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Incorporating occupant behavior in Energy Simulation

asked 2017-04-23 17:27:23 -0500

Albert gravatar image


I have seen several studies that performed co-simulation of occupant behavior model with energy simulation. The main idea behind those studies are in giving the occupants an option to choose various behavioral options (thermostat up/down, heater/fan ON) and represent the effects of these actions at each time step of EnergyPlus simulation run.

My question is this. Let the thermostat set point in a zone is 21 degree celcius. Let us assume that in the first time step, the occupants in a zone chose to up the thermostat by +1, i.e., the thermostat set point for that time step would 22. Now, suppose in the next time step occupants selected the option of turning on the heater. My question is for the second time step, what would be the thermostat set point? WIll it be 22 or 21? Because, occupants did not choose a thermostat set point up for the time step-2.

Thanks, Albert

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answered 2017-04-24 19:00:35 -0500

See Section 1.2.1 in

A more in-depth discussion why this time delay is needed for E+ coupling is described in in particular Section 7.

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Thanks for the reply, Dr. Wetter. I went through the enclosed materials and could understand the time integration mechanism being followed in BCVTB/FMU. I am still wondering about one point. If a user selects a new behavioral option for a time step (for e.g., heater ON), then the other behavioral opportunities (e.g., thermostat set point) would be taking the default schedule values for that time step right?. In other words, if the user decides to change the thermostat set point three times a day, then in all other time steps, the thermostat set point will take the default value?

Albert gravatar image Albert  ( 2017-04-25 11:07:12 -0500 )edit

I don't understand what you mean by " if the user decides to change the thermostat set point three times a day, then in all other time steps, the thermostat set point will take the default value?". This depends on the model that generates the set point signal. E.g., if the set point is changed, will the model apply the change only for one time step (which would be unfortunate as then the results depend on the time step length) or does it stay at this value until it is changed again.

Michael Wetter gravatar image Michael Wetter  ( 2017-04-26 11:40:38 -0500 )edit

Thanks. Probably, I should have asked the question in a different way. What I intended to ask was exactly like the last part of your comment, i.e., Does the thermostat set point stay at the new value, until it is changed again. Also, if this is true, does the heater ON/Fan ON action also happen in similar way? Once made as ON, will the heater remain ON until it is turned off, or whether the ON action will be there only for that particular time step? Thanks in advance for all your replies and help.

Albert gravatar image Albert  ( 2017-04-26 18:33:56 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2017-04-23 17:27:23 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 24 '17