IFC HVAC INTERFACE TO ENERGYPLUS - A CASE OF EXPANDED INTEROPERABILITY FOR ENERGY SIMULATION
V. Bazjanac, T. Maile
Tedious manual input of data that define a building, its systems and its expected pattern of use and operating schedules for building energy performance simulation has in the past diverted time and resources from productive simulation runs. In addition to its previously released IFCtoIDF utility that semiautomates the import of building geometry, the new IFC HVAC interface to EnergyPlus (released at the end of 2003) makes it possible to import and export most of the data that define HVAC equipment and systems in a building directly from and to other IFC compatible software tools. This reduces the manual input of other data needed for successful simulation with EnergyPlus to a minimum. The main purpose of this new interface is to enable import of HVAC equipment and systems definitions, generated by other IFC compatible software tools (such as HVAC systems design tools) and data bases, into EnergyPlus, and to write such definitions contained in EnergyPlus input files to the original IFC files from which building geometry was extracted for the particular EnergyPlus input. In addition, this interface sets an example for developers of other software tools how to import and/or export data other than building geometry from and/or into EnergyPlus. This paper describes the necessary simplifications and shortcuts incorporated in this interface, its operating environment, interface architecture, and the basic conditions and methodology for its use with EnergyPlus.
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