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INTRODUCTION TO TRNSYS

MEC 4000 Presentation


2013-09-14

Michal Kummert

OUTLINE

What is TRNSYS

Philosophy and history

Applications

The TRNSYS suite of programs

TRNSYS components

Other features

Validation, standards

Some personal comments

WHAT IS TRNSYS

TRNSYS = TRaNsient SYstem Simulation program

Started as a PhD thesis by Sanford A. Klein

Aim = flexible energy systems simulation program

First public version was 6.0 in March 1975

37 years of continuous support and development

TRNSYS or TRNSYS ideas used in/by other programs

Currently Version 17 (17.1 about to be released)

TRNSYS is commercial software

Neither open-source nor free, but the source code is provided

Suite of programs

Simulation engine + interfaces + libraries

THE TRNSYS COMMUNITY

4 developers in the US, Germany and France

11 distributors

Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain,


Tunisia, US

A growing user base

TRNSYS mailing list: 1300 users, 150 messages/month

Compare e.g. to EnergyPlus: 3000 users, 360 messages/month

Universities / Research Labs worldwide (55%)

Engineering companies (building or RE), other ( 45%)

Examples:

NASA, NREL, LBL, NRCan, FSEC (SRCC), NIST, NREL

GE, Johnson Controls, BMW, PSA, Utilities (e.g. EDF, GDF, SSE, Hydro-Qc)

TRNSYS PHILOSOPHY: A COMPONENT-BASED PROGRAM


Parameters
Component
equations

Inputs

Component 1

Outputs

Components solve their


own equations
(inputs outputs)

Component 2

Component 3

Main solver links components


outputs to inputs and solves the
algebraic / differential system

Doc

Demo

APPLICATIONS

SOME TRANSSOLAR PROJECTS


Bangkok intl airport

TRNSYS

Superlite, Radiance, CFD

Beijing Linked Hybrid

375000 m

160000 m

One of the worlds largest GSHP

660 wells, 5000 kW cooling

Manitoba Hydro Tower

Passive/active displacement ventilation

GSHP

www.transsolar.com

SOME TESS PROJECTS

Drake landing solar community

2250 m solar collectors (1.5 MW)

Ground heat storage

District heating loop

SRCC OG-300 (systems) ratings

Model development

Cogen library

High-T solar, PV/Thermal

Many executable applications

Wetlands!

www.tess-inc.com

THE TRNSYS SUITE OF TOOLS


TRNEdit

TRNSED app
Input files

Studio
TRNDll

Deck file

Output files

UserLib DLLs

TRNExe
TRNBuild
Building files
TRNSYS 3d
(Sketchup)

ESP-r

Online plot

Other tools

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TRNSYS COMPONENTS
Utilities

From data reader / solar radiation processor to integrator, shading, etc.

Solar thermal

Dozens of solar collectors, tanks, etc.

Concentrating Solar thermal Power: STEC library (60 components)

Electrical

Building

From lumped capacitance single-zone to detailed 3-d model with airflow model,
cooled ceilings, PCMs, etc.

HVAC

From PV and wind turbine to diesel engine to battery

From conventional HVAC plants to enthalpy exchangers to ground-coupled systems

Hydrogen

Fuel cells, H2 storage, Electrolyzers, etc.

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TESS LIBRARIES
14 component libraries

Applications Library

Cogeneration (CHP) Library

Controllers Library

Electrical Library

Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) Library

Ground Coupling Library

High Temperature Solar Library

HVAC Library

Hydronics Library

Loads and Structures Library

Optimization Library (interface to Genopt)

Solar Library

Storage Tank Library

Utility Library

Individual components

About 300 components total

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LINKS WITH OTHER TOOLS


GenOpt

1
Loads
Wind Turbine

Backup

Fuel Cell

* Simple SDHW example


Simulation 1
8760

Grid - Controls

DC/AC

Dump

AC/DC

Electrolyzer

H2 Storage

! Start Stop Step

Unit 1 Type 9 Data Reader


Parameters 15
-1
0
! Mode, skip
3
1.0
! Nb of Columns, dt Data
-1
1.0
0.0
! 1st column (Ta)
-2
1.0
0.0
! 2nd column (Ti)
-3
3.6
0.0
! 3rd column (S), converted from W/m2 to kJ/h/m2
14
-1
! Logical Unit, not used
* Output order: 1=Ta (1st column), 2=Ti (2nd column), 3=S (3rd column)
Unit 2 Type 1 Solar collector
Parameters 11
1
2.0
! Nb of coll. In series, Coll area
4.19
2
40
! Cp fluid, Efficiency Mode, test mass flowrate
0.80
13.0
0.04
! A0, A1, A2 (Quadratic efficiency)
2
0.1
0.0
! Optical mode, b0, b1 (ASHRAE incid. Angle modifier)
Inputs 9
1,2
0,0
1,1
! Tin, mass flowr. In, Tamb. 0,0 means constant
... (other inputs)
* Initial values
40.0
80.0
20.0
! Same order as the inputs
... (Rest of the deck file)
End

ESP-r

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ADDING TRNSYS COMPONENTS


Relatively easy to add new native components

TRNSYS kernel in Fortran easier to use that language (share modules, etc.)

Type-programming rules

Templates and automatic generation

Drop-in DLLs

Distribute a new component with or without the code, commercially or not

Send a proforma (Studio description) and a DLL

Copy the files to the appropriate directories

Simulate! No compilation, link, etc.

Components written in any programming language

Templates available in Fortran, C++ and Delphi

You own your developments

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TRNSED APPLICATIONS
TRNSED

Add html-like language to your TRNSYS input file to create a


simple interface

Distribute it with the required DLLs etc.


* Simple SDHW example
Simulation 1
8760

! Start Stop Step

Unit 1 Type 9 Data Reader


Parameters 15
-1
0
! Mode, skip
3
1.0
! Nb of Columns, dt Data
-1
1.0
0.0
! 1st column (Ta)
-2
1.0
0.0
! 2nd column (Ti)
-3
3.6
0.0
! 3rd column (S), converted from W/m2 to kJ/h/m2
14
-1
! Logical Unit, not used
st
* Output order: 1=Ta (1 column), 2=Ti (2nd column), 3=S (3rd column)
Unit 2 Type 1 Solar collector
Parameters 11
1
2.0
! Nb of coll. In series, Coll area
4.19
2
40
! Cp fluid, Efficiency Mode, test mass flowrate
0.80
13.0
0.04
! A0, A1, A2 (Quadratic efficiency)
2
0.1
0.0
! Optical mode, b0, b1 (ASHRAE incid. Angle modifier)
Inputs 9
1,2
0,0
1,1
! Tin, mass flowr. In, Tamb. 0,0 means constant
... (other inputs)
* Initial values
40.0
80.0
20.0
! Same order as the inputs
... (Rest of the deck file)
End

Demo

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VALIDATION AND STANDARD COMPLIANCE


Validation

Part of all major IEA validation studies (e.g. BESTEST, HVAC-BESTEST, Annex 21
/ Task 12, Annex 43 Task 34)

No automated testing suite

Solar thermal systems

Reference tool in many IEA SHC Tasks (combisystems, storage, solar-assisted


heat pumps, large-scale systems)

Reference tool for SRCC ratings in the US and Canadian ratings

Reference tool in European standard on solar thermal systems (ENV-12977-2)

Buildings

ASHRAE 140 compliant

Can be used for ASHRAE 90.1 compliance and for project that go beyond
(e.g. LEED buildings)

European directive: no technical barriers

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SOME PERSONAL WORDS OF WARNING


Some components are terrible

Always test-drive a component before using it

Ask experts (or the mailing list) for advice on which component to use

The TESS libraries are a must

Original building model (Type 56) was unusual

Detailed and well validated but non-geometrical

3-d modeling with graphical input from Sketchup is in its infancy very few users
master it

The systems you are simulating are rarely simple

Your simulations wont be simple

You will learn more about the systems themselves

The first time will be a real pain. The second time you will have a template

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SOME PERSONAL WORDS OF WARNING


You will experience non-convergences

Build your projects step-by-step and test subsystems

There is always a way out: clean, not so clean, or dirty trick

Do look at time-step results

Yearly results dont tell you if the simulation makes sense

Thats true for any program. It is exacerbated in TRNSYS

TRNSYS main strength is a tremendous flexibility

Flexibility has a price (time, expertise). If you cant accept that, dont use TRNSYS

TRNSYS most important feature

A good user. It takes time to become one. A good user knows how the system
works, how the model works and how to interpret the results.

TRNSYS expertise is a valuable asset in the job market

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WEB LINKS
TRNSYS

Main web site (SEL): sel.me.wisc.edu/trnsys

TESS: www.tess-inc.com, www.trnsys.com

Other developers/distributors:
sel.me.wisc.edu/trnsys/sales/distributors.html

Mailing list: sel.me.wisc.edu/trnsys/mailinglist/trnsysmailinglist.htm

Report comparing simulation tools:


www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/tools_directory/pdfs/contrasting_the_capabilities_of_building_en
ergy_performance_simulation_programs_v1.0.pdf
(one line!)