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Effects of individual trees on the solar radiation climate of small buildings
Under clear skies, a mid-sized sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum Marsh.) reduced irradiance in its shade on a south-facing wall by about 80% when in leaf, and by nearly 40% when leafless. Reductions by a similar-sized London plane (Platanus acerifolia W.) were generally slightly smaller. The percentage reductions varied with the fraction (DR) of diffuse radiation, and could be approximated by regressions with DR2 as the independent variable. The significance of the irradiance reductions (or building radiation climate was tested by using physical models of representative tree crowns (similar to sugar maple) and a representative house to evaluate shadow patterns, along with a mathematical model of average hourly solar radiation for an average day of each month.