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Zone handle instead of name (E+ file & Output not OS)

asked 2015-04-16 11:58:34 -0600

Bryan's avatar

updated 2017-05-03 19:16:28 -0600

I have a model with 40 or so zones and it has evolved over the past weeks. During one evolution, the outputs in the E+ table, the zone names in the idf file, and outputs in the SQL file are labeled by Zone handle (e.g. the long random characters) instead of zone name. This is happening to only about 1/2 of them. In the OS input environment the zone names are always displayed - not the handles.

Has anyone seen this?

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Is this happening to the names of the thermal zone objects in the IDF, or is it some of of the HVAC objects related to that zone? I have seen some objects that get generated on forward translation have handle's in the IDF, but normally not thermal zones. If that is the case we should look into it. I'm wondering if there are any offending characters in the name that it may get thrown out and replaced with handle on forward translation, but I have not seen that. @macumber or @Kyle Benne would know about this.

David Goldwasser's avatar David Goldwasser  ( 2015-04-16 13:27:44 -0600 )edit

It's happening to the Thermal Zone names in the idf. I believe this is probably the same source for it happening in the output table and sql file.

The original OS zone names aren't using any special characters. Usually just two words with a space. And again, some of them are just fine and others are not.

A strange thing is that if you select the handle (long characters) in the idf file and search for the same string in the osm file (in text editor) it can't be found.

Bryan's avatar Bryan  ( 2015-04-16 13:35:08 -0600 )edit

I just noticed that in the Zone List object, it looks like I have 40 lists, one for each zone.

It looks like if the list name is equal to the zone name then one of them uses the handle. It seems kind of random whether the list name is a long handle or the zone name.

Only when the list name is not equal to the zone name (it happened a few times as a typo) then there are real words in both the list name and zone name. I'm not sure how the lists were generated in OS, I believe this happened after I set up many of the space types.

Bryan's avatar Bryan  ( 2015-04-16 13:42:24 -0600 )edit

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answered 2015-04-16 17:52:45 -0600

Bryan's avatar

I altered the space type names to be slightly different than the zone names and that seems to have fixed everything. So, it looks like if a zone is sitting in a space type with exactly the same name, there is an issue and the handle is used sometimes instead of the zone name (I think?).

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Great catch Bryan. While we don't generally recommend it, technically the OpenStudio API does allow two objects of different classes to share the same name, but it sounds like our forward translator to IDF has issues this. We should tighten up our API not to allow this or have the translator handle it. I filled an issue referencing this post.

David Goldwasser's avatar David Goldwasser  ( 2015-04-16 19:29:04 -0600 )edit

@Bryan I wasn't able to make a model that exhibits this. Do you mind sending the problem to It will make it easier for us to reproduce and then test fix for it.

David Goldwasser's avatar David Goldwasser  ( 2015-04-20 15:26:56 -0600 )edit

I'm not sure I can pass this model around. I tried to replicated what I am seeing on a smaller model but was not able to reproduce the issue. I'll keep this issue on my desk and try to recreate it with a model I can distribute.

bryane's avatar bryane  ( 2015-04-23 10:29:12 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2015-04-16 11:58:34 -0600

Seen: 152 times

Last updated: Apr 16 '15