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ESP-r

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General purpose simulation environment which supports an in-depth appraisal of the factors which influence the energy and environmental performance of buildings. The ESP-r system has been the subject of sustained developments since 1974 and in 2002 converted to the GNU Public License. ESP-r has the objective of simulating building performance in a manner that: a) is realistic and adheres closely to actual physical systems, b) supports early-through-detailed design stage appraisals, and c) enables integrated performance assessments in which no single issue is unduly prominent. ESP-r attempts to simulate the real world as rigorously as possible and to a level which is consistent with current best practice in the international simulation community.

By addressing all aspects simultaneously, ESP-r allows the designer to explore the complex relationships between a building's form, fabric, air flow, plant and control. ESP-r is based on a finite volume, conservation approach in which a problem (specified in terms of geometry, construction, operation, leakage distribution, etc.) is transformed into a set of conservation equations (for energy, mass, momentum, etc.) which are then integrated at successive time-steps in response to climate, occupant and control system influences. ESP-r comprises a central Project Manager around which are arranged support databases, a simulator, various performance assessment tools and a variety of third party applications for CAD, visualisation and report generation.

In keeping with the philosophy of linking ESP-r to other modelling systems, users can now export to EnergyPlus an ESP-r model with materials, constructions, surfaces (all three and four sided surfaces as well as those including one window or one door - more complex surfaces are omitted). Boundary condition attributes are translated and the parent/child relationship between opaque and transparent surfaces established. The exported models usually pass the EnergyPlus parser with no errors or with minor warnings. Currently, approximate optical properties are established and schedules are not yet included. We anticipate updating the geometric filters to match the EnergyPlus V 1.2.1 release (October 2004) as well as including casual gain schedules in the near future.