DOE software cuts energy use
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Apr 16, 2001
The Energy Department has released its next-generation energy simulation
program, which enables architects, engineers, building owners and managers
to minimize energy use and related costs.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced the release of EnergyPlus
last week and said it is a step beyond previous DOE software for building
"The Department of Energy's EnergyPlus computer simulation program will
assist home builders and designers to dramatically lower energy use in buildings,"
Abraham said in a release.
EnergyPlus enables users to calculate the impact of heating, cooling
and ventilating equipment, as well as various types of lighting and windows,
with a goal of maximizing building energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
Users can simulate the effect of window blinds, electrochromic window glazings
and complex daylighting systems, which they could not do with earlier DOE
The EnergyPlus simulation program reads and writes output as text files.
Its input and output data structure allows for easy development of third-party
interfaces, including the 15 already available for Energy's previous software
Most users will use graphical interfaces when these tools become available
later this year, and although the program was created primarily for use
with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, Linux and Unix versions are available.
DOE developed the program in cooperation with the Army's Construction
Engineering Research Laboratory, the University of Illinois, Oklahoma State
University, the Florida Solar Energy Center, GARD Analytics Inc. and its
own Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Many buildings have been constructed or renovated with DOE-2, including
the Pentagon, the State Department headquarters, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin,
the San Francisco Airport, the Ronald Reagan Library and many federal courthouses,
according to DOE.
EnergyPlus can be downloaded for free at: www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/energy_tools/energyplus.