How to Convert an .idf file from Sefaira for use in EnergyPlus

Installing EnergyPlus

  1. Download EnergyPlus and install. (Recommendation: Do NOT change the offered install location during the installation. EnergyPlus will be installed in c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\. Note: -64 is for the 64 bit installation, if you choose 32bit installation it will be -32.)


  1. Download the .idf file from the Sefaira web application by clicking on the EnergyPlus icon.
    This file is used as an input file for EngergyPlus.
  2. Save the .idf file locally on your machine
  3. You can review and edit the .idf file in two ways:
  • In Text Editor
  • Recommended: “Idf editor” - (“Idf editor” is an application that comes with the EnergyPlus installation at c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\PreProcess\IDFEditor\ location)


Running a Simulation 

To run the EnergyPlus simulation start the EP-Launch.exe from the c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\ location and select the .idf file. Or double click on the .idf file (1).

EnergyPlus comes with a few weather files that are located in the c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\WeatherData\ location (2).

To find the weather file that is closest to your projects geographical location please visit the EngergyPlus website

All weather files are zipped. We recommend unzipping them to the c:\EnergyPlusV8-3-0-64\WeatherData\ location.

  • If the simulation is successful, EnergyPlus will create a dozen files with different extension. Sefaira Systems is using project_name.xml and project_name.csv files for reporting the results of the simulation.

The convenience of using the .idf editor is that you can go through the Class list and see which objects are available in the .idf file (3). Object(s) that are in the .idf file have the number between the “[  ]” brackets.  In the screen shot below, it is  “AirTerminal:SingleDuct:VAV:Reheat”. To change some of the values you can use an Obj1 column.

Note: If you only want to see the classes with objects in them (in the idf editor), a quick ctrl+L on the .idf editor will allow you to see just the classes that are populated for a successful EnergyPlus run. 

When you are finshed making changes to the .idf file, click simulate(4). 

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    Hu Zhao

    can not find energyplus icon on the page?

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    Tyler Cain

    These instructions are out of date. Please update! Also Sefaira currently exports .idf files in EnergyPlus v8.5.0 which is no longer available for download.

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    Niraj Poudel

    Thanks for the feedback, Tyler. In the meantime could you update the .idf file using the idf version updater that comes with every Energyplus install?