Paper Conference

Proceedings of ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference


Reducing EnergyPlus Run Time for Code Compliance Tools

Rahul Athalye, Krishnan Gowri, Robert Schultz, Jason Glazer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
GARD Analytics, Inc., Arlington Heights, IL

Abstract: Integration of the EnergyPlus ™ simulation engine into performance-based code compliance software raises a concern about simulation run time, which impacts timely feedback of compliance results to the user. EnergyPlus annual simulations for proposed and code baseline building models result in simulation run times beyond acceptable limits. This paper presents a study that compares the results of a shortened simulation time period using 4 weeks of hourly weather data (one per quarter), to an annual simulation using full 52 weeks of hourly weather data. Three representative building types, based on DOE Prototype Building Models developed by PNNL, and three climate zones were used for determining the validity of using a shortened simulation run period. Further sensitivity analysis and run time comparisons were made to evaluate the robustness and run time savings of using this approach. The results of this analysis show that the shortened simulation run period provides compliance index calculations within 1% of those predicted using annual simulation results, and typically saves about 75% of simulation run time.
Pages: 33 - 40