Author Options:

Feedback Can someone test my Instructable "software for solar reflector design"? Answered

I have an instructable about designing better reflectors for solar cookers. (Better than parabolic dishes). Basically you can design your own dish, and compare it to the parabolic dish and other shapes with the software.
On step 1 there is a zipped folder for download. It contains an art of illusion scenefile. Art of illusion is the modeling and animation software I used. It is easier to learn than its competitors and it is free. The folder also contains a html file for almost automatic tabulating of your results and comparison with other reflector shapes. I have "starter" jpg images for when you create series of 10 images for comparison. I hope to put in a help html file too but thats all for now.
To test it, you do need to download art of illusion too. I know this type of project can be a bit of a pain but with feedback, I can refine it. And where else do you have free tools to test solar reflectors?
I hope that this will grow. A guy in Finland has already done a rudimentary "sun engine" that will do the shadows from a day as an extension to this project! That could be used to design passive solar houses and to site vegetable and fruit gardens in the best spots. (Depending on the seasons and day length, shadow patterns from trees and houses are very different). This is not something you can imagine just from surveying a site! Anyway, hopefully I will get some input.
The instructable has grown and changed a lot as I have improved the scenefile. There are certainly parts that need trimming now. Hopefully I get round to it in the next couple of days.