The Canadian government has released the update of a free software model that can evaluate the energy production life-cycle costs and greenhouse gas emissions reduction for passive solar designs and/or energy efficient window use in low-rise residential and small commercial building applications.
VARENNES, Canada – Passive solar heating is one of eight modules in the RETScreen software developed by Natural Resources Canada. The pre- feasibility software runs in an Excel spreadsheet to provide evaluation of any location around the world. The module calculates for both retrofit or new construction projects, the difference in heating and cooling energy consumption between a proposed passive solar building design and an identical building without the passive solar features. Other improvements in the latest version include a GHG calculator developed in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), and satellite derived “Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy Data Set” developed in collaboration with NASA. This NASA data set provides weather and solar data for the entire surface of the globe. It also offers new tax analysis capabilities, user-customisation options, including a foreign currency option, and new online product and ground station weather databases.