[BLDG-SIM] Introduction to EnergyPlus for Experienced Modelers

Michael J. Witte mjwitte at gard.com
Thu Jan 9 10:36:52 PST 2003

On 9 Jan 2003, at 12:13, Varkie Thomas wrote:

> Is it possible to attend this seminar without a laptop computer?  How
> much time will be spent on the workshops using the laptop?  

Approximately 25% to 30% of the time will be spend on workshops.  
Without a laptop, you won't be able to do the workshop problems which 
would severely limit the effectiveness of the course.

> Does the seminar room have receptacles for up to 30 laptops or do
> we have to have enough battery power for two days?  

There will be power to each table.

> Is the emphasis of this course on the IDF or Text editor?  

For the workshops, the IDF editor will be recommended to avoid 
problems with typos, but participants will be free to use a text 
editor if desired.

> How much time will be spent on graphics I/O (VoloView, DXF)?  

Very little.  The dxf output files with the free VoloView express 
viewer are a good way to view the building.  

> My main interest is learning about the engineering scope and
> alternative combinations of plant and systems and to find out if the
> program is ready to replace DOE2.1E in our office.  

The focus of this training course is to introduce users to the 
mechanics and fundamentals of using EnergyPlus.  In 2 days, it will 
only be possible to scratch the surface on basic HVAC system 
descriptions.  Your question would be better answered by reviewing 
the Input/Output Reference.

> The building projects in this office vary in size from 0.5 to over
> 2 million square feet. The projects can consist of multiple
> buildings with central and distributed plants and systems for ofice
> complexes, hotels, college campuses, convention centers, airports,
> research labs, hospitals, etc. Graphical input using AutoCAD is not
> practical for such projects since there can be over 100
> two-dimensional architectural drawings and the drawings are subject
> to frequent revisions.  Is it presently realistic to use EnergyPlus
> to describe 20 or more systems with ductwork, piping and equipment?

Graphical input of the building geometry is only an option, not a 
requirement.  The current input tools available for EnergyPlus are 
the IDF Editor and raw text file editing.  Some users have described 
complex buildings using these tools.  Is this approach realistic 
within an A/E design environment?  Maybe, maybe not.  For similar 
repetitive systems, copy/paste/replace can be quite efficient once 
you get used to the input language.  The only way to really answer 
this is to invest some time in learning the tool, preparing the input 
for some smaller problems, and then evaluating if it will meet your 

>  Can systems and plant in EnergyPlus be also described the
> conventional way as in DOE2.1E?  DOE2.1E presently does not permit
> duplicate systems using the LIKE-EXCEPT keywords and this is
> awkward in desribing floor by floor systems in a high-rise
> building. 

EnergyPlus has a limited set of templates to help describe some 
common system configurations, and further development of this 
approach is planned.  There is no LIKE feature in EnergyPlus.

> Attached is a generic building model that I am in the process of
> developing for teaching graduate students at IIT-Chicago.  It is based
> approximately on one of our previous projects but modified so as to
> demonstrate the various types of spaces, zones, systems and plants.  I
> will be creating DOE2.1E and TRACE-700 models (input data) of this
> building.  I would like to have an EnergyPlus input file (text/BDL) so
> that I can use it to study EnergyPlus.  Perhaps Bldg-Sim subscribers
> would be interested in developing such examples.  The attached example
> is still in a preliminary scrappy phase.  The best EnergyPlus training
> would be to have EnergyPlus input files of several buildings that used
> DOE2.1E. 
> Varkie Thomas
> Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael J. Witte [mailto:mjwitte at gard.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 3:08 PM
> Subject: [BLDG-SIM] Introduction to EnergyPlus for Experienced
> Modelers
> (Apologies for cross postings.)
> Introduction to EnergyPlus for Experienced Modelers    
> January 29-31, 2003, Chicago, Illinois, USA    
> Come to this EnergyPlus training course immediately following the
> Chicago ASHRAE meeting in January.  The course schedule is:  
> Wednesday, January 29, 2:00 to 6:00 pm  
> Thursday, January 30, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
> Friday, January 31, 8:30 am to 1:00 pm     
> This workshop will introduce EnergyPlus to experienced modelers who
> are familiar with the basic concepts of energy simulation.  The course
> will cover the mechanics of using EnergyPlus with an emphasis on
> aspects of EnergyPlus that differ substantially from other common
> modeling tools (e.g., DOE-2 and BLAST), such as the use of a multiple
> time-step approach, the integrated simulation of loads, systems and
> plant, and defining fluid and air loops.  Bring your own laptop for
> the hands-on workshop sessions.    
> The course will be held in "the loop" in Chicago at the Crowne Plaza
> Silversmith, 10 South Wabash Avenue (1 block north of the Palmer House
> Hilton which is the ASHRAE headquarters hotel).    
> For more details on the course outline, registration fees, and 
> accomodations please see 
> http://www.gard.com/training.htm 
> Future courses:      
> Introduction to EnergyPlus for Beginning Modelers, 4 day course,
> Spring 2003      
> Advanced use of EnergyPlus, 2 day course, Early Summer 2003      
> Acknowledgements:
> Development of course material and support for these workshops 
> provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of the Building
> Technology Program Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
> (http://www.eren.doe.gov/buildings) through the National Renewable
> Energy Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.      
> ======================================================
> You received this e-mail because you are subscribed 
> to the BLDG-SIM at GARD.COM mailing list.  To unsubscribe 
> from this mailing list send a blank message to 
> You received this e-mail because you are subscribed 
> to the BLDG-SIM at GARD.COM mailing list.  To unsubscribe 
> from this mailing list send a blank message to 

EnergyPlus Testing and Support      
EnergyPlus-Support at gard.com

You received this e-mail because you are subscribed 
to the BLDG-SIM at GARD.COM mailing list.  To unsubscribe 
from this mailing list send a blank message to 

More information about the Bldg-sim mailing list