Exporting IDF files
Posted by Andy Tindale on 16-Nov-10 03:36 PM

You can use DesignBuilder to generate EnergyPlus idf files for use in external simulation environments such as EP-Launch. There are 4 alternative procedures for doing this:

1. From the File > Export menu option (recommended)
2. By copying the intermediate in.idf file in the EnergyPlus folder
3. Tools > Display simulation input script from Simulation or Heating/Cooling design screens
4. Using the DOE executable EnergyPlus simulation option opens the EP-launch application

1. File > Export menu option (Recommended)

a) Open your DesignBuilder dsb model file.

b) In the Program options dialog on the EnergyPlus tab, ensure that the recommended executable DOE version of the most current version of EnergyPlus available on the list is selected (e.g. "Version (Recommended DOE)").

c) Make sure that you have that version of EnergyPlus downloaded and installed from the DOE website.

d) Make sure you are at building level or below.

e) Click on File > Export > Export EnergyPlus or DBSim input file > Simulation.

2. Copy in.idf in the EnergyPlus folder

An alternative way to generate IDF files is to use the intermediate file in.idf in the EnergyPlus folder which is generated prior to each DesignBuilder EnergyPlus simulation.

You can export EnergyPlus IDF files directly using the File > Export > Export EnergyPlus IDF file menu option. You can generate file suitable for heating design, cooling design or simulation using real weather data. 

Important: You should copy this file to a different filename/location before using it. Any changes you make to the original in.idf will get overwritten before the next DesignBuilder EnergyPlus simulation.

3. Tools > Display menu option

You can view the input data script used to calculate a set of results by selecting the Tools > Display simulation input script menu option.  If you do not have the EnergyPlus IDF editor installed, then you should associate the .idf file extension with a text editor to make this option work.

Note: this shows the script stored with the model just before the simulation, not the in.idf file stored in the EnergyPlus folder.

4. DOE executable EnergyPlus simulation option

In the Program options dialog you can select an executable EnergyPlus option and set the execution mode to 4-Executable (EP-Launch). This gives you some control over the IDF data prior to the simulation. See Program help for more information on this option.

See also IDF files generated by DesignBuilder don't run in EP-Launch