All the ways of meeting a target : Calculating a solution surface using GenOpt
Brian Coffey, Dan Tuhus-Eubrow, Madhav Munshi
Energy efficiency consultants are often asked to find a variety of ways of meeting an energy target, from which the client would select the most suitable by considering installation costs, aesthetics and other concerns. Clients are usually presented with just a few discrete options, but in most cases there are actually infinite ways of meeting the target. Given an n-dimensional space of options de- fined by n design parameters, the set of options that ex- actly meet a particular target is generally a surface of n−1 dimensions. This paper describes methods to calculate a grid of solution points on this surface by selecting one design parameter xi, defining a grid of values for the re- maining design parameters (xj,∀j 6= i) and for each grid point using GenOpt to find the value of xi that exactly meets the target (if a solution exists for that grid point). The technique may also be used to describe trade-offs be- tween design parameters around some reference point. A case study is used herein for illustration. The result is a more comprehensive description of options, and can lead to a richer interaction between designer and analyst, and more designer insight into the energy-related aspects of their project.
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