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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Efficient Computation Of Surface Sunlit Fractions In Urban-Scale Building Modeling Using Ray-Tracing Techniques


For building energy simulation at an urban-scale, solar shading calculations can be significantly slow when a large number of shading surfaces are considered in the solar shading calculations, due to the computational complexity of the geometry calculations. We developed a new algorithm using the ray-tracing technique to pre-calculate the sunlit fractions of all exterior surfaces in an urban district altogether. The ray tracing-based calculator is accelerated using General Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs) and the Optix ray tracing library, and provides an efficient, flexible, and robust means for computing the sunlit fraction of large numbers of urban surfaces of complex geometries.

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