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What do you recommend for doing parametric simulations in E+

asked 2015-09-18 09:06:29 -0500

Jim Dirkes gravatar image

updated 2015-09-18 09:23:32 -0500

We haven't done any substantial parametric simulations, but have been asked to prepare sims for multiple (DOE) building types in a bunch of cities. In concept, it sounds like a fairly simple batch file, but we'd appreciate recommendations from those who have actually done it!

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Using E+ (with or without a GUI?)? Do you have experience in any programming language or interest in learning one?

Do you have to modify the .idf files parametrically before you run the simulations?

Julien Marrec gravatar imageJulien Marrec ( 2015-09-18 09:16:37 -0500 )edit

This may sound a little old-fashioned.... I moved this comment to an answer to overcome the character limit, as well as to attach a link .

Joe Huang gravatar imageJoe Huang ( 2015-09-22 21:19:55 -0500 )edit

@Jim Dirkes I believe you are chairing a session at the ASHRAE Energy Modeling Conference next week where Peter Ellis will give a talk on "Parametric Modeling with Templates and Scripting". Peter will present on something that targets exactly this kind of application. Full disclosure: I work with Peter on this project.

Neal Kruis gravatar imageNeal Kruis ( 2015-09-23 09:17:51 -0500 )edit

Thanks for highlighting this, Neal. I was focused on "Chair" duties, not the presentation content and didn't make that connection. I am now looking forward to it even more.

Jim Dirkes gravatar imageJim Dirkes ( 2015-09-25 07:47:14 -0500 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2015-09-18 13:00:03 -0500

We have done this at NREL using the parametric capabilities of OS-Server and Spreadsheet in combination with the ProtoType Buildings Measure. You can pivot on building type, climate zone and vintage to get every combination if you wish, and then apply any other measures you want to the analysis.

If this is something you want to try, I can post a spreadsheet setup to do this. You would need to follow instructions on the spreadsheet github repo to set everything up first.

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Thanks, Brian. I took a quick look and it appears that it's a "Colt .45 for ringing a doorbell"; I don't think we need anything quite as robust. (yet)

Jim Dirkes gravatar imageJim Dirkes ( 2015-09-18 15:24:47 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-09-18 09:15:47 -0500

updated 2015-09-18 09:19:09 -0500

If you only have multiple IDF files and multiple Weather Files and you want to run every combination possible, you can do that in EPlaunch by going to the tab 'Group of Input File'.

You'll have to select all the IDF files first, then all the weather files. You can then review and add new simulations or delete some of the combination proposed. Tab 4 ask you where you want to output it. You can easily set it up to output to a folder like 'Input file\Weather File' or something like this.

I suggest trying it out with a limited numbers of combinations first to make sure you're getting what you want before letting it run for hours or days.

You might want to take a look at these two threads as well.

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That (EP-Launch) looks like a perfect, simple answer. The other references are also helpful Thanks, Julien.

Jim Dirkes gravatar imageJim Dirkes ( 2015-09-18 09:48:26 -0500 )edit

Sure! The one shortcoming of this EP-Launch solution is in terms of aggregating the results into something you can explore and digest. I'd go the Python (with pandas) route, but I'm highly biased towards this solution (love it!). @JasonGlazer has shared a python script to fetch XML results here as well.

I believe JEPlus might be able to set this very simply and provide aggregation, but I'm not 100% positive. Works looking into it depending on how much simulations you plan to run in total.

Julien Marrec gravatar imageJulien Marrec ( 2015-09-18 10:15:01 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-09-22 21:27:49 -0500

Joe Huang gravatar image

updated 2015-09-24 19:10:30 -0500

This may sound a little old-fashioned, but it's worked for me for over 30 years in doing zillions of parametric simulations by adding macros to a template input file, and then creating a master batch file that calls an individual batch file like runeplus.bat once for each run. What are macros? That's an interpreter language first developed for DOE-2 back in the mid-80's, and then made into a stand-alone program for EnergyPlus called EPMacro. I still have my first version of the DOE Reference Buildings done in 2006 and all using macros, but DOE didn't like that and requested flat IDF files.

To show how macros work, I was going to provide a link to a sample file and batch scripts in EnergyPlus, but then decided just to give a link to the entire DOE Commercial Buildings analysis package that I put together in 2007 here. There are two versions, one done for EnergyPlus and the other for DOE-2.1E. The EPlus version zip file had included the EnergyPlus (V3.0 ?) and EPMacro executables, but I deleted those to avoid setting off download warnings.

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Not old school, @JoeHuang, ahead of your time! We are recreating the DOE reference/prototype buildings using OpenStudio measures. This is a more general and powerful mechanism than EP-Macro, but the concept is the same.

__AmirRoth__ gravatar image__AmirRoth__ ( 2015-09-23 08:59:29 -0500 )edit

Thanks, Joe. I am not inclined to learn another macro language because there are plenty of other learning opportunities on my plate and a limited number of hours in which to learn. Nonetheless, I'm going to take a look!

Jim Dirkes gravatar imageJim Dirkes ( 2015-09-25 07:50:35 -0500 )edit

@Joe Huang: May you point me to a guide to create parametric run for doe 2.1. i see but dont know how to configure such running ?

ngkhanh gravatar imagengkhanh ( 2016-09-14 21:50:13 -0500 )edit

answered 2019-04-25 02:37:47 -0500

thirus gravatar image

I used jEPlus to do my parametric study . its so simple

import the IDF files and add parameter strings , Define the range and run the parametric simulations.

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Asked: 2015-09-18 09:06:29 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 24 '15