[Equest-users] EnergyPlus--Quest Competitor or Natural Evolution

Glenn Haynes glenn.haynes at rlw.com
Mon Apr 13 08:40:30 PDT 2009

Mr. Koran has made some good points on the power of government funding
to assure that EnergyPlus will eventually overtake DOE2 and eQuest.  But
this doesn't guarantee a better simulation code.  Doe2 has the backing
of decades of usage and testing by millions of experienced building
simulation modelers worldwide.  It has undergone thousands of
corrections and improvements during its lifetime, and has evolved to the
point that it has been widely accepted and used as the benchmark by
which other simulation codes are tested and proven.


So my advice is let's not be hasty in writing off such a powerful legacy
and jumping to something newer just because it is receiving more funding
at this point in time.  Wasn't DOE2 conceived and developed under
federal (DOE) funding decades ago?  Do we need to start over with a new
baby?  We can all point out weaknesses in a tool that we are all
intimately familiar with, but have we spent enough time and effort to
look as carefully and critically at EnergyPlus?  Not yet, because we
can't until EnergyPlus (or any other newer software) has undergone as
much usage and scrutiny as DOE2 and its derivitives.


No matter how much money is spent on a newer code, I will personally put
more faith and confidence in the more tried and proven code.  That kind
of confidence can't be bought; it can only develop over a long time.
When EnergyPlus has been proven to my satisfaction to be better than
DOE2, then I will be happy to switch.


Remember McIntosh computers and their windows GUI?  Has Microsoft
created a better product?  I don't think so, but we have been unhappily
forced to switch because most other people have, and it was all due to
money and its power, not a better product.  As grass roots users of
DOE2, let's stick together and demand that EnergyPlus be proven to our
satisfaction to be at least as good as DOE2 before we switch.  After
all, we pay our government to serve our needs, not to use our money to
dictate our choices.


Glenn Haynes, PE



From: equest-users-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org
[mailto:equest-users-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] On Behalf Of Bill
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:00 PM
To: Dan.Monaghan at bentley.com; equest-users at lists.onebuilding.org
Subject: Re: [Equest-users] EnergyPlus--Quest Competitor or Natural


I work mostly in the existing buildings (non- or pre-"green) markets,
but to the extent green buildings don't live up to the promises is
largely due to operaitons, not design.  Many green buildings are more
complex, and since even more traditional buildings typically have
significantly sub-optimal operations, it is only logical that green
buildings will suffer at least as much when compared to
expectations/simulation results.


Some interesting documentation of green building performance is
available at www.newbuildings.org.


As far as Energy Plus and eQuest, I only have experience with DOE-2 and
eQuest.  EnergyPlus should be superior since it was built using the best
of DOE-2 and BLAST.  IIRC, it was moving away from a
transfer-function-based simulation to a heat balance-based simulation.
This should also help it to be superior in some circumstances.  DOE-2
derivative simulation tools are generally weak at simulating suboptimal
operations, and are very poor at simulating certain controls
improvements or retrocommissioning measures.  I don't know how much
better EnergyPlus is in this regard.


At any rate, because of federal funding, and that some (many/most?)
federal projects and organizations will only allow EnergyPlus, it seems
certain that EnergyPlus is the future.  My use of DOE-2 dates back to
before there were convenient interfaces and we dealt only with BDL and
user-defined functions, and we needed the stacks of documentation to
know what we were doing.  I certainly believe that as more interfaces
for EnergyPlus are developed, more students come out of school with
knowledge of EnergyPlus, and more of us learn EnergyPlus, it will see
greater and greater use.


William E. Koran, P.E. 
Senior Engineer 
Q u E S T 
Quantum Energy Services and Technologies 
Web: www.quest-world.com <http://www.quest-world.com/>  



From: equest-users-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org
[mailto:equest-users-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] On Behalf Of
Dan.Monaghan at bentley.com
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2009 7:05 PM
To: equest-users at lists.onebuilding.org
Subject: [Equest-users] EnergyPlus--Quest Competitor or Natural

Thanks  to all the people who responded to my question.

A few of you ask me to post the result from my very unscientific survey.

The list is  split  50%, 50% in their opinion that EnergyPlus will
become a natural transition to eQuest.

The basic sentiment is that eQuest is recognized to be less capable, but
faster and easier to use. 

However, almost all who responded recognized that  as the demand for
high-performance buildings grows, the ability to accurately predict
energy consumption, C02 emissions, occupant comfort and life cycle costs
are  going to become more important.  I read this to mean that the
demand for detailed analysis tools like EnergyPuls is likely to

Someone asked me why Bentley cares. We believe that there's a hole in
the U.S. energy analysis/simulation market.  We believe, as this survey
indicates, that the tools available to U.S. designers seem to fall into
two camps. Tools that are easy-to-use, but inaccurate/incomplete. Or,
tools that are precise, but difficult to use and slow.  

Unfortunately, because of this we see:


1.      Many "green" building don't live up to the promises 

2.      Robust energy simulation is typically reserved for "special"
projects, or certain project types.

3.      Accurate energy analysis  is typically siloed, as oppose to
integrated into the design process 

As the leader in building engineering and analysis software or mission
is "sustaining the worlds infrastructure". As such we're working on
solving this problem, www.bentley.com/eps <http://www.bentley.com/eps> .

Dan Monaghan | Global Marketing Manager
Building Performance Group

Bentley Systems, Incorporated

Phone: +1-410-207-5501| Skype: dmonaghan.skype
E-mail: dan.monaghan at bentley.com <mailto:christine.byrne at bentley.com>  |
URL: www.bentley.com <http://www.bentley.com> 
Address: Bentley | 40 Dunvegan Rd. | Baltimore| MD | 21228 | USA 


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