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Free software for energy-efficient building design

by CW Staff on Nov 30, 2010


EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program used to model energy and water use in buildings
EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program used to model energy and water use in buildings

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released updated versions of its EnergyPlus simulation software and OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp.

EnergyPlus models heating, cooling, lighting, and other building energy flows. OpenStudio Plug-in makes it possible to perform EnergyPlus simulations using Google’s user-friendly 3D drawing interface, modelling design elements and their impact on energy use. EnergyPlus and OpenStudio Plug-in work together to help in designing more energy-efficient buildings.

EnergyPlus is a whole building energy simulation program used to model energy and water use in buildings.

Enhancements offered in the new version include:

  •  A25% to 40% percent reduction in execution time for most simulations;
  • Modelling of carbon dioxide concentrations in zone air;
  • Improved HVAC capabilities;
  • Enhanced modelling for refrigeration condensers and
  • New lifecycle cost calculations.

OpenStudio Plug-in automatically generates the input for an EnergyPlus object when the user draws a surface in SketchUp.

OpenStudio Plug-in then enables users to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp. Additionally, OpenStudio Plug-in will generate a design in SketchUp based on EnergyPlus input files.

There is no charge to download and use the EnergyPlus or OpenStudio Plug-in software. For more information visit http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings.



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