Conference paper

Assessing Solar Bidirectional Light Distribution with the Heliodome

A large variety of angularly selective fenestration systems has been developed in the past two decades and shows great potential in improving visual comfort while reducing energy consumption, especially when combined with spectrally selective properties. Such systems include light-redirecting glazing, shading, film coatings, reflectors and others. To assess the potential of these systems accurately and reliably, one needs to be able to predict in detail how they modify the energy, direction, and spectral make-up of solar radiation. For this assessment, spectral (wavelength-dependent) Bidirectional Transmission or Reflection Distribution Functions are used, usually referred to as BTDFs or BRDFs, or more generally BSDFs for Scattering Functions. To enable a faster, cheaper, and continuous investigation of these properties over most of the solar spectrum (400 to 1700 nm), an innovative goniospectrometric instrument has been created, relying on digital imaging, on light collection by an ellipsoidal half-transparent mirror, and on a filtering method in the visible range to generate spectral radiometric BSDFs. This so-called Heliodome instrument is described in this paper. It enables the performance of new fenestration technologies to be assessed in terms of lighting and solar gains management potential. Its major innovations compared to other devices are to enable an analysis of both the visible and the near-infrared portions of the solar spectrum, to provide spectral as well as photometric light distribution data, and to ensure a continuous investigation of the transmitted or reflected light in a time-efficient way.

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