eQUEST v3.65 build 7163 released Mar 18 2014 - fixes hourly report viewer

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I am entirely disappointed with the so called improvements to equest. Why suddenly when I have a space with an unreferenced zone and I recreate the reference to about 30 zones, then close and reopen, all work to unreferenced spaces is gone. Also, trying to implement floor plan revisions have always been the worst. This is uncalled for. In the 8 years or so that I have been using this program, it has improved very little overall and perhaps taken a step backwards in some regards. I have been telling myself to make this project the last one in equest for years now, even doing openstudio side-by-side with equest for the building form for many. It might be safe to say that equest is no longer the most productive. It does not bring me pleasure to write this, as I will have to do the painstaking process of becoming more familiar with openstudio and wasting a few hundred more hours. However, it seems that may be more worthwhile than dealing with the glitches and everyday slowisms of equest.

Kevin

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Kevin, I understand your frustration. The most time wasting thing about
eQuest is its inability to reorganize spaces easily within its Wizard
footprint without going back into the Wizard and blowing out all the DE
edits. Architects can't leave floor plans alone, and inevitably, the
final interior zones in a model are different from the zones you started
with. My bosses have commented on this unfortunate issue more then once
because it causes deadline delays.

Does anyone have some suggestions other than going back into the Wizard,
reorganizing the zones, and then trying to insert the changes into the
original DE model? Inserting the geometric changes seems to be the
biggest problem. Has anyone found an easy way to do that?

Kathryn Kerns's picture
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It seems I can no longer edit the inp file without losing all references? Or is it just an edit that creates an error? I am afraid to go back and sketch the cad again just to lose it all again. It's like I never did energy modeling before.
Kevin

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I have successfully adjusted geometry in DD. One of the view options besides 3D allows you to see the nodes just like in the wizard. You can VERY CAREFULLY edit them there just like in the wizard mode.

Godspeed!

- Matt Hein
Sent from mobile, please excuse typos.

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I am going to try a real "barn burner", something i have had limited success with. Save your file, make a play copy, then take the play copy and reconvert to Wizard. Dont worry about losing your references. Make your changes for zoning,?including windows.
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Then "cookie cutter" your new spaces into the original .INP file (you need to keep your original file intact, and only deal with "copies of copies. Dont forget to include your new polygons (replace all of them ??).
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I think this can work.
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John R. Aulbach, PE

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I did that and then lost all space references to zones and next-to references for interior walls.

Kind Regards,
Kevin

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So it only took about 20 hours of waste to realize that, don?t name spaces (or anything else) by the room number only. The name will need to have a letter along with it. Otherwise the whole thing will crash. Pretty sure this was not a problem in previous versions.
Kevin

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John

Last week I did just what you described below and had zone referencing problems similar to Kevin?s, this did not happen (in this way) with 3-64. Hours (10 in my case) of inp tweaking finally sorted it out. I had not changed the zone or room names from wiz defaults so in my case I don?t think it is a name issue.

I am about ready to go back to 3-64?..the devil I know.

However I am really glad to see this exchange, somehow knowing I?m not alone.

Thanks to all.
Melissa

Melissa

Melissa Page Crowe's picture
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I may be showing something "under the covers", but with all of the concerns,?I personally still fly in 3.64. After having a devil of a time trying to get 3.64 running in Windows Vista mode and having my boss irate at how long this took me, I am on a wonderful platform of 3.64 and Window XP. Works well every time.
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I was hoping 3.65 would have the Variable refrigeration stuff in it, as i KNOW SCE has run it in DOE-2.2 format. But no such luck.
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John

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I?m joining the thread a little late it seems to offer very specific advice, but for what it?s worth I didn?t move to 3.64 from 3.63 until I ran into a project where one of the new features (photometric scheduling, then) was a real desirable. I dabbled with 3.65 when it first came out to explore the new features, and still have it installed as well for easy reference, but I?m still sitting happily on 3.64 for all deadline-critical work (which is of course most of it). Absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to what you know works.

I think for many (or at least in my experience) patching together separate wizard-borne .inp files as discussed is one of those skills you only get decent at after messing it up a few times (and learning what went wrong/why). Wizards can definitely be leveraged to save time generating detailed-mode edits, but you have to be mindful of identically named elements, reference relationships between existing and new elements, etc? working through these issues will teach you ways to ?futureproof? your future models as you run into potentially avoidable issues.

@Kevin: From your phrasing? when you say losing all the references, do you possibly mean just the CAD reference for tracing zone/shell perimeters? If so that?s an easy (ignorable) issue that commonly comes up if you copy/paste your project around and don?t move the CAD reference with it.

Regards,

NICK CATON, P.E.

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Nick,
I eventually noticed that when I named spaces with just a number it was no longer recognized in the program and everything that referenced it dropped the reference creating several errors. This could not be fixed by selecting the reference space again. After I changed the space name to include a few letters I could reference it again successfully. I do not recall this requirement in previous versions, 3.62 perhaps or 3.63.

This was all aside from my complaint that form creation or particularly form revisions that may take a day or more in equest can quite easily be completed within minutes in other free energy modeling software. This leads me to believe that this free software is not necessary as productive as it once may have been.

Kind Regards,
Kevin

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Ah, was shotgunning in the dark optimistically for an easier problem/solution! Re-created that issue quickly/easily in 3.64, then dug a bit and found this little tidbit regarding naming rules:

Choosing U-names

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The rule for choosing U-names is this: a U-name is any alpha-numeric string of 32 or fewer characters that are different from all commands, keywords and code-words or their corresponding abbreviations. If the U-name has embedded spaces, it should be enclosed in quotes. Thus, FRONT-1 and ?FRONT 1? are both valid U-names. U-names may contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters. Thus, FRONT-1, Front-1, and front-1 are allowed, but will be considered by BDL to be different U-names.

[Volume 1: Basics > Building Description Language > INTRODUCTION > U-names and Referenced Commands]

Your laments regarding eQuest?s shortcomings/difficulties in usage are well understood from behind this computer screen ? though I?m surprised to find you feel Openstudio (of all things) has come to a place where it actually surpasses eQuest in this arena. I?ve tried scaling that mountain a couple times (granted it?s been months since my last attempt), but the initial learning curve for a self-learner such as myself seems just brutal.

Commercial and for-cost alternatives out there are generally (and understandably) easier to pick up (more approachable), but everything I?ve dabbled in (with a pricing structure my company will consider) seems to fall short for more than a few of the things eQuest/DOE2 happens to well (or at least well enough). It?s hard to unequivocally advocate putting all your eggs into any one basket - maybe the best tool belt holds more than one tool in the end?

~Nick

[cid:489575314 at 22072009-0ABB]

NICK CATON, P.E.

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After this discussion I have decided to retreat to 3.64. I have done so with a current project, the results of the two versions were not the same! On comparing the sim files I see that the versions do not agree in their calculation of wall conduction, glass conduction or glass solar. The total building peak is 5% higher in 3.64 mostly due to the glass conduction component. I imported the inp file and even used the 3.65 TMY3 in case the file had been updated. The particular project is a window study so this is a bit troubling.

The Summary of eQUEST Changes & Fixes for 3.65 reports updating film properties import from Window in 3.65 but no change in the calculation algorithm.

Has anyone else seen discrepancy in end-use energy results?

[cid:image002.jpg at 01CF5314.E58C1D10]
Melissa P. Crowe, LEED AP

Melissa

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