Paper Conference

Proceedings of SimBuild Conference 2010: 4th conference of IBPSA-USA


Optimizing Building Energy Simulation Models in the Face of Uncertainty

Dirk Jacob, Sebastian Burhenne, Anthony R. Florita, Gregor P. Henze
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Freiburg, Germany
University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Abstract: Model-based optimizations usually neglect the fact that building parameters cannot be estimated with high accuracy. The highly nonlinear characteristics of building energy systems (e.g., on-off control and capacity limitations) makes it harder to quantify the impact of uncertainty of model parameters. In addition, buildings are not stationary as equipment ages and utilization changes over time, requiring adjustment of previously found optimal solutions. A methodology has been developed to overcome these shortcomings and is illustrated using a simple example: a building using a solar thermal collector for heating and domestic hot water. The approach entails Monte Carlo sampling from the uncertain domain, with an embedded optimization routine. Conditional probability density functions (e.g., energy consumption and demand) quantify the difference between base case and optimal scenarios in the presence of uncertainty.
Pages: 118 - 125