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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A novel stochastic modeling method to simulate cooling loads in residential districts

  • Author(s): An, J
  • Yan, D
  • Hong, T
  • Sun, K
  • et al.

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd District cooling systems are widely used in urban residential communities in China. Most of such systems are oversized, which leads to wasted investment, low operational efficiency and, thus, waste of energy. The accurate prediction of district cooling loads that can support the rightsizing of cooling plant equipment remains a challenge. This study develops a novel stochastic modeling method that consists of (1) six prototype house models representing most apartments in a district, (2) occupant behavior models of residential buildings reflecting their spatial and temporal diversity as well as their complexity based on a large-scale residential survey in China, and (3) a stochastic sampling process to represent all apartments and occupants in the district. The stochastic method was applied to a case study using the Designer's Simulation Toolkit (DeST) to simulate the cooling loads of a residential district in Wuhan, China. The simulation results agreed well with the measured data based on five performance metrics representing the aggregated cooling consumption, the peak cooling loads, the spatial load distribution, the temporal load distribution and the load profiles. Two prevalent simulation methods were also employed to simulate the district cooling loads. The results showed that oversimplified assumptions about occupant behavior could lead to significant overestimation of the peak cooling load and the total cooling loads in the district. Future work will aim to simplify the workflow and data requirements of the stochastic method for its application, and to explore its use in predicting district heating loads and in commercial or mixed-use districts.

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