Development of a lightweight building simulation tool using simplified zone thermal coupling for fast parametric study

Pengyuan Shen, William Braham, Yunkyu Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Most building energy simulation (BES) tools need detailed inputs for the modeling process because of the nature that building is a complex system and evaluating its performance usually involves many factors and uncertainties. In this research, a lightweight building energy simulation tool - SimBldPy, is proposed. The proposed simplified hourly method in this paper includes additional thermal resistances of the zone internal floor and internal walls coupled with adjacent zone temperature. Two DOE reference building types (one residential and one office) located in Philadelphia and San Francisco are used in the research to verify the performance of the tool. Its performance and validity in simulating hourly energy use with different heating and cooling set points in each zone, under various climate conditions, and with multiple ECMs being applied to the building, have been tested and verified with EnergyPlus. This tool and modeling method could be used for rapid modeling and assessment of building energy for a variety of ECM options. By using this tool in modeling an on-campus building in University of Pennsylvania, it is shown that the calibrated building model in SimBldPy can be used to model the energy use of an existing building. With low cost in computation, the tool is able to provide rapid modeling and assessment of building energy use (BEU) for parametric studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-214
Number of pages27
JournalApplied Energy
Volume223
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Keywords

  • Building retrofit
  • Building simulation
  • Parametric study
  • SimBldPy
  • Thermal modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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