Abstract

An increasing trend in building energy simulations is to use simplified models to reduce simulation time, evaluate different model configurations, and analyze for energy consumption across different constructions and weather climates. Simplified models tend to share some common benefits such as ease of calibration and reduced setup and operation time. All of which allows for shorter time and simpler program to evaluate different situations or systems.

Some of these simplified models ignore thermal capacitance within walls and roofs; removing thermal capacitance can decrease simulation time but may alter loading due to ignoring the delay between when exterior surfaces receive loading and when the load is transferred to the interior. While this simplification is sometimes useful, it often overlooks the delay that occurs between the external wall heating and that heat being transferred to the interior. This paper will explore alternative methods for evaluating conduction loads in opaque surfaces for use in building energy models. Specifically, a differential equation conduction method with numerical integration, closed form solution, and forward difference calculation. These methods will be evaluated for how different conduction simulation techniques can be used in different situations to provide a potential increase in accuracy for simplified models while simultaneously reducing computational loads. Understanding the physics of dynamic envelope loading can change how much energy a building uses and when room conditioning needs to occur.

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