Any scientific analysis is only as accurate as the least accurate input. Gross errors in structure orientation, solar system sizing, collector placement, component specification, and scientific studies can result when designers/engineers fail to accurately assess shading patterns at proposed building/ecological sites.
By combining the site-specific shading data of the Solar Pathfinder with the published global weather data, an accurate solar site analysis can be made. This insolation data, on an hourly and monthly basis, can then be applied to architectural, engineering, solar, and ecological applications. All of this data is integrated in the Solar Pathfinder Assistant software, sold separately.
The Solar Pathfinder is non-electronic. Simple and straight-forward in its engineering, it requires no special skills or technical know-how. One simple tracing does the job and becomes the permanent record for the solar data. When properly cared for, the unit will give the user years of accurate site analysis.
The Solar Pathfinder uses a highly polished, transparent, convex plastic dome to give a panoramic view of the entire site. All the trees, buildings or other obstacles to the sun are plainly visible as reflections on the surface of the dome. The sunpath diagram can be seen through the transparent dome at the same time.
Because the Solar Pathfinder works on a reflective principle rather than actually showing shadows, it can be used anytime of the day, anytime of the year, in either cloudy or clear weather. The actual position of the sun at the time of the solar site analysis is irrelevant. In fact, the unit is easier to use in the absence of direct sunlight. It could even be used on a moonlit night.