It’s no wonder that the Solatube daylighting system was invented in Australia; we’re one of the sunniest countries in the world. That means most parts of Australia are ideal places to use solar panels, and it also means that using sunlight to directly illuminate building interiors is an excellent idea in almost every corner of Aus. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at the data behind that: how much sunlight do we get in Australia compared to other parts of the world, anyway?
How is Sunlight Measured?
There are a few places on the web where world-wide climatic data is available to the public for free, but we’re looking for something very specific: a comparison of the solar radiation that reaches ground-level. Nothing else will tell us what we want to know about daylighting potential.
Solatube’s round skylights are designed to capture light from every angle and then direct it through a highly reflective solar tube to the building interior. However, the angle of the light still matters. The parts of Australia that are closer to the equator receive more direct sunlight, and therefore have more potential daylighting for buildings. There are ways to measure all of that, and they’re being used extensively by the solar power industry. Solar GIS is a website that offers comprehensive data to people who manufacture and sell solar energy systems, but they also have a huge collection of free maps and charts that you can explore if you’re interested.
If you study the Solar GIS site, you can find out all kinds of details about how sunlight intensity is measured, but here, we’ll look at Global Horizontal Irradiation, or GHI. GHI combines both direct and indirect solar radiation in relation to a flat, horizontal surface. It’s a nice general measure of sunlight intensity.
Here’s a global map of average annual GHI.
You can see that Australia is one of the sunniest places in the world, with only Africa and the Middle East showing large areas that get as much solar radiation as Northern Australia. Even the more populated areas of our country get an exceptional amount of sunlight.
As an Aussie, you’ve probably noticed that bright, yellow object that’s usually visible in the sky. Why not bring its free and beautiful light into your interior spaces? Solatube makes both residential and commercial skylights. They can bring natural light up to 10 metres into your building interiors, and stylish, compatible light fixtures are available. Light from a Solatube can be dimmed, potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation is filtered out, and light is provided with almost no accompanying heat. In most cases, there is no reason to spend money on electricity for lighting. Explore our website to learn more, or just give us a call or e-mail. Solatube Skylights can be installed into both new and existing houses and commercial buildings.