Climate Analysis using Weather Tool – 01
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Weather Tool 01 |
This is an excerpt from a Weather Tool training note I created a year ago. I’ll try to edit it later and add more graphics so it’s easier to follow. Although it is not meant to be a full tutorial set but I hope it can be useful for anyone who wants to run some climate analysis before conducting the design. Ecotect website also has Weather Tool and Ecotect tutorials available, so for this blog, I wanted to focus more on the application side – like how you’d look at the graphs and use it to inform your design process.
Climate analysis is an important process for green design and usually we just go online and extract some information out of a bunch of tables and texts. Some software can help us to link those tables to our design thinking process by using nice and informative graphics. Some tools that you can check out are Weather Tool, Climate Consultant, and Meteonorm.
Weather File |
Weather Tool is quite easy to use, all you need is a weather file that contains average data of the weather for a specific location for several years. This can be downloaded from Ecotect website (.wea format) or from EnergyPlus website which would be in a .epw format and you can use Weather Tool to convert it. There are 2 methods in general to convert EnergyPlus weather file (.EPW) to a .WEA format. The first one is to use Weather Tool and the second method is to use EnergyPlus. The results might be different due to different averaging methods.
Even though the weather file is generally derived from a reliable source since the data obtained from a weather station; cross-checking can make sure the weather data you have is valid and can really assist your design decision-making.
Weather Tool has 2 functions – visualization and analysis. For visualization, basically it just displays the information contained in a weather file like temperature, humidity, solar radiation, etc. Analyses are optimum orientation analysis and passive strategies analysis through a psychrometric chart.
Weather Tool: passive strategies analysis
Climate Consultant: passive strategies analysis
Documentation available on the analysis function of the program can be found in the program’s Help section. Personally, when I use the passive strategies analysis function, I usually go with Climate Consultant instead because I can’t find background information on the program’s calculation method for this.
Weather Tool vs Weather Manager |
Weather Manager is a climate analysis program that comes with Ecotect. It is very similar to Weather Tool except for the Psychrometry and Solar Position functions that cannot be performed with Weather Manager.
Weather Tool needs a separate license. If your version is a trial one, it won’t allow you to save the file. When you have Ecotect license, Weather Manager can be used to convert and save the file. Then, you can use Weather Tool for the analysis part (you can still use the ‘copy graph to clipboard’ function).