WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released updated versions of its EnergyPlus simulation software for modeling heating, cooling, ventilating, lighting, and other building energy flows, as well as its OpenStudio plug-in for EnergyPlus that allows it to work within Google’s SketchUp program. Both the EnergyPlus software and OpenStudio plug-in are available for free download.

Available for the Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems, EnergyPlus 4.0 also includes two new application guides: “Energy Management System Application Guide” and “Using EnergyPlus for Compliance.”

DOE said the total number of downloads indicates the popularity of its EnergyPlus software: 22,000 downloads in 2008; over 11,000 downloads since the previous version was released in April 2009; and 100,000 downloads since the program was first released in April 2001.

Version 4.0 is said to offer a number of new features as well as updated and extended capabilities throughout the existing building envelope, daylighting, and equipment and systems portions of the program. Key new features include the incorporation of walk-in refrigeration and refrigeration secondary loop systems as well as evaporative fluid coolers.

There is no charge to download and use EnergyPlus. To download, go to http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/cfm/reg_form.cfm.

Key new features of the OpenStudio plug-in include updates for EnergyPlus 4.0, improved parsing and caching of input and output files, support for HVAC templates, and SQLite output option. As with EnergyPlus, there is no charge to download and use the plug-in. To download, go to http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/openstudio.cfm.

Publication date:11/09/2009