SPOT Chronological Notes

SPOT Pro™ read me file - this documents updates since the initial SPOT Pro beta release 4.7 on 4/22/2015

Note - Update installation files currently require the old version to be uninstalled first.  This will not erase any user project data or library data saved in the C:\SPOT directory

5.02 Updated release - 4/19/2016

- Updated method for modeling BSDF files with thickness. SPOT accurately accounts for thick daylight systems and uses a calibrated translucent to model the proxy geometry.

- Shade fabric and manual shade control varaibles now reported on standard reports

- Cleaned up and reduced the amount of user warnings after initial warnings.

- Added option to always calc equinox at 9am and 3pm for LEED and other metric requirements

- Add an automatic wall model on the sides, above and below when applicable.

- Added an ASE coverage report to LEEDv4 reports

- Changed trial period to 30days

- Add window type feature to define up to 10 different types of windows.

- Added feature to model individual mullions on windows allowing a user to create a curtain wall or storefront system.

- Fixed blind slat width feature

- Added ability to rotate any defined blocks around the Z-axis

- Fixed several minor issues when analyzing 4 control zones

- Added a diffuse illuminance status along with global illuminance on the Specific Daylight analysis page.

- Fixed bug happening on window or block "copy from..." pull-down menu.

5.01 Updated release - 11/23/2015

- Put in fix for Radiance bug that randomly occurs during ASE calcs resulting in oconv.exe crashing - hitting cancel allows it to self correct and continue running

- ASE calc now includes any shade devices that are labeled 'fixed'.

- Fixed bug that occured with more than 24 south windows

- Expanded arrays to allow for an 8x8 array.

- ASE calcs now re-simulate if shade controls are changed from fixed to auto or manual

- Fixed bug with more than 1 window on a west facing monitor surface.

- Fixed bug with more than one skylight falling onto a monitor ceiling

5.0 Official non-beta release - 10/30/2015

- Fixed bug that prevented SPOT from opening on systems with 64-bit Excel 2007

- Fixed error in photosensor analysis when blocks occluded portions of the workplane

- Fixed bug with glass and trans transmittances below 10%

- Found bug and looking for fix - if spaces are in project or directory name rvu has trouble saving image or view files

- Implemented an automatic directory fix for SPOT projects that get moved to different directory locations.

- Fixed typo on LEED v4 report that had the ASE threshold line at 6.5% instead of 10%

- Updated material library - expanded Metal library, added BrickStoneConc, Glass, Trans, Misc, and RALpaint libraries

- Fixed bug that caused the illuminance grid sizes to not update when the grid spacing and overall dimensions changed.

- Added a pull-down menu with several typical occupancy schedules on Site and Usage page.

- Fixed bug that gaves reference errors when importing an IES file

- Fixed bug that did not allow other view files to be loaded in rvu

- Added a past project import feature to import geometry and settings from past SPOT projects

4.74 Update - 8/4/2015

- fixed window non-whole number transmittance bug

- fixed bug preventing new materials from being written unless rview was selected

- fixed bug with fixed to surface algorithms

- daylight interactive view now shown on elec results page if no elec input given

- fixed bug not copying xml file on copied file

- fixed bug not retriggering recalc when manual shade control settings changed

4.73 Update - 7/24/2015

- improved rendering speed / quality slightly

- fixed schedule bug with annual metric calculations

- updated LEED v4 and CHPS reports

- fixed minor bugs with file naming and calculation triggers

- updated UDI metrics to reflect current supplemental, autonomous and max categories

4.72 Update - 6/1/2015

- added ability to view zone diagram on daylight results and daylighting reports page

- added ability to view and copy reports by zone and entire space

- fixed bugs with window placement and labels when SI units were selected

4.71 Update - 5/19/2015

- fixed bug that only allowed the first material in the library to be assigned to a block

- added an option to copy report as an image to the clipboard and the daylight table to clipboard for easy reporting

- added project name to report to distinguish and adjusted report dimensions to better fit 8.5x11 and 11x17

 

SPOT™ v4.2 and older software is publicly funded and available at no cost to the public. Future enhancements are all part of SPOT Pro™.

SPOT v 4.2 Bug Report - Posted September 19, 2011:

We have received feedback that the SPOT v4.2 crashes when opened using Windows Vista with Excel 2007. It may occur due to permission settings on the particular machine. We are investigating the issue, but for the time being, SPOT v4.2 does not properly work on Vista platform. 

SPOT v 4.2 Release Notes - Posted July 15, 2011:

  1. Updated graphical interface and algorithms to run smoothly and completely with Excel versions 2007 and 2010. This version 4.2 and future versions will not run on Excel 2003. SPOT v4.0 will run on Excel 2003.
  2. Windows XP, Windows 7 (32bit), and Windows 7 (64bit) are the tested platforms.
  3. Updated the underlying Radiance engine to Radiance v4.0 with speed improvements up to 50%
  4. Compiled underlying python radiance control engine to eliminate a separate python install and issues with different version of python
  5. Fixed scripting process to eliminate any PATH or RAYPATH issues!!! and to eliminate any issues with other version of Radiance or Radiance interfaces installed.
  6. Fixed 64bit OS path installation issue
  7. Added new annual daylighting metric calculations to the Daylighting results page.
  8. Fixed auto-center bug in Electric Lighting input
  9. Fixed shade control bug that would lock program on Shade Control page
  10. Fixed global illuminance calculation bug that would result in random wrong values
  11. Added Monday lines to annual schedule
  12. Fixed bug when hour 1 was occupied
  13. Added explanations to Luminaire import page
  14. Changed electric lighting calculation to include drawn window treatment (shades/blinds) where as past versions always considered no window treatment for the electric lighting calculation.
  15. Fixed funny compass rose for given rotations/dimensions
  16. Fixed error generating renderings when an annual metric is selected.
  17. Updated exterior shades to extend beyond wall dimensions for modeling adjacent shading elements

SPOT v 4.0 Bug Report - Posted December 1, 2008:

We have received a number of bug reports noting electric lighting and/or blinds error messages. These have all stemmed from PATH or RAYPATH not directing SPOT to the correct files.  If you have experienced trouble with SPOT, please use the following steps to check the  user settings. 

  1. Go to your Environmental Variables definition through Start Menu - Control Panel - System, and clicking on the "Advanced" tab
  2. Check the RAYPATH to see if "C:\Program Files\SPOT\Radiance\lib;." is in the string. Append this text if it does not exist. Note that the period ";." at the end must be included
  3. Check the PATH to see if a period "." and "C:\Program Files\SPOT\python" exist, although they should if you were able to get to the Site and Usage Input page
  4. Note that the C:\Program Files\SPOT directory in the text given above should be replaced with directory in which you installed SPOT
  5. Also, using Excel 2003 or an earlier version is recommended since SPOT does not have full functionality with Excel 2007.

SPOT v 4.0 Minor Bug Fixes, Release Date: July 2008 - Installation note: 

SPOT is a Radiance based program that uses a RAYPATH variable in the system environmental variables to find necessary files.  If another Radiance based program is already installed then the RAYPATH for SPOT might not append properly.  If you know you have another Radiance based program installed or you experience trouble on an initial run of SPOT then check the RAYPATH using the following steps.

  1. Go to the Environmental Variables definition through Start Menu - Control Panel - System, and clicking on the "Advanced" tab
  2. Check the RAYPATH in the user variables to see if "C:\Program Files\SPOT\Radiance\lib;." is in the string. Append this text if it does not exist. Note that the period ";." at the end must be included
  3. Note that the C:\Program Files\SPOT directory in the text given above should be replaced with directory in which SPOT is installed if a custom directory was selected upon installation.

SPOT v 4.0 Features - Release Date: May 2008

  1. Spatial, spectral, and power curves for specific photosensor
  2. manufacturers are now available based on the 2007 NLPIP Specifier Report on Photosensors by the Lighting Research Center.
  3. The addition of CHPS and LEED daylighting metrics, calculating compliance with required criteria and generating printable reports.
  4. The IES Library is improved with the ability to group light sources using subdirectories and a generic database.
  5. Navigation throughout the program is enhanced with quick movement from the various input and output screens, triggering re-simulation only when necessary to reduce overall user wait time.
  6. Functionality and usability of automatic and fixed shade control definition is improved.
  7. Works with Excel 2007.

SPOT v 3.1 Features - Release Date: January 2007

  1. Various CHPS and LEED daylighting metrics have been added, calculating the required criteria and generating a printable report.
  2. Review and discussion of Perez and CIE sky models and annual simulation techniques were used to validate the new annual simulation algorithms and contributed to the software knowledge base.
  3. Improved IES Library with the ability to group light sources using subdirectories and a generic database.
  4. Improved navigation throughout the program allowing quick movement from the various input and output screens, triggering re-simulation only when necessary to reduce overall user wait time.
  5. Improved functionality and usability of automatic and fixed shade control definition; active manual shade control was extensively researched and an accurate and clear solution is still under development.
  6. Review and update of the algorithms used in the SPOT Annual Analysis modules in collaboration with daylighting experts improved the accuracy of the various annual simulations.
  7. Validation activities focused on the electric lighting, daylight design day, and annual daylighting simulations are ongoing. The underlying Radiance light simulation engine has been independently validated.
  8. Ancillary activities included the development of Help Files, a photosensor analyzer tutorial, and an update of the users' manual.

SPOT Version 3.0 - Release Date: March 2006

Installation note:

Bug still exists in installation procedure if RAYPATH environmental variable is already defined with a "." If this is the case, RAYPATH fails to be defined and should be edited manually by adding: "C:\Program Files\SPOT\Radiance\lib" and "." to the RAYPATH variable. When Python 2.3 is finished installing it asks to restart computer. Cancel this window to allow the numarray installer to also run. Restart computer after all components have been installed.

Bugs Fixed:
  1. Photosensor Generator correlation plots fixed.
  2. Missing luminaire data bug fixed.
  3. Many sheets protected to prevent accidental program modifications and potential bugs.
  4. Photosensor Analyzer control bugs fixed.
  5. Bug related to inputting 10 skylights fixed.
  6. View files not existing bug fixed.
  7. Fixed bugs related to simulating 4 months or more as selected on Advanced options.
  8. Fixed LPD update bug, now shows correct LPD's at all times.
  9. Fixed file management bug when site is changed leading to missing files.
General Improvements:
  1. Provided ability to model multiple shade device control zones.
  2. Provided page to determine optimal settings for automated shade devices.
  3. Added a printable standardized daylight report giving a daylight rating and suggestions.
  4. Added ability to view daylight illuminance on a specific day during the year using TMY2 data.
  5. Improved speed and stableness when navigating throughout the program using next / back buttons.
  6. Added the ability to specify the shade transmittance.
  7. Added ability to specify start and stop simulation times and adjust time step for calculations.

SPOT Beta Version 2.3 - Release Date: November 7, 2005

Installation notes:
  1. Bug still exists in installation procedure if RAYPATH environmental variable is already defined with a "." If this is the case, RAYPATH fails to be defined and should be edited manually by adding: "C:\Program Files\SPOT\Radiance\lib" and "." to the RAYPATH variable.
  2. When Python 2.3 is finished installing it asks to restart computer. Cancel this window to allow the numarray installer to also run. Restart computer after all components have been installed.
  3. SPOT v 2.1 projects will have to be reentered and reran in SPOTv2.3. The file formats are not compatible.
Bugs Fixed:
  • Improved data import speed / eliminated screen flashes upon import
  • Fixed bug causing data to be mistakenly erased
General Improvements:
  1. Added electric lighting arrays to allow for odd shaped zones to be defined
  2. Added months option on advanced options
  3. Added dynamic and overridable workplane grid spacing options
  4. Added Light Loss Factor (LLF), Max/Min, and Lighting Power Density (LPD) Calculations to electric lighting page
  5. Added view interactive rendering option to electric lighting page
  6. Improved display of daylight conditions on daylight page
  7. Improved annual daylight performance calculation
  8. Added Daylight Autonomy and Max Daylight Autonomy calculations to daylight page
  9. Added view interactive rendering of selected daylight day option to daylight page
  10. Added view options to calculating page

SPOT Beta Version 2.1.01 - Release Date: March 15, 2005

Bugs Fixed:
  1. Fixed south wall second exterior overhang placement problem
  2. Fixed bug causing crashes upon displaying Photosensor Analyzer page
  3. Fixed several bugs resulting in error messages and/or crashes  on Photosensor Analyzer sheet
General Improvements:
  1. Decreased dimming calculation time for all dimming types
  2. Improved import speed on Annual Analysis page

SPOT Beta Version 2.1 - Release Date: March 8, 2005

Bugs Fixed:
  1. - Fixed blinds rotation problem
  2. - Fixed SI blinds size problem
  3. - Fixed photosensor organization for additional photosensors
  4. - Fixed photosensor name export to annual.bat
  5. - Fixed photosensor name assignment on analyzer sheet for more than two zones
  6. - Fixed color coding problem on annual analysis sheet
  7. - Prevent divide by zero error when electric lights are poorly zoned
  8. - Fixed Y-axis numbering on electric lighting illuminance plot
  9. - Fixed top "back/next" bar so its stationary when scrolling down
  10. - Fixed photosensor correlation plots to properly account for cloudy days
General Improvements:
  1. - Improved overall calculation time by ~30-40%
  2. - Reduced overall SPOT directory size to roughly 10% of previous
  3. - Protected all sheets possible
Features Added:
  1. - Added workplane illuminance line to photosensor analyzer illuminance page
  2. - Added sensor signal lines to correlation plot
  3. - Added Length and Width titles to the illuminance grids for clarity

SPOT Beta Version 2.0 - Release Date: February 1, 2005

Original Release