MLE+ Toolbox!

MLE+ is a tool for energy-efficient building automation design, co-simulation and analysis.

Download » ACM BuildSys 2012 MLE+ Paper

MLE+ is an open-source Matlab/Simulink toolbox for co-simulation with the whole-building energy simulator EnergyPlus. It is designed for engineers and researchers who are familiar with Matlab and Simulink and want to use these software tools in building energy simulation. The following are the main features of MLE+:

1. Simulation configuration:

The MLE+ front-end streamlines the con- figuration process of linking the building model and the controllers by ab- stracting the necessary parameters from the co-simulation. This reduces setup time and configuration problems.

2. Controller design:

MLE+ provides a control development workflow as well as graphical front-ends for designing advanced control strategies, in which the building simulation is carried out by EnergyPlus while the controllers are implemented in Matlab or Simulink.

3. Simulation-based optimization:

MLE+ can be used to find optimal parameters or control sequences for building system simulations in EnergyPlus.

4. Data analysis:

After a co-simulation run, using MLE+, the output data from EnergyPlus can be aggregated, analyzed and visualized in Matlab.

5. Building Management System Interface:

MLE+ provides a BAC- net interface to develop and implement control methods for real building equipment.

6. Matlab environment:

MLE+ allows complete access to the Matlab environment and toolboxes such as Global Optimization Toolbox, System Identification Toolbox and Model Predictive Control Toolbox. The user can step through the code for debugging and pause the co-simulation at any time.

1. Windows Operating System.

Currently, MLE+ is only supported in Windows. However, we are working in making MLE+ compatible in the Linux and Mac OS platforms.

2. MLE+ requires Matlab and/or Simulink of recent versions.

MLE+ uses the GUILayout Toolbox. This is included in the MLE+ distribution. MLE+ has been tested in Matlab 2011a and 2012a versions1.

3. Java must be enabled in Matlab.

By default, Java is already enabled in Matlab, so no further action is required. The Java socket library is used by MLE+ for communication with EnergyPlus.

4. EnergyPlus version 8.0.0 (latest).

MLE+ should work well with previous versions of EnergyPlus: versions 7.0.0 and 6.0.0. However, it has not been tested thoroughly. We strongly recommend to download EnergyPlus 8.0.0 as the example files correspond to this version.

1. Download MLE+

You can download the latest version from here or clone this repository

2. Extract files

Extract all files to a directory in your computer, for example C:\software\mlep.

3. Matlab

3. Open Matlab and change the current directory to the C:\software\mlep\MLE+ folder that has just been created.

4. Run installMlep.m

In Matlab, run the installation script installMlep.m located in C:\software\mlep\MLE+\installMlep.m and follow the instructions. This will install the GUI Layout Toolbox and add the necessary paths to the Matlab environment automatically.

5. Installation Screen

At this point, the installation screen in Figure 2 will appear. Here you need to specify the paths to EnergyPlus main Directory and the path to the folder with Java binaries. Also, this will replace your RunEPlus.batch file (in Windows).

Figure 2. Installation Screen
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The tutorial walks you through the installation and includes detailed steps to get MLE+ running. It also provides sample project that you can load and run in your computer.

You can download MLE+ Tutorial here. This tutorial is also included in MLE+ distribution

Videos

The following videos help you getting started with MLE+.

  1. Video 1 - MLE+ Introduction
  2. Video 2 - Getting Started
  3. Video 3 - Shading Example Tutorial
  4. Video 4 - Simulink Example

MLE+ has been presented at the 4th ACM Workshop On Embedded Sensing Systems For Energy-Efficiency In Buildings. You can review the paper in the following link

MLE+: A Tool for Integrated Design and Deployment of Energy Efficient Building Controls

Please cite MLE+ in the following form.

Willy Bernal, Madhur Behl, Truong X. Nghiem, and Rahul Mangharam. (2012). MLE+: A Tool for Integrated Design and Deployment of Energy Efficient Building Controls. 4th ACM Workshop On Embedded Sensing Systems For Energy-Efficiency In Buildings, (BuildSys '12), Toronto, Canada.

@article{MLEP12,
name = {MLE+: A Tool for Integrated Design and Deployment of Energy Efficient Building Controls.},
author = {Willy Bernal, Madhur Behl, Truong X. Nghiem, and Rahul Mangharam},
url = {http://repository.upenn.edu/mlab_papers/51/},
year = {2012},
date = {2012-11-06},
journal = {4th ACM Workshop On Embedded Sensing Systems For Energy-Efficiency In Buildings, (BuildSys '12), Toronto, Canada.},
}

MLE+ has received the Best Demo Award at the 4th ACM Workshop On Embedded Sensing Systems For Energy-Efficiency In Buildings (Toronto, Canada 2012). You can view details about the conference at the following link

Best Demo Award for MLE+

MLE+ was originally developed by Truong X. Nghiem during his PhD study. Since May 2012, its development has continued at the Embedded Systems Laboratory (mLab) at the University of Pennsylvania.

Current Members

  1. Achin Jain
  2. Madhur Behl
  3. Rahul Mangharam

Past Members

  1. Truong X. Nghiem
  2. Willy Bernal
If you have any questions about MLE+ or have any comments please feel free to contact the developing team. A Google group is created for posting and archiving questions and comments. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.