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TRIBUTE Report Summary

Project ID: 608790
Funded under: FP7-NMP
Country: Switzerland

Periodic Report Summary 2 - TRIBUTE (Take the energy bill back to the promised building performance)

Project Context and Objectives:
Today, Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) analysis tends to show a large discrepancy with real energy performance. Most cases are due to gross mistakes rather than fundamental inadequacy of available technology and methods. The reasons are manifold. Highly simplified calculation methods are used far beyond their domain of validity. Assumed boundary conditions such as occupant behaviour are not in accordance with actual usage; gross malfunctions in control and HVAC systems are left undetected in the commissioning process, while thermal bridges and distribution system losses are left without attention. Moreover, metered and sub-metered data are not used efficiently in calculation tools and engineering based simulation models during the Measurement and Verification (M&V) phase.

TRIBUTE aims at minimizing the gap between computed and measured energy performances through the improvement of the predictive capability of a commercial BEPS. To achieve this goal, a set of intermediate objectives were set:
• Extend the use of simulation to the commissioning and operation stages of a building
• Allow efficient on-line identification of building key parameters
• Deploy a generous monitoring infrastructure on which the simulation could be trained and benchmarked
• Reduce the number of sensors to allow long term / affordable monitoring of the buildings
• Development of significantly faster and more precise retrofit decision tool that will be offered to European regions and individuals
• Improvement of energy flow management systems taking into account occupancy behaviour and featuring a continuous building health monitoring approach.

The methodology and tools will be evaluated in the context of different buildings types and locations. Within the TRIBUTE project we propose to reduce the gap between planned and actual energy performance down to 5 % (+- 2 %).

TRIBUTE proposes to demonstrate an automated, model-based whole-building performance monitoring system at sites in partnership with Communauté d’agglomération de La Rochelle and Città di Torino.
In these existing buildings, measurement and verification techniques will be developed and deployed.
The system will continuously acquire measurements of HVAC-lighting, plug loads, occupancy usage from existing control system augmented by additional sensors to capture other building parameters measurements. The system will connect to Building Health Monitoring and Energy Flow Management applications (adapted from a commercial energy monitoring system).
The system will enable identification and quantification of building performance deviations, identification of the conditions under which performance deviations occurs, provide a means to compare Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) and finally a means to validate improved performance once Energy Saving Measures (retrofit or other) have been taken. Advanced analytics methods will help evaluating those deviations.

Project Results:
Since the beginning of the project, TRIBUTE achieved the following results:

After the selection of the test sites that occurred during the first period, the necessary hardware to conduct the monitoring was deployed. In Vaucansson, two generation of wireless sensor were deployed. The first one was deployed ahead of schedule to detect prior to the critical measurement period, potential problems. Based on the results, a new generation of the sensor network was deployed removing the 1 generation drawbacks. For example, the solar capability of the sensors was removed due to the fact that some sensors are in room that are never lit. A corresponding level of deployment, both in quality and quantity was done in Torino.

For the IBM building, the occupancy detection deployment conducted during the first period was extensively used to produce comparison of occupancy prediction algorithm. The goal of the project to investigate the relationships between occupancy and room measurements and consequently to the optimisation of the comfort and the energy usage was achieved. Tools to assist building managers were developed and shown as a semantic model to describe physical relationship. The validation was done through 3D and virtual reality decision support tools.

The aim of the project to close the gap between analysis and measurement, ensuring the ad equation between the planned and the effective energy consumed should not be done at the expense of comfort, hense the need for efficient occupancy detection and planning, work was needed to evaluate the satisfaction of the building users. This was the role given to the BedZed test site during this last period. Based on a limited set of sensors deployed in a few dwellings, surveys were and will be conducted to try to match measured comfort values to the perception of users, thus once again closing the gap. The reason why this analysis was conducted in BedZed is the fact that this test site is already a zero emission building where this state of the art characteristic was achieved as an energy goal and not a comfort one. Users had claims on discomfort that needed to be evaluated.

Simulation models of the buildings were also produced at different levels of granularity. Those IDA-ICE models will be used as baseline for the comparison with the actual measurements. In order to allow simplified evaluation of the methodology a simpler model was also put in place. Sensitivity analysis using the developed models was conducted to determine which are the key parameters influencing the building energy performances. In addition, a study of the impact of building ageing on the key parameters was produced.

In parallel, numerous analytics approaches were implemented and tested to allow identifying in real time building key parameters derived from the sensitivity analysis.

The BEPS was adapted to improve model representatively. More complex multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) control objects were developed. One important result is the prediction of thermal stratification and velocity fields with a computational cost significantly smaller than CFD.

Considerable progress was made also in the field of the retrofit tool development - a tool that will be able to both propose and evaluate retrofit options to the building’s stakeholders. List of possible retrofit options for the TRIBUTE testing sites was prepared and currently is being structured and organized in a database.

Potential Impact:
The final results of the TRIBUTE project will range from a platform capable of comparing the model of a building to its real life behaviour to guidelines of the steps needed to implement a long term sensing of the building in order to detect degradation of the performance of the building not forgetting the influence of building occupancy.

Within the TRIBUTE project the gap reduction of 5 % (+- 2 %) is targeted by improvement of fundamental predictive capability of a BEPS system, and extension of the utilization of the model to the commissioning and operation stages.

On the retrofit capabilities, strategies will be proposed to building stakeholders (owners, inhabitants). In comparison with the standard procedure, the assessment time for the retrofit will be shortened to a few days only. The results will be based on database systems, which will give more precise information on the retrofit options (offering improvement of building constitutive, elements performance setting up novel control strategies and also including the costs options). Since the results will be a software tool, reduction of costs for running the retrofit will be achieved. The regular database update will offer fast introduction of new technologies or materials or the retrofit market and synergy with other EeB projects could be capitalized.

The effort of TRIBUTE consortium was prepared in order to tackle this challenge by creating an impact on three principal domains:
• Reduction of gap between simulated and real energy performance assessment. The unique level of repeatability and reliability of i-BEPS will be also achieved and these results will lead to set up of a new European legislative framework. This gap reduction will start at the design stage, when more than 80% of the building performance is set both in terms of energy savings and cost of ownership over the life cycle before refurbishment. Efficient solution to limit the influence of occupancy patterns will be given by bringing a significant contribution to improve the models of occupant behaviour and its relationship to building performance
• Significantly faster and more precise retrofit decision tool will be offered to European regions and individuals. Such a tool will largely contribute to realization of European 20/20/20 targets. Based on TRIBUTE’s results a recommendation will be prepared for the European Commission on how to apply the developed methodology on more accurate calculation of buildings energy performance which is much closer to the real performance, and on how to best apply it in the implementation of the EPBD.
• Improve energy flow management due to consideration of occupancy behaviour and continuous health monitoring approach.
• TRIBUTE will unlock new opportunities for energy savings and sustainability of buildings also during the life-time of buildings. The TRIBUTE developments will be assessed and their contribution to the building energy efficiency will be fully evaluated during the proposal, however a preliminary analysis of expected results was performed.

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