Functional mock-up unit for co-simulation import in EnergyPlus

Thierry Nouidui, Michael Wetter, Wangda Zuo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


This article describes the development and implementation of the functional mock-up unit (FMU) for co-simulation import interface in EnergyPlus. This new capability allows EnergyPlus to conduct co-simulation with various simulation programs that are packaged as FMUs. For example, one can model an innovative Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system and its controls in Modelica, export the HVAC system and the control algorithm as an FMU, and link it to a model of the building envelope in EnergyPlus for run-time data exchange. The formal of FMUs is specified in the functional mock-up interface (FMI) standard, an open standard designed to enable links between disparate simulation programs. An FMU may contain models, model description, source code, and executable programs for multiple platforms. A master simulator - in this case, EnergyPlus - imports and simulates the FMUs, controlling simulation time and coordinating the exchange of data between the different FMUs. This article describes the mathematical basis of the FMI standard, discusses its application to EnergyPlus, and describes the architecture of the EnergyPlus implementation. It then presents a typical workflow, including pre-processing and co-simulation. The article concludes by presenting two use cases in which models of a ventilation system and a shading controller are imported in EnergyPlus as an FMU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Building Performance Simulation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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