Special Issue "Energy and Technical Building Systems - Scientific and Technological Advances"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jarek Kurnitski
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Tallinn University of Technology, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
Interests: nearly zero energy buildings
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrea Ferrantelli
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Tallinn University of Technology, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
Interests: heat transfer; theoretical modelling; building simulation; energy performance; thermal comfort
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Future buildings have not only to be energy efficient, but they need to be equipped with proper building automation and control systems’ functionalities in order to be capable to respond to the needs of occupants and energy grids. These development paths, raised by the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directives as a new smart readiness indicator, require one to focus more on occupant needs such as good indoor climate, easy operability, and the monitoring of buildings. Another area to be tackled is energy flexibility, which is needed to make buildings responsive to price signals of electricity grids with increasing amounts of fluctuating renewable energy generation both installed in central grids and on building sites. This Special Issue follows ten domains of the smart readiness assessment scope, namely, the following:

  • Heating;
  • Domestic hot water;
  • Cooling;
  • Mechanical ventilation;
  • Lighting;
  • Dynamic building envelope;
  • On-site energy generation;
  • Demand side management;
  • Electric vehicle charging;
  • Monitoring and control.

Research and review papers within these ten domains, with the aim to improve building energy performance, indoor climate, operation, commissioning, and maintenance and energy flexibility, are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Jarek Kurnitski
Dr. Andrea Ferrantelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Heating
  • Domestic hot water
  • Cooling
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Lighting
  • Dynamic building envelope
  • On-site energy generation
  • Demand side management
  • Electric vehicle charging
  • Monitoring and control

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Novel Proposal for Prediction of CO2 Course and Occupancy Recognition in Intelligent Buildings within IoT
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4541; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234541 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Many direct and indirect methods, processes, and sensors available on the market today are used to monitor the occupancy of selected Intelligent Building (IB) premises and the living activities of IB residents. By recognizing the occupancy of individual spaces in IB, IB can [...] Read more.
Many direct and indirect methods, processes, and sensors available on the market today are used to monitor the occupancy of selected Intelligent Building (IB) premises and the living activities of IB residents. By recognizing the occupancy of individual spaces in IB, IB can be optimally automated in conjunction with energy savings. This article proposes a novel method of indirect occupancy monitoring using CO2, temperature, and relative humidity measured by means of standard operating measurements using the KNX (Konnex (standard EN 50090, ISO/IEC 14543)) technology to monitor laboratory room occupancy in an intelligent building within the Internet of Things (IoT). The article further describes the design and creation of a Software (SW) tool for ensuring connectivity of the KNX technology and the IoT IBM Watson platform in real-time for storing and visualization of the values measured using a Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol and data storage into a CouchDB type database. As part of the proposed occupancy determination method, the prediction of the course of CO2 concentration from the measured temperature and relative humidity values were performed using mathematical methods of Linear Regression, Neural Networks, and Random Tree (using IBM SPSS Modeler) with an accuracy higher than 90%. To increase the accuracy of the prediction, the application of suppression of additive noise from the CO2 signal predicted by CO2 using the Least mean squares (LMS) algorithm in adaptive filtering (AF) method was used within the newly designed method. In selected experiments, the prediction accuracy with LMS adaptive filtration was better than 95%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of High Occupancy Density on IAQ, Moisture Conditions and Energy Use in Apartments
Energies 2019, 12(23), 4454; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12234454 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Apartments built in Sweden during the record years 1961–1975 with the aim to remedy the housing shortage and abolish poor standards, were designed for a normal-sized family of 2–4 persons. The mechanical ventilation system, if existing, was primarily designed to ensure an air [...] Read more.
Apartments built in Sweden during the record years 1961–1975 with the aim to remedy the housing shortage and abolish poor standards, were designed for a normal-sized family of 2–4 persons. The mechanical ventilation system, if existing, was primarily designed to ensure an air exchange in the apartment according to Swedish building regulations. During the last few years, the number of overcrowded apartments has increased due to housing shortage in general but also due to migration. Another aspect is that the ventilation in many apartments built during the record years is already insufficient at normal occupant load. The question is how doubling or tripling the number of occupants and thus, the moisture load will affect the risk of bad air quality and moisture damage. To find out, simulations were made to estimate whether it is possible to obtain sufficient air quality and low risk of moisture damage by only increasing the ventilation rates in existing systems or introducing new ventilation systems with and without heat recovery and what the consequence would be in terms of the additional energy demand. Measurements from earlier studies of CO2 and moisture supply in Swedish apartment buildings were used as input data. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Towards the EU Emission Targets of 2050: Cost-Effective Emission Reduction in Finnish Detached Houses
Energies 2019, 12(22), 4395; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12224395 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
To mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Union calls for major carbon emission reductions in the building sector through a deep renovation of the existing building stock. This study examines the cost-effective energy retrofit measures in Finnish detached houses. The Finnish [...] Read more.
To mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Union calls for major carbon emission reductions in the building sector through a deep renovation of the existing building stock. This study examines the cost-effective energy retrofit measures in Finnish detached houses. The Finnish detached house building stock was divided into four age classes according to the building code in effect at the time of their construction. Multi-objective optimization with a genetic algorithm was used to minimize the life cycle cost and CO2 emissions in each building type for five different main heating systems (district heating, wood/oil boiler, direct electric heating, and ground-source heat pump) by improving the building envelope and systems. Cost-effective emission reductions were possible with all heating systems, but especially with ground-source heat pumps. Replacing oil boilers with ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), emissions could be reduced by 79% to 92% across all the studied detached houses and investment levels. With all the other heating systems, emission reductions of 20% to 75% were possible. The most cost-effective individual renovation measures were the installation of air-to-air heat pumps for auxiliary heating and improving the thermal insulation of external walls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Intelligent Energy Management Strategy for Automated Office Buildings
Energies 2019, 12(22), 4326; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12224326 - 13 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The increasing demand to reduce the high consumption of end-use energy in office buildings framed the objective of this work, which was to design an intelligent system management that could be utilized to minimize office buildings’ energy consumption from the national electricity grid. [...] Read more.
The increasing demand to reduce the high consumption of end-use energy in office buildings framed the objective of this work, which was to design an intelligent system management that could be utilized to minimize office buildings’ energy consumption from the national electricity grid. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and lighting are the two main consumers of electricity in office buildings. Advanced automation and control systems for buildings and their components have been developed by researchers to achieve low energy consumption in office buildings without considering integrating the load consumed and the Photovoltaic system (PV) input to the controller. This study investigated the use of PV to power the HVAC and lighting equipped with a suitable control strategy to improve energy saving within a building, especially in office buildings where there are reports of high misuse of electricity. The intelligent system was modelled using occupant activities, weather condition changes, load consumed and PV energy changes, as input to the control system of lighting and HVAC. The model was verified and tested using specialized simulation tools (Simulink®) and was subsequently used to investigate the impact of an integrated system on energy consumption, based on three scenarios. In addition, the direct impact on reduced energy cost was also analysed. The first scenario was tested in simulation of four offices building in a civil building in South Africa of a single occupant’s activities, weather conditions, temperature and the simulation resulted in savings of HVAC energy and lighting energy of 13% and 29%, respectively. In the second scenario, the four offices were tested in simulation due to the loads’ management plus temperature and occupancy and it resulted in a saving of 20% of HVAC energy and 29% of lighting electrical energy. The third scenario, which tested integrating PV energy (thus, the approach utilized) with the above-mentioned scenarios, resulted in, respectively, 64% and 73% of HVAC energy and lighting electrical energy saved. This saving was greater than that of the first two scenarios. The results of the system developed demonstrated that the loads’ control and the PV integration combined with the occupancy, weather and temperature control, could lead to a significant saving of energy within office buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental and Efficiency Analysis of Simulated Application of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Co-Generation System in a Dormitory Building
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3893; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203893 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The problem of air pollution in Korea has become progressively more serious in recent years. Since electricity is advertised as clean energy, some newly developed buildings in Korea are using only electricity for all energy needs. In this research, the annual amount of [...] Read more.
The problem of air pollution in Korea has become progressively more serious in recent years. Since electricity is advertised as clean energy, some newly developed buildings in Korea are using only electricity for all energy needs. In this research, the annual amount of air pollution attributable to energy under the traditional method in a dormitory building, which is supplying both natural gas and electricity to the building, was compared with the annual amount of air pollution attributable to supplying only electricity. The results showed that the building using only electricity emits much more air pollution than the building using electricity and natural gas together. Under the traditional method of energy supply, a residential solid oxide fuel cell cogeneration system (SOFC–CGS) for minimizing environmental pollution of the building was simulated. Furthermore, as a high load factor could lead to high efficiency of the SOFC–CGS, sharing of the SOFC–CGS by multi-households could increase its efficiency. Finally, the environmental pollution from using one system in one household was compared with that from sharing one system by multi-households. The results showed that the environmental pollution from sharing the system was relatively higher but still similar to that when using one system in one household. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Thermal Comfort Responses with Fuzzy Logic
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091792 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In order to reduce the energy consumption of buildings a series of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning strategies, methods, and equipment are developed. The architectural trends show that office and educational buildings have large glazed areas, so the thermal comfort is influenced [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the energy consumption of buildings a series of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning strategies, methods, and equipment are developed. The architectural trends show that office and educational buildings have large glazed areas, so the thermal comfort is influenced both by internal and external factors and discomfort parameters may affect the overall thermal sensation of occupants. Different studies have shown that the predictive mean vote (PMV)—predictive percentage of dissatisfied (PPD) model poorly evaluates the thermal comfort in real buildings. At the University of Debrecen a new personalized ventilation system (ALTAIR) was developed. A series of measurements were carried out in order to test ALTAIR involving 40 subjects, out of which 20 female (10 young and 10 elderly) and 20 male (10 young and 10 elderly) persons. Based on the responses of subjects related to indoor environment quality, a new comfort index was determined using fuzzy logic. Taking into consideration the responses related to thermal comfort sensation and perception of odor intensity a new the fuzzy comfort index was 5.85 on a scale from 1–10. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Literature Review of Net Zero and Resilience Research of the Urban Environment: A Citation Analysis Using Big Data
Energies 2019, 12(8), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12081539 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
According to the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, the urban environment is responsible for between 71% and 76% of carbon emissions from global final energy use and between 67% and 76% of global energy use. Two important and trending [...] Read more.
According to the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, the urban environment is responsible for between 71% and 76% of carbon emissions from global final energy use and between 67% and 76% of global energy use. Two important and trending domains in urban environment are “resilience” and “net zero” associated with high-performance design, both of which have their origins in ecology. The ultimate goal of net zero energy has become the ultimate “high-performance” standard for buildings. Another emerging index is the measurement and improvement of the resilience of buildings. Despite the richness of research on net zero energy and resilience in the urban environment, literature that compares net zero energy and resilience is very limited. This paper provides an overview of research activities in those two research domains in the past 40 years. The purpose of this review is to (1) explore the shared ecological roots of the two domains, (2) identify the main research areas/clusters within each, (3) gain insight into the size of the different research topics, and (4) identify any research gaps. Finally, conclusions about the review focus on the major difference between the net zero movement and resilience theory in the urban environment and their respective relations to their ecological origins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation Method for the Hourly Average CO2eq. Intensity of the Electricity Mix and Its Application to the Demand Response of Residential Heating
Energies 2019, 12(7), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12071345 - 08 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
This work introduces a generic methodology to determine the hourly average CO2eq. intensity of the electricity mix of a bidding zone. The proposed method is based on the logic of input–output models and avails the balance between electricity generation and demand. The [...] Read more.
This work introduces a generic methodology to determine the hourly average CO2eq. intensity of the electricity mix of a bidding zone. The proposed method is based on the logic of input–output models and avails the balance between electricity generation and demand. The methodology also takes into account electricity trading between bidding zones and time-varying CO2eq. intensities of the electricity traded. The paper shows that it is essential to take into account electricity imports and their varying CO2eq. intensities for the evaluation of the CO2eq. intensity in Scandinavian bidding zones. Generally, the average CO2eq. intensity of the Norwegian electricity mix increases during times of electricity imports since the average CO2eq. intensity is normally low because electricity is mainly generated from hydropower. Among other applications, the CO2eq. intensity can be used as a penalty signal in predictive controls of building energy systems since ENTSO-E provides 72 h forecasts of electricity generation. Therefore, as a second contribution, the demand response potential for heating a single-family residential building based on the hourly average CO2eq. intensity of six Scandinavian bidding zones is investigated. Predictive rule-based controls are implemented into a building performance simulation tool (here IDA ICE) to study the influence that the daily fluctuations of the CO2eq. intensity signal have on the potential overall emission savings. The results show that control strategies based on the CO2eq. intensity can achieve emission reductions, if daily fluctuations of the CO2eq. intensity are large enough to compensate for the increased electricity use due to load shifting. Furthermore, the results reveal that price-based control strategies usually lead to increased overall emissions for the Scandinavian bidding zones as the operation is shifted to nighttime, when cheap carbon-intensive electricity is imported from the continental European power grid. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Pile Field Simulation in Large Buildings: Validation of Surface Boundary Assumptions
Energies 2019, 12(5), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12050770 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
As the energy efficiency demands for future buildings become increasingly stringent, preliminary assessments of energy consumption are mandatory. These are possible only through numerical simulations, whose reliability crucially depends on boundary conditions. We therefore investigate their role in numerical estimates for the usage [...] Read more.
As the energy efficiency demands for future buildings become increasingly stringent, preliminary assessments of energy consumption are mandatory. These are possible only through numerical simulations, whose reliability crucially depends on boundary conditions. We therefore investigate their role in numerical estimates for the usage of geothermal energy, performing annual simulations of transient heat transfer for a building employing a geothermal heat pump plant and energy piles. Starting from actual measurements, we solve the heat equations in 2D and 3D using COMSOL Multiphysics and IDA-ICE, discovering a negligible impact of the multiregional ground surface boundary conditions. Moreover, we verify that the thermal mass of the soil medium induces a small vertical temperature gradient on the piles surface. We also find a roughly constant temperature on each horizontal cross-section, with nearly identical average values when either integrated over the full plane or evaluated at one single point. Calculating the yearly heating need for an entire building, we then show that the chosen upper boundary condition affects the energy balance dramatically. Using directly the pipes’ outlet temperature induces a 54% overestimation of the heat flux, while the exact ground surface temperature above the piles reduces the error to 0.03%. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Air Distribution and Air Handling Unit Configuration Effects on Energy Performance in an Air-Heated Ice Rink Arena
Energies 2019, 12(4), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040693 - 21 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Indoor ice rink arenas are among the foremost consumers of energy within building sector due to their exclusive indoor conditions. A single ice rink arena may consume energy of up to 3500 MWh annually, indicating the potential for energy saving. The cooling effect [...] Read more.
Indoor ice rink arenas are among the foremost consumers of energy within building sector due to their exclusive indoor conditions. A single ice rink arena may consume energy of up to 3500 MWh annually, indicating the potential for energy saving. The cooling effect of the ice pad, which is the main source for heat loss, causes a vertical indoor air temperature gradient. The objective of the present study is twofold: (i) to study vertical temperature stratification of indoor air, and how it impacts on heat load toward the ice pad; (ii) to investigate the energy performance of air handling units (AHU), as well as the effects of various AHU layouts on ice rinks’ energy consumption. To this end, six AHU configurations with different air-distribution solutions are presented, based on existing arenas in Finland. The results of the study verify that cooling energy demand can significantly be reduced by 38 percent if indoor temperature gradient approaches 1 °C/m. This is implemented through air distribution solutions. Moreover, the cooling energy demand for dehumidification is decreased to 59.5 percent through precisely planning the AHU layout, particularly at the cooling coil and heat recovery sections. The study reveals that a more customized air distribution results in less stratified indoor air temperature. Full article
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