EnergyPlus V4.0 Released

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EnergyPlus Version 4.0 Available

The latest release of the EnergyPlus building
energy simulation program, Version 4.0, is now
available in versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac
operating systems. A few key new features
include We have updated and extended
capabilities throughout the existing building
envelope, daylighting, and HVAC equipment and systems portions of the program.

EnergyPlus V 4.0 is available at no cost from the
EnergyPlus web site:

OpenStudio plugin for Google SketchUp: The
OpenStudio is a free plugin for the
GoogleSketchUp 3D drawing program. The plugin
makes it easy to create and edit the building
geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. The
plugin also allows you to launch EnergyPlus
simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp.

EnergyPlus Example File Generator: A Web-based
service is available that creates and runs
EnergyPlus input files for simple models of
commercial buildings. The input files (and annual
results summary files) are sent to your e-mail
address as attachments. This is a pilot project
and is currently made available only as a BETA
service. You can access the service and customize
the characteristics of the building you want to
model on the EnergyPlus Example File Generator
Application (pop-ups must be enabled).

The set of example input files now includes
full-blown models of typical new construction
(drawn from the DOE Commercial Benchmarks project).

What's New in Version 4.0?

The highlights ? improved and new features ? are displayed by category.

? SandiaPVdata.imf macro data set updated
with latest set of input data from SNL for Sandia PV model.
? Weather (EPW) and stat files now
include field for rainfall. Weather data has all
been reprocessed for V4.0 -- includes 2009 ASHRAE
design conditions (if available), WMO# in file
name, and several new or revised data sets.

? Simple definition of underground walls
and floors with C and F factors for code compliance.
? Users can now define a window glazing
system using U-factor, solar heat gain
coefficient (SHGC), and visible transmittance (VT).
? Delimiter field added to Schedule:File object.
? Switchable windows report variables:
switching factor (tint level) and visible transmittance at each time step.
? Inputs for parametric preprocessor
added including values, logic, run control, and file naming.

Zone Model
? Source sink simulation and variable
thermal conductivity property added to Conduction Finite Difference model.
? Natural and Mechanical Ventilation
? Large Horizontal Openings added to AirflowNetwork

? Plant and Condenser Loops merged with
significant improvements throughout.
? Walk-in Refrigeration, Refrigeration
Cascade Condenser, and Refrigeration Secondary Loop.
? Evaporative Fluid Cooler.
? Zone water-to-air heat pump (ZoneHVAC:WaterToAirHeatPump).
? Zone air dehumidifier (ZoneHVAC:Dehumidifier:DX).
? Plant Pressure Drop can be calculated.
? Improved convergence tolerance for most unitary systems.
? Improved control of heat recovery in
outside air systems during economizer operation.

Controls and User Funcations
? EnergyManagementSystem implemented,
including EnergyPlus runtime language with
numerous actuators. A separate Application guide covers its use.

Environmental Impacts
? Schedules for fuel factors fully implemented in output reporting.

? Fanger PPD thermal comfort report variable added.
? Daylight metrics added: Time Exceeding
Daylight Illuminance Setpoint at Ref Point 1 and 2.
? Air Node Density can be reported for air nodes.
? Infiltration, Mixing, and Ventilation
air flow rates may be reported using standard density or current density.
? ReportDuringWarmup added to Output:Diagnostics object.

? ParametricPreprocessor utility creates
multiple IDF files from one and varying them parametrically.
? IDFConverter utility available - a GUI
for transitioning input files, including
converting a list of files, from any older version to any newer version.
? EP-Launch now automatically checks for
updated versions of EnergyPlus, it runs the
ParametricPreprocessor when necessary, and the
utility tab includes IDFConverter.
? Weather Converter can now calculate
solar radiation from available data. Improved
export and import of .wea (Ecotect) files.
? IDF Editor saves IP/SI view status with each file edited.

Documentation and Guides
? New, more unified menu scheme for navigating documenation.
? Two new application guides: Energy
Management System Application Guide and Using EnergyPlus for Compliance.
? Input/Output Reference and Engineering
Reference updated and extended for all new
features and updates and renaming. Total
documentation now exceeds 4,400 pages.

Validation and Testing
? New EnergyPlus Testing Reports:
? ? IEA BESTEST In-Depth Ground
Coupled Heat Transfer Tests Related to Slab-on-Grade Construction.
? ? IEA BESTEST Multi-Zone
Non-Airflow In-Depth Diagnostic Cases MZ320 - MZ360.

? Windows (tested for Windows 7)
? Linux
? Mac (tested for SnowLeopard)

And many other enhancements and speed improvements throughout.

See for
a complete list of new features added in this and previous versions.

Update on User Interfaces and Tools?

Many user interfaces that create and run
EnergyPlus input files and display results
graphically are available (Demand Response Quick
Assessment Tool, DesignBuilder, Easy EnergyPlus,
EFEN, Hevacomp, and HLCP) and under development
(ComFen, TREATPlus and EPlusInterface). Check
our web site
( )
for up-to-date information on these and other interfaces.

Utilities and tools for creating, editing, and
running input files that come with EnergyPlus
include IDF Editor, EP-Launch, and HVAC-Diagram
). Third party tools for creating, editing, and
displaying EnergyPlus input files are also
available, including DrawBDL, EcoTect,
EnergyPlugged, ESP-r, Green Building Studio,
EzDrawPlus, IFCtoIDF, TSe+, and EzPlus-Parm. See for more information.

EnergyPlus Training Workshops

We will continue to offer training workshops
throughout 2009. For more information, please

EnergyPlus Weather Data

Weather data for more than 2000 locations
worldwide are available on the EnergyPlus web

If you know of other weather data for your
country that you'd be willing to share with the
EnergyPlus user community, please contact Dru
Crawley (Drury.Crawley at

EnergyPlus Helpdesk

A helpdesk system has been set up for managing
EnergyPlus user support requests. The helpdesk
system includes a download area, a knowledge base
and troubleshooting area. To submit new support
requests (tickets) or search the knowledge base,
please go to You may
also submit new issues, files and reply to
tickets via e-mail at
EnergyPlus-Support at This address has
been linked to the helpdesk since early May
2008. This is the best way to get your specific
EnergyPlus questions answered.

EnergyPlus_Support Group at YahooGroups

Are you a commercial or academic user of
EnergyPlus? Join more than 2,000 EnergyPlus
users in the user-to-user email group on
YahooGroups?a place to ask questions and share
information with other EnergyPlus users. The
YahooGroup also provides a searchable archive of
all 7+ years of discussion. You can also upload
files to share with other users. While the
EnergyPlus development team does monitor the
YahooGroup list, the best place for
individualized support is the EnergyPlus Helpdesk.

The main web page for the group is:

To subscribe, send an email message to:
EnergyPlus_Support-subscribe at

If you hate to constantly receive email, you can
edit your YahooGroup membership to only send a daily digest of messages.

Building Energy Simulation User News

Want to keep up to date on EnergyPlus and other
building simulation tools? Subscribe to the
bi-monthly electronic newsletter for users of
EnergyPlus, DOE-2, BLAST, GenOpt, SPARK, and
Energy-10. See


Join the free e-mail list for users of all
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The EnergyPlus Team

Linda Lawrie2's picture
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