Object Shading

The object shading section affords users the ability to place near-field objects next to their PV array so that their shading impacts can be properly modeled. Users can create rectangular prisms that can potentially represent a near-field tree/tree line, building, power pole, or any number of other objects (multiple blocks could be used to construct a more complex object, if need be). Adding objects to the DC field can be achieved by either clicking the Add Objects button (located on the Objects tab of the DC Field page) or clicking the Advanced 3D Design button (located in the top right corner of either the Field tab or the Objects tab section of the DC Field page).

Once you launch the Advanced 3D Design tool, a ground object gets automatically added to lie underneath the PV array. The ground object will really only have an impact on shading losses in scenarios with high slope.

The object shading feature can only be utilized in tandem with the 3D shading algorithm (shading algorithms are located under the Field tab of the DC Field page in the Block Builder)

Once saved, the advanced editor can be accessed from any of the following places:

  1. Under the “Field” tab in the DC Field section of the prediction, the “Advanced 3D Design” button can be used to enter the editor

2. In the same section, under the “Objects” tab, the editor can be accessed when there are not yet objects added to the prediction:


Advanced 3D Design Editor

Below is the view when first entering the 3D Advanced Design editor. From this screen, you are able to add objects, adjust views zoom in and out, and enter the shade simulation panel:

In order to add a new object, click the “Add New Object” button in the left panel as shown in the above screen capture.

Adding and Editing Objects

The above will be shown upon clicking “Add New Object”

Key Terms

Object Label refers to the name of the object being created


Dimension running parallel to the DC field


Dimension from the bottom to the top of the object


Dimension running perpendicular to the DC field


Side of field on which the object is located (For northern hemisphere, North is Side 1 and numbers increase clockwise; for southern hemisphere, South is Side 1)


Distance between the object face closest to the field and the center of the PV table/row on the designated origin side.


Distance from the ground to the bottom of the object


Distance, measured parallel to the field, that the object is shifted away from the center of the given origin side of the DC field. (For sides 1 and 3, positive shift moves the object east; For sides 2 and 4, positive shift moves the object south; This is opposite in the southern hemisphere)


Toggles the slope of the object. When set to “ON” the object will match the angle of the slope. When toggled to “OFF” the object will retain it’s default angle


In order to exit the current object to return to the previous screen on the left panel, click the “x” to the right of “Shade Object Details”. This will allow the user to add more objects by clicking the “Add Object” text as shown below

Note that once an object is added, the ground object is also added to the left panel, which can be edited similarly to standard shade objects


Shade Simulation

The “Advanced 3D Design” feature includes the ability to visually simulate the shade of objects created at any given time of year. This can be accessed by selecting the “play” icon on the left panel, as shown below:

Upon clicking “Load Data” PlantPredict will load sun shade data into the advanced viewer

The sliders will allow you to adjust the sun position for any given data to be modeled on the DC Field in the Advanced 3D Design Viewer. Alternatively, the “Run” button will allow the user to observe the shadows cast by objects through the year. Specific dates can be input into the date field (Labelled “Sun Position”)