Experimenting with multi-disciplinary design optimisation

IASS Symposium, 15-16 August 2015, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam

Workshop website of the IASS organisation.

Day 2: Optimisation time!

16 August 2015

On day two, we were excited to start with the second day of the workshop. Some of the participant groups managed to run optimisation analyses and visualise their outcomes. Afterwards, each group presented their results so that everyone got to see and learn from each others' work.

After the presentations, it was time to evaluate; we had an interesting brainstorm session with the participants about Stampede. We then looked into potential improvements of the Stampede technology and ideas for future developments. Finally, after two very interesting and fruitful days, the Stampede workshop came to an end.

We would like to thank all the participants that took part in our workshop for showing so much interest and enthusiasm. We are looking forward to see you back at our next workshop or at any of our next events!

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Day 1: Hands on the experimental platform Stampede

15 August 2015

This Saturday morning the Stampede workshop finally started! The day started off with a presentation about the basics of multi-disciplinary design optimisation, an exploration of the range of possible applications for Stampede and an overview of its functioning. After the presentation, the participants experienced working with Stampede components for the first time. Some had brought along their own design cases, and started by developing the geometrical definitions in Grasshopper. They then linked their model to the Stampede components to complete the analysis framework. The groups were able to set-up the structural and/or energy performance definitions and some even managed to configure the entire Stampede optimisation process. By the end of the day, we were able to run some optimisations based on these models and retrieve tangible results!

The first day consisted of learning the ins and outs of the Stampede components and the workflow to be followed to set up an optimisation. The second day will focus on refining our models to allow for more meaningful and complex optimisation. Stay tuned! More about the second day of the workshop is following soon! Or check out our participation during the IASS Symposium via #WhiteLionessTch or #IASS2015.

Integration of building energy simulation and finite element software

7 August 2015

Over the past weeks, integrations have been developed for the implementation of EnergyPlus and Z88. The parametric models set up during the workshop can be easily linked to these applications for analysis. During the workshop we will also have developers ready to set up integrations with other open-source analysis applications for various disciplines together with participants.

EnergyPlus (Energy Analysis)

EnergyPlus is an open-source application for building energy simulation, provided by the US Department of Energy. The application is one of the most established in the field and can provide multitude of opportunities for the designer and engineer, to simulate the building and its energy flows to the last bit. Nevertheless, this comes with a cost, as its quite a challenge to create a working model, even if you just want the simplest case possible. As the model detail rises, the running time rises as well, leading to long running times, computers flaring up by trying to solve hundreds of differential equations and users staring at their screen waiting patiently. If also multi-disciplinary design optimisation (MDO) comes into play, which usually needs a large number of calculation runs, it is apparent that this patience will run out soon.

Stampede gives you the opportunity to tackle the second problem efficiently, while providing an easy and extensible framework to alleviate the first. By executing EnergyPlus in the cloud and on multiple machines, even the most complex models can be calculated in no time. Furthermore, model design is significantly facilitated by focusing on the most important parameters for a MDO and providing easy to use templates for the rest.

You can find more information about and download EnergyPlus via the official webpage.

Z88 (Structural analysis)

Z88 is a freeware finite element method (FEM) solver which can be used in linear, non-linear, thermal and natural frequency analyses. The development lead by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Rieg aims to provide engineers with a free to use, adaptable program which can be used on all of the common platforms.

The Z88 spectrum currently includes several versions, ranging from GUI-featuring Z88Aurora to Android-based apps. An open-source version of Z88 is integrated in the Stampede framework to provide workshop participants with a means to perform linear-static structural analysis as part of a multi-disciplinary design optimisation (MDO) process.

You can find more information about and download Z88 via the official webpage.

Practicalities regarding the Stampede workshop

30 July 2015

What can you expect? The workshop will start with an introduction on Stampede and the different technologies involved, such as cloud computing, parametric modelling and multi-disciplinary design optimisation. After the presentations, we will discuss an example use case, get to work with and gain some hands-on experience by applying your newly gained knowledge to design your own multi-disciplinary design optimisation model and investigate its behaviour.

What will the schedule look like? Below you can find the programme for day 1 and 2.

The opportunity to play with an experimental large scale distributed framework!

27 July 2015

Stampede is an experimental platform for applying distributed cloud computing to solve design and engineering problems. It aims to provide you with everything you need to hook up software to each other and execute them on the cloud, in parallel. The software can be open-source (easy to scale) or propriety (you will need licences).

So what does this look like?

Take for instance optimisation. In order to optimise a design problem you need an optimisation engine. Stampede gives some simple tools to quickly set this up. Then, you need some kind of geometry generator, for this Stampede is using Rhino and Grasshopper at the moment. After that, you need some way to analyse design alternatives, for this it uses for example open-source building performance simulation and structural finite element analysis. And the communication between all this? Well, that’s the magic Stampede provides.