Free software for energy-efficient building design
The US Department of Energy updates its energy-efficiency programs
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.