Editorial: ASHRAE Energy Modeling Conference -- Day 2

Alan Jackson bio photo By Alan Jackson Comment

The morning started off with a long awaited demonstration of a recent build of Bentleys energy analysis offering in the the form of AECOsim representing a MicroStation front-end with the powerful Energyplus back end (v4.0?). The long short of the demonstration led by Dru Crawley, formerly of the DOE building tools group, is that they have a strong offering for the industry which I plan on doing a full in depth review of the Beta copy that was made available. Thats all I can say. Release expected in the summer of this year. Look for more info on the site.

This day can be summed up rather quickly. I spent 90% of my time on the “Systems” side moderated by Philip Haves of LBNL. This was an extremely interesting series of discussions that focused on a panel of developers and software companies representing the key players on the energy modeling industry discussing in detail the way that each of there applications model a variety of building systems and situations. The panel included representatives from IES , TRNSYS, EnergyPlus, eQuest and Trane Trace. The topics included the modeling of DOAS, Radiant Systems, Lighting, Natural Ventilation, Ground Coupled Systems, Solar Thermal, Campus and Thermal Storage Systems. What a great display of the various methods and feature sets that each application offers including ways and workarounds that are used to model the various systems. The winner is! Well its not that clear cut. I always say that when it comes to energy modeling modeling the feature set inversely correlates to the ease of use. So, with that said TRNSYS was a clear winner in feature set and the definitive loser in ease of use. IES made a strong case for its advanced methods of modeling building physics, while my personal favorite EnergyPlus showcased a strong set of features while lacking on the ease of use (more on that in Day 3). The market favorites Trane Trace and eQuest showed that they have a kept their large market share by toeing the line of features and ease of use.

On to Day 3