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What is the Design Condition on the epw file?

asked 2016-03-15 21:29:31 -0500

Wilson gravatar image

updated 2020-03-03 12:05:46 -0500

Hi, I'm trying to create a weather file from measured data. I'm trying to understand the meaning of all fields but I'm not understanding the origin of the second line(Design Condition) of the epw file. I edited the weather file from the nearest station and this is the Design Condition line:

DESIGN CONDITIONS,1,Climate Design Data 2009 ASHRAE Handbook,,Heating,1,1.9,3.1,-4.5,2.6,7.3,-2.5,3.1,7.6,12.3,12.6,10.9,12.5,2.5,90,Cooling,8,9,30.3,19.3,28.1,18.7,26,18,20.7,26.7,20,25.1,19.3,23.6,3.8,320,19.1,14,21.7,18.3,13.3,20.9,17.9,13,20.5,59.9,26.9,57.3,25.2,55,23.7,1870,Extremes,9.9,8.5,7.4,27.7,-0.7,34.9,1.3,1.7,-1.6,36,-2.4,37,-3.1,37.9,-4,39.1

What is the meaning of this values?

Thank you

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answered 2016-03-16 19:48:36 -0500

Joe Huang gravatar image

These are design conditions read from the ASHRAE 2009 (now 2013) Handbook of Fundamentals, e.g., 99.6% and 99% heating dry-bulb temperatures, 0.4%, 1%, and 2% cooling dry-bulb and mean coincident wet-bulb temperatures, etc., when the EnergyPlus Weather Converter is used to convert the source weather file to the epw format. You can look at the ASHRAE design conditions data base in files like ASHRAE_2009_Yearly_DesignConditions.csv located in the subdirectory PreProcess\WeatherConverter. under the main EnergyPlus directory on your PC. As far as I know, what each number represents in this long string of numbers is not in the EnergyPlus documentation (although I think it should be), so if you're interested to know you have to compare them to the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals Chapter 14 (2009 version) Appendix and write them down. I've never had the urge to do that, because frankly I don't even know how or whether these numbers are even used by EnergyPlus, since there's also a companion DDY file with the same ASHRAE Design Conditions expanded into IDF that can be used to do design calculations, which makes it all rather confusing, even to me.

As a final comment, these ASHRAE design conditions are not related to the weather file itself. They were derived independently by ASHRAE and are linked by the EnergyPlus WeatherConverter based on their WMO Weather Station number. I say this to warn people that regardless whether you're running an old file, e.g., TMY2, or a newer file, e.g., TMY3, the design calculations do not change.

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Thank you for your help Joe Huang.

Wilson gravatar image Wilson  ( 2016-03-17 11:11:43 -0500 )edit
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answered 2020-03-04 08:55:43 -0500

dhollman gravatar image

updated 2020-03-04 09:00:12 -0500

In the EnergyPlus "Auxiliary Programs" document it says the following:

fields here will be dependent on the source

This is made a little more clear looking at the actual data specification from the same document (abbreviated):

DESIGN CONDITIONS,
  N1, \field Number of Design Conditions
  A1, \field Design Condition Source
  A2, \field Design Condition Type (HEATING)
  ...
  An, \field Design Condition Type (COOLING)

So basically it goes up to n entries and you have to know based on the source what is included, what order they are in, etc.

If you have an arbitrary EPW file without documentation from its source, I don't think there is a reliable way to interpret these fields ad hoc.

I don't think older EnergyPlus documentation necessarily made this quite as clear. But I take the document I linked above to be current & therefore authoritative.

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Asked: 2016-03-15 21:29:31 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 04 '20