October 31st, 2011 by scottgpeer

SimulateEnergy.com provides the following services:

Independent energy simulation, auditing, and analysis: with falling computing costs, industrial strength energy simulations are no longer just for major corporations, they can be available to everyone.

Calculators for carbon emissions, solar output, etc.

Blogs on energy issues

Consulting and software development


Why simulation?

Analyses are commonly used to evaluate energy use, and have the advantage of being simple to do; simple enough that they can often be done using an easy to understand spreadsheet. Simulations can include all the formulas used in analyses, and have the additional feature of being re-computed at each time step (typically 1 hour for building energy simulations). Recomputing at each time step allows all the time-varying conditions to be properly accounted for. For example, it is important to take into consideration the time when the sun is heating the roof of a building and when that heat causes the air conditioning to turn on. Also, because the simulation executes at each time step, it produces much more data than an analysis, and that additional data allows more accurate and detailed prediction of the impact of changes. This increase in data makes the task of verifying its accuracy more difficult, but the increase in difficulty is manageable because time series can be understood intuitively and much of the input data is also inherently time series data (for example utility bills). Simulations take advantage of the falling costs of computing, and can produce more accurate results than pure analyses.