Pivotal Energy Solutions announced today functionality that enables simulation of residential energy models using the U.S. Department of Energy's EnergyPlus simulation engine through a web-based application programming interface (API) developed by Pivotal. Pivotal's methodology translates energy model input fields into an HPXML data set that is passed to a version of EnergyPlus installed on a remote, cloud-based compute server hosted by Amazon Web Services. Pivotal's EnergyPlus web API enables users to initiate simulations with, and retrieve results from, EnergyPlus, an open-source simulation engine whose development is led by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Since 2016, the DOE has invested in EnergyPlus improvements to better support simulation of residential buildings through its OpenStudio Software Development Kit. DOE’s future plans also call for EnergyPlus to replace the DOE-2 simulation engine for generation of its Home Energy Score rating, which is used in estimating the energy consumption of existing residential properties.
Pivotal’s initial EnergyPlus-based product offering will enable energy efficiency program sponsors to run a background process to re-simulate energy models created in other modeling software using EnergyPlus resulting in a "normalized" set of energy consumption and savings values that can be used for incentive calculation, regulatory reporting, and program evaluation. Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, said, “We believe strongly that coalescence around EnergyPlus as a common simulation engine for energy modeling of both new and existing homes will result in more credibility and transparency throughout the entire residential energy rating industry. By offering a low-cost service for utilities and program sponsors that provides the input translation, runtime ruleset, and compute infrastructure, customers will get consistent, accurate results that they can depend on. We believe that this solution could transform the industry and add tremendous value not only for the programs themselves but for potential downstream consumers of the data in the real estate, mortgage, and investment markets.” Scott Horowitz, Senior Research Engineer at NREL and program implementation lead for EnergyPlus’s residential development added, “Enabling EnergyPlus and OpenStudio – both available through an open-source software model - and the public HPXML standard for simulation of both new and existing homes has been our vision for several years. Pivotal’s solution is directly in-line with our goals for EnergyPlus and we’re anxious to see the impact our work has in the marketplace.” A prototype of the Pivotal EnergyPlus web API is available for demonstration today and full production availability is anticipated by Q4, 2020.
To learn more about Pivotal or its EnergyPlus web API, contact Pivotal Energy Solutions directly. Information about Energy Plus and Open Studio can be found here.