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# Error parsing IDF file

I'm interested in using BCVTB together with EnergyPlus for an upcoming project of mine. Therefore I tried running some of the examples for working with EnergyPlus supplied with BCVTB, but keep getting similar errors with all of them, along the lines of

** Severe  ** Line: 843 Index: 6 - Error parsing "FenestrationSurface:Detailed". Error in following line.
** Severe  ** ~~~     17.588914871,0.01,
** Severe  ** Line: 843 Index: 11 - "2.671" is not a valid Object Type.
** Severe  ** Line: 859 Index: 6 - Error parsing "FenestrationSurface:Detailed". Error in following line.
** Severe  ** ~~~     0.01,0,
** Severe  ** Line: 859 Index: 11 - "2.671" is not a valid Object Type.


This leads me to believe there is some formatting error; however I cannot see anything wrong with the specified or surrounding lines. Since I am a new user, I cannot upload files. Therefore, the IDF and ERR files will be provided via the following pastebin links:

IDF file

ERR file

Edit: Seeing as the EnergyPlus version of the file does not match the version of EnergyPlus I use, I tried downloading a matching (older) EnergyPlus version. However, those were taken down for Windows for versions 8.6 and prior.

I've found a workaround by editing one of the pre-installed EnergyPlus model files to work for what I wanted to achieve, but am still curious about my errors, as the syntax for the erroring objects appears to remain unchanged between the two versions of EnergyPlus (8.0 and 9.2), judging from my Energy+.idd file.

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It looks like your input file (IDF) is set up for EnergyPlus version 8.0, but the error file (ERR) says you are trying to simulate this input file with the engine executable for EnergyPlus version 9.2.

IDF content:

Version,8.0;


ERR content (very first line at top of file):

Program Version,EnergyPlus, Version 9.2.0-921312fa1d, YMD=2020.02.25 17:57,


The Version object defined in the IDF and that for the engine executable you wish to simulate with should match. If you just want to run this example file named SmOffPSZ.idf, then you can find it after installing any version of EnergyPlus under C:/EnergyPlusV[Version that you installed]/ExampleFiles.

The fenestration surface errors are caused by the removal of the Shading Control Name input field between EnergyPlus v8.0 and v9.2. See the screenshot below showing the v8.0 IDF that you shared from BCVTB examples on the right compared to v9.2 example IDF that comes with EnergyPlus installation on the left.

The v8.0 IDF includes this extra input field, bringing the total input fields that need to be defined up to 22 for a window with 4 vertices. The v9.2 engine executable is expecting one less input field (total of 21), forcing the window surface object to stop there, and trying to read the final input value as a new object. Hence, the error lines saying "2.671" is not a valid Object Type, or something similar.

The other error messages are for similar reasons (input fields added or removed between v8.0 and v9.2).

"Coil:Heating:Gas" is not a valid Object Type. is an error message because that object type was changed to Coil:Heating:Fuel

<root>[Branch][Air Loop 1 Main Branch][components][0] - Missing required property 'component_object_type'. is an error message because the Branch object type had Maximum Flow Rate and Component 'n' Branch Control Type input fields removed (see screenshot below).

<root>[ZoneHVAC:EquipmentList][ZNF1Equipment][equipment][0][zone_equipment_object_type] - "ZNF1DirectAir" - Failed to match against any enum values. is an error message because the ZoneHVAC:EquipmentList object type had Load Distribution Scheme and Sequential Cooling/Heating Load Fraction Schedule Name input fields added (see screenshot below).

If you use a diff tool like WinMerge or Beyond Compare (what I used for my screenshots) and show the IDD files for EnergyPlus v8.0 and v9.2 side-by-side, you will find these differences and others.

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The example file used is a modified version (by the authors of BCVTB) supplied by BCVTB. Maybe I was unclear about that in my original question. Therefore the example file in my installation of E+ will not work for my case.

I've also assumed the version difference being a problem. However, all Windows releases of E+ prior to 8.6 were taken down due to a vulnerability.

I have however succeeded in editing one of the original EnergyPlus examples to work for me. I am still curious about my error though, as the syntax for the erroring objects seems to be the same between versions.

( 2020-02-26 11:11:01 -0600 )edit

Many thanks for the edit! I guess that's what I get for comparing going by eye, instead of using a proper diff tool. This cleared things up.

( 2020-02-26 15:31:29 -0600 )edit

or use the EnergyPlus-v9.2/Preprocess/IDFVersionUpdater to update your IDF from 8.0 to 9.2.

Note that sometimes it will have error directly update from 8.0 to 9.2, just do it step by step, 8.0-8.1-...

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