SPARK

SPARK logo.

An object-oriented program that allows the user to quickly build models of complex physical processes by connecting equation-based calculation modules from an object library. SPARK (Simulation Problem Analysis and Research Kernel) creates an executable simulation program from this network ready to be run. Screen Shots

Keywords

object-oriented, research, complex systems, energy performance, short time-step dynamics

Validation/Testing

N/A

Expertise Required

High level of computer literacy required.

Users

50

Audience

Building technology researchers and energy consultants.

Input

Calculation modules created symbolically or selected from a library, then connected using a Graphical Editor or Network Specification Language; run-time input such as time step and parameter values.

Output

Graphical display of results for any simulation variable.

Computer Platform

Windows 95/98/2000/NT, Sun Unix, Linux, HP

Programming Language

C, C++

Strengths

Capable of modeling complex building envelopes and building HVAC systems to any level of detail; built-in problem decomposition and reduction techniques give execution times that are 10-20 times faster than similar programs. User-selectable time step allows modeling short time-step dynamics; symbolic input of equations avoids programming; Graphical Editor simplifies model description and construction of customized networks; library of HVAC components and systems.

Weaknesses

High level of user expertise in system being modeled required.

Contact

Company:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Address:

Mail Stop 90-3147
1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, California 94720
United States

Telephone:

(510) 486-5711

Facsimile:

(510) 486-4089

E-mail:

FCWinkelmann@lbl.gov

Website:

http://simulationresearch.lbl.gov

Availability

SPARK is available in two versions with different user interfaces: VisualSPARK and WinSPARK. Both have graphical user interfaces that simplify building and running SPARK models. VisualSPARK runs under Windows 95/98/2000/NT, Linux, HP UNIX and Sun UNIX and is available free from LBNL. WinSPARK runs under Windows 95/98/2000/NT and is available from Ayres Sowell Associates.

Note that the SPARK software is not affiliated with or endorsed by SPARC International.