2013 R&D 100 Winner
Sandia SGHATFederal and local agencies have identified solar glare reflected from photovoltaic (PV) modules as a potentially significant health and safety hazard, resulting in new policies and regulations to prevent adverse impacts of glare from these solar energy installations. However, none of the time-consuming conventional tools that predict where and when glare will occur can predict visual impacts.

Sandia National Laboratories has developed a Web-based Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT) that addresses these new regulations. The tool employs a Google map with interactive drawing and selection tools that allow the user to locate a site, draw an outline of the proposed PV array and specify observer locations or paths. If glare is found, the tool calculates the retinal irradiance (flux of radiant energy on the retina) and subtended angle of the glare source (size of glare source divided by distance to the eye) to predict potential ocular hazards ranging from temporary after-image to retinal burn. The results are presented in a simple, easy-to-interpret plot.

Solar glare hazard analysis tool

Sandia National Laboratories

Development Team

Sandia National Laboratories' Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT) development tool (l-r): Cianan Sims, James Yuan, Brian Ehrhart, Julius Yellowhair, Evan Bush, Cliff Ho.


The Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT) Development Team from Sandia National Laboratories
Clifford K. Ho, Principal Developer
Cianan A. Sims, Principal Developer
Evan Bush
Brian D. Ehrhart
Siri S. Khalsa
Andrew Sharp
Julius Yellowhair
James K. Yuan