Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSO Conference 2020: Fifth Conference of IBPSA-England


Dynamic Simulation tool for building energy performance assessment and improvement

Giorgio Cucca, Carl Holland, Soma Mohammadi, Bunmi Adefajo

Abstract: The UK’s net zero target commits the country to all but eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 relative to 1990 levels (HM GOVERNMENT, 2008). To achieve this, it will be necessary to drastically reduce emissions arising from provision of domestic heating and hot water, a sector that accounted for circa 15% of UK CO2 emissions in 2019 (Committee on Climate Change, 2018). The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has developed Home Energy Dynamics (HED), a detailed dynamic domestic modelling simulation tool-kit built in Dymola® to identify feasible combinations of improvements to a building’s fabric, heating system and controls, to reduce emissions and running costs, and increase comfort based on occupant preferences. This study reports a summary of results from modelling seven homes with the HED toolkit, as part of a collaboration between ESC, a social housing provider, a local authority, and a charity. A survey was conducted on each house and its occupants to build the house model and understand the occupancy and heating usage patterns. Monitoring data is used to calibrate the model. Simulation results are then compared with monitoring data before upgrade pathway options for each house are considered. Upgrade options include improvements to the building’s fabric, heating system and controls, and could inform energy efficiency measures implemented to support the UK’s net zero target. Whereas other modelling packages may use standard metrics when modelling a boiler, HED requires much greater detail such as the specific heat capacity of materials used in the boiler and heating system, length of pipes etc. Therefore, it supports a ‘first principles’ modelling approach to produce detailed dynamic models, which are adaptable and configurable. HED is novel in its inclusion of occupancy data from householders, rather than relying on standardised occupancy patterns. Also, it demonstrates a significant reduction in the ‘performance gap’ typically found when comparing modelled with actual energy performance.
Pages: 96 - 103