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6. EINSTEIN Functions

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5. Getting Started

5.1. Running your first projects with EINSTEIN

Within the default database in EINSTEIN you can find some example projects. See Chapter 4 of the EINSTEIN Guide for Thermal Energy Audits for the description of these examples.

  1. EINSTEIN Guide 41

    Example of an industry that has only one thermal process: a washing process consuming hot water at 80 ºC Use the example version EINSTEIN Guide 41.1 Preliminary Step for starting with the example. The other versions represent the same project at intermediate stages of the work with the example.

  2. EINSTEIN Guide 42

    Example of an industry with 3 different thermal processes This example helps you to try out and understand the data entry and consistency checking in EINSTEIN

  3. EINSTEIN Guide 43 Base Case

    Example of an industrial dairy Objective: learn to use the heat recovery module (pinch analysis, HX Network optimisation)

5.1.1. Basic Rules

NEVER work directly within the example projects. Make your first steps on a COPY!

=> enter in the menu Edit industry data, select one of the example projects (e.g. EINSTEIN Guide 41.1 Preliminary Step), and press the button “copy project”. Give a new name to the copy, and press OK. Then the new project will appear automatically as selected on the status bar of the tool

5.1.2. Guided tour with the EINSTEIN auto-pilot

Make your copy of the example project “EINSTEIN Guide 41.1 Preliminary Step”. Press the button “Run EINSTEIN Audit procedure”

5.2. Overview and basic concepts

5.2.1. What is EINSTEIN


EINSTEIN thinks for You:

  • Guides you through the audit
  • Knows everything about energy
  • Does all the annoying calculations
  • Keeps memory of every detail and reminds you when needed
  • Proposes solutions
  • Writes a nice report

5.2.2. Concepts used in EINSTEIN

EINSTEIN uses the following concepts:

  • Industry
  • Project
  • Alternative
  1. Industry

    An industry is the object under study: a certain production site of a company.

    The characteristic data of an industry are the parameters considered as fixed, not subject to optimization, such as:

    • products and production volume
    • location of the plant
    • size and number of existing buildings

    The data of the industry are fed into the EINSTEIN tool via the Questionnaire (tool-tree Einstein-> Edit Industry Data)

  2. Project

    A project is a study on a given industry.

    There can be several projects on the same industry, e.g.

    • first fast quick&dirty assessment by distance
    • second, updated fast assessment in-situ during walk-through audit
    • pre-feasibility study
    • detailed energy audit
    • different studies at the same level, but carried out by different auditors
    • ...

    All projects are (or can be) complete energy audits on their own, and in this sense independent; but: one (e.g. the more detailed one) can build on the experience from another.

How to handle projects in EINSTEIN ?

Projects can be either or created from scratch (Menu File->New project), copied from existing ones (Menu File->Open project->Copy project) or imported from external data files (Menu File->Import project).

By copying a project, the full set of information contained in this project is copied, including the alternative proposals already defined in the project and the present state of processing.

Project handling options can also be accessed via the tool-tree Einstein->Edit Industry Data.

The currently selected project is displayed on the Status-Bar of the main window.

  1. Alternative

    An alternative is a full proposal for the layout of the production site, including:

    • optimization of process technology
    • analyisis and breakdown of the corresponding energy demand
    • optimization of heat recovery
    • optimization of heat&cold supply and distribution

    In one project there may be several alternatives that can be compared, e.g. proposals for a small, a medium and a large biomass boiler.

    The present state is considered as a special alternative:

    Alternative No. Description
    -1 present state: raw data that could be gathered (data set can be uncomplete and even contradictory)
    0 present state: REFERENCE CASE (complete and consistent data set of the industry; may include data estimates carried out by the auditor or default values and correlations used by the tool)
    1 ... N Alternative proposals for the layout of the production site

5.2.3. Detail levels of analysis

EINSTEIN allows for different levels of detail of analysis

  • Quick & dirty fast assessment

    Things that can be done on the run, entering few data (“10%” of basic questionnaire) and few mouse clicks => Can give a first orientation of what might be possible / interesting

  • Standard level of detail

    Deepness of analysis that can be carried out with an amount of data corresponding to the basic questionnaire

  • Detailed analysis

    Full potential of analysis possible with the tool, incl. data in detailed annexes to questionnaire

5.2.4. User interaction levels

EINSTEIN allows for different levels of user interaction

  • Interactive mode

    All parameters can be changed manually by the user. The tool helps, but does not decide on its own

  • Semi-automatic mode

    Data analysis and design mainly in an automatic way User interaction is asked only for critical decisions Sometimes a subset of options is preselected automatically, allowing the user to take the final selection manually

  • Automatic mode

    Data analysis and design completely automatic User interaction only in case of emergency (= when reasonable automatic estimates or default decisions are impossible)

5.2.5. Data bases

All what EINSTEIN knows is within databases

  • Equipment and sub-system data bases

    Technical data (nominal powers, efficiencies, …) Economic data (investment cost, O&M costs)

  • Knowledge data bases

    • Benchmarks
    • Physical properties data bases
    • Fluids
    • Fuels
  • Project data bases

    The information on the projects itself EINSTEIN learns from previous experience !! EINSTEIN learns from other EINSTEIN’s -> information can be shared

  • Auditor data base

    EINSTEIN has an address book of those who fed him with information. So in the case of doubts he can ask again …

5.2.6. Questionnaires

EINSTEIN is curious: he wants to know everything about the industry:

  • Quick & dirty fast-check questionnaire (paper format only) -> for the lazy ones, and those who are always in a hurry …

  • Basic questionnaire: about 8 – 10 pages

    contains all the basic information necessary and sufficient for carrying out a complete EINSTEIN audit at standard level

  • Detailed annexes:

    optional complements that allow for a deeper analyisis (such as detailed process time schedules, …)

EINSTEIN’s basic questionnaire is available in the following formats:

  • Electronic version forming part of the tool (see Data Entry)
  • Paper version
  • Spreadsheet version

5.2.7. Consistency and completness checking of data

You don’t have to tell him everything one by one ... EINSTEIN is intelligent. He has lot’s of experience, combined with intuition and imagination.

  • Information in questionnaires does not have to be complete:
    • Don’t be afraid if there are empty cells in the data entry panels
    • Missing data can be calculated or at least estimated in many cases
  • Contradictory data can be filtered and cleaned-up
    • In many cases EINSTEIN will chose the right one and skip the erroneous
    • In other’s at least he will guess or take the middle
    • When there’s really nothing to do, he may shout You and call You “stupid”

5.2.8. Proposal Generation

If once You don’t know what to propose to some industry, EINSTEIN has surely ideas for You:

  • Design assistants propose you solutions and pre-dimensioning for certain heat and cold supply options
  • In the EINSTEIN Guide for Thermal Energy Audits and the documentation on the EINSTEIN web you can find a lot more of hints

5.2.9. Comparative Study

EINSTEIN has a critical mind. And he helps you find the best solution among several good ones.

  • Tools for simulation and evaluation of the generated alternatives -> energy consumption -> environmental impact -> investment and operational costs -> financial analysis
  • Comparative graphics and tables for the studied alternatives (and the present state as reference)

5.2.10. (Most of) EINSTEIN is Free and Open Source

  • EINSTEIN License

    The base version of EINSTEIN is available as free and open source software project under GNU/GPL license Version 3 by energyXperts.NET (E4-Experts GmbH, Berlin, Germany).

    Since Version 2.3, there is a complementary commercial version EINSTEIN Plus which contains some additional features. EINSTEIN Plus is distributed as a means for fund-raising in order to assure the maintenance and continuity of development.

    The free version of EINSTEIN is hosted at

    Please ask and motivate for both collaborations to development and for utilisation of EINSTEIN from inside and outside the EINSTEIN consortium (e.g. student’s projects, development of complements, …)

  • EINSTEIN is written entirely using open source components

    • Python as programming language for the core modules and the graphical user interface. The following additional Python packages are used in EINSTEIN:
      • matplotlib
      • wxPython
      • numpy
      • mysqldb (free version only)
      • psql (free version only; minor modifications on psql have been carried out for EINSTEIN)
      • sqlobject (EINSTEIN plus only)
    • MySQL data base server (free version only)
  • EINSTEIN is platform independent

    Can run on Linux, Unix, Windows, MacIntosh, etc.

5.2.11. How to contribute to the EINSTEIN development

  • Report your bugs

  • Make us suggestions for improvements. Write us at or subscribe and write to the EINSTEIN user forum at

  • Modify or contribute own modules and databases:

    The source code of EINSTEIN base version is available as a Git repository. Git versioning for Einstein is installed at Einstein site in Sourceforge:

    On the left menu there is an option to browse Git. Go to the ‘trunk’ folder to see the files tree.

    For Windows users there is a very good Git package called TortoiseGit. It is very nicely integrated with the window manager. Once installed Tortoise Git, for the inital cloning, all you have to do is:

    1. Create an empty folder for the einstein files.
    2. Click on the folder with the right button. A contextual menu will appear, and you choose ‘Git clone’.

    You will be asked for the url, which is:


    and your folder will be populated with the last stable release version of the EINSTEIN source files. To follow the current development you can checkout the branches ‘development’ for the current development versions or ‘testing’ for a more stable version that will match more closely the release versions.

    1. Subsequently you have to use ‘pull’ to load any modifications in the repository since your last update.
    2. For those that will be updating files: when you modify any file in the git-controlled folder, a mark will appear on the folder icon, to remind you that. You can then commit the modified file to your local repository, or you can ‘revert’ to the previous state. Please understand that the folder is managed by TortoiseGit, and it behaves differently from other folders in your equipment. All these actions are made through right clicking on the folder or on one of the files and selecting options.

    Write us at or subscribe and write to the EINSTEIN developers forum at