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Assessing the relationship between measurement length and accuracy within steady state co-heating tests

Stamp, S; Altamirano-Medina, H; Lowe, R; (2017) Assessing the relationship between measurement length and accuracy within steady state co-heating tests. Buildings , 7 (4) , Article 98. 10.3390/buildings7040098. Green open access

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Abstract

Evidence of a fabric performance gap has underlined the need for measurements of in situ building performance. Steady state co-heating tests have been used since the 1980s to measure wh ole building heat transfer coefficients, but are often cited as impractical due to their 2-4 week test duration and limited testing season. Despite this, the required conditions for testing and test duration have never been fully assessed. Analysis of field tests show that in 12 of 16 cases, a heat loss estimate to within 10% of the result achieved across a full test period can be achieved within just 72 h. These results are supported by simulated tests upon a wider range of dwellings and across wider environmental conditions. However, systematic errors may still exist, even in cases of convergence and cases with significant uncertainties may never converge. Simulated examples of traditional dwellings and those built in line with current building regulation limits may be tested for more than half the year. However, even when simulated with reduced uncertainties, dwellings with low heat loss and high solar gains, such Passivhaus dwellings and apartments, could be successfully tested for just 22% and 12% of a year respectively, demonstrating the limitations of the co-heating method in assessing such dwellings.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing the relationship between measurement length and accuracy within steady state co-heating tests
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/buildings7040098
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7040098
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Co-heating; thermal performance; in situ testing; heat loss; performance gap
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039897
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