Question-and-Answer Resource for the Building Energy Modeling Community
Get started with the Help page
Ask Your Question

How EnergyPlus determine the boundary condition before warmup convergence?

asked 2023-08-21 07:08:21 -0500

updated 2023-08-21 17:18:38 -0500

Hi all,

According to what I read from E+ engineering reference, the warmup process in E+ basically compares the four parameters: maximum zone air temperature, minimum zone air temperature, maximum heating load, and maximum cooling load for each individual thermal zone. So if the difference between days is less than the tolerance value, convergence is reached.

I understood that part, but still do not quite understand how the boundary conditions were chosen by E+ Since the warmup convergence itself has to go through the definition of boundary conditions such as indoor surface temperature.

Or can I just assume that:

In terms of specifying the indoor surface temperature directly as a boundary condition, EnergyPlus doesn’t typically require us to input this value explicitly. Instead, the indoor surface temperatures are calculated as part of the simulation process based on the interactions between the weather file, material properties, HVAC settings, and internal load. Since Honeybee usually assign a default value if we do not put anything.

Hopefully, somebody can clarify this. For example in Honeybee (using E+ engine), I only put weather file and material properties, and somehow E+ spits out values for indoor surface temperature, outdoor surface temperature, indoor air temperature, indoor operative temperature, etc. While in the heat transfer textbook, the heat balance equation might need the indoor surface temperature to actually calculate the outdoor surface temperature. So it baffles me. How can E+ spits out value with lots of unknown?

Thank you

Regards, Ricardo

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete

1 Answer

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2023-08-21 09:41:22 -0500

There is a function in E+, ResetNodeData, that is called at the beginning of each new environment. A new environment is a sizing period day, a weather file period, etc. This function resets all node data to a prescribed condition. Tyically 0 for temperature and humidity ratio. The warm up period then converges on a solution, as you describe, for the first day of the simulation. The initial conditions and history of each node in the simulation is then known. The simulation then proceeds normally for the remaining days in that environment.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Thank you for the insight!

When you said "typically 0 for temperature and humidity ratio", does it happen to every node? For example, as the main input, we have external meteorological conditions from the weather file, and in the initial condition set by E+, the indoor temperature and indoor surface temperature are 0? Then through each iteration, the indoor air temperature rises, and subsequently the indoor surface temperature also rises? Seems like I misunderstood something since I read that the initial indoor temperature should not be 0 (because it is unrealistic).

ricardolionar's avatar ricardolionar  ( 2023-08-21 17:47:09 -0500 )edit

I think it's all nodes. Then during warmup, all nodes will come to some steady-state over the day, which is when convergence is reached, and begin the simulation from there. It's not as if the zone temperature will begin the simulation at 0 C, it will begin warmup at 0 C and over a few days will reach what is likely the thermostat set point temperature for that day.

rraustad's avatar rraustad  ( 2023-08-22 19:03:06 -0500 )edit

Your Answer

Please start posting anonymously - your entry will be published after you log in or create a new account.

Add Answer

Training Workshops


Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2023-08-21 07:08:21 -0500

Seen: 103 times

Last updated: Aug 21 '23