Learn how to simulate the performance of your designs using TRNSYS 17, the essential transient simulation software package.

In this new series of interactive e-learning tutorials, you will learn how to navigate Simulation Studio and harness the wide range of components to simulate your own systems. You will how to integrate Studio with TRNBuild, Google Sketch-Up and TRNSYS-3D to develop detailed building models. Learn how to optimise your design using automation techniques, and integrate TRNSYS with Excel and other programs for post-analysis of results.

1. Learn how to use TRNSYS 17 with Simulation Studio

  • Modify existing models, and yield useful results
  • Turn your own custom design into a TRNSYS simulation
  • Validate your system to verify the results

2. Learn how to use TRNBuild, the building modelling platform

  • Model simple mono-zone buildings
  • Model complex multi-zone buildings using Google Sketch-up and TRNSYS-3D
  • Integrate renewable energy and HVAC systems into the building model

3. Learn how to investigate the behavior of your system using automation techniques for:

  • Parametric analysis
  • Optimisation
  • Sensitivity Analysis
Alastair McDowell

Alastair McDowell

Alastair has a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Canterbury, and has expertise in building energy science, computational fluid dynamics, and transient system analysis. He has experience…

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Jeremy Osborne

Jeremy Osborne

Jeremy is a renewable energy engineer and is the director of Energy Analysis & Engineering PL, based in Sydney, Australia. He has designed and built many renewable energy systems and…

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The basics of using and navigating around the Simulation Studio, as well as many tips & tricks, including the following:

  • Investigating components & libraries, links, simulation settings
  • Reading documentation on components
  • Running the simulation and using the plotter
  • Viewing the results
  • Organising the model into macros and layers
  • Trouble-shooting and reading the list file

How to modify an existing model to your own custom design.

  • Editing component parameters, integrating new components, and writing new equations.
  • Using plug-in software such as the forcing function tool
  • Reading the deck to review changes
  • Modify either a solar domestic hot water system, or a simple building model with PV system

Tests include a series of mini projects where users make incremental changes to a solar hot water system, run the simulations, and record the results for the annual collector gain.

How to use plotters, printers, integrators and simulation summaries to output useful results about a simulation.

  • Add a new plotter to the model to visualize temperature drop across pipe
  • Add a new integrator to the model to calculate total energy loss due to pipe
  • Use the new equation developed in module 3 to calculate heat loss from pipe and compare with the integrated result
  • Add an energy balance to the model for validation

Tests include a series of mini projects where users must implement the changes explained in the video with new parameters, and record the output results. Users must competently use processing components in their own models to obtain the correct results.

A comprehensive tutorial on the use of the suite of tools for building modelling. The geometry of a simple building is modelled in Google Sketch-Up, using the plug-in features of TRNSYS-3D.

The building model is imported into TRNBuild and construction details are set up, including details about occupancy and HVAC modes. In the Simulation Studio, HVAC components are integrated into the building model.

Users must complete the building modelling process from design to simulation, and a set up a controlled heating system for the building.

The assessment project involves modelling a new house and integrating a thermal ‘trombe’ wall to the air zone, and controlling the air flow with a control-logic strategy.

Validation techniques are discussed, on a component and system level.

  • How to configure an energy balance
  • How to set up a simulation with user input data to compare simulation results with measured data

Users must configure an energy balance and achieve a maximum of 5% error tolerance. Users are provided a set of measured weather and system operating data for the solar DHW system for a one-week period, and must modify the model to output a graph showing modelled versus measured data.

Techniques for automating a simulation are presented and are applied to performing a parametric analysis of a model, simulating multiple similar systems with varying parameters. Integration of other programs with TRNSYS such as Excel VBA is introduced as a means of performing the automation tasks. Users are guided through the process of performing a sensitivity analysis in the test.