A Toolkit for Using Whole Building Simulation Program 'EnergyPlus'

A rich toolkit of using the whole building simulation program 'EnergyPlus'(< https://energyplus.net>), which enables programmatic navigation, modification of 'EnergyPlus' models and makes it less painful to do parametric simulations and analysis.

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eplusr provides a rich toolkit of using whole building energy simulation program EnergyPlus directly in R, which enables programmatic navigation, modification of EnergyPlus models and makes it less painful to do parametric simulations and analysis. More information about EnergyPlus can be found at its website.

A comprehensive introduction to eplusr can be found using vignette("eplusr"). You can learn more about eplusr at https://hongyuanjia.github.io/eplusr, along with full package documentation.


You can install the latest stable release of eplusr from CRAN.


Alternatively, you can install the development version from GitHub.

# install.packages("devtools")

Since running the IDF files requires EnergyPlus (https://energyplus.net), EnergyPlus has to be installed if you want to run EnergyPlus models in R. There are helper functions in eplusr to download and install it automatically on major operating systems (Windows, macOS and Linux):

# install the latest version (currently v9.0.0)
# OR download the latest version (currently v9.0.0) and run the installer
# manually by yourself
eplusr::download_eplus("latest", dir = tempdir())

Note that the installation process in install_eplus() requires administrative privileges. You have to run R with administrator (or with sudo if you are on macOS or Linux) to make it work if you are not in interactive mode.


  • Read, parse and modify EnergyPlus Weather File (EPW)
  • Read, parse and modify EnergyPlus Input Data File (IDF)
  • Query on models, including classes, objects and fields
  • Directly add, modify, duplicate, insert, and delete objects of IDF
  • Automatically change referenced fields when modifying objects
  • Save changed models into standard formats in the same way as IDFEditor distributed along with EnergyPlus
  • Run your models and collect the simulation output
  • Conduct parametric energy simulations and collect all results in one go

Usage overview

Class structure

Below shows the class structure in eplusr.

Basically, eplusr uses Idf class to present the whole IDF file and IdfObject class to present a single object in an IDF. Both Idf and IdfObject class contain member functions for helping modify the data in IDF so it complies with the underlying EnergyPlus IDD (Input Data Dictionary). Similarly, IDD file is wrapped into two classes, i.e. Idd and IddObject.

Besides, Epw class is used to present EnergyPlus Weather files; EplusJob to run single EnergyPlus simulation and collect outputs, ParametricJob to run parametric EnergyPlus simulations and collect all outputs.

It is highly recommended to read the documentation to get a thorough understanding on each class.

Getting started

idd <- use_idd(8.8, download = "auto")
#> Idd v8.8.0 has not been parsed before. Try to locate `Energy+.idd` in EnergyPlus v8.8.0 installation folder `C:/EnergyPlusV8-8-0`.
#> IDD file found: `C:\EnergyPlusV8-8-0\Energy+.idd`.
#> Start parsing...
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [======>---------------------------]  20% in  0s
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [=========>------------------------]  30% in  0s
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [=============>--------------------]  40% in  0s
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [================>-----------------]  50% in  1s
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [===================>--------------]  60% in  2s
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [==========================>-------]  80% in  3s
  Parsing IDD (Parsing ) [===============================>--]  95% in  3s
  Parsing IDD (Complete) [==================================] 100% in  3s
model <- read_idf(system.file("extdata/1ZoneUncontrolled.idf", package = "eplusr"))
#> == EnergPlus Input Data File ==============================================
#> * Path: `C:\Users\hongy\R\eplusr\extdata\1ZoneUncontrolled.idf`
#> * Version: `8.8`
#> Group: `Simulation Parameters`
#> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
#> [01] Version
#> [01] SimulationControl
#> [01] Building
#> [01] SurfaceConvectionAlgorithm:Inside
#> [01] SurfaceConvectionAlgorithm:Outside
#> [01] HeatBalanceAlgorithm
#> [01] Timestep
#> Group: `Location and Climate`
#> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
#> [01] Site:Location
#> [02] SizingPeriod:DesignDay
#> [01] RunPeriod
#> Group: `Schedules`
#> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
#> [02] ScheduleTypeLimits
#> [01] Schedule:Constant
#> Group: `Surface Construction Elements`
#> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
#> [01] Material
#> [02] Material:NoMass
#> [03] Construction
#> IdfObject <<[ID:12] `R13LAYER`>>`Material:NoMass`
#> -------------------------------- * VALUES * -------------------------------
#> *1: R13LAYER,          !- Name
#> *2: Rough,             !- Roughness
#> *3: 2.290965,          !- Thermal Resistance {m2-K/W}
#>  4: 0.9,               !- Thermal Absorptance
#>  5: 0.75,              !- Solar Absorptance
#>  6: 0.75;              !- Visible Absorptance
#> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
model$RunPeriod[[1]][c("Begin Month", "End Month")]
#> $Begin_Month
#> [1] 1
#> $End_Month
#> [1] 12
    list(name = "run_period", begin_month = 3, begin_day_of_month = 1,
         end_month = 4, end_day_of_month = 1))
#> $run_period
#> IdfObject <<[ID:54] `run_period`>>`RunPeriod`
#> -------------------------------- * VALUES * -------------------------------
#>   1: run_period,        !- Name
#> * 2: 3,                 !- Begin Month
#> * 3: 1,                 !- Begin Day of Month
#> * 4: 4,                 !- End Month
#> * 5: 1,                 !- End Day of Month
#>   6: UseWeatherFile,    !- Day of Week for Start Day
#>   7: Yes,               !- Use Weather File Holidays and Special Days
#>   8: Yes,               !- Use Weather File Daylight Saving Period
#>   9: No,                !- Apply Weekend Holiday Rule
#>  10: Yes,               !- Use Weather File Rain Indicators
#>  11: Yes;               !- Use Weather File Snow Indicators
#> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
model$Construction$FLOOR$possible_value("Outside Layer")
#> -- 2: Field `Outside Layer` -----------------------------------------------
#> * References:
#>   - `R13LAYER`
#>   - `R31LAYER`
#>   - `C5 - 4 IN HW CONCRETE`
model$save(file.path(tempdir(), "model.idf"), overwrite = TRUE)
job <- model$run(
    weather = file.path(eplus_config(8.8)$dir, "WeatherData/USA_CA_San.Francisco.Intl.AP.724940_TMY3.epw"),
    dir = NULL)
#> -- Info -------------------------------------------------------------------
#> Adding object `Output:SQLite` and setting `Option Type` to `SimpleAndTabular`.
#> -- Info -------------------------------------------------------------------
#> Replace the existing file located  at C:\Users\hongy\AppData\Local\Temp\Rtmp4Ub7Cl\model.idf.
#> EnergyPlus Starting
#> EnergyPlus, Version 8.8.0-7c3bbe4830, YMD=2018.08.30 19:52
#> Processing Data Dictionary
#> Processing Input File
#> Initializing Simulation
#> Reporting Surfaces
#> Beginning Primary Simulation
#> Initializing New Environment Parameters
#> Warming up {1}
#> Warming up {2}
#> Warming up {3}
#> Warming up {4}
#> Warming up {5}
#> Warming up {6}
#> Warming up {7}
#> Warming up {8}
#> Warming up {9}
#> Warming up {10}
#> Warming up {11}
#> Warming up {12}
#> Warming up {13}
#> Warming up {14}
#> Warming up {15}
#> Warming up {16}
#> +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
#> |Warning[1/3] Weather file location will be used rather than entered (IDF)|
#> |Location object.                                                         |
#> |..Weather File Location=San Francisco Intl Ap CA USA TMY3 WMO#=724940    |
#> |..due to location differences, Latitude difference=[2.12] degrees,       |
#> |Longitude difference=[17.22] degrees.                                    |
#> |..Time Zone difference=[1.0] hour(s), Elevation difference=[99.89]       |
#> |percent, [1827.00] meters.                                               |
#> |                                                                         |
#> |Warning[2/3] SetUpDesignDay: Entered DesignDay Barometric Pressure=81198 |
#> |differs by more than 10% from Standard Barometric Pressure=101301.       |
#> |...occurs in DesignDay=DENVER CENTENNIAL GOLDEN N ANN HTG 99% CONDNS DB, |
#> |Standard Pressure (based on elevation) will be used.                     |
#> |                                                                         |
#> |Warning[3/3] SetUpDesignDay: Entered DesignDay Barometric Pressure=81198 |
#> |differs by more than 10% from Standard Barometric Pressure=101301.       |
#> |...occurs in DesignDay=DENVER CENTENNIAL GOLDEN N ANN CLG 1% CONDNS      |
#> |DB=>MWB, Standard Pressure (based on elevation) will be used.            |
#> +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
#> EnergyPlus completed successfully with 3 Warning.
job$report_data(name = "EnergyTransfer:Facility", case = "example")
#>          Case            DateTime KeyValue                    Name Units
#>    1: example 2018-01-01 01:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#>    2: example 2018-01-01 02:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#>    3: example 2018-01-01 03:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#>    4: example 2018-01-01 04:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#>    5: example 2018-01-01 05:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#>   ---                                                                   
#> 9572: example 2018-12-31 20:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#> 9573: example 2018-12-31 21:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#> 9574: example 2018-12-31 22:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#> 9575: example 2018-12-31 23:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#> 9576: example 2019-01-01 00:00:00          EnergyTransfer:Facility     J
#>       Value
#>    1:     0
#>    2:     0
#>    3:     0
#>    4:     0
#>    5:     0
#>   ---      
#> 9572:     0
#> 9573:     0
#> 9574:     0
#> 9575:     0
#> 9576:     0


I would like to thank many open source projects who have heavily inspired the development of eplusr package, especially these below:


Hongyuan Jia

Faculty of Urban Construction and Environmental Engineering, Chongqing University


The project is released under the terms of the GPLv3.

Copyright © 2016-2018 Hongyuan Jia


eplusr 0.9.3

New features

  • Add support for EnergyPlus v9.0.0.

Bug fixes

  • Remove duplicates when update value references (#20).

eplusr 0.9.2

Break changes

  • Clean up the dirty code that manually modifies $clone() method in R6 in order to be compatible with (#19). After this, deep has to be set to TRUE if a completed cloned copy is desired. Also, documentations on $clone() method in Epw, EplusJob, ParametricJob have been added.

Minor changes

  • clean_wd() is called internally when running EnergyPlus models. This guarantees that the old output file from last simulation is cleaned up before the new simulation starts.

New features

  • A new class EplusSql has been added. This makes it possible to directly retrieve simulation results without creating an EplusJob object which can only get simulation outputs after the job was successfully run before. It can be easily created using eplus_sql() function. However, it should be noted that, unlike EplusJob, there is no checking on whether the simulation is terminated or completed unsuccessfully, or the parent Idf has been changed since last simulation. This means that you may encounter some problems when retrieve data from an unsuccessful simulation. It is suggested to carefully go through the .err file to make sure the output data in the SQLite is correct and reliable. Currently, there are only few methods in EplusSql class which have some overlaps with theses in EplusJob, but more methods may be added in the future. For more details, please see the documentation of EplusSql.

Bug fixes

  • Fix the error of missing Idf file when dir is not NULL in $run() in Idf class.

eplusr 0.9.1

Minor changes

  • Long lines in err files now will be wrapped when printed.

Bug fixes

  • Fix the error when checking invalid extensible fields in value validation.

  • Fix the error that value references did not get updated when setting values to NA in $set_value() in IdfObject and $set_object() in Idf.

eplusr 0.9.0

Break Changes

  • parallel_backend argument in run_multi() has been removed, due to the reason that supporting remote parallel computing is out of the scope of this package. This makes it possible to remove both future and furrr package dependencies. The default behavior of run_multi() does not change if running on local machine, as it still runs multiple EnergyPlus instances in parallel.

  • In run_idf() and run_multi(), eplus argument has been moved to be the last argument with default value setting to NULL. This will make them a little bit more convenient to run EnergyPlus without explicitly specify the version. If NULL, the version of EnergyPlus is automatically detected using the version field of input model. For example:

    # before
    run_idf(8.8, model.idf, weather.epw)
    # after
    run_idf(model.idf, weather.epw)
  • Both argument echo and wait have been added to run_idf() and run_multi(). Unlike the behavior in eplusr 0.8.3 when echo is TRUE in run_idf(), right now echo only control whether to show the output from EnergyPlus command line interface. Please use wait to control whether to wait until the simulation is complete or not.

New features

  • Package documentation has been heavily updated. Examples of every exported class and most functions have been added. Also, an example IDF file "1ZoneUncontrolled.idf" from EnergyPus v8.8.0 is included in the package, which makes it possible to run most examples without installing EnergyPlus. Of cause, for examples in EplusJob and ParametricJob class, EnergyPlus installation is needed to run them successfully.

  • The brilliant package crayon is used to support colorful printing of Idd, Idf, IddObject, IdfObject, Epw, EplusJob and ParametricJob classes.

  • A new type of "character" validation has been added, which will check if field values should be characters but are not.

  • A new option copy_external has been added in $run() in Idf class. If TRUE, the external files will also be copied into the output directory. Currently, only Schedule:File class is supported. This ensures that the output directory will have all files needed for the model to run.

  • $validate() in Idf and IdfObject class will also check incomplete extensible groups. Extensible groups that only contain any empty field are treated as invalid.

  • New methods $field_reference() and $field_possible() have been added into IddObject class. $field_possible() is basically the same as the $possible_value() in IdfObject class. This makes it possible to show all available references for a class that does not have any object yet. $field_reference() only returns all available reference values for specified fields. NOTE: $field_reference() and $field_possible() can only be used in IddObjects that are created using $definition() in Idf class and IdfObject class, and cannot be used in IddObjects that are created using $object() or equivalent in Idd class. This is because both methods need shared Idf value data to collect all reference values.

Minor changes

  • use_eplus() now returns an invisible list of EnergyPlus configure data instead of NULL.

  • The default value of dir argument in download_eplus() has been removed, which enforce the user to explicitly specify the directory to save EnergyPlus installer file, as per CRAN reviewer comment.

  • A new option "auto" for download argument in use_idd() has been added, which will automatically download corresponding EnergyPlus IDD file if the file or Idd object is currently not available.

  • The dir argument in install_eplus() has been removed, as per CRAN reviewer comments. The EnergyPlus installer file will be saved into tempdir().

  • The default value of dir argument in $run() in Idf class has been removed, as per CRAN reviewer comments. Users can explicitly set dir to NULL if they want to use the directory of input IDF file.

  • The default value of echo in run_idf() has been changed to TRUE, which will always show EnergyPlus simulation process to the console.

  • Fix the error of output_dir argument checking in rum_multi().

  • Now an informative error message is given when there is no SQL output found when tring to read simulation output using $report_data(), $report_data_dict and tabular_data() in EplusJob class.

  • run_idf() and run_multi() now does not call clean_wd() as this is automatically handled by EnergyPlus itself.

Bug fixes

  • Fix errors when try to get units $field_name(), $field_unit() and $field_default() in IddObject class.

  • Fix the error that $get_value() and $table() in IdfObject class did not return all field values even all was set to TRUE.

  • Fix the error that $table() in IdfObject class did not return field units even unit was set to TRUE.

  • Fix the error that $replace_value() in Idf class did not update object names.

  • Fix the error when unit is set to TRUE in $get_data() in Epw class.

  • Fix the error that $state_province in Epw class always returns NULL.

  • Fix the error of missing expanded IDF files which occured randomly in run_multi().

eplusr 0.8.3

New features

  • A new method $possible_value() has been added into IdfObject class, which will return all possible values for selected fields, including auto-value (autosize or autocalculate), default, range, choices and references.

  • New parameter dir has been added to install_eplus(), which makes it possible for keeping the downloaded EnergyPlus installation file.

  • $dup_object() in Idf class now can duplicate one object multiple times.

Minor changes

  • The names of returned list of $get_value() in IdfObject is "underscore" name, not lower name. This makes its behavior being consistent with $object() in Idf class.

  • When wait is FALSE, $run() in EplusJob and ParametricJob will return itself instead of the time when simulation started.

  • A clear message will be given when trying to run $kill() in ParametricJob, which inform the user that currently $kill() does not for parametric simulations.

  • A warning will be given if no configuration data found in eplus_config().

  • Now the names of returned list from $search_object() in Idf class will also be underscore-style object names, which makes its behavior being consistent with $object() and $object_in_class(). Also, if no results found, $search_object() now will return invisible NULL and give a message.

  • $dup_object() will give an error if given new_name is the an existing object name.

Bug fixes

  • Fix errors in $status(), $output_dir() and $locate_output() in ParametricJob class when which arg is not given (#12).

  • Fix idf input version parsing in param_job (#13).

  • Fix EnergyPlus downloading and installing errors on Linux and macOS (#14, #17).

  • Fix run_idf() and run_multi() errors on Linux and macOS (#14).

  • Fix missing name attribute in class NodeList (#16).

  • Fix errors in use_eplus() when input is an EnergyPlus installation path (#18).

eplusr 0.8.2

New feature

  • $get_value() in IdfObject class new has a new argument simplify. If TRUE, a character vecotr will be returned instead of a named list. Default is FALSE.

Minor changes

  • The names of returned list of $get_value() in IdfObject is "underscore" name, not lower name. This makes its behavior being consistent with $object() in Idf class.

Bug fixes

  • Fix warning messages of column type coercion from data.table in Idf and IdfObject.

  • $set_value() in IdfObject and $set_object() in Idf now will delete empty fields with empty value. This fix the error when trying to reassign only some empty fields which have been deleted before.

eplusr 0.8.1

Major changes

  • Add package logo.
  • Add Epw, EplusJob and ParametricJob class and methods.
  • Add IdfObject and IddObject class and methods.
  • Refactor Idf and Idd class methods.

Reference manual

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0.9.4 by Hongyuan Jia, 3 months ago

https://hongyuanjia.github.io/eplusr, https://github.com/hongyuanjia/eplusr

Report a bug at https://github.com/hongyuanjia/eplusr/issues

Browse source code at https://github.com/cran/eplusr

Authors: Hongyuan Jia [aut, cre]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

MIT + file LICENSE license

Imports R6, RSQLite, assertthat, callr, cli, crayon, data.table, fasttime, later, lubridate, processx, progress, readr, stringr, units, uuid

Suggests testthat, covr, pkgdown, knitr, rmarkdown

System requirements: EnergyPlus (>= 8.3, optional) (<https://energyplus.net>)

See at CRAN