Development and validation of detailed building, plant and controller modelling to demonstrate interactive behaviour of system components

Jeremy Cockroft, D. Kennedy, Martin O'Hara, Aizaz Aamir Samuel, Paul Strachan, Paul Gerard Tuohy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


As plant modelling becomes capable of more complexity and detailed resolution, new opportunities arise for the virtual evaluation of discrete plant components such as flow control and energy conversion devices, and controllers. Such objects are conventionally developed and tested at the prototype stage in a laboratory environment. Designers now seek to use modelling technology to extend their understanding from limited laboratory test results to full building and plant system analysis. This paper describes the development of a modelling system, using ESP-r, for typical United Kingdom domestic house types with hydronic gas or oil fired central heating including radiator and underfloor heating systems, and with a variety of conventional or advanced control types. It demonstrates the ability of detailed building and plant modelling to reveal unexpected insights into how real control systems perform in combination with other plant items and in different building types, including estimation of their influence on annual energy consumption. Comparisons with measurements taken in test rooms confirm that the observed behaviour of controls is realised in practice. The authors conclude that the complex dynamic interactions that take place between the various elements that make up a real building energy system have an important influence on its overall energy performance, revealing causes of variance that cannot be identified by laboratory testing alone, or by simplistic energy assessment tools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages262, Session 3A
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2009
Event11th International IBPSA Conference - Glasgow, Scotland
Duration: 27 Jul 200930 Jul 2009


Conference11th International IBPSA Conference
CityGlasgow, Scotland


  • controller modelling
  • buildings
  • plant modelling
  • development
  • validation
  • detailed building
  • plant
  • controller
  • modelling
  • interactive behaviour
  • system components


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