WASHINGTON - The U.S. 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 3-D drawing interface, modeling 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: 25-40 percent reduction in execution time for most simulations; modeling of carbon dioxide concentrations in zone air; improved HVAC capabilities; enhanced modeling for refrigeration condensers; and new life cycle 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 on EnergyPlus Version 6.0.0, visit http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/energyplus_about.cfm.

For more information on OpenStudio Plug-in Version 1.0.6, visit http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/openstudio.cfm.

Publication date:11/29/2010