Knowledgebase: Installation
Multiple Version of EnergyPlus on Windows Machine
Posted by Michael J. Witte, Last modified by Michael J. Witte on 28 November 2017 07:12 PM
Question: We have upgraded to E+ V7 on most of our machines, but have to keep V6 for some older projects. Now the following question arose: is it possible to have multiple EnergyPlus versions installed on the same windows PC, or will they interfere somehow? Of course, they will be installed in different folders, but what about windows registry and other "common" resources?

Answer: Not a problem. You may install multiple versions of EnergyPlus on the same Windows machine as long as the folder names are different. The only common resource will be the Windows registry entries which all relate to EP-Launch and IDF Editor. These entries are shared by all of the installed versions, so if you change an EP-Launch option in v6, the same option will be set when you open v7 EP-Launch.

When installing EnergyPlus, there is an option to associate idf, imf, and epg files with EP-Launch. If you select this option during install, then that version of EP-Launch will open when any idf (or imf or epg) file is double-clicked in the file explorer, even if the file is for a different version. You can reset this association to a different version in EP-Launch --> Options --> File Association.

Hint 1: EP-Launch and IDF Editor display the current version in the lower left corner.

Hint 2: If you like to double-click files to open EP-Launch, and you are working with files from multiple versions, you can still use this feature with one extra step. Whenever EP-Launch is closed, it stores that current input file and weather file paths in the registry.

Let's say that the file association is set to v7, but you want to work with a v6 idf file. Double-click the v6 idf file in the file explorer. This will open v7 EP-Launch with the double-clicked file selected as the current input file. Close v7 EP-Launch (and this will store the input file path in the registry). Then open v6 EP-Launch and the same file will be selected. This can save time navigating across folders.

Hint 3: You can have multiple instances of EP-Launch open at the same time. These may be from different versions or you can even open multiple instances of EP-Launch from the same version. You can run simulations simultaneously from each instance of EP-Launch with one constraint: you cannot run simulations for idf files residing in the same folder from more than one EP-Launch at the same time.

Why? When a simulation is started, EP-Launch creates a temporary folder in the folder where the idf file resides. A given instance of EP-Launch can run multiple simulations in the same folder and will create temporary folders number 1, 2, 3, etc. But one instance of EP-Launch does not know about simulations in progress from a different instance. So, if two instances of EP-Launch run a simulation on files from the same folder, they will both try to work with the same temporary folder and one or both of the simulations will crash.

Hint 4: The recent file lists for input and weather are shared across versions, but the history file is specific to each version. This can help save time when opening outputs from previous simulations. The history is stored in a file named history.csv in the main install folder for each version. It may be edited or deleted to clear old entries.
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