sun simulator

The Sun Simulator Heliodon


sun emulator

The Sun Emulator Heliodon



The Table-top Heliodon


heliodon models

Heliodon Demonstration Models


solar poster

Free Solar Poster


3 tier

Free 3 Tier Poster


What is a Heliodon?

Many different types of heliodons exist and almost all utilize one light to simulate the sun. Since the three variables of latitude, time of year, and time of day determine sun angles, a heliodon must be adjustable for all three factors. Only a few heliodons exist where the model is fixed and the light moves along three axes to adjust for all variables. In most heliodons, however, the model is rotated about one, two, or three axes instead of only moving the light. The disadvantage of these types of heliodons is that they do not simulate our real world experience, and therefore they are not “conceptually clear.” Consequently, such heliodons do not effectively teach the basic pattern of solar geometry as related to a building. They are also poor at demonstrating solar strategies or in convincing people of the benefits of solar responsive design. Thus, for teaching and basic design work, the conceptually clear “sun-emulator” and “sun-simulator” are the best heliodons to use.


Why Heliodons?

Energy consumption is the primary cause of global warming, and buildings use about 40% of all the energy consumed in the United States. Energy for building is primarily used for heating, cooling, and lighting, and solar responsive design can significantly reduce this energy demand. Solar responsive buildings can harvest the winter sun for heating, they can reject the summer sun to reduce the cooling load, and they can collect a small amount of quality daylight year-round to replace most of the electric lighting used during daylight hours. Heliodons can teach developers, builders, and architects the basic concepts that will allow them to design low energy solar responsive buildings and communities. Heliodons can also convince owners to request such buildings. Heliodons are powerful tools for demonstrating the potential and logic of solar responsive design to people of any age or education level.



Heliodon Applications

In Architecture, Planning, and Building Schools

In Science Museums

In K-12 Schools



Other Heliodons

Besides the heliodons described on this web page, heliodons are also available from:

1. JT-11 Heliodon from Beijing JT Science Technology Co., Ltd. (they also make a dome type artificial sky)

2. Sun Frost Helidons  -