To address the need for a more usable interface, the Simulation Research Group at LBNL worked with a public/private team to develop Simergy — a free GUI for EnergyPlus. The beta version has been released and is currently undergoing testing.
“The focus was on the end-user from the start of the project,” said Philip Haves of LBNL’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. “Berkeley Lab initiated and participated in a series of workshops where practitioners helped to define features that would enable them to use EnergyPlus effectively. We used their recommendations to develop a product that would meet their specific needs.”
Version 1 of Simergy will address design for new construction and is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2013. Some key features include:
• A drag-and-drop component-level schematic editor for HVAC systems.
• Ability to import building envelope geometry from computer aided design (CAD)/building information modeling (BIM) tools using the industry standard protocols IFC and gbXML, or they can be generated by Simergy.
• Extensive sets of libraries and templates for materials and equipment.
• Summary reports that can be customized to the user’s desired level of detail.
• Interactive detailed results visualization.
Future developments are planned to include:
• Support for early-stage integrated design.
• Automated code compliance.
• For existing buildings, an integrated approach to semi-automated retro-commissioning, retrofit analysis, retrofit commissioning, and performance tracking for fault detection.
For more information and to download the beta version, go to http://simergy-beta.lbl.gov/.
Publication date: 3/4/2013