Tonatiuh is a project designed to create an open source, cutting-edge, accurate, and easy to use Monte Carlo ray tracer for the optical simulation of solar concentrating systems. It intends to advance the state-of-the-art of the simulation tools available for the design and analysis of solar concentrating systems, and to make those tools freely available to anyone interested in using and improving them. Some of the most relevant design goals of Tonatiuh are:
* To develop a robust theoretical foundation that will facilitate the optical simulation of almost any type of solar concentrating systems.
* To exhibit a clean and flexible software architecture, that will allow the user to adapt, expand, increase, and modify its functionalities with ease.
* To achieve operating system independence at source level, and run on all major platforms with none, or minor, modifications to its source code.
* To provide the users with an advanced and easy-of-use Graphic User Interface (GUI).
Additional information on the rationale for this open source project, and on the goals, general characteristics, and current status of Tonatiuh is given in the two following videos. The first video is based on a Pecha Kucha presentation given by Dr. Manuel J. Blanco at the University of Seville in September 2008. Although, the audio track is in Spanish, the video is closed-captioned in Spanih, and subtitled in English. Information on how to use the close-caption/subtitle features of YouTube videos can be found here. The second video is based on an oral presentation of the paper entitled "Preliminary validation of Tonatiuh" given by Dr. Manuel J. Blanco on September 17th, at the 2009 International Energy Agency's SolarPACES Symposium, celebrated in Berlin, Germany.
Here are some key features of "Tonatiuh":
The use of extended Open Inventor files to represent the "scene" (i.e. the solar concentrating system, the sunlight model, etc.) An advance and easy-to-use GUI providing:
· 3D and tree views of the "scene" to simulate.
· Handlers and manipulators to modify and query scene objects using 3D views.
· Interface elements to manage the undo and redo of user actions.
· Interface elements to define de type of Monte Carlo ray tracing to execute.
A pervasive plugin architecture which allos the user to:
· Add new sunlight models.
· Add new geometric surfaces.
· Add new reflective materials.
· (planned) Add new refractive materials.
· (planned) Add new photon map and other results analyzers, and post-processors.
· (planned) Add new spectrum models.
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· The scripting capabilities have been increased to the point that any operation and functionality available to the users via the GUI is now also available via scripting.
· This release also solves a bug that produced the unexpected closing of the program when the user tried to cast rays before creating the concentrating geometry, as well as a bug associated with storing a given Tonatiuh "scene" under very particular and uncommon conditions.