FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
 
What is Energy Plus and Smart Energy?

Energy Plus (EP) is a simulation engine. Normally it is used in conjunction with a graphical user interface. Smart Energy is a graphical user interface for design day and hourly load calculations for Indian cities.

Why Smart Energy is online software?

Online software doesn’t require any software installation and it can be used in any system at any time. Desktop based software doesn’t have that much mobility.

Is Smart Energy having a user friendly interface for zone input? If yes then in what it is different from existing?

Yes, its flash interface doesn’t require a person to be experienced in CAD so even a non-technical person can also makes the lines on flash interface by just joining two dots marked on the floor plans.

What kind of graphical outputs does smart energy gives?

Smart Energy generates different kind of graphs like line graphs, pie charts etc. for 8760 hours, 288 hours, Monthly analysis.
You can even see the schedules graphs in the input reports where as sensible and latent heat distribution for various surfaces of the zones.

What is 288 hours report?

Hourly values of 21st day of every month for different variables

How do I model Thermal zones?

This section provides a step by step outline that will help you streamline creating your building models for using Smart Energy.

Step 1: Plan Ahead

Some preliminary steps will facilitate the construction of your input file. The following checklist should be completed before you start to construct your zone.
Obtain sufficient building construction information to allow specification of overall building geometry and surface constructions (including exterior walls, interior walls, partitions, floors, ceilings, roofs, windows and doors).

Step 2: "Zone" the Building

A building "surface" is the fundamental element in the building model. In the general sense, there are two types of "surfaces" in Smart Energy/EnergyPlus. These are:
Heat transfer surfaces(External Walls) and
Heat storage surfaces(Internal walls)

The first rule of building modeling is, "Always define a surface as a heat storage surface unless it must be defined as a heat transfer surface". Any surface, which is expected to separate spaces of significantly different temperatures, must be defined as a heat transfer surface. Thus, exterior surfaces, such as outside walls, roofs and floors, are heat transfer surfaces. Interior surfaces (partitions) are heat storage surfaces if they separate spaces maintained at the same temperature and heat transfer surfaces if they separate spaces maintained at different temperatures.
A "zone" is a thermal, not a geometric, concept. A "zone" is an air volume at a uniform temperature plus all the heat transfer and heat storage surfaces bounding or inside of that air volume. EnergyPlus calculates the energy required to maintain each zone at a specified temperature for each hour of the day. Since EnergyPlus performs a zone heat balance, the first step in preparing a building description is to break the building into zones. The objective of this exercise is to define as few zones as possible without significantly compromising the integrity of the simulation.
The question is, "How many thermal zones should be used to model this building?" The inexperienced building modeler may be tempted to define each room in the building as a zone, but the thermal zone is defined as a volume of air at a uniform temperature. The minimum number of zones in a general simulation model will usually be equal to the number of systems serving the building
When the building was zoned our objective was to define as few zones as possible.

Step 3: Prepare to Construct the Building Model

working from blueprints or sketches and following the guidelines in Step 2, the building zones were determined. It is recommended that the engineer sketch the building with its zones. Surface dimensions should be included in the sketch.

Building information:

Building North Axis: This syntax simplifies building geometry specification by designating one wall of the building as the building's north pointing axis. The building model North axis is measured from true (compass) North. Surface facing angles are then specified relative to the building north axis.

Zone information:

Wall height: This is entered once. All walls are assumed to be the same height

What are the outputs available from Smart Energy?

Smart Energy has three distinct and exclusive types of outputs.

Type 1: Design loads - Design loads for summer, monsoon and winter based on ASHRAE 2009 ambient design conditions.

Type 2: Monthly loads - hourly loads are calculated for a 12 representative days corresponding to the 12 months of the year.

Type 3: Hourly loads are calculated for the user selected period (days).

What Smart Energy version 1 would not do?

Moisture adsorption and desorption in building elements, moisture load calculations, load calculations for cold stores, deep freezers (or calculations for DB temperatures below 18 °C, 60% RH and snow conditions).
Radiant heating and cooling systems, passive and solar systems.
Energy costs.
Any special convolution required by a specific user.
Effect of heat recovery.
Interface with Linux, Macintosh, and link with TRNSYS, SPARK or other programs.

What are the features of Smart Energy over the conventional heat load calculations being used?

Self-shading of the building.
Wall and roof tilts.
Window external shading Treated fresh air.
Monthly loads.
Validated simulation engine.
ASHRAE 2009 design conditions.
Graphical Outputs with Psychometric charts analysis.

Can I do heat loads for multiple buildings?

No. You would need to do separate runs.

Can I change the outside design conditions given for various cities?

Yes you can edit the existing design day data for any city

Can I use my own defined construction material in the simulation?

Yes you can define any materials for the constructions

Is it possible to get the design day load report as per standard E20 excel sheet format?

Yes

Can I import a CAD drawing into Smart Energy?

Yes

Will it shows ADP calculation on psychometric chart ?

Yes.

Corrected ADP will be used for dehumidify cfm calculation?

Yes

Why do we have to create a Schedule Masters for loads and setpoints?

Schedules are required for doing the annual energy calculations and it can be changed hourly in smart energy.

What is the use of Default option?

By clicking on default options software will prompt the default values for loads and schedules based on application of building

What is the time-step being used in Smart Energy?

1 hour.

Is moisture conduction considered in Smart Energy?

No.

Can I consider any external wall as a shaded wall?

Yes.

How are psychrometric calculations done in Smart Energy?

By using a commercial psychrometrci programme and with the help of flash interface

What does the "Activity Level" describe?

Activity level is the amount of heat generated by one person.
The values are obtained from 2001 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, page 8.7, Table 4.

Should I measure the outside dimensions of walls, or the inside dimensions?

Size of the wall is always the internal measure, although we look at the wall from outside when describing vertices. As far as the simulation is concerned, the inside and outside measurements are identical from a heat-transfer perspective. So, one could argue that the average of the two is more appropriate to pick up the additional outside heat transfer.

What are the outputs available in an hourly load analysis? Could you describe the output of the hourly load calculations?

Zone Window Heat Gain[W]
Zone Window Heat Loss[W]
Zone Opaque Surface Inside Conduction Gain[W]
Zone Opaque Surface Inside Conduction Loss[W]
Zone-Total Internal Latent Gain(Hourly)
Zone-Total Internal Radiant Heat Gain(Hourly)
Zone-Total Internal Convective Heat Gain(Hourly)
Zone-Total Internal Lost Heat Gain(Hourly)
Zone-Total Internal Visible Heat Gain(Hourly)
People-Sensible Heat Gain (Hourly)
People-Latent Heat Gain(Hourly)
People-Total Heat Gain[J](Hourly)
Electric Eq-Total Heat Gain[J](Hourly)
Electric Eq-Radiant Heat Gain[J](Hourly)
Electric Eq-Convective Heat Gain[J](Hourly)
Electric Eq-Latent Heat Gain[J](Hourly)
Electric Eq-Lost Heat Gain[J](Hourly)

Are the inputs available as an output file?

Yes, you will be getting a detailed input report

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