Regression-Based Approach to Modeling Emerging HVAC Technologies in EnergyPlus: A Case Study Using a Vuilleumier-Cycle Heat Pump

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18 Scopus Citations

Abstract

This paper presents a regression-based approach for modeling emerging heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) technologies using the user-defined coil object in the building simulation software EnergyPlus. The approach can use output from HVAC system models or experimental data to create regression-based performance curves, which are then used within the building simulation. The regression approach is an alternative to modeling new HVAC technologies directly in EnergyPlus or performing co-simulation with a system model in a separate program. The proposed approach connects component and system level designs, and their associated performance, with annual energy use and costs in a variety of climates. This study focused on a Vuilleumier-cycle heat pump for a commercial building. We describe (1) the design and modeling of this system, (2) methods for translating this performance into a simplified model in EnergyPlus, and (3) building energy simulation results in United States climate zones 4–6. The results predict that the Vuilleumier-cycle heat pump will use 34 to 44% less source heating energy than an 80% efficient gas furnace, and more source cooling energy than a SEER 13 air conditioner. Total energy costs are lower when electricity prices are high and natural gas prices are low.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume186
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-71439

Keywords

  • Building energy simulations
  • EnergyPlus
  • HVAC modeling
  • HVAC regression
  • Vuilleumier cycle heat pump

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