There is no point in reinventing the wheel when it comes to thermal simulation and buildings. As such, Speckel utilises EnergyPlus™ (version 9.2.0 +) for all our building simulation modelling.
For those unfamiliar, EnergyPlus™, it has been under development since 1997 and is an open-source whole-building energy modelling (BEM) engine. It is continuously maintained, thoroughly documented and fully supported.
Read more here: https://energyplus.net/
Used by engineers, architects, and researchers to model both energy consumption for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and plug and process loads in buildings, EnergyPlus™ implements detailed building physics calculations for air, moisture, and heat transfer.
EnergyPlus™ is tested according to ASHRAE Standard 140 methodology and directly supports a number of public and private-sector tools and services.
Some of the notable features and capabilities of EnergyPlus™ include:
- Integrated, simultaneous solution of thermal zone conditions and HVAC system response that does not assume that the HVAC system can meet zone loads and can simulate un-conditioned and under-conditioned spaces.
- Heat balance-based solution of radiant and convective effects that produce surface temperatures thermal comfort and condensation calculations.
- Sub-hourly, user-definable time steps for interaction between thermal zones and the environment; with automatically varied time steps for interactions between thermal zones and HVAC systems. These allow EnergyPlus™ to model systems with fast dynamics while also trading off simulation speed for precision.
- Combined heat and mass transfer model that accounts for air movement between zones.
- Advanced fenestration models including controllable window blinds, electrochromic glazings, and layer-by-layer heat balances that calculate solar energy absorbed by window panes.
- Illuminance and glare calculations for reporting visual comfort and driving lighting controls.
- Component-based HVAC that supports both standard and novel system configurations.