On Approaches to Couple Energy Simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics Programs
Energy simulation (ES) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can play important roles in building design by providing complementary information about the buildings' environmental performance. However, separate applications of ES and CFD are usually unable to give an accurate prediction of building performance due to the assumptions involved in the separate calculations. Integration of ES and CFD eliminates many of these assumptions since the information provided by the models is complementary. Several different approaches to integrating ES and CFD are described. In order to bridge the discontinuities of time-scale, spatial resolution and computing speed between ES and CFD programs, a staged coupling strategy for different problems is proposed. The paper illustrates a typical dynamic coupling process by means of an example implemented using the EnergyPlus and MIT-CFD programs.