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Simulation in support of outdoor testing of building components

Strachan, P.A. (2003) Simulation in support of outdoor testing of building components. In: Proceedings of the Dynamic Analysis and Modelling Techniques for Energy in Buildings Conference. DAME-BC.

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Abstract

The determination of performance metrics for novel building components requires that the tests are conducted in the outdoor environment. It is usually difficult to do this when the components are located in a full-scale building because of the difficulty in controlling the experiments. Test cells allow the components to be tested in realistic, but controlled, conditions. High-quality outdoor experiments and identification analysis methods can be used to determine key parameters that quantify performance. This is important for achieving standardised metrics that characterise the building component of interest, whether it is a passive solar component such as a ventilated window, or an active component such as a hybrid photovoltaic module. However, such testing and analysis does not determine how the building component will perform when placed in a real building in a particular location and climate. For this, it is necessary to model the whole building with and without the building component of interest. A procedure has been developed, and applied within several major European projects, that consists of calibrating a simulation model with high-quality data from the outdoor tests and then applying scaling and replication to one or more buildings and locations to determine performance in practice of building components. This paper sets out the methodology that has been developed and applied in these European projects. A case study is included demonstrating its application to the performance evaluation of hybrid photovoltaic modules.