Tips and Tricks for Using EnergyPlus — EnergyPlus 8.8

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Creating Files for EnergyPlus[LINK]

The install package includes the IDF Editor (Windows platform) for creating EnergyPlus Input Files (aka IDFs). Likewise, text editors such as NotePad or WordPad can be used to create flat ASCII files for use with EnergyPlus.

dxf or dwg CAD Files[LINK]

How can I convert dxf or dwg CAD files to EnergyPlus?

Several EnergyPlus interfaces, including DesignBuilder and OpenStudio (plug in for Google SketchUp), allow you to import the dxf drawings and trace over them to create EnergyPlus geometry. If you have the full AutoCAD 3-D dwg model (more than just dxf), then you might be able to export to EnergyPlus using one of the available utilities that work with AutoCAD, but only if the model was created in the correct way to support these tools. As of February 2009, Green Building Studio and EnergyPlugged (a plug in to AutoCAD) support export to EnergyPlus.

For more information about current tools which support EnergyPlus, see

OpenStudio for Google Sketchup[LINK]

OpenStudio is a free plugin for the Google SketchUp 3D drawing program. The plugin makes it easy to create and edit the building geometry in your EnergyPlus input files. The plugin also allows you to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results without leaving SketchUp.

EnergyPlus Example File Generator[LINK]

A Web-based service is available that creates and runs EnergyPlus input files for simple models of commercial buildings. The input files (and annual results summary files) are sent to your e-mail address as attachments. You can access the service and customize the characteristics of the building you want to model on the EnergyPlus Example File Generator Application (pop-ups must be enabled). Learn more by viewing the EnergyPlus Building Data Input Forms Help File.