A Method to Test Model Calibration Techniques: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper describes a method for testing model calibration techniques. Calibration is commonly used in conjunction with energy retrofit audit models. An audit is conducted to gather information about the building needed to assemble an input file for a building energy modeling tool. A calibration technique is used to reconcile model predictions with utility data, and then the 'calibrated model' is used to predict energy savings from a variety of retrofit measures and combinations thereof. Current standards and guidelines such as BPI-2400 and ASHRAE-14 set criteria for 'goodness of fit' and assume that if the criteria are met, then the calibration technique is acceptable. While it is logical to use the actual performance data of the building to tune the model, it is not certain that a good fit will result in a model that better predicts post-retrofit energy savings. Therefore, the basic idea here is that the simulation program (intended for use with the calibration technique) is used to generate surrogate utility bill data and retrofit energy savings data against which the calibration technique can be tested. This provides three figures of merit for testing a calibration technique, 1) accuracy of the post-retrofit energy savings prediction, 2) closure on the 'true' input parameter values, and 3) goodness of fit to the utility bill data. The paper will also discuss the pros and cons of using this synthetic surrogate data approach versus trying to use real data sets of actual buildings.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2016
Event2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Pacific Grove, California
Duration: 21 Aug 201626 Aug 2016


Conference2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
CityPacific Grove, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-65981


  • building energy
  • model calibration techniques


Dive into the research topics of 'A Method to Test Model Calibration Techniques: Preprint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this