WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new version of its EnergyPlus software, a building energy simulation program for modeling building heating, cooling, lighting, ventilating, and other energy flows.

According to the DOE, EnergyPlus builds on the best features and capabilities of BLAST and DOE-2, but also includes such simulation capabilities as time steps of less than an hour, modular systems and plant integrated with heat balance-based zone simulation, multizone airflow, thermal comfort, and photovoltaic systems.

New features offered in Version 1.2.0 include enhancements to solar gain and daylighting calculations, airflow calculations, zone modeling, and a variety of HVAC modeling improvements for DX cooling coils, chilled water, and hot water systems.

EnergyPlus is available for free download. For more information, visit www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/.

Publication date: 05/10/2004