Trane Trace 700, www.trane.com/commercial, is a design and analysis tool that, used in the planning stage of a building project, can help HVAC contractors optimize the design of a building's HVAC system based on energy utilization and lifecycle cost. The solution facilitates analysis of the energy and economic effects of virtually any chiller plan configuration by allowing the manipulation of a wide range of variables in creating a profile of a specific building.
With detailed input of data, the software aids in evaluation of various key energy-saving concepts, including daylighting, high-performance glazing, demand limiting, equipment sequencing and other optimization strategies. The software also accounts for elements that consume energy or affect the building's heating and cooling, such as parking lot lights, process loads and domestic hot water.
Near the end of the construction cycle, after the design is finalized, the TRACE model can help management document compliance with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 or help validate the building's eligibility for LEED certification.
The program offers several modeling capabilities. Users can select from eight load-simulation methodologies, including heat balance-based RTS, which use algorithms from the latest ASHRAE Loads Toolkit, specifying hour-by-hour or reduced-year energy/economic analysis. The program can predict operating costs based on energy types and utility rates.
Designers customize the model by inputting data on building envelope and site orientation, room construction, airflows, thermostat settings, heat sources and utilization schedules. The program includes weather profiles for more than 500 cities around the world and can be customized to reflect weather data from a number of outside sources and fenestration data from LBNL Window software.
TRACE libraries contain common design parameters for construction materials, equipment, base utilities and weather and scheduling, designed to work with more than 40 preloaded air distribution systems.
Templates can be reused for an unlimited number of rooms and are editable. An “alternatives” feature simplifies comparison of the effects of system variations, different utility rates and construction and equipment options. Numerous predefined reports are available.
Using the same calculations engine as TRACE 700, Trane System Analyzer is a comparative analysis tool for preliminary evaluations of prospective HVAC systems based on energy and economic performance. Featuring six sequential templated steps and easy-to-interpret reports and graphs, the solution can help a designer quickly evaluate most combinations of air distribution system(s) and cooling/heating equipment for a specific building type and weather location, and for comparison of one system against another.
Seven output reports enable easy alternative comparison and provide a concise overview of the critical information in straightforward formats. Designers can easily import the preliminary System Analyzer evaluations and HVAC designs into TRACE 700 to further refine models.
Carrier's E20-II family of software programs, www.commercial.carrier.com, is tailored to increase the productivity and accuracy of a HVAC system designer's estimates and improve analysis capabilities and job documentation for commercial work. Three modules address different aspects of load and energy analysis. A fourth module centers on mechanical design, and a fifth module addresses economics.
Load and energy analysis
One load and energy analysis module, Hourly Analysis Program (HAP) v4.40 for LEED EA Credit 1, is a dual function program that facilitates full-featured load estimating and system sizing for commercial buildings and enables hour-by-hour energy and operating cost analysis to help designers optimize energy performance of an HVAC system for LEED (and other) projects.
The System Design Loads module aids in cooling and heating load estimating for a wide variety of air-handling system types, with up to 100 zones per system.
The Block Load for Windows module, suitable for single and multiple-zone projects, provides simpler sizing and load estimation for situations when engineers or contractors need to generate loads quickly and select air conditioning equipment.
Loads in all three modules are calculated using the ASHRAE-endorsed Transfer Function load method. In HAP and System Design Loads, components are sized using the System-Based Design concept, which applies the ASHRAE-endorsed heat extraction methodology to link system performance to building thermal loads.
Wizards in HAP prompt the designer to input responses to questions about the size, shape and use of the building, and the type, features and configuration of the HVAC equipment. One wizard uses intelligent defaulting to fill in detailed data that LEED certification in Credit 1, Optimize Energy Performance, requires. A full wizard session ties the Building and Equipment wizards together to aid in creating building and multiple HVAC equipment scenarios simultaneously for easy comparisons.
Available summary reports include air system sizing, zone sizing, ventilation sizing, design load and plant sizing. Hourly load, system psychometrics and chiller load profiles are also available. The LEED EA Credit 1 summary report mimics the format and content of the EAc1 online submittal template, enabling easy transfer of data into the submittal template.
Mechanical design and economics
The mechanical design module, Refrigerant Piping Analysis, sizes suction, discharge and liquid refrigerate lines and performs pressure calculations for either steel or copper piping, and for refrigerants R-134a, R-22, R-502 and R-17.
The economics module, Engineering Economic Analysis, compares the lifecycle economics of alternative designs for HVAC systems and buildings via any of four types of economic analysis studies, including simple payback, simple cash flow, private sector lifecycle and public sector lifecycle.
Bill and Patti Feldman are freelance writers for magazines, trade associations, building product manufacturers and other companies on a broad range of topics. They can be reached at [email protected].