WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a new version of its free EnergyPlus software. EnergyPlus allows designers to model the energy flow within a building, examining the effects of the building's heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting systems.

The software allows users to simulate the performance of a building at intervals of less than an hour, studying the energy and thermal comfort effects of a variety of energy strategies, including natural ventilation, dividing homes into multiple heating and cooling zones, and adding solar photovoltaic panels. Version 2.0, released this month, allows users to include green roofs, phase-change materials, and advanced building controls in their building designs. Hourly weather data from around the world is also available for use with the program.

The free EnergyPlus Version 2.0 for Windows and Linux is available for download at www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/cfm/reg_form.cfm.

Publication date:04/23/2007