targets
that form part of a catalog of performance targets for the overall project. Different
design options can then be compared by weighing their cost premiums versus predicted
performance gains.
Costs premiums can be gather through contractors or manufacturers if the use
of a specific product is investigated. Performance gains are not as readily available.
Manufacturer information tends to be non-specific and derived from a range of building
scenarios. For a more rigorous daylighting analysis of a particular design variant for a
particular project, the following steps are required:
(a) estimate the physical amount of daylight available in the building (using simulations
or spreadsheet methods)
(b) convert the results into daylight performance measures
(c) interpret the performance measures and make a design decision

Daylight Steps (a) and (b) can be assisted by the use of a daylight simulation program. A
Simulations
daylight simulation is a computer-based calculation which aims to predict the amount of
daylight available in a building either under selected sky conditions (static simulation) or
during the course of the whole year (dynamic simulation). Daylight simulations calculate
physical quantities such as illuminances or luminances due to daylight at selected
locations in a building. Simulation results can either be presented as individual numbers,
as visualizations of a scene (Figure 1-2) or as falsecolor mappings within a scene
(Table 1-1). Illuminance simulations per se have little value for a designer (“people

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 7
cannot see lux”) but need to be “translated” into daylighting performance measures.

Daylighting To carry out a daylighting analysis of a building, the designer (or a daylighting
Analysis
consultant) should go through a decision tree comparable to the one described in Figure
1-1. The ten steps listed in the decision tree are discussed in more detail below.

Figure1-1: Decision tree for the use of daylighting simulation programs during building design.

1.1 Establish daylighting performance targets for a building


The first step is to define the goal of the daylighting analysis, i.e. to establish
criteria for what should be considered good, adequate, or insufficient daylighting
performance. Ideally these criteria should be objective and quantifiable but this often
proves to be illusive since aspects such as the “lighting quality of a space” are crucial
but lack a recognized performance metric. The following table lists some daylighting
performance measures that have been proposed in the past.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 8
Table 1-1: Selected Daylighting Performance Indicators.
Performance definition/ limitation(s)/ recommended range(s)
Indicator
Daylight Definition:
Factor The daylight factor is a common parameter to characterize the daylight situation at a point in
a building. It is defined as the ratio of the indoor illuminance at a point of interest to the
outdoor horizontal illuminance under the overcast CIE sky (see sky models on page 18). The
daylight factor enjoys considerable popularity since it is an intuitive quantity which can be
measured and/or calculated either based on calculation tables or more refined simulation
methods.

Limitations:
The major weakness of the daylight factor is that the orientation of the investigated building
does not influence the daylight factor since the CIE reference sky is rotationally invariant and
independent of the geographical latitude of the investigated building. Another shortcoming of
the daylight factor approach is that the underlying CIE overcast sky tends to underestimate
luminances near the horizon. As a consequence, illuminances in sidelit/toplit spaces are
usually under/over predicted. Nevertheless, the daylight factor is widely used and provides a
feeling of how “bright“ or “dark“ the interior of a given building is. Since it is based on a single
sky condition, its credibility to judge the overall daylight situation in a given building is
intrinsically limited.

Recommended ranges:
British Standards Institution, BS 8206 part 2 prescribes that:
• if electric lighting is not normally to be used during daytime, the average daylight factor
should be not less than 5%.
• if electric lighting is to be used throughout daytime, the average daylight factor should be
not less than 2% if a predominantly daylit appearance is wanted.
1
A recent survey carried out in sixteen buildings around Britain found that satisfaction with
daylight was maximized for average daylight levels between 2% and 5% even though the
levels of satisfaction varied among offices with the same average daylight factor, indicating
that other design factors such as "orientation and the effectiveness of blinds are also
important".
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED 2.1): The US Green Building Council’s
green building rating system for new constructions and major renovations version gives a
one point credit if a minimum daylight factor of 2% is achieved in 75% of all spaces
occupied for critical visual tasks.

Example:
The two figures below present typical presentations of the daylight factor.
False color picture of the distribution of
the daylight factor at work plane level
for three adjacent office. Presenting
the simulations together with the
building model helps others to
understand simulation results.

1
Roche, L, Dewey, E, and Littlefair, P. Occupant reactions to daylight in offices. Lighting Research &
Technology 32[3], 119-126. 2000.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 9
Comparison of the daylight factor
distribution on the center axis of an
office for two facade variants (a
translucent panel and a tinted double-
glazing). For both facades the daylight
factor is falling with rising distance to
the facade.

View to the Definition:


outside There exists a broad consensus that a view to the outside is considered an asset for a work
place if control against glare and overheating is provided. Benefits that are associated with a
view are a calming effect on and a suppressed feeling of loneliness of building occupants.
While skylights provide feedback concerning the time of day and current outside weather
conditions, a “view” is usually required to include parts of the horizon.

Limitation:
There is no widely accepted scientific agreement as to what are the benefits vs. the liabilities
of having a work place with a view.

Recommended ranges:
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED 2.1): The US Green Building Council’s
green building rating system for new constructions and major renovations version gives a
one point credit if a direct line of sight to a vision glazing is achieved for building
occupants in 90% of all regularly occupied spaces.

Daylight Definition:
Autonomy The daylight autonomy at a point in a building is defined as the percentage of occupied
hours per year, when the minimum illuminance level can be maintained by daylight alone. In
contrast to the more commonly used daylight factor, the daylight autonomy considers all sky
conditions throughout the year.
The minimum illuminance level corresponds to the minimum physical lighting requirement
which has to be maintained at all times so that a certain task can be carried out safely and
without tiring the working occupant.

Example:
A daylight autonomy of 70% for a work place with working hours on weekdays between 8
a.m. and 6 p.m. and a minimum illuminance levels of 500 lux implies that the occupant can
–in principle – work 70% of the year by daylight alone.

Limitations:
The daylight autonomy is a relatively new daylight performance indicator and no
recommended performance ranges have been established as of yet. The main advantage of
the daylight autonomy over the daylight factor is that it takes facade orientation and user
occupancy profiles into account and considers all possible sky conditions throughout the
year. It is therefore a holistic approach to describe the annual daylight availability at a work
place. On the other hand, it can only be calculated using computer simulations. Daylight
autonomies are often calculated assuming that the shading device is in the same position
throughout the whole year. This assumption is realistic for a static shading device such as a
lightshelf. Whenever a movable shading device, such a venetian blind system, is installed,
the setting of the blinds through the user or automated control should be considered as well.
This steps further complicates the analysis as it requires a user behavior model that predicts
how the blinds are set at different times of the year. The daylight autonomy characterizes the
daylighting potential of a space. As it is independent of the installed electric lighting power
density and lighting control, a high daylight autonomy is a necessary requirement but not a
guarantee for lighting energy savings due to daylight.

References:
Reinhart C F, & Walkenhorst O. (2001). Dynamic RADIANCE-based Daylight Simulations for

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 10
a full-scale Test Office with outer Venetian Blinds. Energy & Buildings, 33(7), 683-
697.
Reinhart C F, & Andersen M. (2006). Development and validation of a Radiance model for a
translucent panel. Energy and Buildings, 38(7).

Electric Definition:
Lighting Use The annual electric lighting energy demand is defined as the total electric energy required to
light a building. It includes standby powers e.g. from an occupancy sensor etc. and depends
on the installed electric lighting power density as well as the cumulated time per year when
the lighting system is activated (either automatically or by the occupant). For a dimmed
lighting system, the energy demand further depends on the momentary dim level of the
system. For a manually controlled lighting system the annual electric lighting demand
ultimately depends on how and when building occupants are using their light switches. In
Daysim, predictions of occupant behavior have been combined into a user behavior model
called Lightswitch. The Lightswitch model has been originally derived from field studies in
private offices. The expansion of the building to other building situations is currently ongoing.
For further details on user behavior models see Chapter 2.

Limitations:
Information on the electric lighting use alone should not be considered in isolation from the
overall energy use of a building including heating and cooling as increased window sizes
may lead to more daylight but are also be accompanied by increased cooling loads.

Total Energy Definition:


Use The total annual electric lighting energy demand is defined as the total energy required to
light, heat and cool a building. A fully integrated analysis of the interaction of daylighting with
the cooling and heating concept requires the use of advanced simulation programs such as
Esp-R, TRNSYS, and/or EnergyPlus.
Annual Light Definition:
Exposure The annual light exposure is defined as the cumulative amount of visible light incident on a
point of interest over the course of a year. It can be expressed in lux hours per year.

Recommended ranges:
Some recommended annual light exposures according to CIE Division 3 TC3-22 ‘Museum
lighting and protection against radiation damage’ are listed below.
category material example of lighting limiting annual
classification materials illuminance exposure
I insensitive metal, stone, glass, no limit no limit
ceramic
II low sensitivity canvases, frescos, 200 lux 600 000 lux h /yr
wood, leather
III medium watercolor, pastel, 50 lux 150 000 lux h/yr
sensitivity various paper
IV high sensitivity silk, newspaper, 50 lux 15 000 lux h/yr
sensitive pigments

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 11
Useful Definition:
Daylight Useful Daylight Illuminances (UDI), proposed by Mardaljevic and Nabil in 2005, is a
Autonomy dynamic daylight performance measure that is also based on work plane illuminances. As its
name suggests, it aims to determine when daylight levels are ‘useful’ for the occupant, i.e.
neither too dark (<100 lux) nor too bright (>2000 lux). The upper threshold is meant to detect
times when an oversupply of daylight might lead to visual and/or thermal discomfort. The
suggested range is founded on reported occupant preferences in daylit offices. Based on the
upper and lower thresholds of 2000 lux and 100 lux, UDI results in three metrics, i.e. the
percentages of the occupied times of the year when the UDI was achieved (100-2000lux),
fell-short (<100 lux), or was exceeded (> 2000 lux). The last bin is meant to detect the likely
appearance of glare.

References:
Nabil A, & Mardaljevic J. (2005a). Useful Daylight Illuminance: A New Paradigm to Access
Daylight in Buildings. Lighting Research & Technology, 37(1), 41-59.
Nabil A, & Mardaljevic J. (2005b). Useful Daylight Illuminances: A Replacement for Daylight
Factors. Energy and Buildings, 38(7).

Continuous Definition:
Daylight Continuous Daylight Autonomy (DAcon), recently proposed by Rogers, is another set of
Autonomy metrics that resulted from research on . In contrast to conventional daylight autonomy (see
above), partial credit is attributed to time steps when the daylight illuminance lies below the
minimum illuminance level. For example, in the case where 500 lux are required and 400 lux
are provided by daylight at a given time step, a partial credit of 400lux/500lux=0.8 is given for
that time step. The result is that instead of a hard threshold the transition between
compliance and non-compliance becomes softened. This change to the metric can be
justified by field studies that indicate that illumination preferences vary between individuals
and that many office occupants tend to work at lower daylight levels than the commonly
referred 300 or 500 lux. Essentially, the metric acknowledges that even a partial contribution
of daylight to illuminate a space is still beneficial.
To synchronously consider the likely appearance of glare, a second quantity, maximum
Daylight Autonomy (DAmax), is reported together with DAcon to indicate the percentage of
the occupied hours when direct sunlight or exceedingly high daylight conditions are present.
Assuming that the threshold of potentially glary conditions depends on the space type,
DAmax was defined to be a sliding level equal to ten times the design illuminance of a
space. E.g. for a computer lab with a design illuminance of 150 lux DAmax corresponds to
1500 lux. This upper threshold criteria is essentially a measure of the occurrence of direct
sunlight or other potentially glary conditions and can give an indication of how often and
where large illuminance contrasts appear in a space.

Reference:
Rogers Z. (2005). Boulder, Colorado, USA: Architectural Energy Corporation,
http://www.archenergy.com/SPOT/download.html .

Dynamic Daylight Performance Metrics


Table 1-1 reveals that the development of dynamic, climate–based daylight performance
metrics such as daylight autonomy, UDI, and DAmax is an active field of research. For a
snapshot of the current state-of-affairs, the reader is referred to:
Reinhart C F, Mardaljevic J, Rogers Z, ”Dynamic Daylight Performance Metrics for Sustainable Building
Design.” Submitted to LEUKOS, Apr 2006.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 12
1.2 Develop a daylighting concept using rules of thumb and guidelines

Once all performance targets (including the ones for daylighting) have been
established, the design team will have to come up with an initial design concept for the
building. This initial concept could be the “reference case” relative to which the
performance improvements of the final design can be expressed. At this point, the
designer should simply work with rules-of-thumb and experiences gathered in previous
projects.

1.3 Decide whether to use a daylight simulation tool

In many cases, the design team might not have sufficient funds or expertise to
dedicate further resources to the analysis of the daylighting concept of the building. In
this situation, the decision of whether to use a daylight simulation tool will be negative
and the design team will proceed to step 10 right away (Figure 1-1). This procedure is
recommended as a minimum amount of knowledge is required to carry out and interpret
a daylight simulation. Not using a simulation tool is preferable to using a tool without
understanding the underlying models and limitations and basing further design decisions
on invalid data. In case you are interested in using daylight simulations, it is in your best
of interests to first learn about the different tools available and then use them in a
systematic manner. Reading this document is first step towards this goal.

Another common scenario is that a designer or a member of the design team


already used a particular daylight simulation tool in the past and jumps right to the
preparation of the building geometry (step (5)) skipping steps (1) to (4). This procedure
bears economic perils for the project, as step (5) tends to be the most time intensive
step of all.

Should I be using a daylight simulation program?


Each building is different and the decision of whether using a daylight simulation program
makes sense in any given project depends on multiple factors including timing, budget
constraints, the availability of personnel with the required skills, and the significance of
daylighting for the project. While most museums and libraries will require an assessment
of the annual light exposure and glare situation within the building, such an analysis can
be less rigorous in most residential buildings. As simulation tools are becoming more
powerful and easier to use, their usage is becoming an option for smaller A & E firms as
well. The use of a daylight simulation tools is generally advisable if a design
- makes extensive use of daylight,
- involves non-ordinary material surfaces such as glazed blinds, translucent materials,
etc.
- features a complicated shading situation due to surrounding buildings or landscape,
- includes automated lighting/shading controls
- includes innovative daylight elements and/or
- requires a careful management of solar gains due to a reduced HVAC system.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 13
1.4 Decide which tool(s) to use and what design variants to investigate
A variety of different daylight simulation tools are available to designers both
commercially and free-of-charge. Within the past decade, the Radiance raytracing
engine has developed into something like an industry standard” for advanced daylight
simulations. Daysim, which uses Radiance as the simulation engine, is currently the only
program that features detailed user behavior algorithms to predict electric lighting
energy savings from automated lighting controls and shading devices. It has been
widely acknowledged that learning Radiance is time consuming and interpreting Daysim
simulation can be complicated. So, you should first decide what design variants you
investigate, what design questions you want to answer, and whether these questions
could be addressed using a simpler daylight simulation tool. Chapter 2 provides a brief
overview of the simulation algorithms underlying Radiance and Daysim. For an overview
of different daylight simulation programs, please refer to the US Department of Energy’s
“Building Energy Software - Tools Directory”
(http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/tools_directory/). The directory provides
information on over 250 building software tools (including daylighting tools) for
evaluation energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings.

1.5 Prepare 3-dimensional building models for all design variants

The description of a building for a daylight simulation requires a three


dimensional model of the building which contains information on the geometry of the
building and its surroundings as well as optical properties of the all material surfaces.
CAD modelers are used to create two or three dimensional virtual models of a building.
Many CAD modelers feature libraries of architectural objects such as doors and
windows. Material properties are usually described through a color index as well as a
measure of the reflectivity or opacity of the material. Some CAD modelers further allow
to map an image pattern (e.g. a photo of a masonry wall) onto the surface to make the
building model “look more real”.

Can I just use the render within my CAD modeler for a daylighting analysis?
Most CAD modelers include at least a basic rendering program to generate
visualizations of the building model. Such renders tend to be radiosity based (see
chapter2) and can generate photo realistic visualizations of a model. These
visualizations –although useful to communicate the appearance of a design variant –
should be taken with a grain of salt, as they do not necessarily show how the actual
building would look like. The reason for this are shortcomings of the underlying
rendering algorithms used as well as wrong material descriptions. Chapter 2 will
address this topic in more detail.
Some CAD modelers such as SketchUp and Ecotect can carry out a geometrical
shading analysis of a model. These build-in tools should yield physically correct
results if the geographical location of the building site has been correctly set within the
CAD modeler.

Based on your analysis from step (4) you should now be in a position to decide
in what detail you need to model your building variants. You should also plan how to
model the different design variants that you want to investigate so that you can avoid
repetitive work. Generally, you should only provide the geometric detail that your

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 14
analysis requires. This implies that for most daylight performance indices from Table 1-1
you do not need to model details such as telephones or wall pictures. Such details
should only be added to a model if you want to visualize your design. Interior partitions
and furniture can be approximated using simple rectangular blocks. Should you intend
to use your building model for visualizations as well, you might want to store geometric
details on separate layers within your CAD program so that you can deactivate these
details during your daylighting analysis.

A word of warning...
As stated above, 3-dimensional model preparation tends to be the most time-consuming
part of a daylight simulation. Only simulate what you have to and recycle whatever you
can from existing models (if they exist). In case you act as a daylighting consultant to a
project, your client might offer you an existing 3 dimensional CAD model. If that is the
case, great. You want somebody else to do the tedious CAD input! On the other hand,
beware and have a close look at the model before you price your services. Model quality
varies widely and conversion programs between different CAD tools tend to be
incomplete. Sometimes a model that looks three dimensional turns out to be an assembly
of individual single lines in space without any organization into planes etc. In that case
you might as well start creating your model from scratch. If possible provide some
requirements for the 3rd party how to create the 3 dimensional file so that you can
efficiently and completely import it into your daylight simulation program. Chapter 4
suggests some work paths of how to import 3 dimensional model for selected CAD tools
into Radiance/Daysim.

1.6 Import building model and climate data into the daylight simulation program
This step goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you prepared your building
model in a way that is consistent with the needs of the CAD-> Radiance converter,
importing the scene geometry into Daysim/Radiance should be relatively
straightforward. Nevertheless, you should take the time to ensure that your scene
geometry has been completely imported into your simulation tool (see chapter 5).
Assigning realistic Radiance material descriptions might take some time, depending on
your familiarity with the Radiance syntax. The second part of Chapter 4 will help you to
get started on this.
Importing climate data for your building site has become increasingly simple as a
wide set of annual climate data files are nowadays available free-of-charge from the
internet. (see box below and exercise 1 in chapter 5).
What is a climate file?
To describe the annual amount of daylight available inside a building, you first need to
know the amount of solar radiation at the building site over the course of the year.
This kind of information is usually provided in the form of test reference years (TRY).
TRYs provide typical annual profiles of exterior climate data such as ambient
temperature, wind direction and velocity, precipitation and direct and diffuse
irradiances. The time step is usually one hour. An excellent free source of TRYs is the
US Department of Energy’s site at
http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/weatherdata.html. The site provides hourly
climate data for over 660 locations worldwide in the so-called EPW format. Daysim
directly imports EPW files and extracts the information required for an annual daylight
simulation (see also sections 6.2 and 6.3).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 15
1.7 Calculate daylight luminances and illuminances

Once the building scene and climate data have been imported, you need to
specify on which parts of the building you want to concentrate your analysis. If you want
to use Radiance to generate photo realistic images, you need to specify view points,
e.g. the field of view see by a typical work place within the building (Figure 1-2 (a)). For
an annual simulation, you need to specify sensor points at select points of interest in a
building. In an office, this might be the horizontal illuminance on the work plane (Figure
1-2 (b) and chapter 5, exercise 1). In a museum, this might be the vertical illuminance
onto a piece of art.

(a) (b)
Figure 1-2: (a) Radiance visualization of a VDT work space in a building; (b) The red dots mark the position
of sensor points (facing up) that mark the location of the work place in the office.

Once you have specify the points of interest in a building, you can start the
actual daylight simulation. In case you are using Radiance/Daysim, this is the second
most time consuming step within the overall daylighting analysis as a daylight simulation
can take several hours for a complex scene. Fortunately, you can just start your
simulation and leave it unattended until it has finished. As a daylight calculation will
usually monopolize most calculation resources on a computer, you should either
consider dedicating a computer to daylight simulations or start a simulation at night
before you leave the office.
Another complication when using Radiance/Daysim is that you need to acquire
some knowledge of the Radiance simulation parameters that determine the accuracy of
your simulation (see chapter 2).

1.8 Convert simulation results into performance measures

Once your daylight simulations are completed, you need to convert them into the
daylight performance measures that you have defined in step (1) on page 8. This
conversion is widely automated by most simulation programs.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 16
1.9 Compare performance measures for different design variants

Once you know the daylight performance indicators for all design variants of
interest, you can quantitatively compare them against each other and against the targets
defined in step (1) on page 8. At this point you should be in a situation to quantify the
tradeoffs you make between the different design variants.

1.10Decide on a design variant

The information gained in the previous steps should help you to reach a more
informed design decision as to what daylighting concept you to want to choose in your
final design.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 17
2 Simulation Algorithms for Radiance and Daysim

This chapter provides a brief description of the models underlying simulations with
Daysim/Radiance.

2.1 Daylight simulation algorithms


The task of a daylight simulation algorithm is to predict indoor illuminances and
luminances at a particular point in time based on a 3–dimensional building model and
the sky condition at this point in time (Figure 2-1).

daylight simulation program


building data sky condition
- building geometry
- date, time
- optical properties of material surfaces
- geographical site
- status of artificial lighting
- irradiance data
- status of shading devices
- sky luminous distribution
- surrounding landscape
- ground reflectance

simulation algorithm

indoor illuminance/ luminance distribution


Figure 2-1: A daylight simulation tool requires information on the building and the prevailing sky conditions
to calculate indoor illuminance or luminance distributions.

A building model contains information on building geometry and optical


properties of materials and is usually generated with a CAD tool. A more detailed
description of selected CAD tools follows in chapter 4. The sky condition at a particular
st st
point in time (e.g. a sunny sky at noon on June 21 or December 21 ) is described
through a sky model.

2.1.1 Sky Models


On a sunny day, the main source of light in the sky comes directly from the sun.
But as direct sunlight gets scattered within the earth’s atmosphere, the overall celestial
hemisphere is also emitting visible light. Accordingly, daylight is divided into a direct and
diffuse component (Figure 2-2).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 18
Figure 2-2: A considerable part of sunlight that is entering the Earth’s atmosphere is scattered/ reflected of
clouds, aerosols, air molecules, and water vapor before it hits the Earth’s surface. This part is responsible
for the blue sky and is called diffuse daylight. The ratio between direct sunlight and diffuse daylight varies
with time and location and depends on the number of particles in the atmosphere.
Any particular sky condition can be characterized through the luminous
distribution of the celestial hemisphere. This physical quantity is usually presented by a
two dimensional function which yields luminance values in different sky directions. The
sky luminous distribution can be either directly measured with a sky scanner or modeled
using a sky model. A sky scanner is an optical device which measures luminances in
different sky directions. A sky model simulates the sky luminous distribution using date,
time, geographical location, and solar radiation data as inputs. Sky scanner data is less
common than data of direct and diffuse irradiances that can simply be recorded using a
rotating shadowband radiometer (Figure 2-3). As a consequence, you will most likely
have to model the annual sky conditions at your building site.

Figure 2-3: A rotating shadowband radiometer is a field instrument that simultaneously measures global,
diffuse, and direct normal components of solar irradiance and/or illuminance. The shadowband rotates
every 20 second allowing the sensor to measure total irradiance when it is not shaded by the shadowband
and diffuse irradiance when it is.

CIE sky Which sky model you are going to use depends on the type of daylight simulation
model
you are intending to carry out. If case you are using Radiance for a static daylight
simulation, e.g. a simulation under a few representative sky conditions, you will probably
be using the CIE overcast and clear sky models (Figures 2-4 (a) and (b)). CIE stands for
Commission Internationale de l’Éclairage (international commission on illumination), an
organization devoted to international cooperation and exchange of information on all
matters relating to the science and art of lighting.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 19
Figure 2-4: (a) CIE clear sky (b) CIE overcast sky

The two CIE skies describe the two extremes of a perfectly clear and a totally
overcast sky. The CIE skies are routinely used to analyze the behavior of a building
under extreme daylighting conditions. As an example, Figure 2-5 shows the use of the
st
CIE clear sky model for a shading analysis of three houses on December 21 at noon.

st
Figure 2-5: Shading analysis of three houses on December 21 at noon. This time corresponds to the
worst case when the house to the right is shading the house to the left.

N Note: The CIE overcast sky is the reference sky used to calculate the daylight factor
distribution in a building (see chapter 1).

Perez sky While the CIE skies help you to investigate the performance of a building under
model
some selected sky conditions, they do not allow you to judge how the building is going to
perform throughout the whole year. In case you want to analyze annual building
performance, you need to be able to model all sky conditions at your building site over
the course of the year. In the absence of sky scanner data you will have to base your
model on an annual climate file and use the Perez sky model to calculate the sky
luminance distribution for direct and diffuse irradiances.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 20
What is the Perez sky model
The Perez all weather sky luminance model has been developed in the early nineties by
Richard Perez et al. and requires date, time, site and direct and diffuse irradiance values
to calculate the sky luminous distribution for a given sky condition. The model consists
of two independent models:
- The Perez luminous efficacy model calculates the mean luminous efficacy of the
diffuse and the direct sunlight for a considered sky condition. Input parameters are
the solar zenith angle, solar altitude, direct and diffuse illuminances as well as the
atmospheric precipitable water content.
- The Perez sky luminous distribution model yields the sky luminous distribution based
on date, time, direct and diffuse illuminances. The model comprises five parameters
which influence the darkening or brightening of the horizon, the luminance gradient
near the horizon, the relative intensity of the circumsolar region, the width of the
circumsolar region and the relative intensity of light back-scattered from the earth’s
surface.
The inlet below shows the same bright overcast sky conditioned for Freiburg, Germany
st
on January 1 at 10AM modeled with Perez and CIE overcast. The comparison of the
two sky conditions reveals the superiority of the Perez sky model compared to the CIE
model. While the former distinguishes between dark and bright overcast skies and
provides some details in the sky luminous distribution, the CIE overcast sky is
rotationally invariant. The correct modeling of overcast skies is a crucial quality aspect of
a sky model, as in many densely populated areas worldwide more than half of all
appearing sky conditions are overcast. For very dark or bright sky conditions the Perez
sky model reduces to the CIE overcast or clear sky.

Perez CIE overcast

Further Reading
Perez R, Seals R, Michalsky J, All-Weather Model for Sky Luminance Distribution - Preliminary
Configuration and Validation, Solar Energy 50(3), 235-245, 1993.
Perez R, Ineichen P, Seals R, Michalsky J, Stewart R:, Modeling daylight availability and irradiance
components from direct and global irradiance, Solar Energy 44(5), 271 – 289, 1990.

Figure 2-6 shows how the Daysim program automatically models all sky conditions of
the year using an EnergyPlus climate file.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 21
Figure 2-6: The use of the Perez sky model in Daysim.

Daysim first imports an EnergyPlus climate file that contains a series of hourly
direct and diffuse irradiances. It then uses a stochastic autocorrelation model to convert
the 1 hour time series down to a 1 minute time series of direct and diffuse irradiances.
Using the Perez sky model these irradiances are first converted into illuminances and
then into a series of sky luminous distributions of the celestial hemisphere for all sky
conditions of the year. All of these calculations are carried out in the background without
requiring any further user input.

2.1.2 Lighting Calculations

Two main different numerical approaches have been used in the past to simulate
illuminances in three dimensional space: radiosity and raytracing.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 22
Radiosity Radiosity has been originally developed to solve problems involving radiative heat
transfer in various forms between surfaces based on form factors. Since the 80's it is
also applied to computer graphics to calculate illuminance levels due to artificial lighting
or daylight. A form-factor defines the fraction of energy leaving a given surface to that
which arrives at a second surface directly. In radiosity each surface is treated like a
perfectly diffuse reflector with a constant luminance so that the radiation exchange
between two surfaces can be described by a single number which depends on the
reflective properties of the surfaces and the scene geometry. To calculate the indoor
luminance distribution in a room due to daylight, the incoming luminous flux through all
transparent parts of the building envelope is set equal to the available flux within the
building. This assumption defines a set of equations that determine the luminances of all
considered surfaces. The basic radiosity approach can be coupled with a finite element
approach which detects regions with a large luminance gradient between neighboring
surface patches and subsequently subdivides the affected surfaces into sub-surfaces.
Raytracing The idea behind (backward) raytracing is to simulate individual light rays in space
to calculate the luminous distribution in a room from a given viewpoint. Therefore, rays
are emitted from the point of interest and traced backwardly until they either hit a light
source or another object. In the former case the luminance distribution function of the
light source determines the luminance contribution at the view point. If a ray hits an
object other than a light source, the luminance of the object needs to be calculated by
secondary rays which are emitting from the object. The angular distribution under which
secondary rays are spawned depends on the optical properties of the object.
Conceptually, raytracing allows for arbitrarily complex surfaces including purely specular
surfaces such as mirrors, Lambertian surfaces such as regular walls, transparent
surfaces such as glazings as well as arbitrary mixtures of these basic surface types. A
ray is aborted if an certain number of reflective bounces is reached or if the weight of a
ray falls below a threshold value.
An advantage of radiosity compared to raytracing is that it requires less
calculation times for straightforward geometries which do not contain too many surface
elements. This advantage of radiosity diminishes with rising model complexity. A
radiosity calculation yields the total luminance distribution in a room independent of the
point of view of the spectator. Therefore, a walk-through a scene can be faster realized
with radiosity than with raytracing as each new viewpoint requires a new raytracing run.
A decisive advantage of raytracing over radiosity is that only the former approach is able
to simulate specular and partly specular materials. This aspect is less crucial if only
visual impressions of a given scene are desired, but if physically correct results are
needed only raytracing based methods can succeed as most real surfaces exhibit
specular components. Some daylighting elements including blinds, light-shelves or
prisms exhibit extremely non-diffuse surface properties and their correct modeling is
crucial as all incoming daylight passes through them.

N Note: Further information on “Daylight Simulations- Methods, Algorithms, and


Resources” can be found in a IEA Task 21 “Daylighting in Buildings” report available
under (http://gaia.lbl.gov/iea21/documents/cdrom/Appendix8.09/8.9.3.pdf).

2.1.3 Radiance

RADIANCE is a physically based, backward raytracing rendering tool that has


been developed by Greg Ward at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. RADIANCE

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 23
is able to predict internal illuminance and luminance distributions in complex buildings
under arbitrary sky conditions. RADIANCE uses raytracing in a recursive evaluation of
the luminance integral in a room. Contributions due to direct light sources and due to
reflections from objects are treated separately in so-called direct and indirect (ambient)
calculations. The latter “blends deterministic and stochastic ray-tracing techniques” to
reduce the number of traced rays. To further reduce the raytracing effort, the program
incorporates interpolation and extrapolation schemes which allow to estimate the
luminances at point of interest from the luminances of nearby points. The Rendering
with Radiance book written by Ward and Shakespeare is an excellent source of further
information which may serve as both, an introduction into daylight simulations with
RADIANCE as well as a reference guide for detailed descriptions of the underlying
simulation algorithms. Another valuable source of advice is the Radiance online mailing
list at http://www.radiance-online.org/.

Daylight simulations using Radiance have been extensively validated for rooms
with regular glazings and blinds. A 2004 online survey of 185 individuals on the use of
daylight simulations confirmed a strong interest among designers and engineers alike in
daylighting and daylight simulations. The survey further revealed that the RADIANCE
algorithms are the “industry standard” within today’s daylight simulation community.
(While survey participants named a total of 42 different daylight simulation programs
that they routinely use, over 50% of program selections were for tools – such as
Daysim– that are based on Radiance.)

2.1.4 Radiance Simulation Parameters

A major hurdle for all Radiance novices is that the program requires the setting of a
large number of simulation parameters which have few readily apparent real world
correlates. Unfortunately, a wrong setting of some simulation parameters can
completely compromise the accuracy of a simulation. To make matters worse, Radiance
does neither generate any warnings if an inadequate set of parameters has been
chosen nor does it estimate the calculation errors. This can turn out to be a real problem
as simulation results can lie above or below the true illuminance levels. Simulation
results are too low if Radiance misses a small window or skylight in a room and
therefore grossly underestimates the real illuminance. Results are too high if Radiance
interpolates between two bright luminances directions, e.g. from two neighboring
windows, and ignores that a wall lies in the interpolated region.

What is a simulation parameter?


RADIANCE is a backward raytracer, i.e. light paths are traced backward from the
spectator’s eye to the light sources. In principle, forward raytracing could be employed
just the same, but for a great number of scenes the former approach is more economical
considering the required calculation times. The Radiance simulation parameters are a set
of parameters that can be individually set for each simulation. The parameters guide
Radiance how to carry out a simulation. The most intuitive parameter is the number of
“ambient bounce” (ab). The parameter instructs Radiance how many surfaces a ray can
bounce of or transmit through before it is discarded by Radiance. A detailed description
of all simulation parameters for the Radiance program “rtrace” can be found under
http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance/man_html/rtrace.1.html.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 24
In the following, three typical scenes of varying complexity are described and a
set of simulation parameters is suggested for each scene. As stated in the beginning,
the purpose of these scenes is to get you started. You are urged to further consult the
excellent discussion on daylight simulations using Radiance in chapter 6 of the
Radiance book written by John Mardaljevic.

Remember...
While you can always choose a higher set of simulation parameters in Radiance, e.g.
increase the number of ambient bounces, the “art” of using Radiance effectively is to you
an adequate set of parameters that yields reliable results in a “justifiable” time frame.
What would be a justifiable time frame for an annual daylight simulation using Daysim?
The following table provides some ballpark numbers for the different scenes described
below. The numbers assume that you run your simulations under Windows on a 1GHz
processor. Of course, these simulation times highly depend on the complexity of your
building model.
scene complexity simulation time
scene 1: a room bordering the building envelop. The envelop consists ~ 1 hour
of basic translucent, transparent and opaque elements without any
complicated daylighting systems such as blinds or laser cut panels.
scene 2: a space featuring complex daylighting systems with diffuse ~3-4 hours
surfaces which require higher Radiance simulation parameters
scene 3: a space featuring complex daylighting systems with highly a day or more
specular surfaces

scene 1
Assume that your goal is to calculate the annual illuminance profile due to daylight at a
reference point behind a window in a particular office in a large building (see below).
Using forward raytracing the majority of traced rays would not even enter the room of
interest (marked with a red ‘x’), i.e. the rays would be worthless for the calculation as
they cannot contribute to the illuminance at the reference point. In this situation, starting
from the reference point – using a standard Radiance simulation – is more economical.

forward raytracing backward raytracing

For such a scene, the following simulation parameters should yield reliable results. The
individual parameters are further described below.

ambient ambient ambient ambient ambient direct direct


bounces division sampling accuracy resolution threshold sampling
5 1000 20 0.1 300 0 0

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 25
N Further justifications for the choice of parameters...
ambient bounces (ab=5): This parameter describes the number of diffuse inter-
reflections which will be calculated before a ray path is discarded. An ab-value of 5 is
already sufficient for a standard room without any complicated facade elements. This
parameter significantly increases the required calculation time and should be set with
care. It has to be even higher if interior rooms of facades including venetian blinds are
considered, as rays may be reflected several times they find their way out of the
building.
ambient division (ad=1000) and ambient sampling (as=20): The ad-parameter
determines the number of sample rays that are sent out from a surface point during
an ambient calculation. This parameter needs to be high if the luminance distribution
in a scene with a high brightness variation. An ambient sampling parameter greater
than zero determines the number of extra rays that are sent in sample areas with a
high brightness gradient.
ambient accuracy (aa=0.1) and ambient resolution (ar=300): The combination of
these two parameters with the maximum scene dimension provides a measure of how
fine the luminance distribution in a scene is calculated. According to page 385 in
Rendering with Radiance, the combination of aa=0.1, ar=300 and a maximum scene
dimension of 100m yields a minimum spatial resolution for cached irradiances of:
max imum scene dim ension x ambient accuracy
ambient resolution
The simulation resolution will be (100m•0.1)/300~3cm. This is sufficient if the
facade/roof openings through which the daylight enters the building feature no details
below 3 cm. The formula reveals that it is advantageous to keep your scene
dimensions as small as possible.
direct threshold (dt=0): This option switches off the selective source testing, i.e. each
light source is equally considered during each shadow testing. This option is
automatically set to zero when direct daylight coefficients are calculated using
DAYSIM.

direct sub sampling (ds=0): This option switches off the direct sub sampling threshold,
i.e. only one ray is always send into the center of each light source. As during the
calculation of the direct daylight coefficients only solar discs with an angular size of
0.5o are present, disabling direct sub sampling speeds up the calculation without
impeding its accuracy.

scene 2
A venetian blinds system is pulled down in front of the window of the office of the
previous scene with the slats in horizontal position. The surfaces of the slats are mostly
diffuse. To calculate the illuminance at the reference point the number of required rays
rises as some of the rare ray paths need to be identified which find their way in between
the slats via multiple reflections. This complex geometry can be mastered by Radiance
with an adequate choice of simulation parameters. For this scene you should keep the
size of the building scene as small as possible, i.e. the maximum scene dimension
should be in the order to 10 m. You can reduce the scene dimension by only modeling

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 26
parts of the building. E.g. in the case of the single office discussed above, you only need
to model the single room (with the venetian blinds lowered).

higher raytracing parameters for blinds raytracing detail

The following set of simulation parameters should yield reliable results for the office
with the blinds lowered.
ambient ambient ambient ambient ambient direct direct
bounces division sampling accuracy resolution threshold sampling
7 1500 100 0.1 300 0 0

The resolution becomes (10m•0.1)/300=0.3cm. This resolution is sufficient to describe


2
the investigated blinds .

scene 3
If the slats from scene 2 are bent and have a highly specular surface, the indoor
illuminance distribution is not characterized to equal parts by all ray paths which find
their way between the blinds but the specular direction under which direct sunlight is
redirected to the ceiling is a preferred ray path with causes a bright spot at the ceiling.
By default, this spot is not necessarily “found” by RADIANCE as spawned rays which
are emitted from a point at the ceiling need to hit the venetian blinds under a very
narrow angle at a well-defined spot so that they – more or less accidentally – find the
sun. For such scenes “virtual” light sources have been implemented into RADIANCE
which place a virtual light source behind a mirror material for each primary light source.
The concept of virtual light source cannot be used if the considered mirror-like objects
are bent – like most conventional slats. To master scene 3, the Radiance simulator
would need to approximate each slat as one or several flat polygons. Virtual light
sources are very calculation intense as the calculation time is roughly linear to the
product of the number of light sources and the number of mirror objects. To simulate
this scene, you can start by using the same simulation parameters as for scene 2, but
your simulation times will be longer.

2
Note: The same set of simulation parameters was used in a Daysim/Radiance validation
study: Reinhart C F, Walkenhorst O, “Dynamic RADIANCE-based daylight simulations for a full-
scale test office with outer venetian blinds.” Energy & Buildings, 33:7 pp. 683-697, 2001.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 27
introduction of virtual light sources for highly specular materials using the “mirror” material

scene 4
Consider an interior space lit exclusively by a light pipe, e.g. a narrow tubular shaft lined
by a highly reflective metal or prism foil. Sunlight is illuminating the space through a
multiple reflections. At this point the capabilities of Radiance are reached, as a
backward raytracer will most likely not find the sun through the narrow light pipe. A
option that is currently exploited at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, is
to implement a preprocessing forward –raytracer to Radiance (http://www.ise.fhg.de/alt-
aber-aktiv/radiance/photon-map/pmap.html).

Radiance will not necessarily find the sun through the light pipe

2.1.5 Daysim

Daylight simulations can be divided into static and dynamic methods depending
on whether they consider a single or a series of consecutive sky conditions. The results
of a static daylight simulation are commonly expressed either in the form of photo-
realistic images (such as the shown in Figure 2-7) or in the form of illuminance values at
certain points of interest in a building under a reference sky.
As daylight is extremely dynamic and cannot be stored, it can be useful to
calculate the daily and seasonal development of indoor illuminances and/or luminances
in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a given daylighting concept. Dynamic daylight
simulations yield annual time series of illuminances under changing sky conditions.
Such annual illuminance profiles can be used to calculate daylight performance
indicators (see chapter 1) such as the energy saving potential of different lighting and
shading control strategies, annual light exposure, and the daylight autonomy. Daysim is
a simulation tool that efficiently calculates annual illuminance/luminance profiles.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 28
Figure 2-7: RADIANCE
visualization of the new building
of the Fraunhofer Institute for
Solar Energy Systems in
Freiburg, Germany (architects
Dissing & Weitling, Copenhagen,
Denmark); by mapping a
photograph of the neighboring
buildings onto the celestial
hemisphere the future building is
set into context with its urban
surroundings.

DAYSIM is a RADIANCE-based daylighting analysis tool that has been


developed at the National Research Council Canada and the Fraunhofer Institute for
TM
Solar Energy Systems in Germany. Windows and Linux versions of DAYSIM can be
downloaded free-of-charge from www.daysim.com (see chapter 3). While RADIANCE
has been primarily developed to simulate luminances and illuminances under selected
sky conditions, DAYSIM uses the RADIANCE simulation algorithms to efficiently
calculate illuminance distributions under all appearing sky conditions in a year.
In order to calculate annual illuminance profiles, one could in principle also use
the standard Radiance programs and start thousands of individual raytracing runs for all
sky conditions of the year. This approach is not practical as a Radiance simulation for a
single sky condition can take hours so that an hourly annual simulation would literally
require years of calculation time. To keep simulation times short, Daysim uses the
Radiance algorithm coupled with a daylight coefficient approach.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 29
What is a daylight coefficient?
A daylight coefficient is not to be confused with a daylight factor. The concept of
daylight coefficients was originally proposed by Tregenza as a method to calculate
indoor illuminance levels due to daylight under arbitrary sky conditions. The
underlying idea is to theoretically divide the celestial hemisphere into disjoint sky
patches. Afterwards the contribution to the total illuminance at a point in a building is
calculated for each sky patch individually. The figure below depicts the concepts of a
daylight coefficient. Daylight coefficient DCα(x) describes the illuminance Eα (x) at
point x in the building that is caused by sky segment Sα which is glowing with
normalized luminance Lα.
Definition of a daylight coefficient

Eα (x)
DCα (x) =
Lα ∆Sα

where
x: point in a building
Sα: sky segment P
∆Sα: angular size of S
Eα(x): illuminance at x due to Sα
Lα: luminance of S

The key advantage of using a daylight coefficient approach is that once the
daylight coefficients for all segments of the sky have been calculated for a reference
point, the illuminance or luminance at the reference point can be calculated within
seconds for any possible sky condition by combing the daylight coefficients with the
luminous distribution of the sky. The luminances of individual sky patches for a given
sky condition can be calculated by using the Perez sky model which has been
described earlier in this chapter. The daylight coefficient approach in Daysim has
been shown to be able to accurately model interior illuminances in full scale offices
with complex shading devices such as an external venetian blind system. The exact
daylight coefficient format used by Daysim is described in Appendix B.

Further Reading
Tregenza P R, Waters I M, Daylight Coefficients, Lighting Research & Technology 15(2), 65-71, 1983.
Reinhart C F, Walkenhorst O, “Dynamic RADIANCE-based daylight simulations for a full-scale test office
with outer venetian blinds.” Energy & Buildings, 33:7 pp. 683-697, 2001.
Reinhart C F, Daylight Availability and Manual Lighting Control in Office Buildings – Simulation Studies
and Analysis of Measurements. Ph.D. thesis, Technical University of Karlsruhe, Faculty of Architecture,
October 2001.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 30
2.2 Modeling User Behavior

Using the Radiance raytracing algorithm and the Perez sky model, annual indoor
illuminances due to daylight can be predicted with a high accuracy if building geometry
and optical surface properties are known. The remaining simulation errors largely stem
from uncertainties of how building occupants use personal controls such as light
switches, dimmers and venetian blinds over the course of the year to adapt to changing
indoor environmental conditions. Daylighting concepts only save energy if daylight
temporarily replaces electric lighting. As a consequence, daylighting energy savings
depend not only on the annual daylight available in a building but also on when and how
occupants use their blinds and lighting controls.
A unique feature of the Daysim is a user behavior control model, called
Lightswitch (Figure 2-8). The model can be used to quantify the energy saving potential
of automated lighting controls, e.g. of an occupancy sensor over a standard on/off wall
switch. It combines annual illuminance profiles and occupancy profiles with behavioral
patterns that are based on field studies in buildings throughout the Western world.
Further input quantities are a description of the lighting control system (manual wall
switch, occupancy sensor, dimmer,...) and blind control (manual, automated) and the
type of occupant (energy-conscious/active or passive). For example, the model predicts
when users will lower window blinds in response to glare, or when they will switch on the
electric lighting.

Figure 2-8: Flow chart of the Lightswitch model.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 31
What is a user behavior model?
A key finding from field studies on manual lighting and blind control in commercial
buildings is, that even though occupants behave differently, they use their lighting and
blind controls consciously and consistently. The consistency finding forms the
theoretical basis for user behavior models such as Lightswitch. User behavior models
are calculation methods that aim to mimic how users interact with personal controls
(light switches, blinds, window openings). The finding that occupants behave
differently lead within Lightswitch to the development of four basic user behavior
types, which approximate individual switching behaviors that have been observed in
field studies.
Lighting Blind
Description of User Behavior Type
Control Control

A user who operates the electric lighting in relation to ambient


active active daylight conditions, opens the blinds in the morning, and partly closes
them during the day to avoid direct sunlight.

A user who keeps the electric lighting on throughout the working day,
passive active opens the blinds in the morning, and partly closes them during the day
to avoid direct sunlight.

A user who operates the electric lighting in relation to ambient daylight


active passive conditions and keeps the blinds partly closed throughout the year to
avoid direct sunlight.

A user who keeps the electric lighting on throughout the working day
passive passive and keeps the blinds partly closed throughout the year to avoid direct
sunlight.

How can the different user behavior types help a designer to choose an adequate
lighting system for the investigated building zone? For an individual room, it is of
course impossible to predict the user behavior type of the occupant. If on the other
hand a space modeled in Daysim is one of many identical rooms in a large building
(e.g. a private office), the average energy demand for this ensemble of rooms is the
design criteria of interest and the relevant question becomes: What is the frequency
distribution of the four user behavior types in the building? Unfortunately, there is no
data currently available to meaningfully answer this question. A straightforward
engineering approach is to assign equal frequencies to all four user types. This is the
default setting within Daysim. It triggers that four simulations are automatically run
for the four user types and the resulting lighting energy use is the mean of the results
for the four user types.

Further Reading
Reinhart C F , “Lightswitch 2002: A model for manual control of electric lighting and blinds”, Solar
Energy, 77:1 pp. 15-28, 2004.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 32
3 Daysim Installation Instructions and Troubleshooting

The design exercises in chapter 5 make use of the free daylight simulation programs
Daysim. This chapter describes where to download and how to install Daysim and the
related Radiance programs under Windows and Unix/Linux operating systems.

TM
3.1 Windows Operating Systems

This section will guide you through the process of installing DAYSIM under
Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems.

Please note that DAYSIM does not properly run under older Windows versions!

• Step 1: Download DAYSIM: To install the DAYSIM Windows version, download


the latest installation file, DAYSIM_XX_Setup_under_Windows.exe from
www.daysim.com to you local hard drive.
The DAYSIM GUI has been programmed in JAVA and the installation
program comes with a recent version of Sun JAVA Runtime. In case the
interface looks considerably different on your PC than the example screens
shown in the exercises in chapter 5, please download and install an updated
version of JAVA Runtime from http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/download.html.
• Step 2: Install DAYSIM: Start the downloaded file by left-double clicking on it
and following the installation instructions. Please further note that you have to
install DAYSIM under C:\DAYSIM, and that the directory paths under which you
store your DAYSIM projects must not have any "blank spaces".
Once you have successfully installed DAYSIM and restarted your
computer, you can proceed to chapter 5.

3.2 Unix/Linux Operating Systems


This section will guide you through the process of installing DAYSIM under
Linux/Unix operating systems.
• Step 1: Download DAYSIM: To install the DAYSIM Linux/Unix version,
download the latest installation file, DAYSIM_XX_Linux.tar.gz from
www.daysim.com to you local hard drive.
The DAYSIM GUI has been programmed in JAVA. In case the interface
looks different from the example screens shown in the DAYSIM tutorial, please
download an updated version of JAVA Runtime from
http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/download.html.
• Step 2: Install DAYSIM: To install DAYSIM copy the downloaded file into the
directory under which you want to install DAYSIM. The installation script will
create a subdirectory called “daysim” which contains the DAYSIM source code
and binaries.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 33
o Unzip the downloaded file by typing:
tar -zxvf DAYSIM_XX_Linux.tar.gz
This will unpack the files make_daysim and daysim_XX.tar.gz.
o To start the daysim installation script type:
make_daysim
The script will now guide you through the installation. Once the script is
completed, please check whether the directory daysim/bin contains all the
necessary binaries which you need to run DAYSIM (details of the single
programs are provided under the Help -> DAYSIM Subprograms.
ds_autonomy gen_dc
ds_dayfactor gen_directsunlight
ds_illum gen_matrix
ds_el_lighting gen_reindl
ds_occupancy gen_single_office
ds_shortterm radfiles2daysim
epw2wea scale_dc

o Please add the two paths: ../daysim/bin and ..daysim/lib to your PATH
variable, so that the binaries are found when DAYSIM is executed. (To do
this add the two paths to the variable PATH in your home directory in the
file “.profile”.)
o Once you have successfully installed DAYSIM and restarted your
computer, you can proceed to chapter 5.

3.3 Troubleshooting

This part of the tutorial aims to help you troubleshooting Daysim in case it does
not run properly on your computer.

3.3.1 WARNING ... DC file does not contain any uncommented lines...
The most common problem that has been reported by Windows users
is that they could work through design exercise 5.1 until they reached step 6
and ran a Radiance simulation. The resulting WARNING message informs
you that “your daylight coefficient file (*.dc) does not contain any
uncommented lines...“ (see figure below).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 34
Background: Environmental variables under Windows

Daysim requires two environmental variables to be properly set on your


computer: PATH and RAYPATH.
PATH is an environmental variable that contains all directories in
which WINDOWS is searching for executables or other files.
RAYPATH points to your Radiance library. (Radiance routinely uses
function files to be able to calculate complex materials. The only
instant when you do not need a function file is for an ambient bounce
of zero.)
The problem that caused the above WARNING message is that for some
reason the Daysim installation did not properly set your RAYPATH variable.

Solution: Set environmental variables

To verify, that this is indeed the case, do the following (Windows 2000):
(1) Open a DOS window (START >> RUN >> type cmd >> return)
(2) Type set (the computer will display all variables defined on your system.
You have to verify that the PATH variable contains: c:\Daysim\bin_windows
and that the RAYPATH variable points to c:\Daysim\lib.

To set the variable do the following (Windows 2000):


(1) Go to START >> SETTINGS >> CONTROL PANEL
(2) Double-click on SYSTEM
(3) Choose ADVANCED >> ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
(4) Add or modify the variable RAYPATH so that it points to:
#
.;c:\Daysim\lib;C:\Radiance\lib

3.3.2 Daysim GUI does not start (jar-extension unknown)

A number of Windows XP users have run into this problem. The Daysim
GUI has been programmed under JAVA and been stored in a single JAR file
called DaysimExe.jar. By default, the Daysim installation setup under Windows
should install JAVA runtime on your system. If your PC does not recognize the
jar file extension, the JAVA runtime installation might be incomplete. To remedy
this problem, please go to http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html and
download the latest J2SE Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version for your PC.
Java Runtime is a free software package that allows end-users to run Java
applications.

#
In this setting Daysim/Radiance will first search for function files in the current directory
(.), then in c:\Daysim\lib and finally in c:\Radiance\lib. The latter is useful if you have Desktop
Radiance installed on your computer as well under c:\Radiance. In case you do not have Desktop
Radiance this path is simply ignored.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 35
4 Preparing a 3-dimensional Building Model

This chapter provides guidance on how to export a 3-dimensional building model from
AutoCAD, SketchUp or Ecotect into the Radiance/Daysim file format (section 4.1).
Section 4.2 instructs you how to assign materials for your Daysim/Radiance model.

4.1 Preparing the Building Model

Depending on what CAD modeler you are using, you will either have to export
your model into a 3rd party file format – such as 3ds and then convert the 3ds file into
Radiance/Daysim or you might be able to export the model directly into Radiance format
(Figure 4-1).

Figure 4-1: Flow chart for importing 3 dimensional building models into Radiance/Daysim.

What CAD tool should I use?


In most cases, your choice of CAD tool will be driven by factors such as availability of
the program in your office, costs for purchasing/learning the program, ease-of-use,
etc.. Should you plan to also use the model for a Radiance/Daysim analysis, you
might also want to consider how smooth the export into Radiance/Daysim works.
There is no guarantee that the instructions given below will work bug-free on
your computer! It is certainly worthwhile to first test the export into Radiance from
your CAD modeler for a simple model before spending a lot of time modeling a
building and then finding out that the Radiance export is unreliable.

The following tables provides some general tips, common problems, and quality
control procedures for preparing a 3 dimensional building model.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 36
Table 4-1: Tips for preparing a 3-dimensional building model.
recycle what you can from an existing model
sometimes a model that looks 3-dimensional turns out to be an assembly of individual single lines in
space without any organization into planes etc. In that case you might as well start creating your model
from scratch.
avoid modeling geometric details for annual daylight simulations

Table 4-2: Common problems.


problem solution
Your client sent you the CAD file in You can either ask your client to resent the file or convert the file
Mac format and you are using into your format of choice (see e.g. http://www.asy.com/ or
Windows/Linux. http://ca.miramar.com/Products/PC_MACLAN/).
your sensor point file is not The reason could be that the sensor point file is in PC format
properly imported into Daysim instead of Unix format. This should not cause a problem but to
be sure, you might want to resave your input files in Unix format
by a text editor such as TextPad.

Table 4-3: Quality checklist for building models.


item to check how to check it

check that the model is properly Some CAD tools have different coordinate systems than
oriented Radiance. Remember, in Radiance the positive X axis is East,
North is along the positive Y axis and “up” is positive Z. To test
whether the orientation of your model is right, you might want to
st
visualize the building scene at noon on December 21 and
verify that the locations of the shades match your expectations.
scaling Check what length units your model has. Radiance/Daysim can
work in any units. You mainly have to pay attention, that the
coordinate system used by your sensor input file matches the
one in your Radiance/Daysim model.

The remaining of this chapter consists of a number of step-by-step instructions of how to


prepare a Radiance/Daysim model using SketchUp, Ecotect, or AutoCAD.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 37
4.1.1 Exporting from SketchUp

SketchUp is a three dimensional CAD tool that has been developed for the
conceptual stages of design. The tool is easy-to-learn and is enjoying increasing
popularity among design professionals and students. A trial version can be downloaded
free of charged and used for eight cumulative hours, giving you sufficient time to decide
whether you like the tool (http://www.sketchup.com/). A step-by-step instruction how to
import a Sketchup model into Radiance/Daysim is presented below.

Step 1: open Sketchup PrivateOffices.skp

Work through the initial SketchUp tutorial to familiarize yourself with the
software. You can open the example file PrivateOffices.skm that comes
with the Daysim distribution. The file is located under projects\
Ex4.1ImportSketchupFile\. Once you opened the file, your screen should
look somewhat like Figure 4.1-1.

Figure 4.1.1-1: Screenshot SketchUp model PrivateOffices.skm.

The file contains a “slice” out of a larger office building including an office
facing South, and aisle, and a second office facing North. For a visualization of
the whole office building see Figure 5-1.1.

Step 2: assign material properties in SketchUp

While further exploring the SketchUp file, you will notice that it uses a material
library called DaysimMaterialsForSketchUp.skm. The advantage of using
this material file in SketchUp when preparing a Daysim/Radiance model is that
all materials defined in the file are also part of the Daysim Material Database
which can be found under the C:\Daysim\materials directory. When you
import your SketchUp file into Daysim, the Daysim will scan all material names
(modifiers) in the imported building model. Should a material modifier coincide
with an entry in the Daysim Material Database, Daysim will ignore the material
Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 38
properties you originally assigned to materials and instead use the material
description from the database. The advantage of using the
DaysimMaterialsForSketchUp.skm material library in SketchUp is that all
materials in your exported Radiance/Daysim file already have physically
meaningful descriptions assigned to them (see section 4.2). The following gray
box provided some further insight in defining materials in SketchUp.

Defining materials in SketchUp


1. Sided-ness: While scene geometries are straightforward to generate, maintain and
edit in Sketchup and exported to Radiance/Daysim, you have to pay close attention to
how you apply material properties to SketchUp. The following description has been
taken from the SketchUp help files:
“SketchUp materials are normally applied to a single side of a surface at a time.
Painting a default colored surface with transparent material will result in both sides
of that surface being displayed with a transparent material. This allows the surface
to be transparent when viewed from both sides. If the backside of a surface has
already been painted with some non-transparent material, applying a transparent
material to the front side will not cause the backside to also display as transparent.
Likewise, if you paint the back side of a surface with a different transparent
material, it will not effect the front side. Thus, by specifically applying a material to
both sides, it is possible to have transparent surfaces that can have different colors
and levels of transparency on each side.”
The implication for Radiance – which only allows any surface to have one material
property – is, that the converter from SketchUp to Radiance always picks the material
description on the front of a surface, discarding the one on the back. For an exterior
wall in SketchUp with different surface reflectances on the inside and on the outside,
this can leads to a Radiance model in which an interior wall has exterior wall surface
properties. It is even possible, that a transparent surface in SketchUp becomes
opaque in Radiance. It is recommended that you pay close attention to the material
properties that you assign in Sketchup.
2. Material layers: Material modifier names are preserved during the export to
Radiance. This means that if you call a material in SketchUp “GenericWall60”, the
material name in the Radiance file is also going to be “GenericWall60”. An exception
is if you have a Sketchup material with a picture file associated to it. In that case, the
Radiance material modifier will have the word “_texture” added to the material name
in SketchUp. The advantage of preserving material modifier names is that you know
what each material in the Radiance file represents.

In the example SketchUp file, PrivateOffices.skm, all materials already


have been properly assigned. Therefore, you can proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Export the file into 3ds format

To export the file into 3ds format, simply go to File>> Export >> 3D Model and
save the file as projects\Ex4.1ImportSketchupFile\PrivateOffices.3ds.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 39
Figure 4.1.1-2: Screenshot SketchUp export.

Step 4: prepare the sensor point file

Unfortunately, there is currently no user-friendly way to generate a sensor point


file for Daysim within SketchUp. A Daysim sensor point file (*.pts) is a
Radiance/Daysim input file that contains the coordinates and orientations of all
points in the building that are relevant for a daylighting simulation, e.g. occupant
work places, positions of photocells, etc.. The file format is described in
Appendix A-1. Coordinates 1 to 3 correspond to the location of the sensor in
space. Coordinates 4 to 6 define the orientation of the sensor. If you are using
SketchUp as your CAD modeler, you have to generate the sensor point file
manually using a text editor such as TextPad (http://www.textpad.com/). The
sensor point file has to use the same coordinate systems as the Sketchup file
you are using. In PrivateOffices.skm the origin is located at the lower left
hand corner of the South facade.

Figure 4.1.1-3: Model origin.

For an analysis of the daylight availability in the offices and on the aisle, it makes
sense to chose a series of sensors located on the central axis of the offices
(x=1.5m), 1m apart from each other at a height of 85cm (z-0.85), facing upwards
(orientation 0 0 1). The resulting Daysim/Radiance sensor file is shown below.
The file should be stored in the “pts” subdirectory of your Daysim project file, e.g.
projects\Ex4.1ImportSketchupFile\pts\center_line.pts

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 40
South
Office

Aisle

North
Office

Figure 4.1.1-4: Screenshot of the sensor point file.

In case you want continue this exercise and import the 3ds geometry and the
sensor point file into Daysim, please proceed to Design Exercise 5.1.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 41
4.1.2 Exporting from Ecotect

Ecotect is a commercial software package developed by Square One that


couples an intuitive 3D design interface with a comprehensive set of
performance analysis functions and interactive information displays
(http://www.squ1.com/). Ecotect (ver 5.2) provided a reliable and well
documented export function directly into Radiance. Ecotect version 5.5 even
provides a direct input into Daysim. A description of how to export a Daysim
project from Ecotect version 5.5 is provided under section 5.2 in this tutorial.

4.1.3 Exporting from AutoCAD

To export an AutoCAD model into Radiance/Daysim, you have two options. You
can either save your AutoCAD file as a 3ds file. Or, you can use the AutoCAD to
RADIANCE converter radout, written by Georg Mischler.

(a) Exporting via 3ds

To export an AutoCAD file via 3ds, you simply need to load an AutoCAD file. As
an example you can use file NRC_DaylightingLab.dwg that you can find under
projects\Ex4.3ImportAutoCADFile.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 42
Figure 4.1.3-1: AutoCAD model of the NRC Daylighting Lab

The file shows a single office with an external two component venetian blind system.
(Two component implies that the blinds in the upper part of the facade can be set
horizontally to allow daylight into the building while the lower part of the blinds is closed
to avoid glare. ) The AutoCAD file is organized in a way so that each material lies on a
different layer. To export the file to 3d Studio, go to File>>Export and save it under
NRC_DaylightingLab.3ds in a directory of your choice. You can now import the 3ds
file directly into Daysim as shown under Exercise 5.1.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 43
Figure 4.1.3-2: AutoCAD R14 File>>Export window.

Defining materials 3ds Output file created with AutoCAD 14


While a 3ds file generated e.g. from a SketchUp file maintains the names of the
material layers in the SketchUp model, a 3ds file generated with AutoCAD 14
renames material layers _GLOBAL_01 to _GLOBAL_n. This means that you will have
to go through the inconvenience of identifying which material in your AutoCAD file is
called “_GLOBAL_01” etc..

(a) Exporting via “radout”

Another option to export from AutoCAD to Radiance is to use the ARX file
radout.arx from within AutoCAD. To use radout, you need to download the program from
http://www.schorsch.com/download/radout and save the file into the AutoCAD’s support
subfolder or another directory in which the program will search.

“radout” limitations
Please note that the free radout version from Georg Mischler’s web site only exports a
limited number of objects to Radiance. E.g. “entities created with the ACIS solid
modeler or custom entity types defined by any other 3rd party application ("proxies",
previously "zombies") are ignored in the freely distributed version of Radout.” For
more information, please refer to the Radout website.

The following steps instruct you how to export the NRC_DaylightingLab.dwg file into
Radiance/Daysim.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 44
Step 1: export AutoCAD layers into Radiance
o Open NRC_DaylightingLab.dwg. Your screen should look something
similar to Figure 4.1.3-1.
o Load the application into AutoCAD by typing:
appload
And picking radout.arx.

Figure 4.1.3-3: AutoCAD R14 menu to load applications.

o To export all layers of the building model into RADIANCE type:

radout

Pick all menu items according to Figure 4.1.3-3. Export by layer and chose an
output scaling factor of 0.01. (This way all units in your RADIANCE files are in
meters.) You should pick an absolute path as a base name such as
C:\daysim\projects\Ex4.3ImportAutoCADFile\NRC.

Figure 4.1.3-4: Radout menu.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 45
This way your rif file will also contain absolute path names and Daysim will be
able to find the Radiance files that you created. Select objects in the file by
typing “all”. Figure 4.1.3-5 shows you the new content of directory
C:\daysim\projects\Ex4.3ImportAutoCADFile\. The file
NRC_mat.rad contains the Radiance material properties of your scene. The
remaining files contain the geometries of the individual layers in your AutoCAD
model.

Figure 4.1.3-5: The ExternalFiles directory after you successfully exported all AutoCAD layers.

Step 2: define material properties

You now have to open the Radiance material file NRC_mat.rad and edit it using
a text editor such as TextPad. A fatal bug in the radout converter is that the
program names the materials in the material file different to the ones in the
geometry files. If you open NRC_lceiling.rad you will find that the ceiling
material is called:

C:\daysim\projects\Ex4.3ImportAutoCADFile\ExternalFiles\NRC_lceiling

whereas it is called

C:\daysim\projects\Ex4.3ImportAutoCADFile\ExternalFiles\NRC__lceiling

in the material file. Note the additional underscore “_” in the material name in the
material file. To remedy this problem, you have to replace all “NRC__” text bits in
your material file with “NRC_”.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 46
Figure 4.1.3-6: TextPad dialog box to replace “NRC__” with “NRC_” in the material file.

Another task you have to complete before starting a Radiance/Daysim simulation


is that you assign physically meaningful material descriptions for all materials in
your scene (see section 4.2). Once you have edited the material file to your
liking, you can import it into Daysim.

In case you want to continue this exercise and carry our a daylighting analysis of
the building model using Daysim proceed to design exercise 5.3.

Table 4.3.1-1 lists some additional issues you should remember when using
AutoCAD as your CAD tool for Daysim/Radiance.

Table 4.1.3-1: Checklist to ensure the quality of your AutoCAD model.


item to check

some layers in AutoCAD do not export (if you have locks in your AutoCAD, you might have
to “explode” them)
set a new layer for each new material. Do not use non standard symbols such as “ä” etc. in
layer names.
the following AutoCAD objects are supported by the radout converter::
- 3dfaces
- _solids (of non vanishing thickness, you can reset the thickness using the “thickness”
command)
- _trace (set “thickness” and “width”)
activate only those layers in AutoCAD that you want to export. (For debugging purposes,
you initially might want to export one layer at a time and look at the result in RADIANCE.)
Pay attention to
- scale of the building model
- orientation of the building model
- make sure that each window glazing is modeled with a single polygon (not two in parallel)

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 47
4.1.4 Differences between the RADIANCE and DAYSIM file formats

This section describes the differences between Radiance and Daysim files. For
the most part, you can use a Radiance scene and import it straight into Daysim. But,
since Daysim does not support all material modifiers available within Radiance, you
might have to edit an otherwise valid Radiance files to makes it accessible to Daysim.
This process can be automated using the Radiance to Daysim converter
radfiles2daysim. Table 4.1.4-1 summarizes the difference between the Radiance and
Daysim file format.

Table 4.1.4 -1: Difference between the Radiance and Daysim file format.
item to check

Daysim only supports a fraction of all Radiance materials. Should your Radiance scene contain an
unsupported material, your simulation will generate an error. The following Radiance material
modifiers are currently supported in Daysim:
Radiance Daysim
light Light sources in the Radiance files are
replace by a black plastic in Daysim. The
reason is that during the daylight coefficient
calculation Daysim automatically adds a sky
to the scene. If other light sources were
activated in the scene, the contribution of
these light sources to the daylight
coefficients would lead to wrong results.
glow same as light
plastic fully supported in Daysim; the materials with
this type are turned monochrome in the
Daysim file. The reason for this is that
Daysim uses only one color channel to
calculate a set of daylight coefficients for all
sensors provided in your sensor file.
metal same as plastic
mirror same as plastic
trans same as plastic
glass same as plastic
If your RADIANCE scene file(s) contain links to secondary files, e.g.
!xform –t 0 0 0 other_file.rad
the file you import into Daysim needs to contain the absolute path for the secondary file so that
Daysim can find it:
!xform –t 0 0 0 ABSOLUTE_PATH\other_file.rad\
Note that radfiles2daysim won’t explicitly pass through secondary files. Your secondary files therefore
have to be already in a valid Daysim format. Otherwise, the simulation will generate an error.
If a color has been modified in the Radiance input file, a message in the Daysim GUI will inform you
of the change.
PC files are sometimes not properly read into Daysim. In case you run into any difficulties, save your
Radiance model files in UNIX format instead.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 48
4.2 Defining material properties

Defining physically correct material properties for all surfaces in your scene is
crucial for the overall simulation. Radiance/Daysim allows you to correctly model a wide
number of diffuse and specular, opaque and transparent material properties. Even
though Daysim aims to simplify the job of assigning for you, you should acquire at least
a basic understanding of the Radiance file format. The Radiance file format is described
in detail in Rendering with Radiance book as well as the online Radiance manual pages.
The remaining of this section describes how and where to modify material properties in
Daysim.

Once you have successfully implemented a building model into Daysim, your
BUILDING menu within the Daysim GUI resemble Figure 4.2-1.

Figure 4.2-1: BUILDING menu in Daysim.

Within the “Building Model” section you should see a basic Radiance visualization of
your building model. In case you tried to import a building model into Daysim and the
import failed, the error message: “Error loading building” would have appeared on the
screen instead.
After importing a building model, you should always review the Daysim material
file of your project. The Daysim material file contains material properties for all materials
used in your building model. You can access the Daysim material file by left-clicking the
“Edit Material File” button within the “Building Model” section. This will open the material
file in the text editor you specified during the Daysim installation. Figure 4.2-2 shows the
Daysim material file from design exercise 5.1 as an example.
Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 49
#####################################################
# Daysim Material File
#####################################################
Daysim header information
# All comments start with an ‘#’
#####################################################

# SOURCE FILE: C:/DAYSIM/projects/Ex5.1DaylightingAnalysisOfASingleOffice/tmp/ImportFrom3ds.mat.rad

#<----------------------------------------------
# The material description for GenericInteriorFloor is taken from the Daysim database
# material GenericFloor30
# material_type opaque
# comment: This is a purely diffuse reflector with a reflectivity of 30% which
# according to the Lighting Handbook of the International Engineering material properties for
# Society of North America (IESNA) is a typical floor reflectivity. “GenericInteriroFloor”
#
void plastic GenericFloor30 Radiance material “plastic”.
0
0
5 0.3 0.3 0.3 0 0 5 values: refred refgreen refblue specularity
#<----------------------------------------------
roughness
#<----------------------------------------------
# The material description for GenericInteriorWall is taken from the Daysim database
# material GenericWall60
# material_type ...
void plastic GenericWall60
0
This line indicates that “GenericInteriorWall” has
0
been automatically substituted with the entry from
5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0 0
the Daysim material database
#<----------------------------------------------

#<----------------------------------------------
# The material description for GenericInteriorCeiling is taken from the Daysim database
# material GenericCeiling80
# material_type ...
void plastic GenericCeiling80
0
0
5 0.8 0.8 0.8 0 0
#<----------------------------------------------

#<----------------------------------------------
# The material description for DblGlazSpecSel72 is taken from the Daysim database
# material DblGlazSpecSel72
# material_type transparent
# comment: This is a generic, spectrally selective double glazing with a
# visual transmittance of 72%.
void glass DblGlazSpecSel72
0 Radiance material “glass”.
0
3 0.784590 0.784590 0.784590
#<----------------------------------------------

#<----------------------------------------------
# The material description for SingGlazClear90 is taken from the Daysim database
# material SingGlazClear90
# material_type ...
void glass SingGlazClear90
0
0
3 0.980123 0.980123 0.980123
#<----------------------------------------------
Figure 4.2-2: Example Daysim Material File.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 50
You can edit the Daysim material at will. You will note that in Figure 4.2-2, all
materials in the file have been taken from the Daysim material database which suggests
that they all represent “physically meaningful” materials. Should you decide to edit the
Daysim material file, you should always verify whether, that the file format is still valid by
selecting the “Update View” button in the “Building Model” section. Daysim will try to
rebuild the building model using the Radiance program “oconv”. If successful, an
updated version of the building model will appear. Otherwise, the error generated by
Radiance will be shown in an error box.

Warning
The “Update View” will not generate an error if you start coloring your materials in
your Daysim material file, e.g. by choosing different reflectances for the RGB channel.
But the Daysim calculation of the direct daylight coefficients will fail, because the
programs will notice that the calculates illuminance for red, green, and blue are not
identical.

4.2.1 Adding materials to the Daysim material database

The Daysim material database is in fact simply a directory (set in the Daysim
GUI under File>> Preferences) that contains a number of Radiance files. Each file
contains the material description for one material entry. The name of the file
corresponds to the name of the material modifier followed by “.rad”. E.g., the material
description for a GenIntWall (generic interior wall) is:

file name: GenItWall.rad


# material GenIntWall (Generic Interior Wall)
# material_type opaque
# comment: This is a purely diffuse reflector with a reflectivity of 60% which
# according to the Lighting Handbook of the International Engineering
# Society of North America (IESNA) is a typical floor reflectivity.
# author: C Reinhart
void plastic GenIntWall
0
0
5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0 0

To add a new entry to the database, you simply need to enter the Radiance
material description into a file and have the file in the Daysim material database
directory under <material name>.rad.

N Note: If you plan to use SketchUp as your CAD modeler, you have to make
sure that each material name has a maximum length of 16 characters as
SketchUp automatically shortens material names to this length when exporting
to 3ds format.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 51
5 Design Exercises

In this chapter a series of hands-on design exercises is presented. The


exercises demonstrate how to use the Daysim simulation programs to address a variety
of different design aspects. A brief description of each exercise is provided below.

Name Description
Ex 1: Daylighting Analysis of a Single Office This first exercise introduces you to the DAYSIM JAVA
interface and guides you through the steps necessary to
setup and run a daylighting analysis of a single office
located in Ottawa, Canada. Daylight autonomy, daylight
factor, and annual electric lighting use are the daylighting
performance measures used in this exercise.
Ex 2: Classroom with translucent skylights This exercise teaches you how to calculate the daylight
autonomies in a in a classroom which features either
translucent or clear double pane skylights.
Ex3: Advanced shading device mode This exercise teaches you how to use the “advanced
shading device mode in the BUILDING menu.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 52
5.1 Exercise: Daylighting Analysis of a Single Office

This first exercise introduces you to the DAYSIM JAVA interface and guides
you through the steps necessary to setup and run a daylighting analysis of a
single office located in Ottawa, Canada. Daylight autonomy, daylight factor, and
annual electric lighting use are the daylighting performance measures used in
this exercise.

Your Task

You are involved in the design of an office building located in Ottawa, Canada.
The building is mainly oriented along the West-East axis with sixty identical
private offices bordering either the North or South facades (Figure 5-1-1). The
two facades are not shaded by surrounding buildings or landscape. The offices
are connected through a central aisle that runs along the center of the building
on all three storeys.

Figure 5.1-1: Sketchup Visualization of the investigated office building.

Your Task is to use Daysim to


predict the daylight availability (daylight autonomy and daylight factor) in
the offices and on the central aisle, and
estimate the lighting energy savings from an occupancy sensor versus a
regular on/off wall switch.

Step 1: prepare the DAYSIM simulation

Before you start with the Daysim simulation, you need to prepare (a) a CAD
model of the building that can be imported it into Daysim, and (b) a sensor point
file. Looking at Figure 5-1-1, you will realize that the office building is highly
repetitive, consisting of 30 identical blocks with each block consisting of a
Northern and a Southern offices linked by a piece of aisle (Figure 5-1-2).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 53
Figure 5.1-2: Sketchup Visualization one of the thirty identical blocks out of which the building is
made up.

Since the daylight availabilities are identical within each of the individual blocks
and since these blocks are –as far a daylighting is concerned – largely
independent of each other, you may use the model shown in Figure 5-1-2 for
your analysis.

N Note: Working with a smaller model reduces the memory requirements for
your simulation and allows you to use less stringent Radiance parameters, as
the resolution at which the raytracing algorithm “scans” surfaces within your
scene depends on the size of bounding box of your scene3. Remember, the
time required to generate a 3 dimensional building model may be substantial.
Include only those details into your building model that are relevant for the
daylight simulation.

The model shown in Figure 5-1-2 happens to coincide with the Sketchup model
used in chapter 4.1. Please refer to the relevant sections in chapter 4 to learn
what to consider when preparing a Radiance/Daysim model in Sketchup and
how to export the Sketchup files into 3d Studio (3ds) format. A 3ds file of the
geometry shown in Figure 5-1-2 is also provided with this design exercise. It is
stored under C:\Daysim\projects\Ex5.1DaylightingAnalysisOfASingleOffice/
ExternalFiles/.

As mentioned earlier, you also need a sensor point file for your project, i.e. a file
with the coordinates and orientations of the points of interest in the building. A
description of how to generate the sensor file is given in section 4.1. For this

3
The bounding box of a Radiance/Daysim scene is the smallest cube which holds the
scene’s complete geometry.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 54
exercise you will use the sensor point file from chapter 4.1. A copy is already
stored under C:\Daysim\projects\Ex5.1DaylightingAnalysisOfASingleOffice
/pts/center_line.pts. As explained in 4.1, the file contains a line of sensors
facing upwards, that are located on the center axis of the offices and the aisle at
desk height (85cm). The sensor are one meter apart from each other. The file is
shown in Figure 5.1-3.

Figure 5.1-3: Radiance sensor point file

You will use Daysim to calculate daylight autonomies and daylight factors at
these sensor points. You are now prepared to start Daysim.

Step 2: start DAYSIM

Under Windows: go to START > PROGRAMS > DAYSIM2.1 > DAYSIM or use
the DAYSIM shortcut on your desktop
Under Linux: at the command line type: daysim
The DAYSIM graphical user interface (GUI) should appear on your screen
(Figure 5-1-4). The interface functions as:
• an editor to read/write a DAYSIM project header file that contains all
information relevant for your Daysim project.
• a platform to execute the different DAYSIM subprograms.
• an editor to create shell scripts (Linux) or batch files (Windows) that execute
the different DAYSIM subprograms. An overview of the relationship between
the different RADIANCE subprograms is provided in Appendix A.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 55
Figure 5.1-4: DAYSIM startup screen.

WARNING: In some rare case, you will get an error message that your PC
does not recognize the JAR file extension. In that case, please refer to the
trouble shooting section in chapter 3.

Step 3: start a new project

Under the FILE > NEW PROJECT dialogue choose NEW and pick a directory
under which you want to store the files for your new DAYSIM project. As you will
be using the scene and sensor files that were discussed in step 1, please go to
/projects/Ex5.1DaylightingAnalysisOfASingleOffice/ and name
the project header file header1.hea (Figure 1-2). The name of the project
header file will be used as a prefix for the results file created by DAYSIM (see
below). The project header file contains all the information for your DAYSIM
projects. It is an ASCII file with a number of keywords that are explained in the
DAYSIM documentation accessible via the HELP menu. More information will be
added to this file as you enter more information in the different GUI menus. You
can always view a current version of the file by left-clicking on the FILE menu.

N Note: For DAYSIM to run properly, project directories and Daysim header file
names must not have any blanks in them, e.g. call you Daysim project
“version_1” instead of “version_1”.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 56
Figure 5.1-5: Create a New Project Directory dialogue box.

In the directory under which you store your project header file DAYSIM
automatically creates the following subdirectories:
/rad - imported RADIANCE scene files
/tmp - temporary files
/wea - project climate files
/pts - sensor point file
/res - simulation results

Step 4: load climate data

You now need to import the climate data for Ottawa, Canada. A climate file
contains annual time series of direct and diffuse irradiances. In Daysim, this data
is combined with the Perez sky model to predict the luminous distribution of the
sky at different times of the year (see also sections 1.6 and 2.1.1). The luminous
distribution is a luminance mapping that describes the amount of daylight
incident onto a building from the different parts of the sky. Climate data is stored
in test reference years which also include a variety of other climate data.

Under the SITE > NEW SITE dialogue you can specify the climate data for your
building site. DAYSIM supports two climate file formats:
• DAYSIM weather file (*.wea)
• EnergyPlus weather data file (*.epw)
You can pick these files either directly from your local hard drive or you can first
open your browser (Figure 1-3) and download weather data for over 680
locations world wide from the EnergyPlus weather data site (Figure 5.1-7).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 57
Figure 5.1-6: Pick a Site dialogue box.

You should save the downloaded epw files under C:\Daysim\wea\ or any
other directory under which you want to stores the raw weather data files for your
4
Daysim projects .

Figure 5.1-7: EnergyPlus weather data site.

Browse to a climate file of your choice and press next.

Figure 5.1-8: Load a climate file dialogue box.

4
You can change the name of your default climate directory under FILE->
PREFERENCES.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 58
You can pick a simulation time step for your annual daylight simulation between
1 minute and 1 hour. For calculations of the electric lighting use you should pick
5 minutes (default). Press FINISH and wait until the subprogram ds_shortterm
has created your project weather data file and stored it under the project
subdirectory /wea. Your final SITE screen should look like Figure 5-1-10.

Figure 5.1-9: Choose Simulation Time Step.

Figure 5.1-10: Final Site dialogue box.

N Note:
Within the GUI you can left-click on the blue underlined labels for
additional help.
When you chose a time step smaller than one hour, a stochastic auto-
correlation model is used to generate down to one minute time series of
direct and diffuse irradiance from hourly means (see chapter 6.2).
For this exercise the simulation should only take a couple of seconds as
the Ottawa 5 minute file comes with the Daysim distribution. Depending on
the speed of your computer, this calculation can take up to 20 minutes.
The resulting short time step weather data file is centrally stored on your
computer so that you only need to carry out the calculation once for each
climate file.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 59
Step 5: import building model and sensor point file

You now need to import the 3d studio file (*.3ds) that was previously exported
from SketchUp (chapter 4.1). Go to BUILDING > IMPORT 3D BUILDING
MODEL. As you can see in Figure 5.1.11, you have the choice of either
importing a 3d Studio file, importing a Radiance rif-file or manually importing
Radiance material and geometry files. An example of how to import a rif file is
given in chapter 5.3. To import a Radiance file, please refer to design exercise
5.2.

Figure 5.1-11: Import 3D Building Model dialog box.

Choose “import a 3D Studio file (*.3ds)” and click on “continue>>”. Select


PrivateOffices.3ds under subdirectory External Files (Figure 5.1.12).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 60
Figure 5.1-12: Import 3D Building Model dialog box (continued).

When importing a 3d Studio file, Daysim first converts the file using via the mgf
format into Radiance file format. mgf stands for “Materials and Geometry
Format”. Once your 3ds file has been successfully converted into the Radiance
format, a filter (rad2daysim.exe) runs over the Radiance scene. The filter erase
all light sources from the building model converts all materials to grayscale. In
case a material layer name corresponds to a material in the Daysim database,
the material description used in the 3ds Studio file is replaced with the material
from the Daysim database (see section 4.2 for details).

After a few seconds, the following message screen should appear on your
screen.

Figure 5.1-13: Report from the conversion from Radiance to Daysim.

The message indicates that the material layers GenIntFloor, GenIntWall,


GenIntCeiling, DblGlazSpecSel72, and SingGlazClear90 have been replaced
with the material files of the same name stored in the Daysim material database
(default: C:\Daysim\materials).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 61
By clicking “OK” you finalize the import of the building model into Daysim. The
building menu should now look similar to Figure 5.1.14.

Figure 5.1-14: Building menu after a successful import of a 3ds file.

On the left hand side you see a visualization of the building model you just
imported. At this point you should
verify whether the import into Daysim was complete (was the complete scene
geometry imported into Daysim?) and
review the Daysim material file as described in chapter 4.2.

As discussed in chapter 4.2, the Daysim material file for this building model
already consists of realistic material properties that have been taken from the
Daysim material database.

Next you need to import the sensor point file. As explained above, the sensor
point file is an ASCII file that contains the location and orientations of particular
points of interest in the building. Click on PICK A SENSOR FILE to choose
.../ExternalFiles/center_line.pts.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 62
Figure 5.1-15: Pick center_line.pts.

N Note: Tips on how to generate a sensor point file are given in section 4.1.1.

Afterwards you need to specify the unit measured by each sensor in your sensor
point file using the SPECIFY SENSOR UNITS button that appeared in the
building menu after you imported the sensor point file. The corresponding dialog
is shown below.

Figure 5.1-16: Specify sensor units dialog.

The dialog file shows the coordinates and orientations of all sensors in the
sensor point file. Under sensor unit you can characterize the type of the
individual sensors within the simulation by using a pull down menu. You can
choose between luminance, illuminance, radiance, and irradiance sensors. By
default, all sensor are illuminance sensors. In this exercise all sensors are
illuminance sensors. Therefore, you can leave dialog 5.1.16 unchanged.

Finally, you need to pick your shading device model using the SHADING
DEVICE MODE pull-down menu. Depending on the amount of detail you want to
provide, DAYSIM allows three modes to model shading devices:

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 63
• static shading devices (e.g. light shelves): in this mode DAYSIM either
assumes that the shading device is already part of your basic RADIANCE
scene or that there is no shading device.
• dynamic shading device model (simple): in this mode DAYSIM uses a
simplified model to consider the effect of a generic venetian blinds system on
the annual daylight availability: DAYSIM uses the basic RADIANCE scene to
calculate indoor illuminances when the blinds are retracted. During times of
the year when the blinds are lowered due to direct glare, DAYSIM simply
assumes that a generic blind system blocks all direct sunlight and transmits
25% of all diffuse daylight. The use of this simulation mode is recommended
at an early design stage as explicitly creating and simulating a geometric
blind model is very time consuming.
• dynamic shading device model (advanced): in this mode DAYSIM uses an
explicit RADIANCE model of the shading device both in retracted and
lowered positions. Please note that choosing this mode can more than
double the required simulation time since two sets of daylight coefficients
need to be simulated (shading device open and closed) and additional
raytracing is necessary to simulate a lowered blind system. An example of
how to use this mode is given in design exercise 5-3.

For this exercise please choose the second option (simple blinds). You
BUILDING menu should now look like Figure 5.1.17. You can now run an actual
daylight simulation.

Figure 5.1-17: BUILDING menu after the building model has been successfully entered.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 64
Step 6: run a simulation

Under the SIMULATION menu (Figure5-1-18) annual indoor illuminance profiles


for all sensors in the sensor point file are calculated. As shown in Figure A-1 in
Appendix A, this calculation involves the use of two subprograms:
(1) Subprogram gen_dc calculates one or two sets of daylight coefficients for
all sensor points depending on the underlying blinds model.
(2) Subprogram ds_illum combines the daylight coefficients with the project
climate file to yield annual indoor illuminance profiles for all sensor points.

The second step usually only take a couple of minutes (depending on the size of
your sensor point file) whereas the first can take hours up to days.

Before starting a simulation you need to pick an adequate set of RADIANCE


simulation parameters. For this exercise, please choose the simulation
parameters shown in Figure 5.1-18. The simulation parameters correspond to
those for scene 1 in chapter 2.1.3. The simulation will take about 1 hour on a
1GHz processor. In case you first want to get a feeling of how the program
works, you can set the ambient bounces to 2 to bring the simulation time down to
a couple of minutes.

Figure 5-1-18: SIMULATION main dialogue box.

Via SIMULATION > RUN A SIMULATION you can start a simulation. The first
dialogue box (Fig 5.1-19) allows you to pick which files you want to generate/re-
generate. Usually all two boxes should be activated. Please left-click on NEXT.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 65
Figure 1-19: First RUN SIMULATION dialogue box.

The second dialogue box (Figure 5.1-20) allows you to start the simulation either
from within the DAYSIM GUI or independently as a batch file under Windows or
as a shell script under a Linux/Unix environment.

Figure 5.1-21: Second RUN SIMULATION dialogue box.

Pick the first option and click FINISH. The simulation will take about 1 hour on a
PC with a 1GHz processor.

N Note: During the simulation under Windows a number of DOS windows will
pop up on your screen. These DOS windows mark the different simulation
steps namely:
- calculation of diffuse daylight coefficients: This simulation step is
accompanied with a WARNING: “no light sources found”. This is perfectly
normal as the Radiance scene does not contain any direct light sources
during the calculation of the diffuse daylight contribution.
- calculation of direct daylight coefficients: This simulation step will take the
longest since involves calculations with some 60 direct light sources which
correspond to the typical sun position for your building site that appear over
the course of the year.
- calculation of annual illuminance/luminance profiles (*.ill)

WARNING: Most Daysim users find out at this point if Daysim has not been
properly installed on their computer. In that case the Daysim simulation will
usually finish within a couple of seconds and the message below is displayed.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 66
This failure to run properly execute Radiance is usually the result of either your
path and/or directory names containing blanks “ “, or that the Windows
installation program did not properly set all required environmental variables.
To remedy the problem either rename your files or go to the Troubleshooting
section in chapter 3.

Once the simulation is finished, the following result files should be stored in the
directory C:\Daysim\projects\Ex5.1DaylightingAnalysisOfASingleOffice/res:
header1.dc – daylight coefficient file
header1.ill – annual illuminance profile (blinds up)
header1_down.ill – annual illuminance profile (blinds down)

The format of these files is explained in Appendix A. Note that the file prefix
corresponds to the project header file name.

Step 7: carry out a daylighting analysis

After the raytracing run from the previous step is finished and after you verified
that the two annual illuminance profiles (*.ill) and the daylight coefficient file
(*.dc) are in the “res” subdirectory of your Daysim project, you can go to the
ANALYSIS menu (Figure 5.1-22). This menu allows you to carry out an in-depth
analysis of the annual daylight availability and electric lighting energy use in the
investigated building. Entry fields are divided into three groups:

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 67
Figure 5.1-22: ANALYSIS dialogue box.
• Occupancy Profile: information on typical hours of occupancy
• User Requirements and Behavior: here you need to specify both, the amount
of lighting typically required by the users of the space as well as general
behavioral tendencies of the users: Daysim allows you to choose an “active
user ” a “passive user” or an occupant population that is a mix of both basic
user types. An active user considers interior daylight levels when setting the
lighting and blinds as opposed to a passive user who keeps blinds lowered
lighting switched on during occupied hours. Both behavioral patterns have
been observed in field studies. Obviously, the two behavior patterns results in
considerably different energy use. As a designer usually cannot anticipate
the ratio of active to passive users in a future building, a hands-on
approach is to assume an evenly mixed population (default setting: ‘mix
of both’). If this user behavior is chosen, the electric lighting use is calculated
for both types of users individually an the predicted energy use corresponds
to a mean of both values. This user behavior option is recommended, when
the investigated building zones can repetitively be found throughout the
building. This requirement is met in this exercise, as the two office and the
aisle can be found 30 times in the building (see Figure 5.1-1).
• lighting and shading control system: These entries allow you to describe the
type of lighting and shading controls investigated. You can enter the installed
-2 -2
lighting power density either in Wm or in Wft or in whatever floor unit you
choose. The simulation results will accordingly be in the corresponding unit,
2 2
i.e. W/m yr or W/ft yr. You also need to specify where the work plane is
located within the space using the button: “Specify Work Plane”.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 68
Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the input options by left-
clicking on the blue field labels and set the lighting power density and zone size
-2 2
to 12Wm and 15m respectively.

What is the “work plane”?


You need to specify which of the illuminance sensors in the sensor point file correspond
to sensors on the work plane of the occupant who is switching the electric lighting and
manipulating the shading device. A work plane illuminance sensor is usually facing
upwards and located at about desk height (0.85cm). At each time step, Daysim will
calculate the minimum illuminance of all work plane sensors. This minimum work plane
illuminance will be used to determine whether the occupant manually activates the
electric lighting at a particular time step.
The work plane sensors are also used to predict the appearance of direct glare. Direct
-2
glare is detected when direct sunlight above 50Wm (exterior direct irradiance) is
incident on the work plane. The Daysim subprogram gen_directsunlight predicts for
each time step of the year whether direct glare conditions appear at the work place.
This information will be stored under der “res” subdirectory in a direct glare profile
called (header1.dir) .

Before you start a daylighting analysis, you need to specify the work plane
sensors. A Daysim simulation report concentrates on one building section at a
time. As the daylighting situation and requirements vary in both offices and the
central aisle, a simulation report has to be generated for all three sections
independently.

We will first concentrate on the South office. As shown in Figures 5.1-2 and 5.1-3,
the first four sensors in the sensor point file are located in the South office.
Assuming that the occupant will usually be seated between 2 and 3 meter away
from the facade, we will choose the second and third sensor to be work plane
sensors in the South office (see Figure 5.1-23).

Figure 5.1-23: ”Specify work plane” dialogue.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 69
N Note: If you do not specify any work plane sensors, Daysim will assume that
all illuminance sensor in your sensor point file are on the work plane. In this
exercise, this would lead to misleading predictions of the electric lighting use
and the shading device setting as illuminance sensors are located in both
offices and on the aisle.

Once you specified the work plane sensors, please click on “Start Daylighting
Analysis” using the default options from Figure 5.1-22. This will prompt Daysim
to generate a simulation report similar to the one shown below.

Table 5.1-1: Daysim Simulation Report for the South office.

Daysim Simulation Report


Notes...

The predicted annual electric lighting energy use in the investigated zone is: 20 kWh/unit area
Assuming a lighting zone size of 15 unit area, this corresponds to a total annual lighting energy use of 300
kWh/a

Site Description
The investigated building is located in Ottawa (45.32 N/ 75.67 E). Daylight savings time lasts from April 1st to
October 31st. The picture below shows a visualization of the building model.

User Description
The zone is occupied Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 17:00. The occupant leaves the office three times
during the day (30 minutes in the morning, 1 hour at midday, and 30 minutes in the afternoon). The total annual
hours of occupancy at the work place are 1805.6.The electric lighting is activated 2356.3 hours per year. The
occupant performs a task that requires a minimum illuminance level of 500 lux. The predicted annual electric
lighting energy use of 2.5 kWh/unit area corresponds to the mean energy use in an ensemble of identical
offices that are occupied by four user types:
a user who operates the electric lighting in relation to ambient daylight conditions, opens the blinds in
the morning (upon arrival), and lowers them when direct sunlight above 50 Wm-2 hits the seating
position (to avoid direct glare),
a user who operates the electric lighting in relation to ambient daylight conditions, and keeps the
blinds lowered throughout the year to avoid direct sunlight,
a user who keeps the electric lighting on throughout the working day, opens the blinds in the morning
(upon arrival), and lowers them when direct sunlight above 50 Wm-2 hits the seating position (to
avoid direct glare), and
a user who keeps the electric lighting on throughout the working day, and keeps the blinds lowered
throughout the year to avoid direct sunlight.
The coordinates of work place sensors are marked in blue in the table below.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 70
x y z daylight daylight daylight annual light
factor [%] autonomy autonomy exposure
[%] (active [%] (passive [luxh]
user) user)
1.500 1.000 0.850 12.1 89.5 71.5 20769910
1.500 2.000 0.850 5.4 78.1 41.8 6436636
1.500 3.000 0.850 3.0 63.4 8.0 3696022
1.500 4.000 0.850 1.9 51.3 0.0 2508053
1.500 6.000 0.850 0.2 0.0 0.0 278091
1.500 7.000 0.850 0.2 0.0 0.0 261861
1.500 9.000 0.850 1.9 42.0 0.0 1605234
1.500 10.000 0.850 3.0 52.5 0.0 2348671
1.500 11.000 0.850 5.4 62.1 4.1 3758828
1.500 12.000 0.850 12.2 76.0 48.2 7142613

Each report lists some key simulation assumptions followed by a table with
simulation results. Within the results table, the first three columns correspond to
the x, y and, z coordinates of the sensors from the sensor point file. Column 4
shows the daylight factors for the individual sensor points. The last column shows
the annual light exposure of the sensor points in luxh for active blind usage.

An analysis of the simulation report is provided in the following.

daylight factor distribution


The daylight factor only depends on the building model and is therefore
independent of all entry fields in the ANALYSIS menu. Figure 5.1-24 shows an
#
EXCEL graph of the daylight factor distribution from Table 5.1-1 .

Figure 5.1-24: Daylight factor distribution in the office. (Figure generated with Microsoft Excel.)

The figure reveals that the daylight factor near the work plane lies between 3.0
and 5.4% for both offices. Note that the daylight factor distribution is identical in

#
Please note that Daysim does not have the capability to display graphs. You have to
import the data generates in the *.el.htm file and import it into a spreadsheet of your choice.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 71
the North and South office, the reason for this symmetry is that the reference
CIE overcast sky is rotationally invariant. The daylight factor near the work
planes (2-3m from the facade) lies above the 2% mark required by LEED. It rises
above 5% closer to the window, which is relatively high for an office daylight
factor (see Table 1-1 in chapter 1). This finding suggests that there is a need for
a glare protection device in the offices for a VDT work place lose to the facade.
The daylight factor analysis further suggests that there is only a negligible
amount of daylight on the central aisle.

daylight autonomy distribution


As discussed in Table 1-1, daylight factor predictions are of limited use for
design purposes, as they are based on a single sky condition. The daylight
autonomy has been developed to provide a more holistic daylighting analysis in a
building. It depends on the minimum illuminances threshold, the specified user
occupancy, and the type of blind control used. The daylight autonomy is defined
as the percentage of occupied hours during the year when the minimum
illuminance level is provided at a sensor by daylight alone.
In the default setting, Daysim assumes that the offices are occupied weekdays
from 8AM to 5PM with a one hour lunch break and two 30 minute breaks
throughout the day. The minimum illuminance threshold is 500 lux which
coincides with recommended minimum illuminance levels for type b desk work
stipulated by the Canada Labour Code, Part II - Canada Occupational Health
and Safety Regulations. Two daylight autonomies are given in the results table:
one for an active and a second for a passive blind user. The results in table 5.1-1
refer to the daylight autonomy in the South office, as the work plane chosen is
located in the South office. To calculate the daylight autonomy for the North
office as well you need to do the following:
save the Daylight Simulation report for the South office under a different
name
change the work plane sensor to a work place in the North office (Figure 5.1-
25)
rerun “Start Daylighting Analysis”.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 72
Figure 5.1-25: Reset the work plane sensor for an analysis of the North office.

Finally, to calculate daylight autonomy on the aisle, you need to set the minimum
illuminance level to 100 lux which corresponds to the recommended level for “a
service area with frequent usage” according to the Canada Labour Code. To get
a conservative estimate of the daylight autonomy on the aisle, you should
configure the work plan sensors in the South and North office synchronously.

N Recommended illuminance levels and maximum lighting power densities


In Daysim the electric lighting system is characterized through the choice of
lighting control and the installed lighting power density. Recommended values
for according to the IESNA Lighting Handbook, the Canadian Labor Code and
German DIN 3035 can be accessed by clicking on the minimum illuminance
level label. Similarly, recommended maximum lighting power densities can be
accessed under installed lighting power density.

The resulting daylight autonomy distribution in the three spaces are shown in the
EXCEL graph below.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 73
Figure 5.1-26: Daylight autonomy distribution in the offices(minimum illuminance level of 500 lux
and manually control blinds) and on the aisle (minimum illuminance level of 100lux). (Figure
generated with Microsoft Excel.)

The figure reveals that in both office the occupants can in principle work between
40% and 80% of the year by daylight alone depending on how they use their
blinds. It is also worth mentioning, that the daylight autonomy in the North office
is marginally larger than in the South office. The reason for this is that glare is
less of an issue for the North office. In the South office, reduced window size
and/or a more advanced shading device such a split blind system might provide
a more effective way to reduce glare than the default venetian blind system
investigated in this example.
The figure also predicts a daylight autonomy over 30% on the aisle. This reveals
that sufficient lighting levels are routinely reached on the aisle by daylight alone.
A convenient way to reduce the electric lighting use on the aisle - if allowed by
local safety regulations - could be through manual switches combined with a
timer.

electric lighting use


The second part of your task is to estimate the energy saving potential of an
occupancy sensor in the two offices. The predicted annual electric lighting use is
provided at the beginning of each simulation report. As shown in Table 5.1-1, the
predicted annual electric lighting use for the South office is 20 kWh/ unit area
which corresponds to 300kWh/a per office assuming an installed lighting power
-2 2
density of 12Wm in the 15m offices (width x depth =3m x 5m). If you rerun the
simulation for a switch-off and a switch on/off occupancy sensor, you will get the
following lighting energy uses for the north and South office.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 74
Figure 5.1-27: Annual electric lighting use in the north and South offices for three different lighting
control strategies. (Figure generated with Microsoft Excel.)

Figure 5.1-27 reveals that the lighting use for both office orientations will be very
similar. Introducing an occupancy sensor that switches the electric lighting off
when absence has been detected for more than 5 minutes saves about 30% of
lighting energy in both offices. If on the other hand an occupancy sensor is
installed that switches the electric lighting on and off, the lighting energy use
rises as such a lighting control systems hinders occupants from ever working by
daylight alone.

Step 8: summing up

The daylight factor analysis in the offices yielded a level between 3 and 5% near
the work plane. Assuming occupancy during regular office hours (Mo-Fr. 8.00-
17.00) and a work that requires a minimum desktop illuminance of 500 lux on the
desk, the occupants could work 40-80% of the year by daylight alone depending
on the type of shading device used. A further going analysis should concentrate
on either reducing window sizes or using a more advance shading device. For an
-2
installed electric lighting power density of 12 Wm , the mean annual electric
lighting use in all the offices would be around 300kWh/yr in both offices. An
occupancy sensor that switches the lighting automatically off after a delay time of
5 minutes would reduce the mean annual electric lighting use in the offices by
roughly 30%. Assuming an additional investment cost of $25 for such an
occupancy sensor and electricity costs of 10cent/kWh, the payback time for the
occupancy sensor would be around 2.8 years.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 75
N Note: If you want to present Daysim simulation results in your report, you can
open res/SingleOffice.el.htm directly in MS-Word and quickly
integrate the simulation report in your standard report format.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 76
5.2 Exercise 2: Classroom with translucent skylights (Ecotect example)

This exercise teaches you how to calculate the daylight autonomies in a in a


classroom which and without translucent skylights. The example assumes
that you already prepared a building model in Ecotect.

Your Task

You are involved in the design of a small school building that consists of a single
classroom. The building is located near New-York-City, NY, USA. It is not
shaded by surrounding buildings or landscape. A visualization of the building is
given in Figure 5.2-1. Your task is to compare the daylight autonomy distribution
in the building with and without two skylights made out of translucent sandwiched
panels.

Figure 5.2-1: Visualization of the school building.

Step 1: open Classroom.eco in Ecotect

For this example, it is assumed that you have Ecotect version 5.5 installed on
your computer. Please open the file Classroom.eco in that comes with the
Daysim installation and can be found in directory
C:\Daysim\projects\Ex5.2TranslucentGlazing/ExternalFiles/. Doubble-
clicking on the file should show you the model of a single classroom (Fig 5.2-2).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 77
Figure 5.2-2: Startup Window in Ecotect after Classroom.eco has been opened.

N Note: That the Classroom.eco file is nearly the same as the example file of
the same name given in the Ecotect tutorial. Te important difference is that the
glazing material for the two roof skylights has been named
“Translucent_Skylight”.

Step 2: familiarize yourself with Ecotect

In case you have not done so before, you should familiarize yourself with the
basic Ecotect interface capabilities. You should also work through the Ecotect
Tutorials related to “Lighting Design” and “Exporting to Radiance”.

Step 3: define a grid in Ecotect

This step is also described in the Ecotect Tutorial. Go to Display >> Analysis
Grid >> Settings and choose the following settings.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 78
Figure 5.2-3: Ecotect Screenshot Model Settings

Select the floor in the classroom model and under the Analysis Grid sidebar
choose ”Fit to selected objects” >> “Fit Grid in Current Axis”. Pick an offset of
850mm.

Figure 5.2-4: Ecotect Screenshot Model Settings.

As a results you should see the grid displayed in Ecotect.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 79
Figure 5.2-5: Ecotect Screenshot , visualization of the sensor grid.

Step 4: load the climate file for New-York

As explained in the Ecotect Tutorial, select Tool >> Covert Weather Data and
select the New-York climate file.

Step 5: export model into Daysim

To export your model into Daysim, select the export pane >> RADIANCE/
DAYSIM.

Figure 5.2-6: Ecotect Screenshot , export to RADIANCE/DAYSIM.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 80
Under the Floppy Disk sign to the right of the “Export Model Data” button, you
can select the directory and root file name under which you want to export your
model. Please save the file under
C:\Daysim\projects\Ex5.2TranslucentGlazing/NoSkylights.rad.

Figure 5.2-7: Ecotect Screenshot Export Model.

Select “Export Model Data to get to the ‘Radiance Calculation Wizard’ until you
reach the last window (step 8 out of 8).

Figure 5.2-8: Radiance Calculation Wizard Ecotect settings to export to Daysim.

Under output options, please select ‘DAYSIM header’, Auto-run DAYSIM, and
Generate Point Data (current 2D analysis grid). Select OK and Daysim should
open automatically and read in your Ecotect model. This might take a few
seconds. Once completed, your Daysim window should look as follows.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 81
Figure 5.2-8: Daysim window after classroom.eco has been successfully imported.

If you lok into the Daysim export directory,


C:\Daysim\projects\Ex5.2TranslucentGlazing, you will find that Ecotect has
created all files required for Daysim to run, i.e.
noskylights.rad Radiance material and geometry file for the
classroom
noskylights.pts Radiance sensor point file based on the
Ecotect sensor point grid that you have just
defined
noskylights.rif Radiance “rif” file
noskylights.bat Windows batch file that executes the “rif”
file
sky.rad Radiance sky description for the sky
condition you picked in the Ecotect menu
NewYorkCity.wea Daysim climate file for New York City
noskylights.hea Daysim project file
noskylights_materials.rad Radiance materials imported into Daysim
noskylights_geometry.rad Radiance geometry imported into Daysim

Daysim also automatically generates a sub-directory called tmp to store


temporary file and res to store the Daysim simulation output in.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 82
Figure 5.2-9: Ecotect export directory after the Ecotect model has been imported into Daysim.

Step 6: Set shading device settings

Once the Ecotect model has been imported into Daysim, select “Static Shading
Device” under the BUILDING menu, assuming that the classroom does not
feature any shading devices.

Step 7: Set material properties

You now need to assign a set of meaningful parameters to the materials in your
building model (see chapter 4.2) using the “Edit Material File” button. Table 5.2-1
shows you the unmodified Daysim material file. The material descriptions in the
file are the descriptions automatically assigned by Ecotect and turned
monochrome by the Radiance to Daysim converter. While you could start a
simulation without changing the materials, it is always recommended that you at
review the material properties in the Daysim to check their validity. Fortunately,
Ecotect uses intuitive material descriptors so that you do not have to spend any
time figuring out what e.g. material “global_1” might be.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 83
Table 5.2-1: Unmodified Daysim material file.
#####################################################
# Daysim Material File Daysim geometry file
#####################################################
# ...
# The scene geometry is stored in
# 'C:/DAYSIM/projects/Ex5.2TranslucentGlazing/rad/DoublePane_geometry.rad'.
# ...

void plastic DblBrickWall_Plastered 0 0 5 0.9650 0.9650 0.9650 0.0000 0.0000


void plastic CSOG_Tiles 0 0 5 0.7530 0.7530 0.7530 0.0000 0.0000
void plastic PlasterCeiling 0 0 5 0.9650 0.9650 0.9650 0.0200 0.0000
void glass ClearFloat_6mm_MF 0 0 3 0.7177 0.7177 0.7177 eight material
void plastic WoodenDoor 0 0 5 0.9806 0.9806 0.9806 0.0076 0.0000 descriptions
void plastic MetalDeck_Insulated 0 0 5 0.7530 0.7530 0.7530 0.0000 0.0000
void glass Translucent_Skylight 0 0 3 0.1360 0.1360 0.1360
void glass External_Camera 0 0 3 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

# ...

N Note: In case you are unsure, which objects in


your building model have a certain material
property, you can temporarily color the
material and press the “Update View” button.
E.g., to verify what materials in your building
models are “Translucent_Skylight”, modify the
material property to:
void plastic Translucent_Skylight 0 0 5 1 0
0 0 0.

The updated scene should look as shown to


the right.

Let’s go through the eight materials in the Daysim material file.

DblBrickWall_Plastered The classroom walls have a reflectivity of 96.5%


which is considerably higher than what one would
expect for a standard wall. IESNA recommends a
wall reflectivity of 60%. In a classroom you can
expect an even lower reflectivity as the wall will be
covered with posters, signs, boards, and shelves. In
this example, we will choose a purely diffuse
reflectivity of 50%:
void plastic DblBrickWall_Plastered 0 0 5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0

CSOG_Tiles The classroom floor has a floor reflectance of 75%


which is again much higher than recommended
values of around 30%. As the floor is tiled, we will
add a bit of specularity to the floor.
void plastic CSOG_Tiles 0 0 5 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.05 0

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 84
The specularity parameter in Radiance defines the
degree of specular reflectance of an other diffusely
reflecting materials. According to the Radiance
manual, “a specularity greater than 0.1 is usually
not realistic”.

PlasterCeiling The plasters ceiling under the horizontal side roofs


of the classroom has a reflectivity of 96% and a
specularity of 0.02. The reflectivity should be set to
a more realistic 80%.
void plastic PlasterCeiling 0 0 5 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.02 0

ClearFloat_6mm_MF Radiance allows you to correctly model a wide


range of advanced glazing systems. One useful tool
to generate Radiance descriptions of actual glazing
products, is the Windows program (see section 6.2).
One important aspcet to remembers when you
assign the visual transmission properties of a
glazing in Radiance, is that the “glass” material
modifier actually requires transmittance values for
the red, green, and blue channel. For more
information, please refer to the Rendering with
Radiance book. In this exercise, we will assume that
the side windows are standard double pane
glazings with a visual transmission of 72%
(transmittance 78%).
void glass ClearFloat_6mm_MF 0 0 3 0.785 0.785 0.785

WoodenDoor For the daylight simulation, you can treat the


wooden doors as part of walls.
void alias WoodenDoor DblBrickWall_Plastered

MetalDeck_Insulated According to the material descriptor. The pointed


roof is consists of an insulated metal deck.
Assuming that the ceiling itself is covered with white
drywall, assign a purely diffuse reflectivity of 75%.
void plastic MetalDeck_Insulated 0 0 5 0.75 0.75 0.75 0 0
External_Camera Ecotect assigns a Radiance material to the external
camera position. The exported Radiance scene
does actually not contain any object with the
material properties External_Camera. Therefore,
you can comment this material out or delete it from
the Daysim material file
# void glass External_Camera 0 0 3 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
Translucent_Skylight This is the key material in your model. You will run
the simulations twice, once with the skylight material
having the same properties as the remaing roof (
corresponds to the case without skylights) and once
with the properties of a translucent panel (with
skylights). This results in two variants:
Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 85
variant 1: void alias Translucent_Skylight MetalDeck_Insulated
variant 2: void transdata Kalwall_20
4 noop Kalwall_20refl.dat Kalwall_20rang.cal rang
0
6 0.41429 0.41429 0.41429 0.3 0.65517 1
The model for variant 2 corresponds to the model
for a translucent panel developed in a Radiance
#
validation study .

The resulting modified Daysim material file is shown below for the ‘NoSkylights’
version.

Table 5.2-2: Modified Daysim material file for the ‘NoSkylights’ version.
#####################################################
# Daysim Material File
#####################################################
void plastic DblBrickWall_Plastered 0 0 5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0
void plastic CSOG_Tiles 0 0 5 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.05 0
void plastic PlasterCeiling 0 0 5 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.02 0
void glass ClearFloat_6mm_MF 0 0 3 0.785 0.785 0.785
void alias WoodenDoor DblBrickWall_Plastered
void plastic MetalDeck_Insulated 0 0 5 0.75 0.75 0.75 0 0
void alias Translucent_Skylight MetalDeck_Insulated

Step 8: Run a daylight simulation

You can now start a raytracing simulation using the same simulation parameters
as in step 6 of design exercise 5.1 (Figure 5.1-18). After running the simulation,
go to ANALYSIS, select a minimum illuminance level of 500lux for the classroom
and click on “Start Daylighting Analysis”. DAYSIM is going to calculate the
daylight autonomy distribution for all 76 sensors in the sensor file. The
information is stored in a results html file as well as in a file called
res/NoSkylights.active.da.

Step 9: Display daylight autonomy distribution in Ecotect

You can now switch back to Ecotect and import


res/NoSkylights.active.da into Ecotect. To do so, go to ANALYSIS
GRID and select ‘Grid Management’. Go to Tab ‘Manage Grid Data’ and select
‘Import Data’.

#
Reinhart C F, Andersen M, “Development and validation of a Radiance model for a translucent panel”,
Energy and Buildings, in press.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 86
Figure 5.2-10: Ecotect screenshot: import Daysim daylight autonomy results.

Load the file res/NoSkylights.active.da (note that you have to set the file
extension to Daylight Autonomy(*.DA)). Your results should look somewhat like
the results presented below. Note that the daylight autonomy false color range in
the figure is 50% to 100%.

Figure 5.2-11: Daylight autonomy distribution in the classroom without skylights.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 87
Daysim actually generates three *.da files, *.active.da,
*.passive.da*.daylight_factor.da. The first file assumes that an ‘active’
user type operates the shading device, the second assumes that a passive user
is in control, control, and the last file displays the daylight factor distribution in the
classroom. Since in this case we assumed that no shading device was present in
the classroom, the results for active and passive users should be identical.

Step 10: Calculate variant with skylights

To calculate the variant with skylights, export your Ecotect model once more into
a project call ‘Skylights.rad‘. As a result you will get the same results as in step
with the exception that all files now have the root name ‘Skylights’. Edit your
material file as follows.

Table 5.2-3: Modified Daysim material file for the ‘Skylights’ version.
#####################################################
# Daysim Material File
#####################################################
void plastic DblBrickWall_Plastered 0 0 5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0
void plastic CSOG_Tiles 0 0 5 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.05 0
void plastic PlasterCeiling 0 0 5 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.02 0
void glass ClearFloat_6mm_MF 0 0 3 0.785 0.785 0.785
void alias WoodenDoor DblBrickWall_Plastered
void plastic MetalDeck_Insulated 0 0 5 0.75 0.75 0.75 0 0
void transdata Translucent_Skylight
4 noop Kalwall_20refl.dat Kalwall_20rang.cal rang
0
6 0.41429 0.41429 0.41429 0.3 0.65517 1

Rerun the simulations, carry out a daylighting analysis and import the new
daylight autonomy distribution into Ecotect. The figure below shows that - as
one would expect- the skylights lead to a significantly more even distribution in
the classroom throughout the year.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 88
Figure 5.2-8: Directory structure for the two variants

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 89
5.3 Exercise 3: Advanced shading device mode

This exercise teaches you how to use the “advanced shading device mode in
the BUILDING menu.

Your Task

You are involved in the facade design of an office building similar to the one in
design exercise 5.1. You are at a stage at which you want to investigate a
particular movable external venetian blind system.

Step 1: import rif file into Daysim

In this example, we will use the Radiance files that you exported from the
AutoCAD file from chapter4.1.3. A set of these files is stored under
C:\Daysim\projects/Ex5.3AdvancedBlindModel\ExternalFiles/. The difference
between these files and the files you generated under 4.1.3 is that the material
names have been abbreviated from
“C:\daysim\projects\Ex4.3ImportAutoCADFile\NRC_” to “NRC_ “ to make the
files easier to read. Another important difference is that in NRC.rif the line that
include NRC_lvenetianblinds.rad and NRC_lvenetianblindsbox.rad have been
deleted. The reason for this is, that you want to use the advanced shading model
option in this exercise (see below).

To import the files, open a new


Daysim project file under
C:\Daysim\projects/Ex5.3AdvancedBlindModel, load a climate file of your choice,
and go to the BUILDING >> Import #D Building Model. Pick a “import a Radiance
RIF file.

Figure 5.3-1: Import 3D Building Model.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 90
Pick NRC.rif from the ExternalFiles subdirectory.

Figure 5.3-2: Import 3D Building Model – RIF File.

As in design exercise 5.1, you are informed, that some materials are
automatically turned monochrome by the Radiance to Daysim converter.

Figure 5.3-3: Import 3D Building Model (Radiance to Daysim converter).

After the all Radiance files listed in NRC.rif have been successfully imported into
Daysim, your BUILDING menu should look as shown in Figure 5.3-4.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 91
Figure 5.3.4: BUILDING menu after NRC.rif has been successfully reported.

You will notice, that neither external venetian blinds nor the blind box are part of
the building model (see chapter 4.1.3). Te reason for this is, that the two
geometry files have been deleted from the NRC.rif file.

Step 2: set the advanced dynamic shading device mode

In this exercise, you want Daysim to calculate the interior illuminances in the
building model for the shading device opened and closed explicitly. This means
that instead of using the simplified blind model from design exercise 5.1, you
want to know the exact impact of a specific shading device the annual daylight
availability in your building model. In the shading device mode pull down menu
go to “Dynamic Shading Device Model (Advanced)”. As shown below, choose
NRC_lvenetianblindsbox.rad for the blinds opened case and
NRC_lvenetianblinds.rad for the blinds closed case. You can now proceed with
the simulation as under design exercise 5.1. Daysim will calculate two sets of
daylighting coefficients, one for the case of the building model plus
NRC_lvenetianblindsbox.rad and the other for the case of the building model
including NRC_lvenetianblinds.rad .

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 92
Figure 5.3.4: BUILDING menu after the Dynamic Shading Device mode has been enabled.

Step 3: Run a daylight simulation

You can now start a raytracing simulation. After running the simulation you can
carry out a similar analysis as in design exercise 5.1.

N Note: In this case you will need to set your simulation parameters higher, as
venetian blinds are involved. A suitable set of simulation parameters is given
below (see also section 2.1.4).
ambient ambient ambient ambient ambient direct direct
bounces division sampling accuracy resolution threshold sampling
7 1500 100 0.1 300 0 0

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 93
5.4 Exercise 4: Importing Daysim Results into TRNSYS
(written by Caroline Hoffmann)

This chapter will show you how to import Daysim simulation results into the
TRNSYS simulation environment.

Your Task

You are involved in the facade design of an office building similar to the one in
design exercise 5.1. You have carried out a daylighting analysis of a particular
facade variant using Daysim and now you want to complement your lighting
energy analysis with a thermal analysis using the TRNSYS simulation
environment.

What is TRNSYS?

TRNSYS (Transient Systems Simulation program) is a dynamic simulation environment,


which can be used to model the energy flows of multi-zone buildings and solar or other energy
related systems over a period of time (http://sel.me.wisc.edu/trnsys/). The program was initially
developed at the Solar Energy Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA in 1974
and is being used and further developed by practitioners and researchers alike (e.g. CSTB, Centre
Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment, http://evl.cstb.fr, Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH,
www.transsolar.com, and Thermal Energy System Specialists, www.tess-inc.com). The user
community has traditionally focused on the analysis of solar systems (solar thermal and
photovoltaic systems), low energy buildings and HVAC systems.

Systems simulated in TRNSYS are represented as an assembly of


components (e.g. the building, collector, the hot water storage tank etc.) and
subroutines to read in weather data or other time dependent functions such as
the internal gains file (*.intgain.csv) generate by DAYSIM. TRNSYS features
several graphical user interfaces which facilitate the use of the program, for
5 6
example IISiBat and PreBid , which are used in the following description of
importing Daysim Results into TRNSYS.

What are the benefits of combining Daysim with TRNSYS results?

In order to analyse the thermal behaviour of an office in a detailed way,


input variables such as the use of blinds and electric lighting are important.
Within a building simulation the use of blinds and of electric lighting may be
modelled in dependence of the amount of solar radiation impinging on the
façade. As described earlier in this tutorial, however, this is just half the truth,
because office occupants do not behave in the same predictable manner as
automated controls do. Combining Daysim results with a TRNSYS simulation

5
IISiBat Version 3.0.0.26, CSTB – Sophia Antipolis, France: IISiBat is a graphical user interface and at the
same time a simulation environment. In IISiBat the different components of a system can be joined
together, the input datafile for TRNSYS is written and the simulation can be started.
6
PreBid Version 5.0.36, TRANSSOLAR Energietechnik – Stuttgart, Germany.
Prebid is a graphical interface to define a multizone building and import it as a component to IISiBat

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 94
allows you to make the analysis of the thermal behaviour of an office room much
more realistic.

Step 1: Preparing the Files for TRNSYS

Preparations and recommendations:


• Make sure, that your model in RADIANCE and the building model in TRNSYS
have identical orientations (the orientation in TRNSYS is defined in the
radiation processor, Type16).
• Use the same test reference year, starting hour, longitude and latitude in both
simulation programs.
• The preparation of weather data files from METEONORM into a format
compatible for Daysim is explained in chapter 6.1.

1. Assuming that you have successfully run a Daysim simulation of your


building / room your folder “res” in your Project in Daysim should contain the
files shown below. For the following procedure you will need the *.intgain.csv
file.

Figure 5.4-1: Explorer screenshot of the “res”.

What is the Daysim internal gains output file?


Whenever you start a daylighting analysis in the Daysim ANALYSIS menu,
Daysim automatically generates an internal gains file (*.intgain.cvs) which is
stored in your “res” subdirectory. The file contains detailed annual simulation
results in one-hour time steps. The format of the file is described in Appendix
A. Please note that the file contains the individual internal gains in the
investigated zone for the last user type investigated. This means that if you
use a “mix of both” for their blind or lighting control, the sum of all hourly
electric lighting uses given in the *intgain.cvs file might not correspond to the
annual electric lighting use given in the Daysim simulation report, as the
results will be a mean of energy uses for different users.
An example publication in which Daysim results have been used in a TRNSYS
simulation is given in Simonella 2003. A more rigorous approach of using
Lightswitch user behavior patterns in whole building simulation software is
described under Bourgeois 2004.

Further Reading
Simonella A, Franceschet A, De Bleecker H, and Zobec M. Carbon Emissions Calculation for
Non-Residential Buildings: Integration of Daylighting Analysis in Dynamic Energy Simulation

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 95
Software. Conf. Proceedings of the DAME-BC, pp 1-10, Nov 13-14 2003 in Ispra, Italy.
Bourgeois D, Reinhart C F, Hand J, MacDonald I, “Adding sub-hourly occupancy prediction,
occupancy-sensing control and manual environmental control to whole-building energy
simulation”, Proceedings of esim 2004, pp. 119-126, Vancouver, Canada, June 2004.

2. To make the *.intgain.csv file readable for TRNSYS follow the next steps:
• Open the file in a text editor such as TextPad and replace all “,” by “blanks”
Save the file as an *.txt document (replace the *.csv ending by *.txt)

As a comma-separated file Without comma-separation

• Open the file in Excel. There will be an assistant for the conversion of the
*.txt document into excel.
First step: click radio-button “separated”, press “continue”…
Second step: select “tabs” and “blanks” as separators for the text,
“continue…
Third step: mark all columns (also those only visible by moving the bar
marked with the arrow to the right) and select the radio button “text”.

Third step Result for the last column, after


replacing “.” by “,”

• Replace in the last column the “.” By “,” (the result should look like above
right side)
• Click the right button of your mouse and select the menu “format cells”.
Define the column as the following screen shot indicates:

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 96
Definition of the last column Result for the last column

• Save your file as a *.prn file (ignore the warnings from excel) and open it
again in your text editor.
• Replace in the last column the “,” by “.” and save it finally as a *.txt file. Your
file should look as shown in Figure 5.4-2.

Figure 5.4-2: *.txt file ready for the import to TRNSYS.

Step 2: Integration into the TRNSYS environment

All three results of Daysim (status of electric lighting, blinds, occupancy) can be
integrated into a TRNSYS simulation. The following text will explain the
procedure for the “blinds” in a detailed way, the other results can be treated
similar.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 97
„Blinds“

„Daysim part“ in
the model

Figure 5.4-3: Example TRNSYS environment in IISiBat

1. Prepare the function for the blinds in PreBid by choosing an “external


shading factor” and linking it with an input named here “YSS”. This ensures
that the shading device will be run according to the hourly schedule created
by Daysim (Figure 5.4-4).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 98
Figure 5.4-4: External shading factor as an Input named “YSS”

The “YSS” input should be visible in the project manager of PreBid

Figure 5.4-5: Inputs in the project manager of PreBid

2. As a device to read the Daysim-file a “Type 9d” data reader should be


implemented in the model. Since it is the second data reader (beside the
weather data reader) ensure, that the logical unit differs from that one of the
first data reader. In the Parameter file the “Number of values to read” should

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 99
be indicated (“3” if all the Daysim-schedules should be used) and the
“Header Lines to Skip” (“5”).
3. The format specifications for the file created should correspond to Figure 5.4-
6, but you should always double-check using the “edit” function.

Don’t read 30 blanks read 5 numbers, the last 3 behind the “.”

(30x,F5.3,5x,F5.3,9x,F6.3)

Figure 5.4-6: The format specifications for the Daysim-file (above). As an example the
“explanation” for the first two format specifications (below)

4. Import a “Controller Type2d” to your project. and provide it with the following
information.
• The “0.1” means that the blinds are lowered (controller is “on”) with values
over 0.1, the “0.01” means that the blinds are retraced when the value is
smaller than 0.01.
Please check, that those numbers are adapted (if necessary) to your Daysim-file.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 100
Figure 5.4-7: Controller Type2d

5. Now the blinds are operated, but values like “0.65” (not 1, not 0) are not
taken into account. Therefore an equation should be implemented (Figure
5.4-8).

Figure 5.4-8: Example for equation

It says now that the result for the blinds (“res_b”) is the outcome of the controller
(“reg_b”) multiplied with the schedule of daysim in the data reader (“blinds”).

6. In order to be correctly read by TRNSYS the items have to be connected as


shown in Figure 5.4-9.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 101
res_b –> YSS
(INPUT)

Output control
function –> input
control function

Output 2 –> upper


input value
Res_b –> data reader
(not necessary but
advisable for checking the

Output control
Output 2 –> blinds function –> reg_b

Figure 5.4-9: Connection of the different items in IISiBat

7. To check the results TRNSYS the outcome of the equation should be printed
in a data reader. If everything was done correctly the results for the blinds
should exhibit the same consistency between internal solar gains and blind
status as those in Figure 5.4-10.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 102
Blinds closed: most solar radiation is
rejected from the office.
Blinds opened : most
solar radiation enters the
office.

Figure 5.4-10: Example TRNSYS simulations results printed by the data reader.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 103
6 Miscellaneous

This chapter covers various topics that might be useful from links and information on
how to get started using Radiance to importing EnergyPlus and METEONORM climate
data.

6.1 Radiance Basics

As explained in chapter 2, Daysim is using the Radiance backward raytracer as


simulation engine for daylight calculations. While this document concentrates on the use
of Daysim for sustainable design, the complementary use of Radiance – e.g. for scene
visualizations, glare investigations, and falsecolor renderings should always be
considered as well. There are numerous very useful information on Radiance available
on the web. Examples are:
http://www.radiance-online.org
http://radsite.lbl.gov/
http://radsite.lbl.gov/deskrad/
http://www.pab-opto.de/

The following section provides some further guidance how to install Radiance on
your computer. Depending on your choice of operating system, 6.1.1 or 6.1.2 apply.

6.1.1 Radiance under Windows


TM
A number of Windows based simulation interface for Radiance exist. Some of
them are free (and generally more cumbersome to use) while others are commercial.
Some examples are listed in the following:
• ADELINE: Integrated lighting design computer tool. Both natural and electrical
lighting problems can be solved, in simple rooms or the most complex spaces
(http://www.ibp.fhg.de/wt/adeline/).
• Desktop Radiance: Windows 95/98/NT software package that integrates the
Radiance Synthetic Imaging System with AutoCAD Release 14. Desktop
Radiance includes libraries of materials, glazings, luminaires and furnishings so
you can quickly create realistic lighting models. Free download under
http://radsite.lbl.gov/deskrad/download.htm.
• Ecotect: Selected CAD tool such as Ecotect come with an additional simulation
interface for the Desktop Radiance binaries
(http://www.squ1.com/index.php?http://www.squ1.com/ecotect/ecotect-
home.html).
• RAYFRONT: platform independent toolkit that provides a graphical user
interface to the lighting simulation software Radiance. It can be operated as an
extension to AutoCAD (http://www.schorsch.com/rayfront/).

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 104
6.1.2 Radiance und Linux/Unix
To install Radiance under Linux/Unix operating systems, please download the
latest Radiance release from http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance/ and follow the installation
instructions on the web site. Using Radiance under a Linux/Unix operating system has
the advantage of working under a stable simulation environment and will yield improved
simulation times compared to working under a Windows system. On the flipside, getting
familiar with a Linux/Unix system can initially be quite time consuming.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 105
6.2 Importing EnergyPlus climate files (*.epw)

This section provides a brief overview on the EnergyPlus and Daysim climate file
format and on how to import EnergyPlus climate files into Daysim.

EPW climate files for over 660 locations worldwide can be downloaded free of
charge from the US Department of Energy website
http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/weatherdata.html. A description of the
file format is available from the web site. Table 6.2.-1 shows the beginning of the EPW
file for Ottawa, Canada. Marked in yellow are the information within the file header and
main body that are automatically extracted by Daysim for an annual daylight simulation
namely name of site, time and date, latitude, longitude, altitude, time zone, direct ,and
diffuse irradiances.

Table 6.2-1: EPW file for Ottawa, Canada. The time step equals 1 hour.
LOCATION, Ottawa Int'l,ON,CAN,WYEC2-B-04772,716280,45.32,-75.67,-5.0,114.0
DESIGN CONDITIONS,1,Canada Climate Design Data 2001 ASHRAE Handbook,HEATING,-24.8,-22.2,10,8.8,7.7,11.9,-8.5,10.3,-
9.3,3.9,290,4.5,250,33,-
28.4,1.5,2.8,COOLING,30.1,21.3,28.5,20.5,26.8,19.5,22.8,28,21.8,26.4,20.8,25.3,21.1,16,25.5,20.2,15.1,24.6,19.2,14.2,23.7,10.3
TYPICAL/EXTREME PERIODS,6,Summer - Week Nearest Max Temperature For Period,Extreme,7/13,7/19,Summer - Week Nearest
Average Temperature For Period,Typical,6/29,7/ 5,Winter - Week Nearest Min Temperature For Period,Extreme,1/27,2/ 2,Winter - Week
Nearest Average Temperature For Period,Typical,1/20,1/26,Autumn - Week Nearest Average Temperature For
Period,Typical,10/13,10/19,Spring - Week Nearest Average Temperature For Period,Typical,4/19,4/25
GROUND TEMPERATURES,3,.5,,,,-7.40,-8.69,-6.41,-2.84,6.50,13.70,18.56,20.04,17.52,11.93,4.45,-2.48,2,,,,-2.67,-4.96,-4.49,-
2.60,3.65,9.30,13.81,16.24,15.72,12.55,7.40,1.94,4,,,,1.25,-1.10,-1.62,-0.91,2.63,6.43,9.92,12.35,12.92,11.54,8.52,4.82
HOLIDAYS/DAYLIGHT SAVINGS,No,0,0,0
COMMENTS 1,WYEC2-Canadian Weather year for Energy Calculations (CWEC) -- WMO#716280
COMMENTS 2, -- Ground temps produced with a standard soil diffusivity of 2.3225760E-03 {m**2/day}
DATA PERIODS,1,1,Data,Sunday, 1/ 1,12/31
1966,1,1,1,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9_____A_A__*A___________*,0.3,1.8,84,99420,0,9999,286,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,225,5.3,10,10,11.3,300,0,9
99999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,2,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9_____A_A__*A___________*,3.9,0.9,81,99200,0,9999,290,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,248,4.4,9,8,12.9,300,0,999
999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,3,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9_____A_A__*A___________*,6.1,2.0,75,99080,0,9999,315,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,270,3.9,10,10,24.1,300,0,9
99999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,4,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9_____A_A__*A___________*,6.8,1.4,68,99070,0,9999,318,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,270,6.7,10,10,25.0,360,0,9
99999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,5,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9_____A_A__*A___________*,6.7,0.0,62,99110,0,9999,307,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,270,5.0,10,9,25.0,360,0,99
9999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,6,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9_____A_A__*A___________*,6.5,1.5,56,99150,0,9999,271,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,270,6.4,0,0,25.0,7777,0,99
9999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,7,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9__________*____________*,3.3,2.8,63,99330,0,9999,267,0,0,0,0,0,0,999900,270,5.0,2,2,25.0,7777,0,999
999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,8,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9__________*____________*,2.2,2.8,68,99400,4,9999,267,0,0,6,700,0,700,999900,248,3.9,4,4,32.2,7777,
0,999999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,9,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9__________*____________*,2.8,2.2,68,99500,142,9999,265,83,367,46,8100,21600,5900,999900,248,5.8,
2,2,32.2,7777,0,999999999,0,0.0000,0,0
1966,1,1,10,60,__Q_M_Q_Q_Q_9__________*____________*,3.3,2.2,66,99590,314,9999,274,208,426,113,22800,38900,14100,999900,2
48,5.8,5,5,32.2,7777,0,999999999,0,0.0000,0,0
...

Table 6.2-2 shows the resulting Daysim weather file.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 106
Table 6.2-1: Daysim WEA file for Ottawa, Canada. The time step equals 1 hour.
place Ottawa Int'l_CAN
latitude 45.32
longitude 75.67
time_zone 75
site_elevation 114.0
weather_data_file_units 1
1 1 0.500 0 0
1 1 1.500 0 0
1 1 2.500 0 0
1 1 3.500 0 0
1 1 4.500 0 0
1 1 5.500 0 0
1 1 6.500 0 0
1 1 7.500 0 6
1 1 8.500 367 46
1 1 9.500 426 113
...

A time step of 1 hour which is the standard for annual thermal simulations can be too
large for an annual daylight simulation if occupant use of lighting and shading controls
under varying sky conditions are investigated. The reason is that for a thermal
-2
simulation it does not really matter whether an hourly mean solar gain of 600Wm was
-2 -2
reached by 30 minutes of 200 Wm (cloudy sky) followed by 30 minutes of 1000 Wm
-2
(sunny sky) or a constant intermediate sky of 600 Wm . For a daylight simulation, these
differences can make a large different, as the sunny sky might have cause glare at a
work place (with a subsequent closing of the blinds for the rest of the day) whereas the
cloudy sky might have cause the electric lighting to be switched on. To be able to
investigate interior daylight levels at a higher resolution than one hour, Daysim features
a stochastic autocorrelation that generates time series of down to one minute time steps
of direct and diffuse irradiances. Table 6.2-3 shows a Daysim weather file for a 5 minute
time step that has been generated based on the file shown in 6.2-2.

Table 6.2-2: Daysim WEA file for Ottawa, Canada. The time step equals 1 hour.
place Ottawa Int'l_CAN
latitude 45.32
longitude 75.67
time_zone 75
site_elevation 114.0
weather_data_file_units 1
1 1 0.042 0 0
1 1 0.125 0 0
1 1 0.208 0 0
1 1 0.292 0 0
1 1 0.375 0 0
1 1 0.458 0 0
1 1 0.542 0 0
1 1 0.625 0 0
1 1 0.708 0 0
...
1 1 8.042 368 17
1 1 8.125 308 24
1 1 8.208 269 32
1 1 8.292 293 37
1 1 8.375 333 41
1 1 8.458 342 47
1 1 8.542 365 51
1 1 8.625 386 55
1 1 8.708 401 58
1 1 8.792 435 60
1 1 8.875 448 63
1 1 8.958 457 67
...

Further reading
Walkenhorst O, Luther J, Reinhart C F, Timmer J, “Dynamic annual daylight simulations based on one-hour
and one-minute means of irradiance data.” Solar Energy, 72:5 pp. 385-395, 2002.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 107
6.3 Importing METEONORM Data into Daysim
(by Caroline Hoffmann)

The following step-by-step instruction describes how to annual solar radiation data
from the global meteorological database for solar energy and applied meteorology,
METEONORM (http://www.meteotest.ch/) into Daysim.

1. Generate weather data in METEONORM. File format: month, day of month,


hour, direct horizontal radiation diffuse horizontal radiation,
2. Open file in Excel as „text“
rd
3. Convert all columns into numbers; save 3 column with hour data in format
0,000
4. Save file as ”.txt” file (with tabs)
5. open file in a text editor such as TextPad
6. Search/replace „,“ in „.“ (if necessary)
7. Search/replace tabs with blanks

Important: enter blank “ “

8. Add Daysim header information (see below)


9. Save file as Unix file with the extension “*.wea”

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 108
Important: add Daysim header

*.wea
10. Import file into Daysim

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 109
Appendix A: Overview of DAYSIM Subprograms and I/O Files

Figure B-1 provides an overview of the relationships between the individual


DAYSIM subprograms and their input and output files. Table A-1 provides
information on the file formats.

Figure A-1: Overview of DAYSIM Subprograms and their input and output files.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 110
Table A-1: Format of the DAYSIM Input/Output Files
File Type File File Description & Format
Extension
Windows batch file bat batch file that allows to run a DAYSIM simulation outside of the GUI
daylight autonomy da contains the daylight autonomies for the sensors specified in the
output file sensor file depending on the chosen minimum illuminance level, the
work plane of the occupant, and the blind control strategy.
daylight coefficient file dc contains a complete set of daylight coefficients for the sensors
specified in the sensor file. The number of lines corresponds to the
number of sensors. Within a line the format is as follows:
• column 1-145: 145 diffuse daylight coefficients according
to Tregenza division of the celestial hemisphere.
• column 146-148: 3 ground daylight coefficients
• column 149- 213: 65 direct daylight coefficients. This
number may vary depending on the latitude of the
investigated building (see also Appendix B)
daylight factor output df contains the daylight factors for the sensors specified in the sensor
file file
glare profile dir contains the appearance of glare for the different blind settings for
all time steps of the year specified in the DAYSIM climate file. This
file is only created if at least two blind settings are considered. The
file format is:
• column 1-3: month, day, hour
• column 4: direct normal irradiance
• column 5: diffuse horizontal irradiance
• column 6 &7: appearance of direct glare for blind setting 1
and 2 (0=no no direct sunlight on the work plane/ 1=direct
sunlight on the work plane)
electric lighting use file el contain the predicted electric lighting zone at the work plane
EnergyPlus weather epw contains a large number of hourly mean weather values for a
data file building site. The file format is described under:
www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/pdfs/weatherdatainformation.pdf
annual illuminance ill contains the illuminances for all the sensors specified in the sensor
profile file for all time steps of the year specified in the DAYSIM climate file.
The format of the file is as follows:
• column 1-3: month, day, hour
• column 4-(4+ # of points): illuminances at the individual
sensors
project header file hea contains all information of the DAYSIM project. All keywords in the
header file are described in the DAYSIM manual.
Linux script file job shell script that runs a DAYSIM simulation outside of the GUI
DAYSIM climate file wea contains annual direct and diffuse irradiance data of the building
site. This information can be directly imported using the epw2wea
converter from EnergyPlus weather data. ds_shortterm can read in
an hourly mean DAYSIM climate file and convert it into a smaller
time step climate file. The file format is as follows:
• Row 1 to 6: header file information
• column 1-3: month, day, hour
• column 4: direct normal irradiance
• column 5: diffuse horizontal irradiance
internal gains file for intgain.csv coma separated value (csv) file for usage with Excel or a thermal
coupling with thermal simulation program. The file contains hourly mean values of
simulations occupancy (0 occupant absent, 1 occupant present)
blind setting (0 = blinds up; 1= blinds down)
electric lighting load (W/area)

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 111
Appendix B: Daylight Coefficient File Format in Daysim

As explained in Appendix A, each line in a Daysim daylight coefficient file corresponds


to a complete set of daylight coefficients for a particular sensor. This Appendix
describes the daylight coefficients used by Daysim, i.e. the content of an individual line
in a daylight coefficient file.
The concept of daylight coefficients has been introduced in section 2.1.5. Again,
the underlying idea is to theoretically divide the celestial hemisphere into disjoint sky
patches. Afterwards, the contribution to the total illuminance at a point in a building is
calculated for each sky patch individually. The decisive advantage of the daylight
coefficient methods over other dynamic daylight simulation methods is that a set of
daylight coefficients for a given point in a building merely depend on the building
geometry, material characteristics and the division of the surrounding sky and ground
into disjoint segments. Daylight coefficients are independent of any actual celestial sky
luminance distribution. Hence, the building characteristics and the surrounding sky
conditions are separated. A complete set of daylight, DCa, coefficients can be coupled
with an arbitrary sky luminance distribution, Lα, with α =1...N, by a simple linear
superposition to calculate the total illuminance E(x) at x:
N
E(x)= ∑ DCα (x)Lα ∆Sα
α =1

Daylight Coefficients in DAYSIM

The philosophy behind the daylight coefficient calculation in DAYSIM is to reduce the
number of raytracing runs necessary to calculate a complete set of daylight coefficients
and still correctly model all light rays which might contribute to the total illuminance at a
point. To this end, DAYSIM distinguishes between contributions from the diffuse
daylight, ground reflections and direct sunlight:
145 3 65
E(x)= ∑ DCdiffuse
α (x)Ldiffuse
α ∆Sdiffuse
α + ∑ DCground
α (x)Lground
α ∆Sground
α + ∑ DCdirect
α (x)Ldirect
α ∆Sdirect
α
α=1 α=1 α=1
1 4444244443 1 4444244443 1 444424444 3
diffuse daylight ground reflection direct sunlight

The celestial hemisphere is divided into 145 disjoint sky segments, Sd1, ..., Sd145,
according to the Tregenza division for the diffuse daylight coefficients. These sky
segments completely cover the celestial hemisphere so that no rays that hit the
hemisphere are discarded or double counted.
To include contributions to the indoor illuminance due to external ground
reflections, three additional ground daylight coefficients have been introduced for
negative solar altitudes. The three ground segments,Sg1 ... Sg3, correspond to altitudes
o o o o o o
from 0 to -10 , -10 to -30 and -30 to -90 . Table B-1 and Figure B-1 show the partition
of the celestial and ground hemispheres into diffuse and ground sky segments.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 112
Figure B-1: Division of the celestial (top view) and ground (bottom view) hemispheres into 145 diffuse and
3 ground sky segments.
o
Table B-1: azimuth and altitude angles [ ] of the center of the sky patches pertaining to the diffuse and
o
ground daylight coefficients. In accordance with the Radiance coordinate system, an altitude of 90
o o o
corresponds to zenith; an azimuth of 0 is pointing South, -90 points East and +90 points West.
Type Daylight
o o
coefficient index altitude [ ] azimuth [ ]
diffuse 1 6 -96
2 6 -108
...
30 6 -84
31 18 -96
32 18 -108
...
60 18 -84
61 30 -97.5
62 30 -112.5
...
84 30 -82.5
85 42
86 42
...
108 42
109 54
110 54
...
126 54
127 66
128 66
...
138 66
139 78
140 78
...
144 78
145 90
o o o o
ground 146 altitude ∈ [0 , -10 [ azimuth ∈ [0 , 360 ]
o o o o
147 altitude ∈ [-10 , -30 [ azimuth ∈ [0 , 360 ]
o o o o
148 altitude ∈ [-30 , -90 ] azimuth ∈ [0 , 360 ]

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 113
Contributions from direct sunlight are modeled by some 65 representative sun
positions which are a subset of all possible sun positions throughout the year. Figure B-
2 shows all annual hourly mean sun positions (dotted lines) for Freiburg, Germany,
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(47.979 N) together with the 65 representative sun positions (crosses) for which direct
daylight coefficients are calculated. The representative sun positions correspond to the
st
actual sun positions on all full hours solar time for the 21 of December, February,
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March, April and June at which the sun is above the horizon . Accordingly, the four
direct daylight coefficients surrounded by the box in Figure 2-8 correspond to the actual
st st
sun positions in Freiburg on June 21 and April/August 21 at 13.00 and 14.00 solar
time. At sunrise and sunset the direct daylight coefficient correspond to the solar time
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with a solar altitude of 2 so that low solar altitudes can be correctly modeled. The total
number of direct daylight coefficients is site dependent and varies from 61 to 65 for
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latitudes below 70 . Near the poles the number decreases down to 48.

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Figure B-2: The dotted lines mark all annual hourly mean sun positions for Freiburg, Germany (47.979 N);
the crosses mark the 65 representative sun positions for which direct daylight coefficients are calculated.
The box in the upper part of the figure surrounds four representative sun positions which correspond to
st st
actual sun positions at 13.00 and 14.00 solar time on June 21 and April/August 21 .

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These sun positions have been generically chosen, as they generate an evenly spaced
st
grid across all possible sun positions throughout the year for median latitudes. The 21 of
st
January/November and the 21 of May/July are not calculated since these additional direct
daylight coefficients would not significantly increase the simulation accuracy whereas their
calculation would increase the required raytracing simulation times by roughly 40%.

Tutorial on the Use of Daysim/Radiance Simulations for Building Design – version: Aug-06 Page 114