Question-and-Answer Resource for the Building Energy Modeling Community
Get started with the Help page
Ask Your Question

Seeking advice on E+ server design and specifications

asked 2016-10-19 11:07:32 -0600

NickC's avatar

updated 2021-01-25 11:23:28 -0600

My general question is related to designing a low-cost/high-throughput E+ computation server (Linux OS) that would focus on running many simulations in parallel. For those familiar with server design, I'm thinking commodity computing versus high performance computing. We run a LOT of simulations at my company. In addition to existing hardware, we're also using web-based resources. Despite the convenience of web-based computing, I'm not certain current options are cost effective at large scale.

Related questions: 1) Is anyone aware of studies related to E+ performance on different hardware? (e.g. AMD vs. Intel, memory, CPU clock speed vs. # of cores) 2) Has anyone conducted E+ simulations on ARM architectures? If so, what was your experience?

Obligatory Star Wars quote: Vader: The Emperor does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation. Other Guy: But he asks the impossible! I need more men!

image description

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete



Out of curiosity, what software will you run to manage the simulations? JEPlus? OpenStudio Server? A home-grown system?

__AmirRoth__'s avatar __AmirRoth__  ( 2016-10-19 11:36:24 -0600 )edit

@Yi_Zhang, you've done some work on this haven't you? (Ok, I give up. I thought tagging Yi Zhang vs Yi had been fixed?)

Jamie Bull's avatar Jamie Bull  ( 2016-10-19 11:53:45 -0600 )edit

@__AmirRoth__ In-house developed b/c of custom needs, blend of Ruby & Python

NickC's avatar NickC  ( 2016-10-19 12:03:22 -0600 )edit

@Yi Zhang should work I think.

__AmirRoth__'s avatar __AmirRoth__  ( 2016-10-19 12:20:47 -0600 )edit

Or not, because there is another user named 'Yi'. I give up too. #MakeUnmetHoursGreatAgain

__AmirRoth__'s avatar __AmirRoth__  ( 2016-10-19 12:22:33 -0600 )edit

4 Answers

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2016-10-25 08:08:53 -0600

updated 2016-10-25 08:13:50 -0600

I only have heard a few anecdotal discussions of how well energy simulations perform on ARM based Raspberry Pi's for EnergyPlus and ESP-r. I have not heard anything more recent. John Hand has provided files for running both on Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 via this announcement.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Thanks for the info Jason!

NickC's avatar NickC  ( 2016-10-26 14:48:06 -0600 )edit

answered 2020-07-28 12:50:49 -0600

mldichter's avatar

Jon Hand recently made a video on compiling EnergyPlus 9.3 on the Raspberry Pi 4 8GB model. Here is the link.

You could test the running time of your IDF on the Pi versus an alternative platform. I've found the Raspberry Pi 4 is about 1/7th the cost per parallel simulation but takes about 4 times as long to complete. Still 4/7 is quite good, but I'm hoping it can be improved.

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2016-10-27 16:57:11 -0600

NickC's avatar

As @JasonGlazer mentioned, Jon Hand has published some work on ARM computing with ESP-r

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2017-03-11 03:50:05 -0600

updated 2017-03-11 03:50:29 -0600

There is also a version of EnergyPlus precompiled for ARM available in this repo, along with instructions for the build if you need to update to a newer version.

edit flag offensive delete link more



Thanks Jamie; I've pinned that repo and will report back if we get time do some testing

NickC's avatar NickC  ( 2017-03-15 16:20:49 -0600 )edit

I just got my Pi3 through the door yesterday so am also planning on running some tests in the next week or so.

Jamie Bull's avatar Jamie Bull  ( 2017-03-16 06:13:11 -0600 )edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account.

Add Answer


Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2016-10-19 11:07:32 -0600

Seen: 559 times

Last updated: Jul 28 '20