Development of a Virtual Computational Test-bed for Building Integrated Renewable Energy Solutions

Name of student: ir. J. (Jad) Al Koussa
Supervisors: prof.dr.ir. J.L.M. (Jan) Hensen, dr. J.D. (John) Bynum
Chair research belongs to: Building Performance
Strategic area: Energy
Project year: 2014


Buildings are increasingly becoming energy producers through the installation of various renewable technologies.  To realize energy neutral buildings, efforts are needed to support the development of various technologies.  The main objective of this work is the development of a virtual computational testbed for assessing the full scale performance potential of new building-integrated photovoltaic/thermal (BIPVT) solar collectors for a typical detached single family Dutch house. The model is developed using the Modelica modeling language and the Dymola simulation environment. It is developed using libraries from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy.

Included is an introduction to Modelica and related libraries, a description of the testbed model and simulation results. Moreover, an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of Dymola and Modelica for this case is performed including a comparison with other tools. The results show the importance of this testbed in assessing the technologies used and its contribution in the decision making process regarding low/zero energy building designs. It also shows that Dymola/Modelica provides a lot of flexibility, ease of use and multi-domain simulation capabilities. However, the use of the Buildings library provided some limitations in the simulation time and control domains.