A pattern-based automated approach to building energy model calibration

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Journal Article



Building model calibration is critical in bringing simulated energy use closer to the actual consumption. This paper presents a novel, automated model calibration approach that uses logic linking parameter tuning with bias pattern recognition to overcome some of the disadvantages associated with traditional calibration processes. The pattern-based process contains four key steps: (1) running the original precalibrated energy model to obtain monthly simulated electricity and gas use; (2) establishing a pattern bias, either Universal or Seasonal Bias, by comparing load shape patterns of simulated and actual monthly energy use; (3) using programmed logic to select which parameter to tune first based on bias pattern, weather and input parameter interactions; and (4) automatically tuning the calibration parameters and checking the progress using pattern-fit criteria. The automated calibration algorithm was implemented in the Commercial Building Energy Saver, a web-based building energy retrofit analysis toolkit. The proof of success of the methodology was demonstrated using a case study of an office building located in San Francisco. The case study inputs included the monthly electricity bill, monthly gas bill, original building model and weather data with outputs resulting in a calibrated model that more closely matched that of the actual building energy use profile. The novelty of the developed calibration methodology lies in linking parameter tuning with the underlying logic associated with bias pattern identification. Although there are some limitations to this approach, the pattern-based automated calibration methodology can be universally adopted as an alternative to manual or hierarchical calibration approaches.

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