Open-Source Platform for BEopt & EnergyPlus

4 replies [Last post]
Rod Stucker
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2013

I just posted this under a previous subject for modeling radiant floors and horizontal loop GSHPs, etc., but wanted to also start a new topical heading specifically for addressing the potential for developing an open-source platform for BEopt and EnergyPlus.

Here in Idaho, horizontal field loops are most common and most practical in terms of economics. I am curious to learn how the BEopt development team prioritizes its development of models, categories and options?

Is there any chance that in the future, BEopt may become an open-source platform where other software developers, and ideally novices such as myself, can assist BEopt with development of new models, categories, and options? Or at least be able to develop them on the user end via tools provided by BEopt and collaborating developers via the open-source platform.

If doable, wouldn't such an open-source platform and collaborative approach be in the best interests of everyone involved, allowing us to work as a team and leverage available resources resulting from collaborative efforts? I am not sure of the security issues involved in such a collaborative effort? But it is commonly being done in other areas of software development.

Rod Stucker
Offline
Joined: 09/04/2013

Obviously I am not a programmer/software developer, and I obviously can't create categories with the necessary programming and support, but there are many who could. With a few sample options listed in the option manager for a specific category, almost anyone can develop additional options with a little effort.

I appreciate very much what the BEopt development team has done and is continuing to do, particularly with limited staff and resources.

shorowit
Offline
BEopt developer
Joined: 09/27/2011

I'll mention a few points here:

  1. While the BEopt interface is not currently open source, the BEopt modeling framework is (it's all written in python). You cannot create new categories through this, but you can make modifications to any assumptions or built-in categories in BEopt. See the Modeling Framework section in the Help file for some information here.
  2. The EnergyPlus simulation engine is open source. See the EnergyPlus website for details.
  3. If users develop their own options that they would like to make available in BEopt for the larger community, we are very supportive. If you email us the option properties and costs, with sufficient vetting, they would likely be included in the subsequent major BEopt release. Some current technologies in BEopt have been provided by our users.

Scott


Scott Horowitz
Residential Buildings Group
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

HY Peng
Offline
Joined: 08/09/2016

Hi,Would you please specify the location of the Modeling Framework section you mentioned?

Thanks

shorowit
Offline
BEopt developer
Joined: 09/27/2011

Hi,

The Modeling Framework section has since been renamed to Batch Simulations in the help file. It's the last section in the file.

More broadly, note that we are in the process of transitioning BEopt capabilities to the open-source OpenStudio project. For example, we are working on a number of residential OpenStudio measures that will facilitate programmatic generation of residential building models. You may find it better to use this future-looking approach as opposed to the legacy BEopt Batch Simulation capability.

(There is also work afoot to develop a 2D floorplan-based geometry tool, based off of the BEopt drawing tool capability, that will be available for OpenStudio. It will allow drawing both residential and commercial buildings and will allow additional flexibility beyond the BEopt drawing tool -- such as non-orthogonal walls, placement of windows/doors, etc.)

Scott


Scott Horowitz
Residential Buildings Group
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This Web site is powered by renewable energy.