EnergyPlus and BlueCFD - OpenFOAM coupling

Thank you @mostapha @chris and Team for the components which enabled us (me and my student Vidya Ramesh) to do the energy and CFD coupling.


Hi @Nariman.Rafati .Thanks for sharing. Is it possible for you to explain here how we can achieve this!


We can create EnergyPlus IDF and OpenFoam CFD input files with Honeybee and Butterfly respectively and then use EnergyPlus Python Plugin to couple it. The sensors and actuators of EnergyPlus are linked with inputs and outputs of OpenFOAM through Python script. We are working to develop a Grasshopper component that can do the EP Python plugin appending and CFD connecting work without the knowledge of programming. We hope it will be successful with God’s grace!!


Sounds great! Wish you all the best!


Sounds great.

I had a PhD student - Li Jing Urban Microclimate Analysis for High Performance Office Buildings - explore for tall buildings in complex urban environments the coupling of UHI analysis, CFD analysis, E+ modelling of the Temperature Lapse Rate in the atmosphere, and E+ modelling of the variation of wind with height when not obstructed by local buildings. She demonstrated all factors are important. She coupled Open Foam/Butterfly and E+/Legacy Honeybee by adding some simple script mods in GH. These produced a matrix of wind pressures for a range of wind directions that readily became inputs to the AirFlowNetwork component in HB.

What is the difference in this new workflow that requires the E+ Python cntribution?


Thanks for the update @MichaelDonn

Coupling means the exchange of data from one platform to another to proceed to the next steps. In our case, the surface temperature, wind speed, wind direction are going as input to the CFD where the ambient air temperature and micro-wind patterns are extracted from CFD simulation and goes as input to the EnergyPlus for simulation of next step. The overall coupling is transient but not a steady-state approach.

On the quick of your PhD thesis student work, I primarily understood that the chaining approach (Figure 12, Figure 14 and Section has been adapted. Thank you for sharing us the resource which we couldn’t avail during our literature review.

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Congratulations on your achievement ! when will the paper be published, can’t wait to see it! Please also provide the name and address of the paper.

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Hope you can succeed, this will greatly simplify the coupling of e+ and cfd.

Hi @Naga -
Better late than never. Just reaching out to ask if you could please share the Python script or if there has been any progress with the Grasshopper plugin for the OpenFoam and EnergyPlus coupling. Also, if the paper has finally been published?

Thank you and looking forward to your reply.

Hi @ibitscholar

Yes, we were able to chain the openfoam with EnergyPlus by developing workflow using LB tools, EDDY3D and few custom components.

You can find the publication at Parametric Integration of CFD-based Wind Pressure Coefficients into Building Energy Models: A Novel Workflow - IOPscience

Due to computational intensity of OpenFoam, we couldn’t achieve coupling for now. If everything goes as planned, we are about to bring an alternative in a year or two.

For now, the chaining workflow published is ready for deployment. But there has been a recent update in LB tools to which we are resolving the bugs in workflow for now. We wish to launch it soon.

I hope the publication will be of a help for now.


Hi @Naga,

Thank you for your reply and for sharing the publication. I will have a look at it and be on the lookout for when the workflow is finally deployed on LB.


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