Software Tool

The EINSTEIN Expert-System Software Tool

The EINSTEIN methodology is supported by an expert system software tool that guides the user through the whole auditing procedure spanning from data acquisition, processing and estimation to the design and quantitative (energetic and economic) evaluation of alternative solutions. In practice, EINSTEIN:

  • calculates the total thermal energy demand of complex heat and cooling energy consumers, and breaks it down into different components;
  • helps to estimate key data. Algorithms for the estimation of missing but relevant information help carry out a preliminary quick assessment based on very little data;
  • provides a database on process optimisation possibilities;
  • by means of pinch analysis and semi-automatic heat exchanger network design, assesses saving opportunities through heat recovery and process integration;
  • based on a reduced heat demand, shows the technical alternatives for the integration of energy efficient and renewable energy supply systems and evaluates them through a dynamic system simulation;
  • offers a comprehensive evaluation. The preliminary design of the most promising options also includes the evaluation of environmental impact and economic performance. Within the EINSTEIN tool-kit in addition complementary tools can be found, such as an audit guide, questionnaires for data acquisition, a survey of existing auditing tools and manuals etc.

The EINSTEIN Software Tool is:

  • Appropriate for both fast and detailed assessments. Data processing is optimised and allows for quick proposal development.
  • High quality. The software tool provides quantitative figures on potentially achievable energy and economic savings through refurbished heat supply systems that integrate the most energy efficient technologies (e.g. heat recovery, CHP and renewable energies).
  • A Comprehensive Package. EINSTEIN combines features from pinch analysis tools to system simulation tools for specific technologies within one comprehensive package. So, a detailed simulation of complex systems is possible, combining different supply technologies and heat exchanger networks, even for users that are not familiar with sophisticated system simulation tools.
  • Reliable. The data processing includes a completeness and consistency check procedure to detect inconsistencies and missing data.
  • Proven in Auditing Practice. EINSTEIN has been used successfully for energy audits by project partners from international consortia in more than 200 industrial and non-industrial facilities.
  • Free and open source. Everyone can freely download, use and modify the base version of the EINSTEIN software tool under the GNU GPL licence. Users can also contribute to its development and share their experience with the EINSTEIN community.
  • EINSTEIN Plus, an extended propietary version of the software with some additional features is available here.

Modules of the EINSTEIN software tool

  • Data Acquisition and Analysis Module
    • Consistency and Completeness Checking and Benchmarking
    • Breakdown of Energy Consumption and Supply by Processes, Equipment, Temperature Levels, Time
  • Process Optimisation Module
    • Recommendations for Technological Optimisation
  • Heat Recovery Module
    • Pinch Analysis
    • Design of Optimised Heat Exchanger Network
  • Energy Supply and Renewables Module
    • Design of efficient Supply System (Utilities): CHP, Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Efficient Chillers, Boilers and Burners
  • Simulation and Evaluation Module
    • Dynamic System Simulation of the Whole System (Processes, Buildings, Distribution and Heat Exchanger Network, Utilities)
    • Economic and Environmental Evaluation
  • Reporting Modul
    • Automatic Report Generation

Data Acquisition and Analysis Module

Consistency and Completeness Checking and Benchmarking

Breakdown of Energy Consumption and Supply by Processes, Equipment, Temperature Levels, Time

The EINSTEIN software tool contains a questionnaire for structured and systematic data acquisition. Entered data is automatically checked for consistency. A procedure for estimation of non-available data is included. Using a benchmarking database, the current energy consumption of the company is compared with the typical standard values of similar companies or processes. The tool automatically generates a breakdown of the total energy consumption and supply by processes, utilities, temperature levels and time, both in graphical and in table format.

  • Tools
    • Questionnaire for data acquisition
    • Consistency and completeness checking
    • Procedure for estimation of un-available data
    • Benchmarking

software figure1

Breakdown of present state energy consumption: heat supply by equipment

Process Optimisation Module

Technological Optimisation

As a first step after data acquisition and analysis, the process optimisation module shows the variety of options to reduce process heat and cooling consumption at its origin by selection of efficient process equipment and procedures. The module provides information on best available technologies for important unit operations (e.g. washing, drying, sterilisation etc.).

  • Tools
    • Database of best available technologies and process optimisation measures for different unit operations and branches

software figure2

Breakdown of present state energy consumption: process heat demand by processes

Heat Recovery Module

Pinch Analysis / Design of Optimised Heat Exchanger Network

The heat recovery module helps in designing and optimising an appropriate heat exchanger network for heat recovery and process integration. For this purpose, EINSTEIN analyses process and utility streams as well as available waste heat, and identifies the potential for heat recovery by pinch analysis. It takes into account energy demand and availability including the time schedules of processes.

  • Tools
    • Pinch analysis: calculation of energy demand and availability curves (composite curves); definition of energy targets
    • Automatic and/or manual design of optimised heat exchanger network

software figure3

Hot and cold composite curve of a company

Energy Supply & Renewables Module

Design of Efficient Supply System (Utilities): CHP, Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Efficient Chillers, Boilers and Burners

The heat and cooling energy supply modules help to select and design the most appropriate energy supply equipment and distribution systems. EINSTEIN analyses the following supply-options: combined heat and power, heat pumps, solar thermal systems and biomass, efficient chillers, boilers and burners.

  • Tools
    • Design Assistants for automatic design and sizing of utilities
    • Databases on energy supply equipment

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Design assistant for solar thermal systems

Simulation and Evaluation Module

Dynamic system simulation of the whole system (processes, buildings, distribution and heat exchanger network, utilities)

Economic and Environmental Evaluation

EINSTEIN performs a dynamic system simulation (calculations on hourly basis) of the entire system (processes, distribution, heat exchanger network and supply utilities). Based on the resulting energy performance data an economic and financial evaluation is carried out. This analysis may be based on all parameters that influence the economic performance such as investment costs and depreciation, energy costs (fuels and electricity), operation and maintenance costs, and a lot of other cost concepts such as fees for legal requirements, income from sales of substituted equipment, etc.

As a result of financial analysis the user gets synthetic data on economic performance such as required investment, rate of return (IRR), pay-back and net present value (NPV).

  • Tools
    • Dynamic system simulation of the whole system
    • Automatic and/or personalised economic analysis
    • Environmental evaluation

software figure5

System simulation with EINSTEIN: contribution of different heat supply sub-systems to total demand

Reporting Module

Automatic Report Generation

EINSTEIN automatically creates an exhaustive audit report that summarises the main results of the analysis on both the present state and the energy saving alternatives. The report (a spreadsheet in open document format) can be edited, printed and delivered to the audited company.

software figure6

Example sheet of the EINSTEIN audit report