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I am under a dead line and I'm have trouble with Equest
IS there any training DVD videos of any kind for Equest?
If there where training Video?s at one time there should be a back copy or
some other source?

I?m sure there has to be a video somewhere!
I even tried www.youtube.com and couldn't find one thing about Equest.
I?m just a little upset that I have every little time to get this project
done by the 9th November and no training or any Training videos.

Tools are only good if you know how to use them and with out any training or
training videos, then Equest is useless to me.
I have used this Equest before but it was not a complex build like the round
building ?Kaiser medical Office" in Salem Oregon.
Every program I ever used there was some contact info or tutorials on line.
This is a first for me and being an Energy Simulation program
I?m every surprised there is on contact number or training videos?
I HAVE NOT FOUND ANY TECH SUPPORT FOR EQUEST OR ANY CONTACT NUMBER.
I'm not to impress with Equest so far.

Curt Strobehn

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In eQUEST, if you right-click any field, you will get a menu which
includes "Tutorials and Reference". Click there and you will find two
helpful .pdf files: "Introductory Tutorial" and "Modeling Procedures Quick
Reference". Both are very useful in understanding the basics of eQUEST.

You can build a model in eQUEST very quickly. The issue as you will see
by scanning the archive for this mailing list is there are a lot of
keywords with a lot of parameters which have a significant impact on the
modelled building performance. (The devil is in the details.)

Good luck and you can always send specific concerns (often with your .pd2
and .inp plus .prd if you have parametric runs) to this group.

bfountain's picture
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Curt,

Working under a deadline is probably not the best time to try and learn
a new software program. There are eQUEST trainings that you could sign
up for: http://doe2.com/download/eQUEST/Upcoming_eQUEST_training.pdf

I cannot speak for the people who develop eQUEST, but personally I am
thrilled that a program as useful as this is available FREE (admittedly
paid for with taxpayer money, but free to anyone who wants to use it). I
can understand that the developers are working full time keeping the
program up to date. There are web support resources such as this
list-serve that help people with questions, but you have to ask a
question.

If you've never used the program before, I would recommend signing up
for a training class, or finding someone locally who has used the
program before to walk you through the wizard.

For your particular deadline, it might be worthwhile using a program you
are more familiar with and then switching to eQUEST when you have time
to get acquainted with it.

Hope this helps. Send questions to the list if you come across stumbling
blocks.

Cheers

Vikram Sami, LEED AP

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Curt,
Welcome to the world of FREE software. Energy, airflow, and design software packages with an actual market value usually do come with more extensive training material, but in this case, the fastest way to learn eQUEST is to look at as much of the built-in help as possible by right clicking on any input field. In fact, the built-in help documents are rather extensive for FREE software (perhaps because it was developed through government and utility grants). Beyond the help documents, the only way to learn common work-arounds is through users forums. I have found that users are pretty responsive on this one.
Good luck.

Christopher Wark

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Learning how to do computer simulations for buildings from scratch without a mentor will take years.

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Good Afternoon eQuest users,

I have a general question that I am wondering what is the method that
people are using to model with eQuest. For example I have done a couple
projects in it (always with a backup in HAP), and I only use the
schematic wizard or DD wizard for monthly energy estimates, because I do
not understand the detailed inputs and how it works, but I would like
to. Are most people using these wizards and then get into the detailed
modeling or do you go straight into detailed parametric modeling? Can
you and do you get into detail modeling of the building with all spaces
and zones, or do you generalize the building zones as the tutorial
recommends, and is it worthwhile to import autoCAD files to help model
the building? Can you compare several different building models in the
same file and show comparison reports? I have found that the EEM wizard
is limited to modifying one system.

Any responses on all facets of the program are welcome.

Nick Couture, LEED AP

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Curt,

First, as you've hopefully gathered, you have already found the "tech
support" department for eQuest (at least in my eyes): the
[Equest-users] and [Bldg-sim] mailing lists hosted at onebuilding.org.

Let me summarize and add to some of the key advice (which I fully agree
with) that's been posted so far. This advice is general and should be
considered well by any eQuest beginner:

1. Hard truth: You should not be expected to become fully
proficient with a program as expansive and powerful as eQuest within a
week. Anyone believing this (yourself included) needs a reality check.
If that is truly a hard deadline and the modeling must be done with
eQuest, you are best advised to find a local mentor (i.e. do not solo
this) and/or compensate another energy modeling consultant to get the
work done on time (and walk you through the model so that you can
manipulate and ask questions). Alternatively, use a program you're more
familiar with.

a. Soft truth: Truly lucky is the individual who gets to learn
energy modeling software outside of a hard deadline with a simple
building (students pay attention!). To that end, as a group we're
generally sympathetic to the "trial-by-fire" situation that a lot of us
went through. Take care not to let your emotions get in the way of
learning/help.

b. Design engineers/consultants such as yourself will inevitably
spend long hours at first making less accurate models, but as you invest
the hours learning the ins and outs can look forward to more accurate
models produced at a much quicker pace.

c. In a literal sense, the statement that learning to model
building will take years is an understatement. Anybody who tells you
they know all there is to know is lying through their teeth. The most
intelligent modelers never stop learning. That said, it is not
unrealistic to produce your first model in a week, understanding and
accepting it will not be the most accurate model you will ever build.

2. Your primary source for any question regarding the operation of
eQuest/DOE2 should start by right clicking the field in question and
pulling up the appropriate help file. You can also search from there.

3. Your secondary source for any question regarding eQuest, or
items in the help files you need a layman's explanation of, should be to
search the mailing list archives. Odds are a majority of the questions
you'll have have already been asked/answered (BOOKMARK/FAVORITE THESE):

a.
http://lists.onebuilding.org/pipermail/bldg-sim-onebuilding.org/

b.
http://lists.onebuilding.org/pipermail/equest-users-onebuilding.org/

4. A tertiary source is to google a specific topic that hasn't
come up. It's a big internet out there.

5. It's apparent from the tone of your email that you've got to
take a chill pill =)! It's understandable to be unimpressed with the
"lack of technical support," but only to the extent that you weren't
previously aware of the huge international body of
scientists/engineers/designers/practicers of building energy modeling
here at these mailing lists. I'll venture there is a lot more to be
learned here than at any 1-800 tech support number for any modeling
package out there.

6. Remember - in a support forum like this, where the majority of
helpful responders are doing so of their own good-will (it's not our
job), a few key things apply that normally don't with a "tech support"
line:

a. The most detailed & informative answers consistently come from
detailed & informative questions.

i. I
believe a majority of unanswered queries are due to questions not being
completely posed. Always explain what you have tried, what hasn't
worked, what clues you have etc. to the best of your ability.

ii.
There's a sizeable academic crowd subscribed to these lists that may not
be inclined to respond if it's apparent you haven't looked up the basics
for the topic-at-hand.

b. Pay it forward =). The best learning comes from
teaching/sharing knowledge with others, and individuals you help out are
more likely to return the favor!

c. Politeness is a rule, not an option.

d. Good grammar (at least for a native English speaker) is a rule,
not an option. It will become apparent if it hasn't already that this
is an international body of subscribers with knowledgeable professionals
that simply won't waste their time trying to decipher poorly written
inquiries. Proof your questions/responses.

This isn't all specific to your situation Curt, but I've been wanting to
write this up for a while so that I can refer others to some of this
basic info. Best of luck, and I hope we'll all see more of you here!

NICK CATON, E.I.T.

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Hi Nick (I like your name!),

I'm an intermediate learner and user of eQuest (not an
expert/developer), so your perspective may match mine some months down
the road. Here's my short/sweet answers - obviously different for
others but here we go:

... I only use the schematic wizard or DD wizard for monthly energy
estimates, because I do not understand the detailed inputs and how it
works, but I would like to.

I use eQuest primarily as an energy modeling tool, and only rarely as a
design (loads calculation) tool. eQuest is great for making
energy-concious design decisions (i.e. will option A or B save me more
$$/yr?), and powerful with regards to modeling for LEED and such, but
it's a big clunker if all you need are loads to size equipment. I
started with the same thoughts as you, but now regard the wizards as a
tremendous time-saver to set yourself up for "real" work in the detailed
mode.

Are most people using these wizards and then get into the detailed

modeling or do you go straight into detailed parametric modeling?

For a complex model, I use the DD or SD wizards to the fullest extent,
then spend most of my time tweaking things within the detailed mode for
most projects. I occasionally spend a small amount of time delving into
typing stuff up in the .inp file to account for specific things, but I
didn't begin picking that up until I had a number of projects under my
belt.

...do you get into detail modeling of the building with all spaces

and zones...

I try to model as much of the geometries as I can in the wizards. I
have edited/created geometries/rooms/zones/etc... after the fact (it's
not as hard as it seems). It is unquestionably faster and less prone to
error within the wizards however.

...or do you generalize the building zones as the tutorial recommends...

Yes. Same overriding concept as any loads calc program (like HAP).

and is it worthwhile to import autoCAD files to help model

the building?

Absolutely.

Can you compare several different building models in the

same file and show comparison reports?

I haven't fully grasped yet the potential/limitations of the parametric
reports feature, but for comparing different systems and such I
generally create two different files (preserving the effort put into the
geometries by saving a copy and going backwards in the second file).

Hope this helps,

NICK CATON, E.I.T.

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jeff at sharpenotes.com's picture
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Hi Nick and Nick,
I have spent a year or so using E-Quest and a decade using different
forms of the DOE engine and other various modelling programs. I also
have 20 years with ASHRAE. I'm not an expert with E-quest but have
spent some crazy hours on it. I only recent discovered this forum and
for a year toiled in darkness. I will insert my comments below.
I always start with the SD and an Autocad drawing. Get the basics in
(geometry and basic construction) and let the program size everything.
Size windows and doors on percentages, standard everything. The initial
key is to get the program running and not freezing. Look at the error
reports and fix them, or at least the one which matter. Some of the
errors are not really errors. Once that is looking good do a save as
and start a new branch. Get into the DD and start tweaking. One at a
time, save and start a new branch each time.
I use it initially to size systems, basic heat loss for the building,
and then start dealing with ASHRAE 62.1. It will dominate all loads.
Still let the program size everything. Start your zoning. Everything
in incremental steps, save and branch before each new step. I do not
recommend going straight to detailed modelling. The program is quirky
and doesn't like certain things or methods. If it crashes your error
messages are limited and cryptic. You could easily get 20 to 40 hours
into a building detail and the program won't run. You can then spend
half that trying to figure out what is wrong. If you can't, you go back
to square one. Been there done that. It is smarter to have a saved
tail, you only have to go back a step or two and work out the
difficulty. Preserve the file, start a new branch. Remember this
program is huge and complex and very picky. It produces 500+ pages of
data. One major error and it freezes. Keep it running!
You go as complex as the job requires. I so far have managed to stay
out of tweaking the .inp file. I prefer to tweak/trick the program
using the DD. There are many ways to skin a cat, you just have to find
the way the program accepts your input to get your tweak. There are
many run arounds mentioned in the forum to accomplish different tasks.
Remember this program is evolving. It is state of the art but that is
changing fast.
Yes, start simple, go to complex.
The only way to go. Input points anti-clock wise.
Not sure, haven't tried that feature yet. I have lately been taking my
data to a spread sheet to compare various models. Each model in my
branches represents a different concept or trial. This will be my next
ordeal by fire. Basically you just have to work with the program and
experiment. It is a great tool! Lots of back-ups so you don't have to
back track too far when things crash.
Bruce Easterbrook P.Eng.

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one important thing i've found to keep equest from crashing when in
wizard mode is to only do one thing at a time. i.e. if you're editing
shells only edit shells. quit the wizard, save & exit, backup the
directory (or at least the .pd2 file). if you're ready to edit hvac
restart equest, edit only hvac systems - nothing else. quit wizard,
save & exit, backup. same for service water heating & site. the key
seems to be switching from editing one item class (shell, hvac, hot
water, site) to another item class causes equest to crash in wizard
mode. detailed mode is not the same condition as it doesn't use the
wizards.

Patrick J. O'Leary, Jr.'s picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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Nick-(who asked the question),

In-short, I have over 10 yrs simulation experience. Started using DOE2.1e
in code form before there was a user interface--thank god for user
interfaces, and especially ones that are free--such as eQuest. I've been
using eQuest since 2004.

My responses are inserted as follows:
Pasha Korber

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Hi,

I am a graduate student at Arizona State University, and have just started
working on Equest.

I just read these mails to get an idea of all that possible on Equest, I
dont understand most of the questions or answers, and Nick your mail is real
good advise for anyone new to the world of building simulation!

Thank You.

Regards
Supriya

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The email list cannot be emphasized enough. Coming from a place where there was not a whole lot of energy modeling going on, my projects often progressed at the pace of the responses on this list. I have spent many hours reading archives on topics I needed help with and I would suggest this as a great reference to anyone with questions. You do have all the defaults in place with this one so you can get results right away. So meeting a submission that is a week away is possible, but you may not find out what you did right and where you went wrong for a long time.

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Hello,

I had a question regarding setting up a baseline model based on the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standard. For the envelope requirements, the required values for the "Slab on Grade Flrs" and "Below Grade Walls" are in terms of "F-values" and "C-values" respectively. Since eQuest only takes the U or R values as inputs, I was wondering how these F and C values corresponded to them. Please let me know to input F-Value in detailed edit mode.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Mallikarjuna

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