ORNL-developed building efficiency software now available

September 2, 2015 by Bill Cabage, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Automated calibration software for building efficiency studies, developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers Jibonananda Sanyal (left) and Joshua New, is now available as an open source code.

A set of automated calibration techniques for tuning residential and commercial building energy efficiency software models to match measured data is now available as an open source code. The Autotune code, developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is available on GitHub.

ORNL principal investigator Joshua New, in collaboration with a team of researchers, developed the automated calibration , which reduces the amount of time and expertise needed to optimize parameters for cost and energy savings.

By cheaply producing calibrated building energy models, Autotune allows "no-touch" audits, optimal retrofits and other simulation-informed applications to be cost-effectively realized for buildings traditionally too small (below 50,000 ft2) to be serviced by industry.

"The methodology uses multi-parameter optimization techniques, in combination with big data mining-informed artificial intelligence agents, to automatically modify software inputs so simulation output matches measured data," New, a researcher in ORNL's Building Technologies Research and Integration Center, said.

"Instead of having a human change the knobs, so to speak, the Autotune methodology does that for you," BTRIC researcher Jibonananda Sanyal said.

To develop their software, the team used DOE supercomputing and computational resources—including ORNL's Titan supercomputer and the National Institute for Computational Sciences' Nautilus system—to perform millions of EnergyPlus simulations for a range of standard building types with generated data totaling hundreds of terabytes. Titan resides in the ORNL Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

By mining this data and trying many different calibration algorithms, the researchers were able to identify techniques and evolutionary computations that can quickly evolve a building to match measured data. On Titan, the team has been able to run annual energy simulations for more than half a million buildings and write 45 terabytes of simulation output to disk in less than one hour using over a third of Titan's nearly 300,000 CPU cores in parallel.

The code made available contains: (1) a backend that performs the evolutionary calibration, (2) a web service that allows scripting for calibrating large numbers of buildings and (3) a front end website which allows users to interact with the software

Explore further: Team develop 'autotune' software to make it quicker, easier and cheaper to model energy use of buildings

More information: Autotune is available via Github, github.com/ORNL-BTRIC/Autotune. For more information, contact Joshua New, (865) 241-8783, newjr@ornl.gov.

Related Stories

Titan is also a green powerhouse

November 14, 2012

Not only is Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan the world's most powerful supercomputer, it is also one of the most energy-efficient.

Supercomputer Titan to get world's fastest storage system

April 17, 2013

(Phys.org) —Officials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced the selection of the Spider II data storage and retrieval system from DataDirect Networks (DDN) to replace the existing system on the Titan supercomputer. ...

Recommended for you

Team breaks world record for fast, accurate AI training

November 7, 2018

Researchers at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) have partnered with a team from Tencent Machine Learning to create a new technique for training artificial intelligence (AI) machines faster than ever before while maintaining ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gkam
1 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2015
Not a sexy story, but a useful and needed program.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.