EnergyPlus

Welcome! Please add your suggestion below or vote on other ideas for improving EnergyPlus following the posted guidelines.

This website is exclusively for ideas and suggestions for the EnergyPlus simulation engine.

This site is NOT intended for:

To link a suggestion to an existing Unmet Hours question or GitHub issue, simply copy and paste the URL into the suggestion.

How can we improve EnergyPlus?

(thinking…)

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

If a similar idea already exists, you can support and comment on it.

If it doesn't exist, you can post your idea so others can support it.

Enter your idea and we'll search to see if someone has already suggested it.

  • Hot ideas
  • Top ideas
  • New ideas
  • My feedback
  1. Spend several development cycles squashing long-standing bugs and paying off any tech. debt

    Lots of great new features and capabilities have been made available with E+ over the years, but there are still many lingering bugs that seem to pop up unexpectedly. When these bugs pop up, there is a detrimental effect on project timelines and our ability to rely on E+ to do the heavy engineering lifting.

    A good example is plant pumping systems; seems like the same types of issues are being reported by a number of users over the last year.
    https://github.com/NREL/EnergyPlus/issues/5892

    Also there appear to be some issues with sizing that get reported a lot; HW coils sizing to…

    15 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    6 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →

    Thank you for the suggestion! Planning for EnergyPlus development cycles is often a balance of prioritizing:

    - new features,
    - bug fixes (short term fixes),
    - structural improvements to the code base (long term fixes),
    - performance improvements (i.e., make EnergyPlus faster), and
    - other usability improvements

    The team will take your suggestion to focus more on the priorities beyond new features into consideration.

  2. Data center modeling

    HVAC equipment (chillers, towers, water coils and DX coils) to cool data centers are operating at higher temperatures (e.g., supply air temperature and supply water temperature). EnergyPlus equipment models and performance curves are mostly designed/based on human comfort applications which usually have lower supply temperatures. There is a need to verify the accuracy of extending the existing HVAC equipment models and curves from human comfort applications to data center applications. This is a request from ASHRAE TC 9.9 and Standard 90.4.

    3 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    3 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  3. Alternate simulation initialization (warmup) options

    EnergyPlus “runs” the first day of the environment (starting with a set of hardcoded initial conditions: temperatures are initialized to 23C and zone humidity ratios are initialized to the outdoor humidity ratio) until the loads/temperature convergence tolerance values are satisfied (next two fields) or until it reaches “maximum number of warmup days”

    Other programs offer different initialization methods, such as a user-specified number of days to simulate prior to the simulation start date. Recent comparisons related to ASHRAE Std 140 development have shown that the impact on results in the first simulation month can be significant.

    1 vote
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  4. Time to deprecate Parametric:X feature set?

    Between OpenStudio, Eppy, and Params, there is a good choice of more general and more powerful parametric variation capabilities in multiple languages we can offload to.

    4 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  5. Development of External Interface: Ptolemy Server, new functionality proposal

    Dear all,

    I am currently developing a co-simulation tool using EnergyPlus through BCVTB. Versions after versions of EnergyPlus I observe that the development of the external interface with the Ptolemy server is not a major concern since the version 8.0. In order to improve the interoperability of EnergyPlus with other simulation software, I think it would be great to increase the number of actuators available through the external interface. For instance, I would be keen to be capable of defining the total solar gain on any exterior surface (cf. Eq. 5.55 Engineering Reference) on my own. Do you think it…

    1 vote
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  6. Standardize scripting between EnergyPlus and OpenStudio

    EnergyPlus and Open Studio team should standardize scripting on a common language. Ruby or Python, please pick one .

    5 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  7. Improved Error Message Handling and Documentation

    Error messages (warning, severe, and fatal) are a source of confusion for many users as well as creating problems for interface developers. To improve the error messages, several improvements can be made:

    - An error number could be shown with each unique error message.

    - A new section in the documentation could show the next steps to take to resolve each type of error message. It would be arranged by error number.

    - The format of the error messages could be made more uniform.

    - The text of some error messages could be improved to be clearer

    - Error messages…

    15 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  8. Warm Start from Saved State

    Problem: Some applications of EnergyPlus for building operations would benefit from being able to restart from a state saved during a previous run of the same building. Currently EnergyPlus initializes loads at 23C and system nodes at 5C and then conducts a number of warm up days for transient conditioning. The runtime burden of those warm up days can be significant for some applications.

    Rationale: Increased performance (speed) for model predictive control that uses EnergyPlus in the control loop.

    Solution: Users could direct the program to save state at some point during the simulation and halt. The program could be…

    17 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    in discussion  ·  4 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  9. Add Life Cycle Assessment/Embodied Energy to EnergyPlus

    Add the capability to EnergyPlus to compute the embodied energy of the building being modeled and perform a life-cycle assessment for the building.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_energy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessment

    This would primarily be adding inputs to associate building materials used with the building with factors to associate the embodied energy as well as additional reporting.

    6 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    in discussion  ·  7 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  10. Advanced Battery Controller

    Add a way to control battery energy storage for simple use cases like energy arbitrage. Basically a way to tell the battery to charge/discharge.

    3 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  11. Ice and Snow Melting on Building Exteriors

    Problem: Some high-end buildings use pipes embedded in sidewalks and parking lots to provide a safer, ice-free area around a building. While EnergyPlus has much of the weather information needed to potentially model these systems, there is nothing in EnergyPlus that can be used to include the energy consumption of these systems.

    Rationale: While research has been done on these systems, none of it has been implemented in EnergyPlus. This new model would increase the capabilities of the program and allow the energy consumption of ice melting systems to be included in the overall results of the program.

    Solution: Add…

    2 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  12. Night sky cooling

    Add model for night sky cooling to EnergyPlus. Night sky cooling is also sometimes referenced as radiative cooling and is describe as a passive cooling strategy on the following web page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_cooling

    1 vote
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  13. Allow Sizing and Simulation to Use Different Number of Timesteps per Hour

    Problem: Sizing results are sensitive to the setting for the number of timesteps per hour. It is not possible, in a single run, to use a relatively long timestep for sizing and a shorter timestep for accurate simulation.

    Rationale: Autosizing results from design day runs are more stable and useful at certain (around 15 minutes) time step configurations, which is often different from the timestep that may be desired for the annual run.

    Solution: Alter the Timestep input object to have a second field for the number of timesteps per hour to use for sizing calculations. Find all models that…

    3 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  14. Reuse existing shading controls for new equivalentlayers fenestration

    indowProperty:ShadingControl was implemented when there was only one type of window model. When EquivalentLayer was added, it should have been connected but it was not. Same for the ComplexFenstration. It seems that both could work using the shaded construction approach.

    2 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    0 comments  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  15. Expand simulation engine capabilities for technoeconomic modeling capabilities

    In conjunction with the attached "preliminary draft" of an SBV application we are proposing that we enhance the GUI of OpenStudio and provide EnergyPlus support for evaluation of structures that convert crawl space and attic space into value added living space via the following modeling capabilities:
    • durability and resilience of structures (including ability to withstand natural disasters, vehicle impact, and resistant to mold, insects such as termites, internal fires, etc.)
    • increasing productivity and subsequent reduction of labor costs associated with:
    o employing state-of-the-art construction management for mono-pouring of footings, foundations, and walls of continuous concrete structures simultaneously (Fab-Form)…

    1 vote
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  16. Iterative sizing

    Traditionally sizing in EnergyPlus has been a one-shot estimate of zone, system, and plant loads and flow rates using separate design input. Current versions of EnergyPlus use one or more runs (iterations) of the actual system and plant to refine the estimate of plant design flow rates. We will expand the use of the sizing iterations to prevent under and over sizing of all components by examining actual component output and adjusting inlet flow rates to give close to optimal component sizing.

    11 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    in discussion  ·  1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  17. Expand the EnergyPlus API library to expose internal routine calls

    Problem: EnergyPlus is a single executable with one point-of-entry: the command line.

    Context: There are many routines that people might want to use without the overhead required by the executable.

    Solution: Refactor routines to be callable independent from the global EnergyPlus constructs.

    8 votes
    Sign in
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Admin →
  • Don't see your idea?

Sign in to suggest ideas, vote, or participate in polls for your favorite feature request!

Feedback and Knowledge Base