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Energy flexible DYnamic building CErtification

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - E-DYCE (Energy flexible DYnamic building CErtification)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

In the European Union (EU),the building sector is estimated to be responsible for approximately 40% of the total energy end-usage. Moreover, it is estimated that 97% of the existing buildings in the EU must be renovated to achieve the 2050 environmental goals. To a high extend this estimation is based on the energy performance certificates (EPC) issued so far in the different EU Member States (MS). An EPC results from several calculations made by an expert to estimate a building’s energy usage and efficiency. These calculations are based on different measurements, assumptions, and standards depending on the country where the building is located. The objective behind these certificates is to raise awareness of energy efficiency among the owners and tenants, promote the refurbishment of the building, and assess the overall country building stock. Even though the EPCs are promising and well anchored in the MS, they usually show a significant difference between the measured and estimated energy usage because they are based on static calculations that are not able to reflect dynamic nature of real building use, occupants in the building and boundary condition. This difference is known as the performance gap and has been studied in several EU countries already. To solve this issue, one of the proposed solutions is the use of more dynamic modelling techniques together with measurements of indoor environment and energy in buildings and use this additional information to develop more reliable certification/assessment scheme.

The overall objective of the EDYCE project is to develop methods and tools that would support shift of the current static EPC towards dynamic EPC (DEPC). EDYCE aims to investigate, develop and demonstrate a more systematic approach for the dynamic energy labelling of the European building stock aiming at achieving better real energy class by detecting system faults, improvement of the operation possibilities, recommendations for energy renovation. The methodology proposed by the project is based on an identification of a minimum and sufficient number of inputs, allowing for dynamic assessment of energy performance of the building. The assessment consists of collection of necessary static data, development of dynamic models, detection of indoor environment and measurement of actual energy consumption and finally development of KPIs that could be used to assess building performance.
The first six months (1st semester) of the project has been spent on identification of current EPC limitations and shortcomings while at the same time developing and elaborating on dynamic EPC (DEPC) architecture and logic. Several areas of DEPC, such as, as free-running and passive technologies, the smart readiness vision, energy metering and district network communication, dynamic hourly models and performance gap, renovation and operation roadmaps were elaborated and defined to a greater detail level to build a good foundation for the upcoming technical tasks to come. Along with these activities, work has been initiated in parallel to preparation of demonstration buildings with respect to preparation of monitoring plans, and platform integration while at the same time carrying first work focused on models development and their simplification.

The consequent six months (2nd semester) of the project reflects a phase in which the project has entered more technical work. Initial work on identification of KPIs has been iterated with respect to project objectives and project working areas: energy, comfort, free running and system performance. In this phase work continued development of algorithms to disaggregate smart heat meter data, development of first prototype python driven tool to facilitate Energy Plus modelling (real weather data, input database, output module to produce KPIs). Moreover, work related to the model simplification and dynamic technologies in modeling has continued. The need for more work in this area has been identified. More effort and longer time were identified as needed, especially with respect to collection of sufficient measured data to check the validity of initial modelling findings. With respect to monitoring activities, both hardware availability and installation and occupant acceptance appeared to be more challenging than anticipated providing valuable lesson learned for the process. In this phase first buildings become connected to FusiX platform and first data are being transferred, here at least one pilot for each country was decided to be bridged to FusiX. Along technical activities several communication activities, such as use of social media, update of project web page has been updated with new content.

In the 3rd semester strong focus and significant efforts have been on developments to finalize several technical deliverables. Application information model that defines data and data flow has been developed. Consequently, inspection plans to identify required input data for DEPC has been finalized. The entire DEPC methodology and DEPC process has been consolidated and DEPC protocols have been finalized. With respect to modeling activities, python driven dynamic simulation platform architecture has been developed based on three main sub-modules: EnergyPlus input modification, simulation runs, and KPIs calculations based on simulation results and/or monitored data. Also, extra simulation-platform scenarios have been defined to support simple performance gap detection and to include free-running discomfort translation into fictitious cooling needs. Modelling activities focusing on model simplification and consequences of definition of smart/dynamic technologies have led to some initial conclusions, but the work require further tests and comparison of modelling results with measurements. Concerning predictive capabilities work has been done to be able to predict solar radiation and outdoor temperature. More data is required to learn algorithm about building behaviour. Regarding activities in the living laboratory, Energy Plus model is being verified using monitored data and living lab changes have been implemented.
With respect to E-DYCE framework integration, activities have started in time to host: monitoring, simulation, prediction, and renovation outcomes. Initial test to connect the dynamic simulation platform has been done, but extra works are needed for automatization. In parallel, it is already possible to register buildings on the platform and works continue to visualize monitoring results including efforts to develop an initial mobile version of the E-DYCE applications.
During next project-months’ work effort will be mainly focalized on integration of technical aspects in the platform and with respect to data and demo-buildings. Continuation of demonstration work will support application and testing phase in which developed assessment of the building will be carried out according to E-DYCE protocol and identified KPIs for asset and operational rating. Project will develop reproducible DEPC method which can be used for different building types and typologies. The goal is also to further automatize and improve the process: data collection, modelling, measurements, feedback.