Determining how much sunlight an area receives

04-07-2021 07:31 PM
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New Contributor II

Hello, I am working on a site suitability analysis to determine the ideal location to build a community garden in a town, and one of the criteria I am using is access to sunlight (at least 5 hours per day on average). I was having trouble finding a way to determine how much sunlight the parcels in my analysis receive and was wondering if there is a certain tool for this in ArcGIS Pro. I have tried the hillshade tool, with little luck. Are there any methods I could use to find this? 

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3 Replies
Esri Contributor

Maybe the Solar Radiation toolset might be of use?

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New Contributor II
You can use sun shadow frequency and sun shadow volume!

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Frequent Contributor III

Well an area with no trees to the east, south, or north is the ideal location.  What you would want to do it determine the heights of the trees then use geometry to determine the length of the shadows.  If your in the northern hemisphere the length will be greatest on December 21.

However do bother trying to do analysis on how much sunlight your going to get. Just do a Google search for something like hours of usable solar hours by latitude. The number of usable hours is going to vary by your latitude. There are sites out there that will tell you the number of hours based on your location.  Where I live in Minnesota (USA) we average 4.2 hours a day.  With higher numbers in the summer and down to 1.9 in the winter.  It does not matter where in town you place it the hours will be the same.  Unless if you have LIDAR data available and 3D analyst you can work out some calculations on shadow length, but you will still need to find the angle of inclination.  



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