Software Solutions

Introduction

We are familiar with a wide variety of software available in industry and also have several software packages developed in house to assist you with all of your planning, design, project management, evaluation, and verification needs. A detailed software summary is listed below.

 

US Government or Agency Software or Software Developed for such Agencies

 

  1. EnergyPlus – EnergyPlus models heating, cooling, lighting, ventilating, and other energy flows as well as water in buildings. While originally based on the most popular features and capabilities of BLAST and DOE-2, EnergyPlus includes many innovative simulation capabilities such as time steps of less than an hour, modular systems and plant integrated with heat balance-based zone simulation, multizone air flow, thermal comfort, water use, natural ventilation, and photovoltaic systems. EnergyPlus is a stand-alone simulation program without a ‘user friendly’ graphical interface. EnergyPlus reads input and writes output as text files. A number of graphical interfaces are available or under development.

 

  1. EPANET – public domain software developed by USEPA. EPANET can perform steady-state and extended period simulations for networks of junctions, pipes, pumps, valves, and storage structures, calculating flow of water, pressures, tank elevations, concentration of chemical species, water age, and source tracing. Such systems including stand pipes (water towers) and their distribution systems. We have used EPANET to model the chilled water hydraulic system in a major VA medical center to identify and define]

 

  1. Heat Transfer Analysis of Underground Heat and ChilledWater Distribution Systems – a simplified calculation procedure for determining heat exchange between the earth a multiplicity of buried pipes having a different temperature and thermal insulation are present. The procedure deals with cases were pipes are buried side, as well as those when several pipes are bundled in a conduit. The effects of seasonal variations of earth temperature are treated in a quasi-steady-state equation that includes soil thermal properties, depth of burial, pipe sizes, and relative locations of pipes. NBSTR # 81 2378, published Nov 1981.

 

  1. Computer Modeling of the Vapor Compression Cycle with Constant Flow Area Expansion Devices a public domain, closed loop thermodynamic based software heat and mass balance thermodynamic package for modeling and simulation across the various elements in a refrigerant system. It was developed and use by Piotr Domanski and David Didion as a part of a DOE funded/ NBS Building Science Series 155 effort in 1993.

 

  1. Civil Engineering Laboratory Cogeneration Analysis Program (CELCAP) analyzes the performance and economics of cogeneration systems utilizing combustion turbines, diesel or natural gas reciprocating engines, or steam turbines. The effects of engine combustion, engine size, control modes, use of peaking engines, utility rate structure, sale of power to the utility grid, fuel type, fuel price, and future cost calculations can be determined by varying the input. The program computes design point engine performance, compares thermal and electrical load against engine output, adjusts engine output according to the assumed control mode, and calculates the resulting and instantaneous and life cycle costs of operation.
    1. Analyzes steam turbine (single extraction or back pressure, combustion turbines and natural gas and diesel reciprocating systems.
    2. Handles any mixture of five (5) or less engines;
    3. Compares operation of system assuming three different control modes: modulation to follow thermal load; modulation to follow electrical load; and constant operation at full load.
    4. Can analyze effect of installing peaking engines as well as cogeneration;
    5. Accurately predicts off-design performance of engine
    6. Predicts cost purchased electrical power and revenues from sale of power to grid with rate structure algorithm (algorithm can be readily modified for different rate structures);
    7. Input data includes typical steam and electrical load profiles for work days and non-work days of each month, engine design point data, fuel prices, rate data for purchased electricity, and assumed escalation rates for fuel, power, and Operation and Maintenance costs.
    8. Output data includes comparison of the system steam and electrical output vs. loads (plots and tabulation), monthly and first year breakdown of costs, and annual cost projections throughout the life cycle

 

Privately Developed Public Sector Software

 

  1. 3E Plus® (Version 4.0) developed by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) to simplify the task of determining how much insulation is necessary to use less energy, reduce plant emissions and improve system process efficiency. Program is used to calculate the thermal performance of both insulated and un-insulated piping, ducts and equipment; translate heat loss/gain Btus into actual dollars; and calculate greenhouse gas emission and reductions

 

Software Developed Internally

 

  1. Hydronic Systems Analysis (HSA ) with heat loss and bill of material modules – –follows and adheres to the hydraulic loss calculation procedure set forth in the CRANE® Technical Paper No. 410, FLOW OF FLUIDS Through Valves, Fittings and Pipe, 23rd printing, 1986. The program, on the basis of water transport and thermodynamic properties calculated on the basis of temperatures and pressures, solves the Colebrook natural roughness function to determine friction factor. With friction factor know, pressure loss at flowing conditions is determined by use of the Darey-Weisbach equation, with use of the generalized Bernoulli equation used to account for area and gravitation head changes. Calculations are done to yield a snap shot view of pressures and flows across closed loop network on a stable but iterative basis. Weights to include pipe, insulation, and fittings by section are also produced for hanger sizing. Valve and fitting element losses are determined on the basis of the CRANE data or date published and used from the 1979 Hydraulic Institute’s Engineering Data Book, 1st edition to yield exact solutions. The equations used and general methodology is discussed in Chapter 2, Fluid Flow, ASHRAE HANDBOOK 1985 Fundamentals. Once system solution stability is achieved, when the heat loss extension is invoked and with coil temperature drops input, the heat transfer module solve for heat loss or gain on an element by element basis using thermal insulation properties assuming steady state convection to the ambient air surrounding the pipe with flow fluid. Heat loss calculations include pipe internal film resistance and losses across layered insulation on the pipe exterior to yield a snap shot of temperature/heat loss across the network.

The Bill of Material takeoff is extracted from the program output file after element sizing and completion of heat loss calculations to yield a material take off; costs projections are then determined on the basis of an exterior cost element program or file.

 

  1. DUCT with heat loss, bill of material and cost modules – This program follows and adheres to the total pressure duct sizing procedure set forth in the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Associating, Inc.’s (SMACNA) HVAC SYSTEMS DUCT DESIGN manual, 1981-Second Edition. This is the same procedure set forth in Chapter 33, DUCT DESIGN, ASHRAE HANDBOOK 1985 Fundamentals. The program like the HAS program, on the basis of air transport and thermodynamic properties calculated on the basis of temperatures and pressures, solving the Colebrook natural roughness function to determine friction factor. With friction factor know, pressure loss at flowing conditions is determined by use of the Darey-Weisbach equation, with use of the generalized Bernoulli equation used to account for area and gravitation head changes. This program requires duct input sequentially, element by element and produces results that allow losses by element along either the supply or exhaust duct run from fan to duct system terminal points. Heat loss or gain is calculated according to the procedure set forth in the Duct Insulation subchapter as set forth in the Duct Design chapter of the referenced Fundamentals, Chapter 33. The Bill of Material takeoff is extracted from the output file after element sizing with separate module acting on this output file to calculate duct element weight calculated on the basis of duct element surface area to project element weight. Cost projections are based on cost per pound of sheet metal.

 

  1. TFM LOADS follows and adheres to the transfer function method for calculating space cooling loads were various components of space heat gain are added together to get an instantaneous total rate of space heat gain. This methodology is discussed and contrasted with other less preferred calculation methodologies and set forth in the subchapter CALCULATING SPACE COOLING LOAD, Air -Conditioning Cooling Load, Chapter 26, ASHRAE HANDBOOK 1985 Fundamentals. The program output includes hourly room loads accumulated by zone and then by building block load. , zone all reported on a 24 hour design day basis. The methodology include calculation of space cooling load from heat sources within the conditioned space to include lighting, people, power equipment loads on an input profile basis. The mythology includes fenestration, infiltration and other load contribution components.

 

  1. Medical Gas and Vacuum Distribution Sizing and Simulating program (MEDGAS) This program stems from work initially done as a part of ASPE Research Foundation Project 91-02, entitled Medical Gas Systems Study, which had as its goal experimental verification of the pressure loss calculation data for various medical gasses and vacuum systems using different piping materials and fittings. Published pipe roughness and piping element loss data were used to determine the friction factors predicted by the Colebrook equation. The friction factor information was then used with the Darcy-Weisbech equation for evaluating head loss vs. flow and velocity. Calculated data was compared to test section measured loss data. The measured loss data included fittings and straight runs of pipe with measured data checked and compared to calculated predictive results. The calculated results were in all cases within the limits of experimentally measured accuracy and precision values. The program accounts for compressibility by utilizing a menu allowing the user to select one of several medical gases to include vacuum system calculations.

The computer program was written for medical gas and vacuum system sizing to include constant volume network flow situations and statistically determined probability of use data for modeling proper diversity based system usage.

Besides producing an item by item loss calculation table (with print out that can be turned off) to allow manual checking of calculated results, the program includes total pressure loss from mass junction node to node, and end to end system pressure loss, depending upon system application. If used in the sizing mode, the program will calculate piping sizes to insure proper mass flow rate without exceeding minimum but satisfactory piping element sizes.

The program includes, altitude/density corrections included in a format that allows altitude correction data either by user input or via a geographical location based pull down menu for user convenience. Equally important, at a useful extension to the program, the programs include an option that provides a labor to install estimate based on each element in the sized network, presented in an editable format that can be used for engineering cost to install estimates and contractor bid price preparation. The item by item labor to install estimates can be modified by a user allowing adaptive modification to one’s particular local market conditions.

 

  1. NEC – This program allows calculation of main and branch circuit electrical loads, wire and conduit sizing replicating the procedure published in the NEC 2009 version. It presents the results to include calculation references to all FPN, tables and paragraphs in a well formatted and easy to understand document that lends itself to archival purposes. While it was written to quickly size electrical load and document the design results and calculations, it has also proven to an extremely useful document for submission to a coding authority.
  2. Energy Economics and Life Cycle Cost Analysis Program for Building HVAC Systems (LIFE CYCLE COST = LCC). This program takes user furnished monthly utility demands and consumptions of from one to fifteen alternatives retrofit considerations along with other cost data. If two are more alternatives are input, program yields incremental values of cash flow, rates of return, simple and discounted pay back, life cycle cost discount cash flow and other economic evaluation parameters. These parameters are calculated consistent with the methodology used by DOE and with the depreciation and discounting methodologies commonly used in private industry.

Input requirements includes: (1) annual utility, building or investment escalation rates for each separate type of: utility, labor, material, or floor space cost, discount and interest rate. These rates are input separately, each in the form of third order polynomials to yield constant, linear, second order, etc. – i.e. rates changes with time for each data set; (2) monthly utility-demand values complete with utility-demand billing scheme or annual utility costs (categories include electricity, natural gas, steam, water or diesel fuel), (3) building life; (4) if applicable, private sector tax data to include corporate tax rate, first year bonus depreciation, depreciation method (straight line, sum of years digits, declining balance) and investment tax credit; (5) equipment cost data to include initial cost, life, loan life, salvage value, overhaul period, material and equipment costs, annual mainten­ance labor and equipment cost; and (6) cost of floor space.

Program output includes: (1) title page, (2) escalation rates for each year, (3) energy and demand rate schedule and scheme, (4) monthly and annual utility costs by type (demand, consumption, tax, fuel adjustment, etc.), (5) equipment cost and present worth of the cost to include first cost, salvage value, annual operating cost, periodic replacement or overhaul cost to include escalations of such by replacement period; loan value, balance and present worth of interest by equip­ment type; (6) cash flow and present worth of cash flow by case to include incremental values relative to base case, (7) incremental rates of return, and (8) life cycle costs. When applied to private sector funding considerations, items 6, 7, 8 and 9 to reflect depreciation, investment tax and other type private sector funding considerations.

The results of this program only have meaning when cost escalation rates can be projected on a stable basis. With erratic and unpredictable costs such as have recently been observed, the results of the program are meaningless.

 

  1. Psychro – This computer program initially written in FORTRAN and titled “Psychrometric Subroutine Uses ASHRAE Algorithms,”waspublished by Tseng-Yao Sun in the September 1971 issue of Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning. It has seen been re-written, first in Basic then in VB.net with the psychometric solution algorithm replaced with a better and more comprehensive psychometric algorithm provide by George Walton, NTIS. With input of dry bulb temperature and barometric pressure and one other property such as wet bulb, the subroutine returns all other moist air properties.
  2. Psychro.net- This program like the Psychro program, was initially written in FORTRAN and titled “Psychrometric Analysis of AC systems.” It was published by Tseng-Yao Sun in the October 1971 issue of Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning. In the present version, it incorporates the NTIS psychometric algorithm and is for analysis of air conditioning systems offering user options of fixed supply air quantity or air or providing space humidity control by varying supply air volume or providing reheat. The program also includes an AHU sizing module and psychometric properties module, each user selected from the main menu.
  3. Quick Loads (Qload) – QLOADS projects HVAC peak, monthly and annual demands, energy consumptions and costs associated with 100% outside air requirement typically for laboratories with fume hoods. It can be used to evaluate OSA costs associated with Operating room and other such requirements.

The program is accompanied by 239 site specific “TMY2” (hourly statistical year) city weather data files. These weather files are used to calculate the hourly psychometric entering and leaving systems and rooms. With energy projections determined, it projects cost savings and peak demand sizing based on an analysis of multiple scenarios: “Constant Air Volume” vs. “Standard Variable Air Volume” vs. “Automate Sash, Variable Air Volume” and other fume hood operating conditions. Each of these scenarios allows flexibility of user dictated variables associated with: typical period of fume hood usage, fume hoods’ air flow profile, site specific utility costs, and hours of laboratory operation. The program and program support is available from Swiki Anderson and Associates, Inc., where a user can be helped step by step through the program then this allows both parties to run QLOADS simultaneously, with the same inputs and discuss “..what if..” results.

The mathematical basis of QLOADS where fume hood energy use is analyzed as a function of “probability of use” is described in two technical articles: Benefits of Designing for Ventilation Diversity in a Large Industrial Research Laboratory A Case Study and Design Principles for Self-Amortizing Variable Air Volume Integrated Lab Ventilation and Fume Hood Systems, Both articles were published by James C. Rock and Swiki A. Anderson and both published in Appl. Occup. Environ. Hyg., October, 1996.

QLOADS and the city weather data files, along with information about the Accu*Aire™ Controls’ Laboratory Airflow, Temperature and Automated Sash Control Systems, are currently available through the internet. Also included at the web site are self extracting sample specifications in Word™ complete with application details in AutoCAD™ R12. The specifications and details include laboratory airflow and temperature control configurations, hospital isolation rooms, as well as the Automatic fume hood Sash Positioning System.

 

  1. Fan Properties – Calculates via an interpolation scheme the RPM and brake horsepower of various fans using manufacturers supplied tabular catalogue data. Uses CFM and the static pressure as input. Program returns RPM and BHP as zeroes if input is invalid; currently set up and running with Chicago Blower fan catalogue data.
  2. Glycol Properties – Calculates viscosities, densities and specific heats of aqueous glycol solutions as a function of glycol weight concentration and temperature for ethylene, diethylene, triethylene, tetraethylene, propylene, dipropylene, and tripropylene glycols. Program also predicts freeze point.
  3. Thermal Transport Properties of Refrigerants – determines thermophysical transport properties (specific heat, thermal conductivity and viscosity) of saturated liquid, saturated vapor and gas at 0 and 1 atmospheres for R-11, R-12, R-13, R13BL, R-14, R-21, R-22, R-23, R-40, R-50, R-113, R-114, R-115, R-112B, R-152A, R-216, R-290, R-C318, R-500, R-502, R-504, R-600, R600A, R-702A, R-1270.

 

Construction Related Software We Have Developed

 

  1. Price Listing Management System (PLMS) – this is a construction and labor estimating software package, written in visual basic that uses the RS Means WORC database. The purpose of the program is to allow generation of an item by item detailed construction cost estimate, producing the results (print outs and project specific data bases) in a format of one’s choosing. The resulting project specific data files can be interfaced into the JCABP
  2. Job Cost Accounting and Billing Program (JCABP) – provides easy to use, menu-driven accounting system capable of tracking labor, materials, and subcontractor costs and generating an owner invoice.
  3. Contract Drawings – provides a mechanism for computer based information management of construction drawings and documents. To maintain a list of contract drawings, that reflect revision number, date, and other data thus allowing a user to easily add, edit or print a listing or status information relative to the project.
  4. Budget Reconciliation and Tracking Program with Project Cost to Complete – facilitates easy monitoring of a job progress cost-wise and show the impact of changes to the original budget. It provides an easy method of entering the original budget and change estimates (changes in the job affecting the original budget) and can produce detailed budget reports and summaries by either division or bid package.
  5. Quantity and Unit Cost Reporting, Tracking, and Projecting Program – to track self-performed work on a weekly or year-to-date basis and report such in a comparison to budgeted figures.
  6. Management Analysis and Information System (MAIS) – creates and maintains schedules for a construction project. Once created, these schedules are updated to reflect work-in-place and this information can be used to compare the current schedule with the original target schedule. Resource allocation and manpower loading functions provide the user with the optimum solution to a scheduling problem that considers all resource limitations.
  7. General Construction Cost Estimates – generates detailed line-by-line estimates of the cost of construction for a given project. Final data files are also used as input for Primavera’s and MAIS scheduling/resource, management programs.

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