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Adding a submeter in E+

asked 2020-04-02 06:51:14 -0600

updated 2020-04-20 08:21:26 -0600

Hi all,

It would be my great pleasure if anyone could assist. Actually, I'm wondering if anyone could assist and let me know how to set up a submeter in E+ in general. More detailed, I'm wondering if you could please let me how to add a submeter that presents for the fan-powered boxes (FPB)- while the current E+ results only include fans (in general) as a subcategory.

To be honest, I already looked at InputOutputRefrences (page 63) and found an example under the custom meter. However, I'm not sure how to follow that example into subtracting FPB from the Fan (total Fan). In other words, it would be my great pleasure if you could please explain to me the procedure of sub categorizing all the fan powers (like vav, cav, FPB,...).

I truly appreciate your help in advance!


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answered 2020-04-02 11:00:04 -0600

updated 2020-04-07 09:27:19 -0600

You don't need to define a meter object to categorize energy use of fans. Fan objects have a End-Use Subcategory input field that tells EnergyPlus what meter subcategory to assign fan energy use to. The annual energy use of all subcategories (this can also be applied to lights, interior equipment, etc.) are summarized in the End Uses by Subcategory table of the Annual Building Utility Performance Summary report. You can read this post and this post for more information.

If you want to see the hourly energy use of these fan subcategories, then you would use an Output:Meter object and reference the subcategory that you defined in the fan object(s). To see a full list of all potential meter options in your model, you should review the MDD output file created after an EnergyPlus simulation. You could run a one-day simulation to generate this file first, add the relevant output meters to your input file, save the input file, then run an annual simulation to generate the meter data.


To answer your first comment's question, the end-use subcategory is a custom input field where the user can enter any category name they want. What they enter will appear in both annual summary reports as well as potential hourly meters.

To answer your second comment's question, NO -- any object with an input field for end-use subcategory (lights, equipment, fans, etc.) will only accept one input string. For example, if you wanted to make a subcategory for exhaust fans in kitchens, you should enter

Kitchen Exhaust Fans,  !- End-Use Subcategory

This is because EnergyPlus only has one input field for meter subcategories, not multiple input fields like below.

Kitchen Fans,  !- End-Use Subcategory 1
Exhaust Fans,  !- End-Use Subcategory 2

To do something like this, you would need to alter the EnergyPlus source code and build your own version of the executable. So, if you want to apply 2-3 subcategories then come up with a naming convention for end-use subcategory input fields that reflect that.

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Hi Aaron,

Thank you so much for your help. However, I still believe I should find a way to show subcategories which are not listed in my output file. To clarify, when I refer to Fan energy, I may have vav, exhaust, cav, FPB (serries/parallel),.... So, I need to know about each subcategory. I totally agree (and know) that we could find the desired variable from the MDD file to re-run the IDF file. However, my problem is I cannot find such subcategories inside the current MDD file.

Any ideas would be highly appreciated.

Mohammad's avatar Mohammad  ( 2020-04-02 16:08:24 -0600 )edit

@Aaron Boranian: would you please also let me know how to define more than one End-Use Subcategory input filed for a specific object? For instance, could we have 2 or 3 End-Use Subcategories defined for the ElectricEquipment? Thank you so much for all your super helpful comments!

Mohammad's avatar Mohammad  ( 2020-04-07 02:50:21 -0600 )edit

@Mohammad I've updated my answer above to respond to your comments.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2020-04-07 09:27:36 -0600 )edit

@Aaron Boranian: Hi Aaron. I was wondering if you could please assist with one more hint, for the cases that we don't have the option to define the End-Use Subcategory for the object in the IDF, as that End-Use is basically missing. For instance, would you please let me know how to add a submeter for an object like "ZoneHVAC:Baseboard:Convective:Electric", where there is no End-Use Subcategory option listed for that object? I truly appreciate your support in advance.

Mohammad's avatar Mohammad  ( 2020-05-28 05:05:10 -0600 )edit

@Mohammad unfortunately, EnergyPlus doesn't have a similar end-use subcategory input field for the ZoneHVAC:Baseboard:Convective:Electric object. It does, however, for the ZoneBaseboard:OutdoorTemperatureControlled, but this doesn't allow users to define efficiency. Besides that option, you could keep the first baseboard object and add Energy Management Systems (EMS) objects to make your own end-use subcategories.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2020-05-28 09:00:40 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2020-04-02 06:51:14 -0600

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Last updated: Apr 07 '20