On the Geometry Input screen the user can define the room, fenestration and any object geometry and can access Advanced Options, the Material Database and Electric lighting input if desired, see the screenshot to the right. SPOT does not requires electric lighting input for daylighting analysis. However, you will not be able to continue to the photosensor analysis portions of the program without electric lighting information. SPOT’s geometric modeling capabilities are somewhat limited to simpler spaces however new features allow for sloping of the ceiling, the addition of monitors, and the addition of any number of rotatable “block” objects that can be used to model a variety of daylighting, walls, and furniture elements. A Sketchup geometry import tool can be used behind the scenes and will be accessible in the interface soon.
The Spatial Characteristics section is used to define the general geometric dimensions and features of the space as well as the solar orientation and space height.
The Apertures and Objects section is used to define any fenestration in the model and blocks that can be used for any number of elements from overhangs, to cubicle walls, to exterior buildings, to core non-daylit spaces.
At any time while defining the model geometry, the Run Interactive View button can be used to display a quick interactive rendering of the current model in a viewing program called “rvu”. This is helpful to ensure the space has been modeled as intended. The image starts very crude and pixelated, but continually refines its resolution until a recognizable image is obtained, see rendering to the left. From this interactive viewer, any number of other Radiance views can be defined and implemented behind the scenes. A copy of the Radiance documentation for “rvu” is available here.
The Advanced Options button activates the Advanced Options screen which allows the user to change a number of the program calculation settings.
The Materials button opens the Material Database screen which allows the user to define a number of different material types for use in the SPOT model.
The Electric Lighting button opens the Electric Lighting input screen which allows the user to select luminaires from a database or import new luminaires and layout zones of electric lighting in the SPOT model.
The Back button will take you back to the Project Setup screen. If the project name and directory stay the same you can hit the Begin Project button and return right back to the Geometry screen and continue where you left off. This button can be useful to create a duplicated model. At any point after creating some geometry, the user can save the current project, and then return to the Project setup screen, change the project name, and create a duplicate model. This is useful when comparing the performance between several similar designs.
The Next button will take you to the Site and Schedule setup screen. If Electric Lighting calculations are desired, use the Electric Lighting button to access the Electric Lighting input screen.