Part of TKI Urban Energy TEID215059
Time span: 2016 – 2017

The objective of this PhD research is to develop and test a computational performance assessment framework that can be used to analyze and optimize the performance of advanced solar shading concepts via simultaneous consideration of the whole-building integration aspects and automation strategies of such systems. By using modelling and simulation in combination with sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, and by implementing lessons learned from pilot studies throughout various stages of the development, this project seeks to develop robust façade and control solutions that are optimized with respect to energy efficiency and satisfaction with indoor environmental quality.
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Contact: ir.R.C.G.M. Loonen or C.Dyke MSc

Customizable Building Integrated Photovoltaics
Part of Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland: PV OpMaat
Time span: 2016 – 2019

This project has emerged from the Interreg V project ‘PV OpMaat’ which has the aim to make the integration of solar panels in buildings more efficient, more aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective. Our contribution is to facilitate the application of high-potential Building Integrated PhotoVoltaics (BIPV) concepts from a building physics perspective by combining modelling & simulation with experimental research. Next to this we look into the opportunities and constraints of customized thin film technology used in BIPV, evaluate the real potential of customized thin film technology and propose strategies to successfully develop thin film technology for the (BIPV) market.’ Read more.
Contact: ir.R.C.G.M. Loonen or ir. F.M.Vossen

Spongy Skin
Part of 4TU Lighthouse project
Time span: 2016 – 2017

The goal of this project is to design and prototype an adaptive façade system able to integrate multiple functions for optimizing thermal performances according to changing environmental conditions and being widely applicable independently from the overall shape of the façade while using materials resources more strategically.
This concept is based on the potential offered by 3D printing to create complex and tailored geometries and is inspired by sponge systems in which pores and channels allow fluids to circulate. In this proposition a cellular structure of polyhedra which are either filled with air for insulation or with fluids for heat storage is created. The circulation of these fluids within layers of the façade element allows to move the insulation and the thermal mass from the outdoor side of the façade to the indoor side and vice versa.
Our contribution to this Lighthouse project is to evaluate the thermal behaviour and energy-saving potential of this project by means of simulations which allow to tune the concept in order to reach high levels of indoor thermal comfort and significant reduction in heating and cooling needs.
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Contact: ir. M.L. de Klijn

Convective Concrete
Part of 4TU Lighthouse project
Time span: 2016 – 2017

The objective of this project is to develop a concrete building element which integrates on-demand thermal mass activation. This element aims to control the speed and occurrence of the charge and discharge of the thermal energy stored in the concrete element via a lung-like ventilation network within the element. At the building scale this aims to decrease our dependency on heating, cooling and ventilation systems and make the building more responsive, while providing a higher thermal comfort.
Our contribution in this project is to help determine which design and concrete mixture best improve the performance of the element in terms of energy storage and release capacities, thermal indoor comfort and energy-savings potentials via energy simulations.
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Contact: ir. M.L. de Klijn

Modeling and simulation of adaptive facades
Part of COST TU1403 Adaptive Facades Network
Time span: 2014 – 2017

The objective of our research is to investigate how computational modeling, simulation and optimization techniques can be used to support, stimulate and accelerate the transition towards next-generation adaptive façade systems. We do this by developing and applying computational methodologies to
facilitate design analysis and performance-based design space exploration of innovative adaptable building envelope components and concepts. Read more.
Contact: ir.R.C.G.M. Loonen

Climate adaptive greenhouse inverse modelling
Time span: 2010 – 2015

The aim is to investigate the potential of the climate adaptive greenhouse shells (CAGS) concept by means of the so-called inverse modelling approach (IMA) which has been developed as part of this project. Using this modelling approach, first, a sensitivity analysis is performed to select the most influential design parameters of the tomato greenhouse. Second, the net profit of an optimized greenhouse design and two CAGS concepts are computationally assessed and compared to a reference greenhouse. Third, the potential of the CAGS concept with five system concepts for three different crops (tomatoes, phalaenopsis and chrysanthemums) have been investigated. Read more.
Contact: C. Lee or Hoes

Globally optimized energy efficient data centres
Part of EU FP7 Genic project
Time span: 2013 – 2017

Our work focusses on developing and validating dynamic thermal models for estimating and predicting the overall thermal performance of data centres across all primary system components. The main objectives are to: (1) develop a surrogate model of airflow in computer racks for application in building energy models, (2) develop dynamic multidimensional models of room and rack temperature distribution based on inlet cooling and computing load to ensure node temperatures are well estimated at all times, (3) develop co-simulation of electrical power modeling and building energy modeling, (4) develop models for predicting cooling system efficiency and generation system efficiency (including models of energy storage systems) as a function of the cooling demand and weather forecasts, (5) develop models for estimating the total amount of heat that can be recovered from data centres and utilized efficiently (e.g. for building heating purposes), and (6) validate system and equipment models using available measured data from the 2 demonstration sites. Read more.
Contact: ing. V. Zavrel or ir. J.I. Torrens Galdiz

Robust net-zero energy buildings
Part of EuroTech EEBC GreenTech Initiative
Time span: 2013 – 2017

This project aims to develop a modelling and simulation methodology for design of robust net-zero energy buildings with high indoor environmental quality. The project aims at the integration of current building energy simulation programs and optimization techniques in a design method that considers uncertainties, and quantifies robustness. The main objectives are to: (1) identify the main sources of uncertainty in low-energy buildings, (2) develop a procedure to optimize building and HVAC design under uncertainty and various scenarios, (3) quantify degree of robustness of low-energy buildings under different scenarios over the building life span, (4) define minimal robustness requirements for different scenarios and performance indicators, and (5) develop strategies to bring building robustness to the required level. Read more.
Contact: R.R. Kotireddy or Hoes

New generation computational tools for building and community energy systems based on the Modelica and Functional Mockup Interface standards
Part of IEA EBC Annex 60
Time span: 2012 – 2017

The objectives of this Annex of the Energy in Buildings and Communities program of the International Energy Agency Annex 60 are to develop and demonstrate next-generation computational tools that allow building and community energy grids to be designed and operated as integrated, robust, performance based systems.
Our contribution to this Annex focusses on application oriented research on near zero energy buildings and district energy systems. Our participation in the Annex meetings is sponsored by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency – RVO.
Contact: ir. J.I. Torrens Galdiz

Ventilative cooling
Part of IEA EBC Annex 62
Time span: 2014 – 2018

The main goal of this Annex of the Energy in Buildings and Communities program of the International Energy Agency to make ventilative cooling an attractive and energy efficient cooling solution to avoid overheating of both new and renovated buildings. Ventilation is already present in buildings through mechanical and/or natural systems and it can remove excess heat gains as well as increase air velocities and thereby also widen the thermal comfort range.
Our contribution to this Annex focusses on model predictive control for optimizing ventilative cooling performance. The correct control of windows and shading in case of summer comfort is generally decisive in exploiting the full potential of ventilative cooling. This control is an integral outcome of building characteristics, use and weather conditions and predictions and forecasts of that. Such control can be implemented in active systems that support the ventilative cooling potential of a building. It can also guide the occupant in user actions in case no active control systems are available to the occupant (e.g. existing buildings). Our participation in the Annex meetings is sponsored by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency – RVO.
Contact: M.G.L.C. Loomans

Fit-for-purpose modeling of occupant behavior in buildings
Part of IEA EBC Annex 66
Time span: 2014 – 2018

This Annex of the Energy in Buildings and Communities program of the International Energy Agency aims to set up a standard occupant behavior definition platform, establish a quantitative simulation methodology to model occupant behavior in buildings, and understand the influence of occupant behavior on building energy use and the indoor environment.
Our contribution to this Annex focusses on developing a decision methodology and tool that would assist the (simulation) user in the choice of the best (fit-for-purpose) occupant behavior modeling resolution for his/her specific case. The aim is to guide the user to the simplest possible model, so uncertainties in the predicted building performance can be reduced. Our participation in the Annex meetings is sponsored by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency – RVO.
Contact: I.I. Gaetani, MSc or Hoes

Energy flexible buildings
Part of IEA EBC ANNEX 67
Time span: 2014 – 2019

The aim of this Annex is to demonstrate how energy flexibility in buildings can provide generating capacity for energy grids, and to identify critical aspects and possible solutions to manage such flexibility.
Our contribution to this Annex focusses on model development and simulation of Energy Flexibility in single buildings and clusters of buildings. This will include simulation and documentation of example cases under different scenarios including varying energy prices, weather conditions, user behaviour, etc. for both single buildings and clusters of buildings at an aggregated level. Our participation in the Annex meetings is sponsored by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency – RVO.
Contact: Hoes

Transferring polymer technology into the field of building technology
Part of 3TU lighthouse 2015
Time span: 2015 – 2016

The challenge of the future is to minimize the energy consumption of buildings while maintaining an optimal comfort level in the interior. Controlling the energy streams in and out of the building , and especially daylight management, plays an important role. Responsive polymer coatings can play an important role in this. This project aims to clarify the energy savings potential as well as to identify the technological challenges that need to be tackled in order to get PolyArch market ready.
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Contact: ir.R.C.G.M. Loonen

Modeling, simulation and optimization of responsive building elements
Time span: 2016 – 2019

The objective of this project is to extend the capabilities and application domain of a recently-developed co-simulation and multi-objective optimization approach for performance prediction of buildings with time-varying construction properties such as switchable windows, dynamic insulation and adaptable thermal mass. The focus of these performance predictions is on promoting energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in terms of thermal and visual comfort, but will be extended to include state-of-the-art concepts such as uncertainty and risk mitigation, renewable energy integration, and multivariate IEQ performance. The project will use three different case studies to cover the broad range of physical adaptation mechanisms (thermal, visual, photovoltaics and air flow) and technology readiness levels of actual RBE concepts.
Contact: ir.R.C.G.M. Loonen

Seasonal storage for solar and industrial waste heat utilisation for urban district heating
Part of NWO-JSTP Smart Energy in Smart Cities
Time span: 2015 – 2019

This project is in collaboration with Tsinghua University and industry partners, and focuses on the energy-efficient and cost-effective utilization of renewable energy as well as industrial waste-heat for district heating through the use of large-scale, seasonal thermal storage solutions. One of the main goals is overcoming the bottleneck in deployment of large-scale solar thermal applications, and providing technical support for solar or other low-grade energy for large-scale heating applications for buildings. A-state-of-the-art district heating system with an underground storage of 0.5 million m3 , situated in Chifeng city, Inner Mongolia will be the project pilot demonstration.
Contact: ir. J.I. Torrens Galdiz or L.Xu, MSc

Personalised climate and ambience control for zero-energy buildings
Part of iCARE
Time span: 2012 – 2017

The main goal of the i-care project is optimizing the energy-production and the energy demand of (office) buildings in smart grids by exploiting the inherent flexibility of the construction, use and users of buildings. This includes energy demand and production optimization using local storage techniques, using the building thermal mass for storage, and exploiting the behaviour of office workers for efficiency. Our contribution focusses on measurements in real offices, support in the numerical analysis and focus on the indoor comfort aspects.
Contact: M.G.L.C. Loomans

Towards real energy performance and control by predicting, monitoring, comparing and controlling for offices and public buildings
Part of TKI Energo TRECO-Office
Time span: 2014 – 2017

This project aims to make a contribution towards improved real energy performance by combining design oriented advanced simulation methods and tools with monitoring systems for fault detection and visualization of energy use in offices and public buildings. Our contribution focusses on modeling and simulation aspects.
Contact: P. Hoes

Building integrated concentrator – PV
Time span: 2014 – 2017

This project aims to develop an esthetically pleasing transparent façade and/or roof system with integrated, solar tracking concentrating PV modules, that also offers positive effects for occupant comfort and experience as well as for building energy efficiency. Our contribution focusses on modeling and simulation aspects.
Contact: ir.R.C.G.M. Loonen

Previous research projects