EnergyGauge USA

EnergyGauge USA logo.

User-friendly residential building energy simulation which allows calculation and rating of energy use of residential buildings around the United States. ENERGYGAUGE USA, takes advantage of current generation personal computers that perform an hourly annual computer simulation in less than half a minute. Includes Manual-J system sizing analysis, and an improvement analysis mode to analyze cost-effectiveness of energy upgrades.

ENERGYGAUGE USA uses DOE-2.1E with a number of enhancements which allow superior simulation of duct air leakage and heat transfer (thermal conditions of zones in which ducts are located strongly affects performance) as well as improved calculation of air conditioners, heat pump and furnaces performance. Slab, crawlspace and basement foundation types are explicitly modeled as is thermal bridging in stud assemblies. Includes enhanced simulation of the impacts of air infiltration and mechanical ventilation systems based on measured, estimated or proposed values. Ability to simulate hourly performance of solar water heating systems as well as grid-interactive solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Simplified input with an easy-to-use interface. Detailed schedules and end-use output are available for a variety of residential appliances from lighting down to well pumps! Simple enough to use to rapidly perform Home Energy Ratings (HERS) with a proven hourly calculation engine to provide reliable results. Alternately, ENERGYGAUGE USA is powerful enough to provide utility planners with time-of-day information to evaluate peak demand impact of residential programs.

Keywords

residential, energy calculations, code compliance

Validation/Testing

N/A

Expertise Required

Moderate level of computer literacy with basic understanding of residential construction, appliances and equipment.

Users

Version 2.42 (released in April 2005); Version 3.0 to be released in 2006.

Audience

Residential building designers, residential energy raters, energy auditors, architects, utilities DSM evaluators, code compliance specialists and code officials, weatherization agencies and engineers.

Input

Typical homes can be input in ten minutes from take-offs. Input screens allow simplified and detailed description of building geometry, construction characteristics and equipment. Most input values can be defaulted to user-entered preferences or can be quickly entered based on either proposed values or performance measurements from site audits. Extensive component libraries are provided. Range checks and extensive context-sensitive help are available for all inputs. Built-in logic checks help users catch inconsistent data entries. Values are easily entered for schedules and equipment types. TMY2 weather data for 239 U.S. cities are available. Fuel costs, energy conservation measure costs, and mortgage data can be entered by users for economic and financial analysis.

Output

Detailed annual energy summary reports, detailed description of inputs, HERS reports, Energy Code compliance reports (MEC and IECC), ENERGY STAR� home qualification reports, and energy use and costs summaries are available. New HERS 2006 procedures and EPA home tax credit compliance calculations is available within latest version. Also, standard DOE-2 reports are available including hourly reports on energy, temperatures and weather conditions with detailed tabular results. Whole house Manual J sizing reports are available for sizing heating and cooling equipment. Improvement analysis allows comparison of multiple individual runs to evaluate annual energy and economic performance. Graphic output of results are included.

Computer Platform

PC-compatible, Windows 95/98, NT, 2000, XP, Pentium processor with 16 MB of RAM with a suggested minimum processor speed of 233 MHz.

Programming Language

DOE-2.1E calculation engine: Digital Fortran; Interface: Borland Delphi 4.0.

Strengths

Fast, easy to use residential analysis tool that relies on detailed simulation. Program has broad applications from code compliance to home energy ratings to buildings research. As example, those interested only in home energy ratings or annual energy use can select appropriate annual energy summary reports, while utilities can select hourly reports to examine impact on peak electrical demand. Enhanced calculation of duct and infiltration losses as well as mechanical ventilation systems can be based on test results. Multi-zone calculations of attic, crawlspace, basement, garage and sunspace provide improved modeling for common residential analysis. Appliances are simulated in much greater detail than usual: for instance load schedules are available for ranges, dryers, refrigerators, lighting and even pools and well pumps. Improvement analysis allows rapid comparison and economic cost-benefit analysis of various alternatives. Many standard reports and financial compliance forms provided.

Weaknesses

Execution time is approximate six sconds for an annual simulation on a 2.8 GHz processor. Room-by-room HVAC sizing not available. Multiple-conditioned zones and batch mode processing are under development for Version 3.0.

Contact

Company:

Florida Solar Energy Center

Address:

1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, Florida 32922
United States

Telephone:

(407) 638-1492

Facsimile:

(407) 638-1010

E-mail:

engauge@fsec.ucf.edu

Website:

http://energygauge.com/usares/default.htm

Availability

Contact ENERGYGAUGE USA support office for licensing and pricing arrangements. Free 60 day trial version of HERS 2006/tax credit compliance: http://energygauge.com/usares/trial.htm