Sun position

The position of the sun is calculated from the time $t$, the longitude and latitude and the time zone (according to the DIN 5034-2 or NREL SPA).

The position of the sun is described by two angles:

  • The azimuth angle corresponds to the cardinal points:
    • Northern Hemisphere: 180° is North, 270° East, 0° South, 90° West.
    • Southern Hemisphere: 0° is North, 90° East, 180° South, 270° West.
  • The elevation angle0° is on the horizon, 90° is the zenith.

Difference between azimuth and orientation: The orientation refers to the cardinal points regardless of latitude (northern/south hemisphere). 0° orientation means north all over the world. Azimuth, on the other hand, is defined in the northern hemisphere so that 0° is south – where the sun always reaches its peak. In the southern hemisphere, however, an azimuth of 0° means north.

Depending on the location, the course of the sun can vary greatly during the day and throughout the year.:

The ecliptics for Berlin, Germany. The sun reaches its highest point of 61° at noon on 21.06.

The ecliptic for Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here the ecliptics run in the north, since Sao Paulo is located in the southern hemisphere. The sun reaches its maximum at 90° at noon on 21.12., since Sao Paulo lies almost exactly on the southern Tropic of Capricorn.

The ecliptics for Evenes, Norwayn. The sun reaches its maximum at 45° at noon on 21.06. On this day the sun does not set at night, as Evenes is above the Tropic of Cancer. The sun does not rise at this location in December.