I like to clarify and shed some light on the climate data discussion and dilemma.
Currently there are two PHPP versions available, one in SI units and one in IP units.
The missing data in question, the heating and cooling load data is only necessary to size the mechanical system. It does not effect the design of the envelope or the annual heating demand. The system sizing can be done using conventional sizing methods in addition to PHPP, the peak loads are not necessary to calculate a building's envelope to meet the Passive House Standard.
Climate data necessary to calculate the heating and cooling demand, primary energy demand for a project to meet Passive House Standard can be found here:
TMY3 (newer and more accurate than TMY2) and TMY2 data sets of weather data for US cities http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ ... /cname=USA
Meteonorm can be found here:http://www.meteonorm.com/pages/en/meteonorm.php
Complete climate data sets of cities worldwide are available here. The benefit of using meteonorm is, if your city exists in its data base, that it already has a PHPP specific output option. You will obtain a climate data set that is already configured to fit the PHPP climate data template. Meteonorm offers a 10 day free trial version. The output is in metric and needs to be converted into IP units for use with the PHPP US version.
Some meteonorm data sets contain heat and cooling load data. If you have nothing but this data available to you, you can use it with caution. It is better than having no data at all. But external sizing of the mechanical system is recommended as those heating and cooling load data sets living in the last three columns of the PHPP climate data entry cells, in some cases have been found to be very inaccurate. Ryan described the reason for that in one of his posts.
So, what can we do then if there is only inaccurate or no heating and cooling load data currently available for the US? Does this missing piece take away from the effectiveness and usability as a modeling tool? This is a very valid and fair question.
As of right now, there are a few cities in the US, about 25 or so, that we have calculated accurate heating and cooling data for. Those are included in the PHPP US version and marked with an asterisk next to the city name. Those data sets can be used for the envelope design as well as for the sizing of the mechanical system. The PHPP metric version is supplemented by a folder containing the same cities in metric. Those sets still have to be entered by the user into the metric version. The next updated version will have those sets pre-entered in the metric PHPP file.
If you are not calculating in or near any of those cities or in a distinctly different micro climate close to one of them, then the following options can be pursued:
1. Use a climate data set located near you that does have the correct data and choose it to be on the safe side (i.e. colder in a heating climate).
2. a) Get meteonorm data for your city and discard heating and cooling load data if it exists
or b) Obtain your city data from the TMY3 data set on the above mentioned website
or c) If you cannot get any climate data for your location from any of those options find a city in PHPP pre-entered climate data that has similar temperatures and solar radiation annually, find measured monthly average temperatures for your specific city (available on weather.com or other sources). Use the annual data from the similar file except that you adjust the monthly average temperatures to the ones you found on the web.
Then, find a city that contains peak data that has comparable solar radiation/design temperatures to your climate. Create a user data file in the yellow cells in the climate data sheet, assemble the annual climate data and the heating and cooling load data there and then pull it up into the green cells by selecting your user data in the drop down menu.
3. PHIUS is providing accurate heating and cooling load data calculations for projects on a fee basis ($600) with the understanding that the generated set will be made available for use on the specific project as well as for use by the entire PHPP user community. This way we can collaboratively build a growing data base for US cities. We're considering other methods of more affordably providing support here.
We were told by Juergen Schnieders from the PHI that meteonorm is currently being reworked to address the shortcomings in regards to the peak loads. The new accurate version is supposed to be available by 2010. So, hopefully we will only have to bridge this gap for another half year or so.