ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 66

COLUMN ENGINEER'S NOTEBOOK
Daniel H. Nall

Weather Data Analysis
BY DANIEL H. NALL, P.E., BEMP, HBDP, FAIA, FELLOW/LIFE MEMBER ASHRAE

Presenting graphical representations of the weather data for project locations has
become a staple of energy-efficiency practice, both by architects and engineers.
Practitioners seem to vie for ever more colorful and dramatic renderings of this data.
Unfortunately, too often, these presentations merely render numerical data without
providing useful information that can lead directly to conclusions concerning the
directions that design efforts should take. The climate data analysis does not answer
the question: "So what?" This column will explore some ways by which the initial
climate data analysis, exclusive of any particular data about the building design,
can provide useful information for the development of both the architectural and
mechanical systems of the building.
Introduction

Climate responsive design is now the watchword
of the sustainable design community. To achieve
that goal, designers must understand the climate for
which they are designing, and to achieve that level
of understanding, must process raw data concerning
temperature, humidity ratio and solar angles into a
format that conveys understandable information. Too
often, presentation of raw climate data in a graphical
format is followed immediately by energy modeling
efforts, often resulting in wasted time and effort studying issues that could have been resolved by a more
sophisticated climate analysis. Examples of simple
representation of climate data are shown in Figure 1.
These examples represent monthly averages of single
parameters by month and by hour of the day, but this
information offers little help to the potential building
designer.
Some of the issues for which sophisticated climate
analysis can give insight include:
* Comfort potential of exterior spaces;
* Availability of different forms of free cooling;
* Effectiveness of solar shading devices;
* Insight into most effective HVAC system for that
climate; and
* Effectiveness of HVAC condensate collection.
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While some of these issues, specifically comfort potential for exterior spaces, are accessible from commercially available climate data rendering platforms, most
are not. Custom spreadsheets, however, can manipulate
the climate data to provide insights to these other issues.

Availability of Climate Data

Climate data for most major locations throughout the
world are available in a number of formats. The data are
available as monthly and yearly averages, as bin data, and
as hourly data for a number of parameters, including:
* Dry-bulb temperature;
* Dew-point temperature;
* Barometric pressure;
* Cloud cover;
* Precipitation; and
* Wind speed.
Other parameters that are either a measure of the
moisture content of the air or a function of the combined dry-bulb temperature and moisture content are
also available or are easily calculable from the parameters above. These include:
* Humidity ratio;
* Wet-bulb temperature; and
Daniel H. Nall, P.E., FAIA, is director at Daniel Nall Consultant, LLC.


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ASHRAE Journal - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - June 2019

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - 8
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ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - June 2019 - Cover4
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