Real-time Building Energy Simulation using EnergyPlus and the Building Controls Virtual Test Bed
Most commercial buildings do not perform as well in practice as intended by the design and their performances often deteriorate over time. Reasons include faulty construction, malfunctioning equipment, incorrectly configured control systems and inappropriate operating procedures (Haves et al., 2001, Lee et al., 2007). To address this problem, the paper presents a simulation-based whole building performance monitoring tool that allows a comparison of building actual performance and expected performance in real time. The tool continuously acquires relevant building model input variables from existing Energy Management and Control System (EMCS). It then reports expected energy consumption as simulated of EnergyPlus. The Building Control Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB) is used as the software platform to provide data linkage between the EMCS, an EnergyPlus model, and a database. This paper describes the integrated real-time simulation environment. A proof-of-concept demonstration is also presented in the paper.