These Site Selection and Site Information fields allow the user to select the most climatically representative city for their project. SPOT comes with a library of cities for which Typical Meteorological Year (TMY2) data is available (most US locations). This database of cities is organized and accessible to the user by selecting SPOT generic in the Climate Library pull-down menu and then using the State and City pull-down menus. A larger database including all the new updated TMY3 weather data is available on the SPOT website and available for download.

Other TMY2 climate files or EnergyPlus weather files (.epw) can be imported into SPOT by pressing the Convert EPW File button which allows for an EPW or TMY2 (.tm2) file to be selected for importing. SPOT will convert the selected weather file into the SPOT custom (.wea) weather file format. The newly imported climate file will be added to the base climate library for use on future SPOT projects and will be named according to the original weather file name.

The Remove Weather File button can be used to remove a weather file from the SPOT location library.

Selecting a city will populate the Site Information fields with the latitude, longitude, prime meridian, and elevation information in the TMY2 file. The user can override the default values with more precise latitude and longitude values if the TMY2 city’s location is too far away to predict the accurate solar position. Typically, if the building is within a couple degrees of the latitude or longitude of the representative TMY2 city, the solar angles are sufficiently similar.

Latitude – The locations latitude in degrees. North latitudes should be entered as a positive degree (0 to +90) and south latitudes entered as a negative degree (0 to -90).

Longitude – The locations longitude in degress. West longitudes (West of Grenwich England) should be entered as a positive degree (0 to +180) and East longitudes entered as a negative degree (0 to -180)

Prime Meridian – The longitude that defines the locations time zone. Typically, Prime Meridians are at every 15deg longitude intervals (ie. 15, 30, 45deg…). In the US, the Prime Meridian for the Eastern Time Zone is 75deg, the Central Time Zone is 90deg, the Mountain Time Zone is 105deg, and the Pacific Time Zone is 120deg.

Elevation – The locations elevation in either feet or meters. SPOT adjusts the intensity of the sun versus sky based on this elevation value. Higher elevations tend to have a more intense solar component and less intense sky component as there tends to be less atmosphere to scatter the sunlight and create skylight.

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