The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released updated versions of its popular EnergyPlus simulation software and OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp, which help engineers and architects design better functioning, more energy-efficient buildings. EnergyPlus models heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, and other building energy flows for commercial and residential buildings. OpenStudio Plug-in makes it possible to perform EnergyPlus simulations using Google’s user-friendly 3-D drawing interface, modeling design elements and their impact on energy use.
EnergyPlus 6.0, available for the Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems, offers numerous enhancements over the previous version of the program:
- 25% – 40% reduction in execution time for most simulations
- New low-energy example files
- Modeling of carbon dioxide concentrations in zone air
- Improved HVAC capabilities
- Enhanced modeling for refrigeration condensers
- New controls functionality
- New life cycle cost calculations.
DOE’s Building Technologies Program supports the development of EnergyPlus and OpenStudio Plug-in. These software tools help DOE reach its goal of reducing the energy use of new and existing buildings to strengthen the nation’s energy future. For more information, visit the Building Technologies Program Web site.