Automatic extraction of Reduced order models from CFD simulations for building energy modeling

D.T. Mullen, M.M. Keane, M. Geron, R.F.D. Monaghan

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Thermal comfort is defined as “that condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment’ [1] [2]. Field studies have been completed in order to establish the governing conditions for thermal comfort [3]. These studies showed that the internal climate of a room was the strongest factor in establishing thermal comfort. Direct manipulation of the internal climate is necessary to retain an acceptable level of thermal comfort. In order for Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) strategies to be efficiently utilised it is necessary to have the ability to predict the effect that activating a heating/cooling source (radiators, windows and doors) will have on the room. The numerical modelling of the domain can be challenging due to necessity to capture temperature stratification and/or different heat sources (radiators, computers and human beings). Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models are usually utilised for this function because they provide the level of details required. Although they provide the necessary level of accuracy these models tend to be highly computationally expensive especially when transient behaviour needs to be analysed. Consequently they cannot be integrated in BEMS. This paper presents and describes validation of a CFD-ROM method for real-time simulations of building thermal performance. The CFD-ROM method involves the automatic extraction and solution of reduced order models (ROMs) from validated CFD simulations. The test case used in this work is a room of the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) Building at the University College Cork (UCC). ROMs have shown that they are sufficiently accurate with a total error of less than 1% and successfully retain a satisfactory representation of the phenomena modelled. The number of zones in a ROM defines the size and complexity of that ROM. It has been observed that ROMs with a higher number of zones produce more accurate results. As each ROM has a time to solution of less than 20 seconds they can be integrated into the BEMS of a building which opens the potential to real time physics based building energy modelling.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014
EventRoomvent 2014 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Duration: 19 Oct 201422 Jan 2015


ConferenceRoomvent 2014
CitySao Paulo


  • Computational modelling
  • reduced order models
  • natural ventilation
  • , energy efficient building


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