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Old 11-26-10, 11:53 PM   #1
AC_Hacker
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Default Energy Plus = Energy Simulation Tool

("Energy Simulation Tools" should probably be a Sub-Forum. I have compiled a pretty big list of other tools that Ecorenovators might want to try.)

I just came across a computer-based energy simulation tool called EnergyPlus that can be downloaded free of charge at this URL:

Building Technologies Program: EnergyPlus Energy Simulation Software

It's the real thing, not a trial thingie.

There are also plug-ins and files, etc. that make this very promising.

So, it is possible to "build" a virtual house, insulate it as you wish, and see how it performs in any location that you specify... like where you live, for instance.

Your tax dollars at work.

Check it out.

-AC_Hacker


Last edited by AC_Hacker; 11-27-10 at 03:31 PM.. Reason: bad gramur & spelin'
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Old 11-27-10, 07:03 AM   #2
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The DoE is my favorite cabinet department. I'm always happy to pay my taxes, knowing a slice of the money is funding good science and our feeble attempts at sustainable energy policy.

Having downloaded, installed, and played with this tool over breakfast, I can tell you that it's far too involved of a program to play with over breakfast. It may be a good framework for a serious simulation, but I haven't gotten that far with it yet. I'll probably look this software up again the next time I go shopping for a house.

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Old 11-30-10, 11:16 AM   #3
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Wow, this tool is insane. It is way over my head, the documentation for creating an input file and working with the output file is 2263 pages long. ...and that is just one section of the documentation. It wasn't until I started reading through the documentation that I realized that it was designed for programmers to create a user interface of their own for it and use it that way. The example file creation might be helpful but with all the work I might as well go back to trying to track down the Manual J again for heat and cooling load calculations. Too bad my library has it, shows it checked in but it doesn't exist on the shelf. Being that HVAC contractors are vultures in my area probably not wanting a single person other than them to use the Manual J, I figure they probably took the book and buried it amongst some other section where it shouldn't be so nobody can find it as its the only copy in the entire counties library system of 40+ libraries.

If someone ends up creating a WYSIWYG-style UI for it, I'd be all over that but until now I'll keep air sealing and insulating the attic and relying on an HVAC contractor if I ever need to replace the furnace or A/C and use my own judgement to see if theirs is anywhere near where I think it should be but they better show me their Manual J calcs.
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Old 11-30-10, 12:00 PM   #4
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MN Renovator,

Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
Wow, this tool is insane. It is way over my head...
Sorry about that. Software should be easy to use. I posted another tool that is much more straight forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
...I might as well go back to trying to track down the Manual J again for heat and cooling load calculations...
In the meantime...

I don't currently have Excel installed on my computer, but I have found what appears to be Manual-J in a downloadable Excel form.


Additionally, I have found a Manual-J training video here.

This may be the answer to your prayers...

-AC_Hacker
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Old 11-30-10, 03:08 PM   #5
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AC_Hacker, Never be sorry, I might not be able to use it but I'm sure there are plenty others who will take benefit from it through your post about it.

Thank you for posting these other tools and it appears the spreadsheet and video were exactly what I was looking for. This shows that it pays to ask! Not sure why I Google searched and didn't run into this. I figured it was all tightly sealed but apparently it's all posted online directly from their site.

I don't have Excel either but you can use OpenOffice, which is free and is compatible with all of the Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel and works on Windows, Linux, Mac, and Solaris.

Edit: I will need to figure out the 1% and 99% dry bulb temps along with some other information like window and door U-value averages which is stuff I won't know since I didn't install these windows and have no paper trail but I think that there are 'general numbers' to put in if I had a Manual J to reference to. I've got some research to do but should be able to figure it out in time.

Oh, and when I said the tool was insane, I meant powerful and with no details left behind.

Last edited by MN Renovator; 11-30-10 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 11-30-10, 04:52 PM   #6
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U-value is 1/R-value, and, otomh, I'd say R=1 (in those awful USCS units) for single-pane, R3 for a good set of double-glazed, and R13 for SeriousWindows (tm).

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