WASHINGTON, DC — On April 12, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham released what was called “the next generation building energy simulation computer program that allows architects, engineers, building owners, and managers to minimize energy use and costs and optimize building performance by simulating building energy use.”

“The Department of Energy’s ‘EnergyPlus’ computer simulation program will assist homebuilders and designers dramatically lower energy use in buildings,” said Abraham.

Features of the software include realistic system controls, moisture adsorption and desorption in building elements, interzone airflow, low-temperature radiant heating-cooling, interior surface convection, thermal comfort modeling options, evaporative cooler models, steam absorption chiller, and flat-plate exhaust-air heat recovery options.

It also lets users calculate the impacts of different hvac systems with various types of lighting and window treatments.

The program can be downloaded from http://www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/energy_tools/energyplus/. The program was developed for use in Windows, but adaptations for Linux and UNIX are available.

Publication date: 04/23/2001