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EXPANDING THE CAPABILITIES OF DOE'S ENERGYPLUS BUILDING ENERGY SIMULATION PROGRAM

Description: EnergyPlus{trademark} is a new generation analysis tool that is being developed, tested, and commercialized to support DOE's Building Technologies (BT) Program in terms of whole-building, component, and systems R&D (http://www.energyplus.gov). It will also support evaluation and decision making of zero energy building (ZEB) energy efficiency and supply technologies during new building design and existing building retrofits. Version 1.0 of EnergyPlus was released in April 2001, followed by six updated versions over the ensuing three-year period. This report summarizes work performed by the University of Central Florida's Florida Solar Energy Center (UCF/FSEC) to expand the capabilities of EnergyPlus. The project tasks involved implementing, testing, and documenting the following new features: (1) A model for energy recovery ventilation equipment that transfers both sensible (temperature) and latent (moisture) energy between building exhaust air and incoming outdoor ventilation air; (2) A model to account for the degradation of cooling coil dehumidification performance at part-load conditions; (3) A model for cooling coils augmented with air-to-air heat exchangers for improved dehumidification; and (4) A heat transfer coefficient calculator and automatic sizing algorithms for the existing EnergyPlus cooling tower model. UCF/FSEC located existing mathematical models for these features and incorporated them into EnergyPlus. The software models were written using Fortran-90 and were integrated within EnergyPlus in accordance with the EnergyPlus Programming Standard and Module Developer's Guide. Each model/feature was thoroughly tested and identified errors were repaired. Upon completion of each model implementation, the existing EnergyPlus documentation (Input Output Reference and Engineering Document) was updated with information describing the new model/feature.
Date: April 1, 2004
Creator: Don B. Shirey, III & Raustad, Richard A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Understanding the Dehumidification Performance of Air-Conditioning Equipment at Part-Load Conditions

Description: Air conditioner cooling coils typically provide both sensible cooling and moisture removal. Data from a limited number of field studies (Khattar et al. 1985; Henderson and Rengarajan 1996; Henderson 1998) have demonstrated that the moisture removal capacity of a cooling coil degrades at part-load conditions--especially when the supply fan operates continuously while the cooling coil cycles on and off. Degradation occurs because moisture that condenses on the coil surfaces during the cooling cycle evaporates back into air stream when the coil is off. This degradation affects the ability of cooling equipment to maintain proper indoor humidity levels and may negatively impact indoor air quality. This report summarizes the results of a comprehensive project to better understand and quantify the moisture removal (dehumidification) performance of cooling coils at part-load conditions. A review of the open literature was initially conducted to learn from previous research on this topic. Detailed performance measurements were then collected for eight cooling coils in a controlled laboratory setting to understand the impact of coil geometry and operating conditions on transient moisture condensation and evaporation by the coils. Measurements of cooling coil dehumidification performance and space humidity levels were also collected at seven field test sites. Finally, an existing engineering model to predict dehumidification performance degradation for single-stage cooling equipment at part-load conditions (Henderson and Rengarajan 1996) was enhanced to include a broader range of fan control strategies and an improved theoretical basis for modeling off-cycle moisture evaporation from cooling coils. The improved model was validated with the laboratory measurements, and this report provides guidance for users regarding proper model inputs. The model is suitable for use in computerized calculation procedures such as hourly or sub-hourly building energy simulation programs (e.g., DOE's EnergyPlus building energy simulation program, http://www.energyplus.gov ).
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: III, Don B. Shirey; Jr, Hugh I. Henderson & Raustad, Richard A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compare Energy Use in Variable Refrigerant Flow Heat Pumps Field Demonstration and Computer Model

Description: Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat pumps are often regarded as energy efficient air-conditioning systems which offer electricity savings as well as reduction in peak electric demand while providing improved individual zone setpoint control. One of the key advantages of VRF systems is minimal duct losses which provide significant reduction in energy use and duct space. However, there is limited data available to show their actual performance in the field. Since VRF systems are increasingly gaining market share in the US, it is highly desirable to have more actual field performance data of these systems. An effort was made in this direction to monitor VRF system performance over an extended period of time in a US national lab test facility. Due to increasing demand by the energy modeling community, an empirical model to simulate VRF systems was implemented in the building simulation program EnergyPlus. This paper presents the comparison of energy consumption as measured in the national lab and as predicted by the program. For increased accuracy in the comparison, a customized weather file was created by using measured outdoor temperature and relative humidity at the test facility. Other inputs to the model included building construction, VRF system model based on lab measured performance, occupancy of the building, lighting/plug loads, and thermostat set-points etc. Infiltration model inputs were adjusted in the beginning to tune the computer model and then subsequent field measurements were compared to the simulation results. Differences between the computer model results and actual field measurements are discussed. The computer generated VRF performance closely resembled the field measurements.
Date: June 1, 2013
Creator: Sharma, Chandan & Raustad, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computer Modeling VRF Heat Pumps in Commercial Buildings using EnergyPlus

Description: Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat pumps are increasingly used in commercial buildings in the United States. Monitored energy use of field installations have shown, in some cases, savings exceeding 30% compared to conventional heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. A simulation study was conducted to identify the installation or operational characteristics that lead to energy savings for VRF systems. The study used the Department of Energy EnergyPlus? building simulation software and four reference building models. Computer simulations were performed in eight U.S. climate zones. The baseline reference HVAC system incorporated packaged single-zone direct-expansion cooling with gas heating (PSZ-AC) or variable-air-volume systems (VAV with reheat). An alternate baseline HVAC system using a heat pump (PSZ-HP) was included for some buildings to directly compare gas and electric heating results. These baseline systems were compared to a VRF heat pump model to identify differences in energy use. VRF systems combine multiple indoor units with one or more outdoor unit(s). These systems move refrigerant between the outdoor and indoor units which eliminates the need for duct work in most cases. Since many applications install duct work in unconditioned spaces, this leads to installation differences between VRF systems and conventional HVAC systems. To characterize installation differences, a duct heat gain model was included to identify the energy impacts of installing ducts in unconditioned spaces. The configuration of variable refrigerant flow heat pumps will ultimately eliminate or significantly reduce energy use due to duct heat transfer. Fan energy is also studied to identify savings associated with non-ducted VRF terminal units. VRF systems incorporate a variable-speed compressor which may lead to operational differences compared to single-speed compression systems. To characterize operational differences, the computer model performance curves used to simulate cooling operation are also evaluated. The information in this paper is intended to provide a relative difference ...
Date: June 1, 2013
Creator: Raustad, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Variable Refrigerant Flow Heat Pump Computer Model in EnergyPlus

Description: This paper provides an overview of the variable refrigerant flow heat pump computer model included with the Department of Energy's EnergyPlusTM whole-building energy simulation software. The mathematical model for a variable refrigerant flow heat pump operating in cooling or heating mode, and a detailed model for the variable refrigerant flow direct-expansion (DX) cooling coil are described in detail.
Date: January 1, 2013
Creator: Raustad, Richard A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Verification of a VRF Heat Pump Computer Model in EnergyPlus

Description: This paper provides verification results of the EnergyPlus variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pump computer model using manufacturer's performance data. The paper provides an overview of the VRF model, presents the verification methodology, and discusses the results. The verification provides quantitative comparison of full and part-load performance to manufacturer's data in cooling-only and heating-only modes of operation. The VRF heat pump computer model uses dual range bi-quadratic performance curves to represent capacity and Energy Input Ratio (EIR) as a function of indoor and outdoor air temperatures, and dual range quadratic performance curves as a function of part-load-ratio for modeling part-load performance. These performance curves are generated directly from manufacturer's published performance data. The verification compared the simulation output directly to manufacturer's performance data, and found that the dual range equation fit VRF heat pump computer model predicts the manufacturer's performance data very well over a wide range of indoor and outdoor temperatures and part-load conditions. The predicted capacity and electric power deviations are comparbale to equation-fit HVAC computer models commonly used for packaged and split unitary HVAC equipment.
Date: June 1, 2013
Creator: Nigusse, Bereket & Raustad, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technical Subtopic 2.1: Modeling Variable Refrigerant Flow Heat Pump and Heat Recovery Equipment in EnergyPlus

Description: The University of Central Florida/Florida Solar Energy Center, in cooperation with the Electric Power Research Institute and several variable-refrigerant-flow heat pump (VRF HP) manufacturers, provided a detailed computer model for a VRF HP system in the United States Department of Energy's (U.S. DOE) EnergyPlus? building energy simulation tool. Detailed laboratory testing and field demonstrations were performed to measure equipment performance and compare this performance to both the manufacturer's data and that predicted by the use of this new model through computer simulation. The project goal was to investigate the complex interactions of VRF HP systems from an HVAC system perspective, and explore the operational characteristics of this HVAC system type within a laboratory and real world building environment. Detailed laboratory testing of this advanced HVAC system provided invaluable performance information which does not currently exist in the form required for proper analysis and modeling. This information will also be useful for developing and/or supporting test standards for VRF HP systems. Field testing VRF HP systems also provided performance and operational information pertaining to installation, system configuration, and operational controls. Information collected from both laboratory and field tests were then used to create and validate the VRF HP system computer model which, in turn, provides architects, engineers, and building owners the confidence necessary to accurately and reliably perform building energy simulations. This new VRF HP model is available in the current public release version of DOE?s EnergyPlus software and can be used to investigate building energy use in both new and existing building stock. The general laboratory testing did not use the AHRI Standard 1230 test procedure and instead used an approach designed to measure the field installed full-load operating performance. This projects test methodology used the air enthalpy method where relevant air-side parameters were controlled while collecting output performance data ...
Date: September 30, 2013
Creator: Raustad, Richard; Nigusse, Bereket & Domitrovic, Ron
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advancement of DOE's EnergyPlus Building Energy Simulation Payment

Description: EnergyPlus{sup TM} is a new generation computer software analysis tool that has been developed, tested, and commercialized to support DOE’s Building Technologies (BT) Program in terms of whole-building, component, and systems R&D (http://www.energyplus.gov). It is also being used to support evaluation and decision making of zero energy building (ZEB) energy efficiency and supply technologies during new building design and existing building retrofits. The 5-year project was managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and was divided into 5 budget period between 2006 and 2011. During the project period, 11 versions of EnergyPlus were released. This report summarizes work performed by an EnergyPlus development team led by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (UCF/FSEC). The team members consist of DHL Consulting, C. O. Pedersen Associates, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Oklahoma State University, GARD Analytics, Inc., and WrightSoft Corporation. The project tasks involved new feature development, testing and validation, user support and training, and general EnergyPlus support. The team developed 146 new features during the 5-year period to advance the EnergyPlus capabilities. Annual contributions of new features are 7 in budget period 1, 19 in period 2, 36 in period 3, 41 in period 4, and 43 in period 5, respectively. The testing and validation task focused on running test suite and publishing report, developing new IEA test suite cases, testing and validating new source code, addressing change requests, and creating and testing installation package. The user support and training task provided support for users and interface developers, and organized and taught workshops. The general support task involved upgrading StarTeam (team sharing) software and updating existing utility software. The project met the DOE objectives and completed all tasks successfully. Although the EnergyPlus software was enhanced significantly under this project, more enhancements are needed for further improvement to ensure ...
Date: March 31, 2011
Creator: Gu, Lixing; Shirey, Don; Raustad, Richard; Nigusse, Bereket; Sharma, Chandan; Lawrie, Linda et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department