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loadmodeling.tool Validation
loadmodeling.tool Validation

EnergyPlus Validation, ASHRAE 140, ASHRAE 183, ASHRAE 90.1, Appendix G

Patrick Pease avatar
Written by Patrick Pease
Updated over a week ago

How is building simulation software validated?

Building simulation software such as cove.tool and EnergyPlus are complex and highly detailed application written by large teams of programmers utilizing fundamental physics and heat transfer equations. Each application is made up of thousands of lines of code which are tested individually, however to validate the entire simulation, a method which compares one software to others via standard test procedures is used. This validation method is defined by ASHRAE Standard 140-2020: Method of Test for Evaluating Building Performance Simulation Software. The results of validation via ASHRAE 140 are a series of comparisons to standard values from other software.

Validation of loadmodeling.tool

loadmodeling.tool runs on the EnergyPlus version 22.2.0 engine, released September 27, 2022. EnergyPlus is the United States Department of Energy flagship whole building energy modeling engine which has been under continuous development since 1997. Over the years EnergyPlus has gone through extensive testing and validation, a full summary of which can be found here.

Since EnergyPlus is the core engine of loadmodeling.tool the validation of results is inherited from ASHRAE 140 testing performed and published for EnergyPlus. As loadmodeling.tool grows the full ASHRAE 140 test suite will be performed, providing even more validation of the simulation methods and results.

Continuous Validation

Thanks to the utility of being a web based platform, loadmodeling.tool is continuously validated against a wide array of tests. To ensure accurate results for engineers, each input and result on the platform is run through an Automated Quality Assurance test weekly. This preforms tests on thousands of inputs and results from the Room Templates to the sizing results for a central Air System.

With this unmatched ability to validate the simulation from start to finish automatically, we provide confidence that results are accurate and verified.

Can results from loadmodeling.tool be used for design and compliance?

Yes! Our loadmodeling.tool produces results via EnergyPlus which are suitable for sizing of mechanical systems in any building type. Results for peak cooling load, peak heating load and airflow rates are directly comparable to values produced by any other load modeling software.

As with any calculation that will make its way into the built environment, the key step is to have a professional engineer review and confirm the correctness. With loadmodeling.tool more time can be provided for the critical review process thanks to time saving in producing the initial results. Now every project can get both a load model and an energy model!

ASHRAE Standard 183

Peak Cooling and Heating Load Calculations in Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (ASHRAE 183) defines the compliance methodology required for load modeling. The EnergyPlus engine used by loadmodeling.tool utilizes the industry standard heat balance method, which is one of the approved methods in ASHRAE 183. The additional details defined in section 5 to 10 are also covered by loadmodeling.tool. A read only version of the standard is available here. A download of the loadmodeling.tool compliance reporting for ASHRAE 183 is available at the end of this article.

ASHRAE Standard 90.1

Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (ASHRAE 90.1) defines prescriptive and performance based compliance pathways for buildings. The Performance path, called Performance Rating Method or PRM, includes requirements for the software used. loadmodeling.tool and the simulation engine EnergyPlus meet or exceed these requirements. A read only version of the standard is available here, details on the simulation program requirements will be found in section G2.2.

Further Reading

Compliance Report Downloads

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