Optimization with DOE-2 - algorithm implementation

asked 2021-09-03 11:19:22 -0500

Drew Morrison's avatar

updated 2022-02-07 14:15:54 -0500

Hi everyone,

I've recently found myself in the unusual position of having some extra time on my hands and I've devoted it to a project that's been simmering for a while on the back burner: creating a building energy optimization algorithm using DOE-2 as a simulation engine. I've begged, borrowed, stolen, and tinkered my way to a Python script that can edit .inp files, execute DOE-2 from the command line, and process .sim file text to return a value for an objective function (for the sake of an example, let's say annual energy-related carbon emissions). My next step is hooking this up to an appropriate optimization algorithm. For the moment, I'm dealing with simple problems with a handful of independent variables like orientation, U-values and SHGCs, window to wall ratios, etc.

Are there any suggestions for an appropriate algorithm (and hopefully a software implementation) that handles these problems well? I recall the eQuest team's impressive optimization exercise in the Lowdown Showdown a couple years back, so I'm curious about any of the resources they used. Was the algorithm implementation completely homebrewed, or did it use any off-the-shelf components?

Thanks, Drew

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Hi Drew - Have you looked into GenOpt?

Jeremy's avatar Jeremy  ( 2021-09-03 15:04:49 -0500 )edit

I haven't looked into it in much detail. Frankly, the idea of locating the DOE-2 output inside a .sim file using GenOpt's initialization file seems pretty daunting. I'd welcome any suggestions - for example, how to tell GenOpt to locate the total electricity and total natural gas values from the .sim file's BEPU report. An example initialization file would be really helpful, since I can't seem to find any DOE-2 based examples with the GenOpt distribution.

Drew Morrison's avatar Drew Morrison  ( 2021-09-03 16:23:25 -0500 )edit

There is a GUI for Genopt for equest / DOE2 called ExcaliBEM which I've used in the past. It's from SIMEB (Quebec, Canada)

Julien Marrec's avatar Julien Marrec  ( 2021-09-07 07:47:40 -0500 )edit