Multi-zone Dynamic Simulations for Investigation of Occupant Behaviour and Building Performance
Keywords:Multi-zone simulation, occupant behaviour, building performance, floor heating system, heat pump, space heating demand, design power, robust system
The study aims to investigate the correlation between occupant preferences, occupant thermal comfort and building energy performances by means of dynamic building simulations. Moreover, the design power of a central heating system is studied in correlation with an increasing number of occupants with non-standard behaviour. A building consisting of 24 office rooms and a common traffic zone, distributed on 3 floors is simulated in MATLAB Simulink environment. The heating demand evaluated considering the climate of Stuttgart accounts for 49 kWh/(m2a), which decreases to 17 kWh/(m2a) when the mechanical ventilation heat recovery is implemented, i.e. thermal building quality according to the Passive House standard. Furthermore, the climates of Rome and Stockholm are considered to take into account the effects of different boundary conditions. A floor heating system is implemented in every office room and the hot water is supplied by a central heat pump. Non-standard behaviour (i.e. setpoint temperature, window shading, window opening and a combination of them) in an increasing number of offices is implemented to study the impact on the heating demand, on the thermal comfort (room temperature and floor temperature) and on the design power of a central heating system. Peculiar behaviours of some of the occupants can have a relative influence on the building performance. For example, extensive ventilation in only one office can have the same impact on the building space heating demand as higher setpoint or shading in several offices at the same time. Results of the dynamic simulations address the robustness of a central heat pump compared to an electric system. Moreover, a general correlation between the number of office rooms with non-standard behaviour and increase of space heating demand cannot be found as the correlation depends on climate and quality of the building envelope. Finally, the position of the office with non-standard ventilation has an impact on the required heating power.
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