Modeling district heating and cooling systems with URBANopt, GeoJSON to Modelica Translator, and the Modelica Buildings Library.

Publication Type

Conference Proceedings

Date Published




The URBANopt project has successfully leveraged OpenStudio/EnergyPlus to model buildings and electrical systems at an urban scale; however, URBANopt has lacked the ability to model district thermal energy systems until recently. This paper will present the modeling infrastructure that was developed specifically for the analysis of district heating and cooling systems, and how it is integrated into the existing URBANopt framework. The paper also discusses the development of new models added to the Modelica Buildings Library to model various district energy system components including loads, energy transfer stations (ETS), distribution networks, and central plants. The paper describes how different building loads can be modeled including time series, TEASER reduced-order models, or Spawn of EnergyPlus models. URBANopt District Energy Systems allows the user to switch between the various configurations.


Building Simulation 2021

Year of Publication




Research Areas