This tutorial demonstrates how to load, display and interpret prevailing wind data files in Ecotect.
You will need about 10 minutes to complete this tutorial.
Training and Accreditation
Successfully completing this tutorial fulfills one of the practical skills required for completing Level 1 of the Air Flow training module.
To complete this tutorial, download the PrevailingWinds.zip Ecotect file available in the File Attachments section of this tutorial.
- Unzip and then open the PrevailingWinds.eco file in Ecotect. The file consists of a simple three room house.
The PrevailingWinds Ecotect model, displayed under the Visualise tab.
- To display prevailing wind patterns in relation to your model, Go to the Calculate menu and select the Prevailing Winds... menu item.
Go to the Calculate>Prevailing Winds... menu item.
- The Prevailing Winds dialogue box appears. It is divided into two sections - Data to Display and Analysis Period. We'll now configure each option under these sections.
The Prevailing Winds dialogue box.
- Firstly, choose what kind of prevailing wind data you would like to display with your model. By default, this will be set to Wind Frequency, but click on the black triangle to access the drop down box, and select the required climate data to analyze. For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll stick to Wind Frequency.
Select which climate data you would like to analyze.
- Next, Specify the weather file for the geographic location you wish to analyze - we'll use Perth, Australia for this tutorial. Click on the Weather button, and an Open File dialogue box will appear. Select the file for the location you wish to analyze, and click Ok.
Select the climate data file you wish to use.
- Ecotect will then prompt you to update the global position to match the climate file - select Yes, and this update the geographic location of your project as set under the Project tab to match the loaded climate file.
Click Yes to update the global position to match the loaded climate file.
- To configure the rest of the dialogue box, check the Show Percentages and Show Legend checkboxes, and set the analysis period to All Year and All Day, as shown in the following screenshot. Click Ok when done.
Configure the rest of the dialogue box as shown.
- Ecotect overlays the selected wind frequency graph and settings over your model. To make it a bit easier to see, change to plan view by pressing the [F5] key.
The wind frequency graph centred on your model, shown in plan view.
Interpreting the graph
- The prevailing winds graph is circular and is divided up into four quadrants - these represent the four compass point directions, and indicate the wind direction. You can change the orientation of your building by clicking on the Project tab to the left of the main work area, and specifying the North Offset under the Site Specifics section.
The wind frequency graph is divided into four quadrants, representing the four compass point directions
- The graph also consists of concentric rings representing wind velocity. The wind speed increases with the rings furthest from the centre.
The concentric rings represent wind velocity, increasing in speed as they get further from the centre.
- Lastly, the coloured segments plot the frequency of wind speed and direction for the selected period, with the brighter colours representing the greatest number of hours. This may be accompanied by a legend and/or percentage values, depending on the display options selected previously.
The coloured segments show the frequency of wind occurence for a particular speed and direction, measured as per the legend and/or percentage values.
- Therefore, for the location of Perth, Western Australia, the most frequent winds occur from both an easterly and south-southwesterly direction, as speeds between 10-20 km/hour.
- If you find the percentage values difficult to read, try zooming in with your scroll wheel to increase the resolution of the graph.
- Adjust the date and time durations if you wish to see which days and/or times particular wind frequencies occur.
- The other graphs available under the Data to Display section of the Prevailing Winds dialogue box display in a similar fashion to Wind Frequency, but use different coloured legends for clarity.
- Weather data files may not contain all climate data options available, which may result in invalid graph being displayed. Use the Weather Manager tool that comes with Ecotect to check the data available in the required weather file. Contact your local office of climate data or meteorology if you require more information.