Brian Woo-Shem

Mechanical engineer, tech wizard, cartoonist, writer, creator of things.

Introducing EnergyPlus MultiLaunch!

New streamlined interface for launching large numbers of building models simultaneously for researchers using the EnergyPlus whole building energy modeling program. Features an easy to use Python-based GUI with advanced features. Cross-platform & open-source to encourage further development and customization by the community.

I wrote the backend code for EnergyPlus MultiLaunch over the past year for my masters’ research at Santa Clara University, in which I developed a framework to automatically preprocess, run, and postprocess 500 or more EnergyPlus simulations with co-simulation to allow for advanced interactive controls. Since the buildings may respond to each other at each timestep, they must run simultaneously in parallel. The existing utility for running simulations, EP-Launch, provides a convenient GUI for running one manually selected simulation at a time, or batches of simulations one after another. However, it does not support parallel runs. In order to complete our project modeling a set of diverse residential households, I developed a series of Python codes specific for our team. Since completing the project, I realized that other researchers have encountered this issue as well. I sought to build a program with an easy to use GUI interface to do this for any EnergyPlus simulations. Out of this, EnergyPlus MultiLaunch began.

After a month of development, I have the basic features of EnergyPlus MultiLaunch functioning, and am announcing the beta release!

The current beta version of EnergyPlus MultiLaunch runs bulk batches of simulations in parallel or in series. The start time of each simulation can be staggered or delayed to allow any warmup or connection steps (if using co-simulation) to complete. I wanted to make it compatible with many workflows, so I designed three methods for choosing which simulations to run: manually selecting individual files, autodetecting the files from a given directory, and following a queue file (a simple table in a spreadsheet).

Planned features for the near future include an executable for running EnergyPlus MultiLaunch as an app without Python installed, and adding the ability to input custom “preprocessing” and “postprocessing” code which will be automatically run in the command window or terminal before/after the simulations are complete.

The current version is available here on GitHub.

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