VisualDOE

VisualDOE logo.

A Windows interface to the DOE-2.1E energy simulation program. Through the graphical interface, users construct a model of the building's geometry using standard block shapes, using a built-in drawing tool, or importing DXF files. Building systems are defined through a point-and-click interface. A library of constructions, fenestrations, systems and operating schedules is included, and the user can add custom elements as well.

VisualDOE is especially useful for studies of envelope and HVAC design alternatives. Up to 99 alternatives can be defined for a single project. Summary reports and graphs may be printed directly from the program. Hourly reports of building parameters may also be viewed. Screen Shots

Keywords

energy, energy efficiency, energy performance, energy simulation, design, retrofit, research, residential and commercial buildings, simulation, HVAC, DOE-2

Validation/Testing

N/A

Expertise Required

Basic experience with Windows programs is important. Familiarity with building systems is desirable but not absolutely necessary. One to two days of training is also desirable but not necessary for those familiar with building modeling.

Users

1000+, US and 34 other countries.

Audience

Mechanical/electrical/energy engineers and architects working for architecture/engineering firms, consulting firms, utilities, federal agencies, research universities, research laboratories, and equipment manufacturers.

Input

Required inputs include floor plan, occupancy type, and location. These are all that is required to run a simulation. Typically, however, inputs include wall, roof and floor constructions; window area and type; HVAC system type and parameters; and lighting and office equipment power. Smart defaults are available for HVAC systems based on the building vintage and size. A library and templates are provided to greatly ease user input.

Output

Produces input and output summary reports that may be viewed on-screen, stored as PDF files, or printed. A number of graphs may be viewed and printed. These graphs can compare selected alternatives and/or selected hourly variables. Standard DOE-2.1E reports and hourly reports are available.

Computer Platform

Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000/XP. 486 or better, 16MB+ RAM, 50MB hard drive space.

Programming Language

Visual Basic and Visual C++

Strengths

Allows rapid development of energy simulations, dramatically reducing the time required to build a DOE-2 model. Specifying the building geometry is much faster than other comparable software, making VisualDOE useful for schematic design studies of the building envelope or HVAC systems. Uses DOE-2 as the simulation engine--an industry standard that has been shown to be accurate; implements DOE-2's daylighting calculations; allows input in SI or IP units; imports CADD data to define thermal zones. For advanced users, allows editing of equipment performance curves. Displays a 3D image of the model to help verify accuracy. Allows simple management of up to 99 design alternatives. Experienced DOE-2 users can use VisualDOE to create input files, modify them, and run them from within the program. The interface is designed to be able to incorporate other energy simulation engines like EnergyPlus. A live update program can be used to check and install latest updates via the internet. Responsive technical support is provided. Periodic training sessions are available.

Weaknesses

VisualDOE implements about 95% of DOE-2.1E functionalities which is adequate for most users. Advanced users familar with DOE-2.1E can implement the remaining 5% features by modifying the DOE-2 input files generated by VisualDOE.

Contact

Company:

Address:

142 Minna Street, Second Floor
San Francisco, California 94105
United States

Telephone:

(415) 957-1977

Facsimile:

(415) 957-1381

E-mail:

vdoesupport@archenergy.com

Website:

http://www.archenergy.com/products/visualdoe/

Availability

Contact Architectural Energy Corporation or visit web site for an order form. Cost is $980 + tax for a single commercial license, including 90 days phone and one year email technical support. Additional support is $300 per year. Evaluation copy available for free download from web site.