- For Faculty, Staff, Students (current)
Virtual PULSE is a capstone piece of software created under the NSF EFRI PULSE project aimed at the operation, renovation and design of existing and new building structures at University campuses.
Energy modeling of buildings has traditionally been exceptionally time consuming and cumbersome. Oftentimes, it takes an experienced designer days or even weeks to develop a reliable energy model. Buildings are complex, and software to model its geometry and energy demands is limited. Current software solutions lack either a user friendly front end interface or a proven back end engine. By simplifying the building input process, the user interface, and the access to such software, energy simulations reach a wider audience and empower modelers to capture even the combined effect of multiple buildings. VirtualPULSE is a new web application that allows users to simulate building energy and airflow. The tool encapsulates an online web interface with building specification fields, geometry importing, 3D visualization, the Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus simulation engine / outputs, and computational fluid dynamics airflow analyses. First, this publication outlines the steps taken to develop a web application, configure an Amazon server, setup a testing environment, and install EnergyPlus onto a web server. Second, we will outline the methodology taken to narrow the initial energy model to the minimal number of building input parameters. Future research will explore the optimization of more complex mechanical systems as well as urban scale simulations.
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