DOE Converts EnergyPlus from Fortran to C++

October 3, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

DOE Energy ManageThe Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus, which models whole-building energy and water use, is the basis for building energy-efficiency standards and is the engine inside many commercial software products. It has a large and diverse user community.

For the first 17 years of its existence, EnergyPlus was written in the FORTRAN programming language. Now, DOE is releasing EnergyPlus 8.2.0, the first version written in C++. DOE says C++ has better built-in features for software development, testing, and maintenance. It also has a larger ecosystem of software libraries and development tools, better access to new high-performance hardware, and a significantly larger developer community. DOE believes that the language change will help spur the evolution of EnergyPlus and its integration into additional applications and services.

DOE also says for many models, version 8.2.0 will be at least 20 percent faster than version 8.1.0.

The EnergyPlus update also incorporates new and enhanced modeling features including improved HVAC equipment auto-sizing routines, improved models for ground heat exchange, new models for natural ventilation, and control options for radiant and cooling systems.

Recently, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers said they are developing software that will automatically calibrate models for simulating building energy use, which will speed the process of using EnergyPlus.


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