Tips and Tricks for Using EnergyPlus — EnergyPlus 9.1

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Reporting Options[LINK]

There are many report variables in EnergyPlus. The ones available for a specific simulation are listed in the report data dictionary (rdd) file. These report variables may be generated automatically if the following is included in the input file.

  Regular; !- Key Field

When the object above is included in an input file, the rdd file is available for review AFTER the simulation has completed. If this object is not included in the input file, the user may still use report variables, but must select them based on the objects included in the simulation. The Input Output Reference document describes all report variables available for each EnergyPlus object.

There are two flavors to output variables: ZONE or HVAC. ZONE does not mean that it is a zone variable – rather, it is produced at the Zone Time Step (the same timestep that you specify in the Timestep object. HVAC type variables, likewise, are produced at the HVAC timestep (which can differ from the zone timestep frequency based on the ConvergenceLimits object).

There are several choices on format with this object. You can specify “Regular” as the key field and the rdd will show all report variables along with the variable description as shown below.

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Heating Output Rate [W]

  • HVAC,Sum,Boiler Heating Output Energy [J]

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Gas Consumption Rate [W]

  • HVAC,Sum,Boiler Gas Consumption [J]

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Water Inlet Temp [C]

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Water Outlet Temp [C]

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Water Mass Flow Rate [kg/s]

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Parasitic Electric Consumption Rate [W]

  • HVAC,Sum,Boiler Parasitic Electric Consumption [J]

  • HVAC,Average,Boiler Part-Load Ratio []

As an alternative, the key field “IDF” may also be used.

  IDF; !- Key Field

With this option the rdd will format the report variable so that they may be copied directly into the input file using a text editor.

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Heating Output Rate,hourly; !- HVAC Average [W]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Heating Output Energy,hourly; !- HVAC Sum [J]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Gas Consumption Rate,hourly; !- HVAC Average [W]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Gas Consumption,hourly; !- HVAC Sum [J]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Water Inlet Temp,hourly; !- HVAC Average [C]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Water Outlet Temp,hourly; !- HVAC Average [C]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Water Mass Flow Rate,hourly; !- HVAC Average [kg/s]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Parasitic Electric Consumption Rate,hourly; !- HVAC Average [W]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Parasitic Electric Consumption,hourly; !- HVAC Sum [J]

  • Output:Variable,*,Boiler Part-Load Ratio,hourly; !- HVAC Average ]

A different version of the output variable object is shown below.

  *, !- Key Value
  Boiler Heating Output Rate, !- Variable Name
  hourly, !- Reporting Frequency
  MyReportVarSchedule; !- Schedule Name

  MyReportVarSchedule, !- Name
  On/Off, !- Schedule Type Limits Name
  Through: 1/20, !- Field 1
  For: AllDays, !- Field 2
  Until: 24:00, 0.0, !- Field 4
  Through: 12/31, !- Field 5
  For: AllDays, !- Field 6
  Until: 24:00, 1.0; !- Field 8

  On/Off, !- Name
  0:1, !- Range
  DISCRETE; !- Numeric Type

This allows several options for reporting. First the key value may be an asterisk (*) where all report variables of this type are reported (for all boilers). Or the key value could be specified such that only a single output will be generated. For example if the key value was specified as “My Boiler” and a boiler object with the name My Boiler was included in the input, only the Boiler Heating Output Rate for this specific boiler will be in the output file (.csv). The reporting output for all other boilers in the simulation will not be included in the csv file.

The reporting frequency is also another option and may be one of several choices (e.g., Timestep, Hourly, Daily, Monthly, RunPeriod, Environment, Annual or Detailed).

The detailed reporting frequency reports the data for every simulation time step (HVAC variable time steps). This choice is useful for detailed troubleshooting and reporting. The other choices average or sum the data over the selected interval. Timestep refers to the zone Timestep/Number of Timesteps in hour value and reports the data at regular intervals. Using RunPeriod, Environment, or Annual will have the same affect on the reporting frequency and refer to the length of the simulaiton as specified in the RunPeriod object.

  4; !- Number of Timesteps per Hour

  1, !- Begin Month
  1, !- Begin Day of Month
  12, !- End Month
  31, !- End Day of Month
  Tuesday, !- Day of Week for Start Day
  Yes, !- Use Weather File Holidays and Special Days
  Yes, !- Use Weather File Daylight Saving Period
  No, !- Apply Weekend Holiday Rule
  Yes, !- Use Weather File Rain Indicators
  Yes; !- Use Weather File Snow Indicator

A schedule may also be used to turn on or off report variable at selected intervals.

Table reports and meters are also available as reporting options. See the Input Output and Engineering Reference manuals for further details.