ESP-r General Topics


Overview of ESP-r's functionality

ESP-r is a dynamic thermal simulation environment which may be used to explore a range of problem types including building fabric, mass flow, ideal and detailed plant systems - separately or in combination.

ESP-r is composed of a number of programs, each contributing certain facilities to the simulation process. However, in general, you will not need to know the names of the various modules which compose the system because they are run from a central desktop called the Project Manager. Similarly, simulation model descriptions are maintained in a number of different folders and files.

The user does not have to remember which of the modules to use at a given point in the simulation process - the Project Manager is able to startup appropriate modules as required. Such modules are known as child processes. Since UNIX/Linux is multitasking, the user has access to any active application and may switch tasks as needed.

It is possible for child processes to be run in a terminal mode different from that of the Project Manager i.e. have the results analysis module running in text mode so as to capture tables for inclusion in a report.

On workstations with limited memory (less than 64MB) you may notice a performance loss as additional applications start up. On workstations with slow hard disks, performance can suffer as simulation is often disk intensive.

For those who wish to enquire more deeply, or require technical and operational details of the system, please refer to our publications list.


ESP-r folder structure

The ESP-r system is contained in the following folder structure:

  /usr/esru/esp-r
  `-----bin
  `-----binsh
  `-----climate
  `-----databases
  `-----manual
   |    `---IMAGES
  `-----training
   |    `---folders with models of various complexity
   |    `---folders with models of various assessment types
  `-----tmp


User folder structure

Separate from the system folders each user of ESP-r should have a personal folder structure which supports the use of esp-r. A useful approach is to use sub-folders for each project. Reports could be kept in one folder, notes on system use in another. Perhaps an archive folder could be used to recover previous projects or earlier versions of a current project.

When you wish to begin a new simulation project, the Project Manager will create an appropriate folder structure for the problem. The pattern is as follows:

  project_name
  `-----cfg
  `-----ctl
  `-----doc
  `-----nets
  `-----temp
  `-----zones

If you will be evolving the problem description you will want to make sure that you can easily archive the model as it progresses (for security and for later replication). You might want to consider separate folders for each major evolution of the model.

It may be that the most efficient way to proceed with a simulation project is to make use of one of the existing exemplars which can be "imported" into your folder structure and then modified as required.


invoking help

There are several places where assistance is available:

Hypertext tutorials are invoked by pressing the tutorial button at the lower right portion of the application display.


Importing foreign files into ESP-r

ESP-r is able to import portions of its problem descriptions from third party CAD packages. Currently supported formats are:

  XZIP (from IES Ltd, Glasgow)
  AutoCAD V12 (if topology & layering conventions followed)

See the discussion about 3D modelers for details.


scripts & redirection

There are several methods by which simulation predictions may be extracted for use in presentations and reports. Screen image capture and editing facilities are normally available with most workstation window managers. The wire-frame image of a model can be converted into a vector drawing via the Project Manager model export facility.

Tables and text feedback can be captured via the "text capture" button in some applications, via redirecting reports to a file rather than the text feedback area or by running applications in "text mode". Text mode can also allow you to capture command sequences and then have the applications run with those sequences. The latter is especially good for tasks that are repeated.

The following is an example of executing the results recovery program taking commands from the file sum_analysis and redirecting the results to the file sum_results:

  /bin/sh
  res -mode script < sum_analysis 2>sum_results
  

You can also run interactively but capturing the output in a file by:

  /bin/sh
  res -mode script 2>sum_results
  

For additional instructions, type the name of the ESP-r module followed by -help on the command line.


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