A comprehensive evaluation of a monthly-based energy auditing tool through dynamic simulations, and monitoring in a renovation case study
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An energy auditing tool (PHPP) was evaluated against a dynamic simulation tool (TRNSYS) and used for the assessment of energy conservation measures in a demo case study. The comprehensive comparison of useful heating and cooling demands and loads included three building types (single-, multi-family house, and office), three building energy levels (before renovation and after renovation with a heating demand of 45 and 25 kWh/(m²·a)) and seven European climates. Dynamic simulation results proved PHPP (monthly energy balance) to be able to calculate heating demand and energy savings with good precision and cooling demand with acceptable precision compared to detailed numerical models (TRNSYS). The average deviation between the tools was 8% for heating and 15% for cooling (considering climates with a relevant cooling load only). The higher the thermal envelope quality was, i.e. in case of good energy standards and in cold climates, the better was the agreement. Furthermore, it was confirmed that PHPP slightly overestimates the heating and cooling loads by intention for system design. The renovation design of a real multi-family house was executed using PHPP as energy auditing tool. Several calculation stages were performed for (a) baseline, (b) design phase, and (c) verification with monitoring in order to calculate the corresponding heating demand. The PHPP model was calibrated twice, before and after the renovation. The necessity for tool calibration, especially for the baseline, was highlighted increasing the confidence with respect to a number of boundary conditions. In this study, PHPP was tested as an energy auditing tool aiming to be a versatile and less error-prone alternative to more complex simulation tools, which require much more expert knowledge and training.