NREL Develops Diagnostic Test Cases to Improve Building Energy Simulation Programs (Fact Sheet)

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This technical highlight describes NREL research to develop a set of diagnostic test cases for building energy simulations in order to achieve more accurate energy use and savings predictions. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Residential and Commercial Buildings research groups developed a set of diagnostic test cases for building energy simulations. Eight test cases were developed to test surface conduction heat transfer algorithms of building envelopes in building energy simulation programs. These algorithms are used to predict energy flow through external opaque surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors. The test cases consist of analytical and vetted numerical heat ... continued below

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1 pg.

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Creator: Unknown. December 1, 2011.

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This technical highlight describes NREL research to develop a set of diagnostic test cases for building energy simulations in order to achieve more accurate energy use and savings predictions. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Residential and Commercial Buildings research groups developed a set of diagnostic test cases for building energy simulations. Eight test cases were developed to test surface conduction heat transfer algorithms of building envelopes in building energy simulation programs. These algorithms are used to predict energy flow through external opaque surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors. The test cases consist of analytical and vetted numerical heat transfer solutions that have been available for decades, which increases confidence in test results. NREL researchers adapted these solutions for comparisons with building energy simulation results. Testing the new cases with EnergyPlus identified issues with the conduction finite difference (CondFD) heat transfer algorithm in versions 5 and 6. NREL researchers resolved these issues for EnergyPlus version 7. The new test cases will help users and developers of EnergyPlus and other building energy tools to identify and fix problems associated with solid conduction heat transfer algorithms of building envelopes and their boundary conditions. In the long term, improvements to software algorithms will result in more accurate energy use and savings predictions. NREL researchers plan to document the set of test cases and make them available for future consideration by validation standards such as ASHRAE Standard 140: Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs. EnergyPlus users will also have access to the improved CondFD model in version 7 after its next scheduled release.

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1 pg.

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  • Related Information: Building America: Technical Highlight, Building Technologies Program (BTP)

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO-102011-3230
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1031950 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1031950
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc847198

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  • December 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Sept. 6, 2016, 6:56 p.m.

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NREL Develops Diagnostic Test Cases to Improve Building Energy Simulation Programs (Fact Sheet), report, December 1, 2011; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847198/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.