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New version of BEopt

asked 2021-01-25 10:30:27 -0500

jpierce's avatar

updated 2022-12-27 12:41:34 -0500

Can we please get a new version of BEopt? Even a simple maintenance release would be much appreciated i.e; there have been many efforts to improve the performance of EnergyPlus, including optimizations for heat pump water heaters (an increasingly common technology), but we are unable to take advantage of this and may endure exceedingly long run times as a result.*

I recall that DOE has previously said they've virtually deprecated BEopt, but this seems a grave error given the utility of the tool, and potentially increased use it could receive with minor maintenance.

*Unfortunately, efforts to manually replace the EnergyPlus 8.8 used by BEopt with 9.4, 9.1 or even 8.9 yields the errors BEopt warns about when it detects something other than 8.8

P.S. There's also the long-standing bug regarding finished basements, that would be nice to have fixed as well.

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To clarify, the bug appears to be around editing of basement wall entries, be it finished or unfinished. It's simply more obvious for finished basements since that's the only option, whereas in unfinished basements one typically insulates the ceiling.

jpierce's avatar jpierce  ( 2022-11-16 10:12:24 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2022-11-08 09:33:33 -0500

muhl's avatar

I see from other posts by @shorowit that BEOpt v3 is pending a release by 2023 (mid-Dec, by some recent posts). I agree, it's due and welcomed! It is touted to be compatible with EnergyPlus 22.2, but will not be suitable for calibrated energy modeling using ANSI/BPI-2400 standards, and therefore not compliant with Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) requirements. I consider this lack of compliance as significant, as calibrated energy modeling with historical utility bill consumption is essentially required to provide meaningful projections.

See references posts re: HPXML here, re: EER/COP here, and your other post here

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muhl's avatar muhl  ( 2023-01-05 09:21:42 -0500 )edit

v3 does follow plenty of ANSI standards, but to my knowledge BEopt has never had utility bill calibration... that's not what it's for. BEopt excels in the optimization analysis it can perform, finding the best combination of improvements to a generic design. Nothing is preventing you from then taking these improvements and applying them to the more bespoke model of a particular home in some other tool and conducting further analysis. However, it seems that even in REM/Rate utility bill analysis is an orphaned feature.

jpierce's avatar jpierce  ( 2023-01-05 09:34:53 -0500 )edit

The method you describe might be suitable for your needs. We would use utility bill calibration in every retrofit model, as its a major influence on the predictable impact of any efficiency measure, which therefore would have a major impact on the optimization analysis results. If BEOpt excels in optimization, then it needs good inputs (and therefore a calibrated model) for the project. Why take all the inputs to another modeling software?? There are many reasons that prevent taking the inputs from a BEOpt model and transferring to other programs and expecting similar optimization or results

muhl's avatar muhl  ( 2023-01-10 17:16:32 -0500 )edit

Note that BPI-2400 may add a simplified calibration approach that does not require running additional simulations. It is actively under discussion.

shorowit's avatar shorowit  ( 2023-01-20 10:51:54 -0500 )edit

Does BEOpt v3 have testing on Windows 11? Can we confirm if it works there? Has OpenStudio been similarly tested?

muhl's avatar muhl  ( 2023-01-23 10:12:45 -0500 )edit

answered 2022-12-26 14:49:53 -0500

rgleason's avatar

updated 2022-12-26 16:02:53 -0500

I am going to grumble a little here even if they are making a release:

I think they are possibly trying to get out of the software business and trying to deprecate an excellent piece of free software that serves many users and is turning out to be the only simply installed and used free energy software around! What started out as a great govt sponsored effort to nail down energy use with lots of software efforts, is slowly devolving into a less useful software. I really hope this is not right!

Instead I would like to see

  1. Improvements and more flexibility in creating models of new and existing buildings.(the interface is very good now compared to when it started) but it need much more improvement.

  2. Perhaps the ability to import wireframe or sketchup models.

  3. Continued support and improvement of EnergyPlus.

  4. Better CCHP support with sizing, efficiency, multiple heat pumps, multi-heads (with types) VRV, etc.

  5. More funding for development of this software. It is the best way to get people aware of what they are really doing to the environment and how they can change their approach.

PS we lost the EnergyPlus Opensource Sketchup advantages to google's purchase by Trimble, so that now it is a paid subscription for the frontend. What a loss.

BEopt is the only software now available for free that uses EnergyPlus. It's development should be fully supported and developed by the Energy Department.

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Asked: 2021-01-25 10:30:27 -0500

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Last updated: Dec 26 '22