EPlus error: Surface_Dup_Dup names getting truncated


My energy Plus model keeps failing. I identified the problem and have a workaround, but wanted to share in case anyone else runs into something similar.

I am making a large EPlus model from custom zones created through individually defined HBSurfaces. I am piping about 50 zones with roughly 20 façade panels each into a single idf file. My branching structure creates a lot of similarly named surfaces. Eplus fails because similarly named surfaces are automatically renamed “SurfaceName_Dup_Dup_Dup…” until the names are so long that Eplus truncates them. This seems to crash the program in a variety of different ways. I don’t know exactly why this happens, but I solved the error by assigning a unique name to each HBsurface. I used the data tree path of the inputs to create random numbers and then appended this unique number to a common title.

It would be great if Honeybee could rename all duplicate HBsurfaces with a unique random number, like a serial number, rather than appending _Dup to each new option. Is this possible or is that an Eplus thing?

Dear Mr. Curtis

Many thanks for sharing solutions,

could you please have it a look to my post,

Struggled visualize the surface results

I think my problem falls in this issue, and I hope you can share a simple file or illustration showing what how you did the " the data tree path of the inputs to create random numbers and then appended this unique number to a common title."

i’m quite new with the data tree,

I forgot to ask about how to name the Skylights in general and what to do if I have many, its generating pretty long names!

Hi Leland,

It is happening inside Honeybee and is possible to change. To avoid the issue in general you should name the zones differently when you are creating the zones.



I imagine that changing the addition of “_Dup” to the addition of unique guid would be generally helpful in light of this case. If you upload a GH file where you are experiencing the problem, I will look into changing it. As Mostapha said, best practice is to set zone names when you create them. If either this “_Dup” check or a unique guid check is used, it messes up the matching of names that happens in my color zones and color surface components. Having your GH file will allow me to ponder if there is some way around this.



I am just letting you know that I put in a check to stop the creation of very long surface names:


It might be different than you specific case, though, as this one did not involve “Dup” in the name.