TRAINING: DesignBuilder EnergyPlus Simulation Training

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DesignBuilder are running a simulation training course in collaboration with University College London (UCL) from 13th to 17th April. This face to face course in London is an excellent opportunity to find out how to get the most out of DesignBuilder EnergyPlus and learn best practice modelling techniques. It is suitable for new and experienced users alike, and is structured to give you plenty of worked examples so you can 'learn by doing'. The last 2 days will be of particular interest for those wanting to get up to speed with CFD and EnergyPlus HVAC system simulations. Our new VRF capability will be included in the Detailed HVAC day.
The course is completely modular and you can choose to attend any of the 5 days according to your particular training requirements:

Day 1: 13th April - Modeller. To show you how to confidently and quickly set up building geometry, import floor plans and gbXML models, zone the building and define and select constructions and glazing. We'll also explain how our data inheritance feature can dramatically reduce the amount of data input required to help speed up modelling and reduce the risk of input errors.

Day 2: 14th April - Basic Simulation*. Learn how to quickly model external influences such as non-standard ground conditions, adjacent buildings and shading objects; use templates for improved modelling efficiency; run heating and cooling designs and simulations and review results; easily add solar shading; and input model data such as lighting and HVAC efficiently.

Day 3: 15th April - Daylighting, Natural Ventilation & Renewables*. Modelling low environmental impact design solutions including daylighting using our integrated Radiance tool, natural ventilation, mixed mode, PV and wind turbines.

Day 4: 16th April - Introduction to Detailed HVAC*. Introducing EnergyPlus HVAC modelling in DesignBuilder and getting started with Detailed HVAC including HVAC templates to quickly load pre-configured HVAC systems, VRF modelling, HVAC plant loops and our Results Viewer.

Day 5: 17th April - CFD*. Learn the key concepts of internal and external CFD from the basic building blocks through to using simulation data to define boundary conditions more accurately.
*Note that Days 2-5 all require previous experience with the modeller or attendance on Day 1.
The cost of the course is ?250 GBP per day, with significant discounts available for academia. Discounts are also available for multiple bookings.
You can find out more about the UCL simulation training course (and indeed our extensive worldwide training schedule) by contact the office or via the training page on our website:

We hope to see you there!


David Cocking
DesignBuilder Software Limited
+44 (0) 1453 755500

David Cocking2's picture
Joined: 2014-04-09
Reputation: 0

Dear Forum,
The refrigerated warehouse we're modeling uses an "economizer" to help
unload the compressors in the winter. As I understand it, the system works
something like hot gas bypass for commercial air conditioners and routes
hot gas to the inlet of the compressor.
I don't see a direct method of modeling this, so I plan to create a
modified capacity curve for the compressors in order to represent the
impact of this "economizer".

1. Do you have a better idea?
2. Any cautions that apply to this approach from your experience?

James V Dirkes II, PE's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
Reputation: 203


Could your ?economizer? be a system that simply brings in cold outside air during the winter? Here is an example: We have seen these in refrigerated spaces.

Keith Swartz, PE, BEMP, LEED AP
Senior Energy Engineer | Energy Center of Wisconsin | Madison.Chicago.Minneapolis
608.210.7123 |

Keith Swartz's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

Thanks, Keith, but the refrigeration designer specifically said that it's
refrigerant introduced to the compressor inlet.
This makes sense to me as a capacity reduction technique, but I'm not as
well-versed in industrial refrigeration as I am in commercial
refrigeration, so I'm looking for input about how best to model it.

James V Dirkes II, PE's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
Reputation: 203

Hi Jim,

If I?ve understood your situation correctly I believe you should be looking at the ?Minimum unloading ratio? field, which you can find at the bottom of the ?Chiller Data? edit dialog in DesignBuilder (see below). This field relates to ?false-loading? (hot gas bypass) of compressors under part-load conditions. There is a more detailed explanation in the DesignBuilder Help file which I?ve also copied below FYI.

Hope that helps,


[cid:image003.jpg at 01D056BF.A83E93C0]

[cid:image004.png at 01D056B1.434FAE80]

David Cocking2's picture
Joined: 2014-04-09
Reputation: 0


We see this type of free cooling in data centers applications too.
I suspect the type of economizer you might have to be one of 2: refrigerant migration or pumped refrigerant systems.
The refrigerant will migrate to the point of lowest temperature in the system (migration type during colder month, the condenser outlet will be colder than your evaporator) or will be pumped to the condenser (pumped refrigerant type).

The way I dealt with this is to add a free cooling device at the plant level in the model (trace/eQuest) without altering the capacity curves.

All the best,

Hayssam Barhoun3's picture
Joined: 2014-12-12
Reputation: 0