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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Validation of an inverse model of zone air heat balance


This paper presents the validation method and results of an inverse model of zone air heat balance. The inverse model, implemented in EnergyPlus and published in a previous article [1], calculates highly uncertain model parameters such as internal thermal mass and infiltration airflow by inversely solving the zone air heat balance equation using the easy-to-measure zone air temperature data. The paper provides technical details of validation from the experiments using LBNL's Facility for Low Energy eXperiment in Buildings (FLEXLAB) that measures zone air temperature under the controlled experiment of two levels of internal mass and four levels of infiltration airflow. The simulation results of the zone infiltration airflow and internal thermal mass from the inverse model agree well with the measured data from the FLEXLAB experiments. The validated inverse model in EnergyPlus can be used to enhance the energy modeling of existing buildings that enables energy performance assessments for energy efficiency improvements.

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