April 27th 2020

Dave's Top Tip: Functions Within VistaPro - Part 1

Dave's Top Tip: Functions Within VistaPro - Part 1

Dave's "top tip" 7

With each of my Top Tips release, I ask you - the readers, to let me know if there are any areas of which you would like to see featured as a top tip. 

One area I am contacted about quite often is VistaPro. Normally the issue is easily resolved with one of the functions that you are not aware of. So, I thought for the next two top tips I would collate some of the areas which I gave guidance on. Hopefully there will be an area covered which could help you get more out of the tool that you all have available to you.

I am sure you all know the Graph, Table, Synopsis and Range test buttons well. But how often are you using Sessions, XY Plot or the Psychometric Chart? You could be missing out!

I will only pick on a few items, but the VistaPro application is a plethora of great functions. It is up to you how you use it, but all the information is available for you to make the most of the results you have.

If you want to learn more, the online help files will take you through an explanation of each function within all applications. 

Within this Top Tip, I will cover some of the functions of VistaPro, the first one being sessions...

It is quite often you have to consider the same variables, whether this is for an iterative design process, updates to geometry or building services setup. We are always going back to consider the same results. The use of sessions can increase efficiency but also accuracy, making sure you are selecting the same set of variables each time.

Quite simply you can save the results output you require for your project, such as outputting room results to bring them back later. In the below image, I was looking at the effect insulation levels was having on office heating loads. I would complete the analysis and select the rooms I want to include. I then brought up the variables I was considering. I then saved my session using the drop down menu to Add new session. This then held onto the same results view, including the selected rooms I was considering the results for. I was then able to extract these results to my report. 

Once I complete the results output I went onto the next step of my iterative design process, modifying the levels of insulation and simulating the next design. Rather than finding the same rooms and selecting all the results again, I just double clicked on the session and VistaPro brought up the same configuration of results, using the same rooms. 

Not something I use on every job, but if you are considering design improvements or running a few iterations this can make sure you are selecting the same rooms and viewing the same results. And save a lot of time while you go through the process.

Refresh Button
Do not forget if you are using the parallel simulation manager and running multiple simulations, you can bring the results complete into VistaPro to review whilst the rest of your calculations continue simulating in the background. Select the refresh button to bring in any complete results into VistaPro.
Preset Data
Presets are a pre-defined selection of information you want to consider, whether this is building energy consumption, comparison of compliance results, breakdown of thermal comfort variables, quite often you want multiple results selected at the same time. A defined preset of variables will help you with this. The VE has some setup already, but you can also define presets in both the categories and variables list yourself.  Presets are a global attribute to the VistaPro application, and therefore they will appear within each project.

Another way of setting up Presets is within the range test results box. If you want to select a range test, let's say for thermal comfort, you may have to select May – September, Remove Weekends, select a specific time schedule and finally select the results criteria, such as the percentage of hours above 26oC. All this defined criteria can be saved using the predefined range settings.  Another great time saver and perfect for BB101.

These settings are recorded within your project file and can be passed onto other projects if you wish.

Custom Variables
Custom variables are essential to get all that’s required from VistaPro results. Have a look at my previous Top Tip to review the use of Custom Variables.

Top tip 8 will cover some of the outputs from your results such as the XY Plot and the Psychometric Chart.

If you want to find out further information on VistaPro, or any other applications, please contact sales@iesve.com for more details.

If you want to review any of my previous Top Tips then click here

If you have any ideas or requests for Top Tips to help engineers get the most of VE please let Dave know: david.pierce@iesve.com