Architecture and Planning ETDs


Edward Mazria

Publication Date



World-wide dwindling energy resources have provided the incentive to use solar energy systems to supply a major portion of a building’s heating requirements. In order to understand and be responsive to the effects of the sun on the location and design of solar systems, it is necessary to know at any moment the sun's position in the sky and energy intensity on a given surface. The Cylindrical sun chart, developed in this thesis, provides a simple and convenient way to accurately predict the sun's movement across the sky from any point in the continental United States. By plotting obstructions directly on the sun chart, the times that direct sunlight is blocked from reaching any point on a site can be determined. This information is necessary in order to locate buildings, outdoor spaces, and solar collectors. To size a solar heating system, the solar intensity striking a collecting surface on a clear day must be determined. The process necessary to compute solar intensities requires the use of complicated mathematical formulas which are beyond the scope of the architect, builder, or owner-builder. To simplify the calculation of solar intensities, a graphic solar radiation calculator is included for use with the sun charts. The calculator has the capability of determining the solar intensity striking a surface, at any tilt, facing in any direction, anywhere in the continental United States.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Edith Ann Cherry

Second Committee Member

Richard Staab Nordhaus

Third Committee Member

Peter Gunn Montague

Included in

Architecture Commons