Paper Conference

ASHRAE & IBPSA-USA SimBuild 2016: Building Performance Modeling Conference


Simulating Empirically-Determined Plug Loads to Improve Knowledge of Design Loads and Assess Building Performance Improvement Opportunities

Justin Lueker, Annie Marston, Raghuram Sunnam, Oliver Baumann
Baumann Consulting, Washington, DC, USA

Abstract: The accurate prediction of internal heat gains from occupants, lighting, and plug loads inside a building is critical for mechanical engineers and energy modelers, with implications related to HVAC sizing, thermal comfort requirements, and energy efficiency. However, internal gain values are often misjudged, stemming from industry standard assumptions. This paper describes an empirical approach to calculate plug load density in office spaces, and the subsequent simulation of an active office building incorporating different internal gains assumptions. The outcome is a 24-hour plug load schedule in the form of W/ft² that assists in predicting peak heating and cooling loads. The model underwent six iterations: five with a variety of plug load densities based on current design handbooks, and the last with improved values determined by this procedure. The simulation results are compared to reveal the impact of renewed plug load estimates on HVAC demand and energy use.
Pages: 17 - 24