The Building Controls Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB) is a software environment that allows expert users to couple different simulation programs for co-simulation, and to couple simulation programs with actual hardware. For example, the BCVTB allows to simulate a building in EnergyPlus and the HVAC and control system in Modelica, while exchanging data between the software as they simulate. The BCVTB is based on the Ptolemy II software environment. The BCVTB allows expert users of simulation to expand the capabilities of individual programs by linking them to other programs. Due to the different programs that may be involved in distributed simulation, familiarity with configuring programs is essential.
Programs that are linked to the BCVTB are
- the EnergyPlus whole building energy simulation program,
- the Modelica modeling and simulation environment Dymola,
- the MATLAB and Simulink tools for scientific computing,
- the Radiance ray-tracing software for lighting analysis,
- the ESP-r integrated building energy modeling program,
- the TRNSYS system simulation program,
- Functional Mock-up Units (FMU) for co-simulation,
- the BACnet stack, which allows exchanging data with BACnet compliant Building Automation System (BAS),
- the analog/digital interface USB-1208LS from Measurement Computing Corporation that can be connected to a USB port.