skip to main content

Title: EnergyPlus Analysis Capabilities for Use in California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Development and Compliance Calculations

California has been using DOE-2 as the main building energy analysis tool in the development of building energy efficiency standards (Title 24) and the code compliance calculations. However, DOE-2.1E is a mature program that is no longer supported by LBNL on contract to the USDOE, or by any other public or private entity. With no more significant updates in the modeling capabilities of DOE-2.1E during recent years, DOE-2.1E lacks the ability to model, with the necessary accuracy, a number of building technologies that have the potential to reduce significantly the energy consumption of buildings in California. DOE-2's legacy software code makes it difficult and time consuming to add new or enhance existing modeling features in DOE-2. Therefore the USDOE proposed to develop a new tool, EnergyPlus, which is intended to replace DOE-2 as the next generation building simulation tool. EnergyPlus inherited most of the useful features from DOE-2 and BLAST, and more significantly added new modeling capabilities far beyond DOE-2, BLAST, and other simulations tools currently available. With California's net zero energy goals for new residential buildings in 2020 and for new commercial buildings in 2030, California needs to evaluate and promote currently available best practice and emerging technologies tomore » significantly reduce energy use of buildings for space cooling and heating, ventilating, refrigerating, lighting, and water heating. The California Energy Commission (CEC) needs to adopt a new building energy simulation program for developing and maintaining future versions of Title 24. Therefore, EnergyPlus became a good candidate to CEC for its use in developing and complying with future Title 24 upgrades. In 2004, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company contracted with ArchitecturalEnergy Corporation (AEC), Taylor Engineering, and GARD Analytics to evaluate EnergyPlus in its ability to model those energy efficiency measures specified in both the residential and nonresidential Alternative Calculation Method (ACM) of the Title-24 Standards. The AEC team identified gaps between EnergyPlus modeling capabilities and the requirements of Title 24 and ACMs. AEC's evaluation was based on the 2005 version of Title 24 and ACMs and the version 1.2.1 of EnergyPlus released on October 1, 2004. AEC's evaluation is useful for understanding the functionality and technical merits of EnergyPlus for implementing the performance-based compliance methods described in the ACMs. However, it did not study the performance of EnergyPlus in actually making building energy simulations for both the standard and proposed building designs, as is required for any software program to be certified by the CEC for use in doing Title-24 compliance calculations. In 2005, CEC funded LBNL to evaluate the use of EnergyPlus for compliance calculations by comparing the ACM accuracy test runs between DOE-2.1E and EnergyPlus. LBNL team identified key technical issues that must be addressed before EnergyPlus can be considered by the CEC for use in developing future Nonresidential Title-24 Standards or as an ACM tool. With Title 24 being updated to the 2008 version (which adds new requirements to the standards and ACMs), and EnergyPlus having been through several update cycles from version 1.2.1 to 2.1, it becomes crucial to review and update the previously identified gaps of EnergyPlus for use in Title 24, and more importantly to close the gaps which would help pave the way for EnergyPlus to be adopted as a Title 24 compliance ACM. With this as the key driving force, CEC funded LBNL in 2008 through this PIER (Public Interest Energy Research) project with the overall technical goal to expand development of EnergyPlus to provide for its use in Title-24 standard compliance and by CEC staff.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
944980
Report Number(s):
LBNL-822E
TRN: US200902%%1172
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Environmental Energy Technologies Division
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32; ACCURACY; AIR CONDITIONING; CALCULATION METHODS; COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS; COMPLIANCE; ENERGY ANALYSIS; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS; EVALUATION; HEATING; PERFORMANCE; RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS; SIMULATION; WATER HEATING EnergyPlus, Title 24, code compliance, simulation, California