How to Convert an .idf file from Sefaira for use in EnergyPlus

Installing EnergyPlus

  1. Download EnergyPlus and install. (Recommendation: Do NOT change the offered install location during the installation. EnergyPlus will be installed in c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\. Note: -64 is for the 64 bit installation, if you choose 32bit installation it will be -32.)
  2. Download the .idf file from Sefaira Systems by clicking on the EnergyPlus icon.
    This file is used as an input file for EngergyPlus.
  3. Save the .idf file locally on your machine
  4. You can review and edit the .idf file in two ways:
  • In Text Editor
  • Recommended: “Idf editor” - (“Idf editor” is an application that comes with the EnergyPlus installation at c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\PreProcess\IDFEditor\ location)

Converting a file for Unix

To use the IDF editor, we first have to  convert the .idf file to the “PC or Windows format text file”. The .idf that you have downloaded from Sefaira Systems is in the UNIX format text file. We recommend one of these two ways: 

1 On-line converter:

 

After the .idf file has been crunched, make sure to rename in windows explorer so it has an extension of .idf. 

2. TextPad: 

Open the file in TextPad, choose file, save ass, from the drop-down pick PC as the file format. 

 

Running a Simulation 

To run the EnergyPlus simulation start the EP-Launch.exe from the c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\ location and select the .idf file. Or double click on the .idf file (1).

EnergyPlus comes with a few weather files that are located in the c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\WeatherData\ location (2).

To find the weather file that is closest to your projects geographical location please visit the EngergyPlus website

All weather files are zipped. We recommend unzipping them to the c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\WeatherData\ location.

  • If the simulation is successful, EnergyPlus will create a dozen files with different extension. Sefaira Systems is using project_name.xml and project_name.csv files for reporting the results of the simulation.

The convenience of using the .idf editor is that you can go through the Class list and see which objects are available in the .idf file (3). Object(s) that are in the .idf file have the number between the “[  ]” brackets.  In the screen shot below, it is  “AirTerminal:SingleDuct:VAV:Reheat”. To change some of the values you can use an Obj1 column.

Note: If you only want to see the classes with objects in them (in the idf editor), a quick ctrl+L on the .idf editor will allow you to see just the classes that are populated for a successful EnergyPlus run. 

 

When you are finshed making changes to the .idf file, click simulate(4). 

Was this article helpful?
3 out of 3 found this helpful

Comments

  • Avatar
    Hu Zhao

    can not find energyplus icon on the page?