skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: State-of-the-Art for Hygrothermal Simulation Tools

Abstract

The hygrothermal (heat and moisture) performance of buildings can be assessed by utilizing simulation tools. There are currently a number of available hygrothermal calculation tools available which vary in their degree of sophistication and runtime requirements. This report investigates three of the most commonly used models (WUFI, HAMT, and EMPD) to assess their limitations and potential to generate physically realistic results to prioritize improvements for EnergyPlus (which uses HAMT and EMPD). The outcome of the study shows that, out of these three tools, WUFI has the greatest hygrothermal capabilities. Limitations of these tools were also assessed including: WUFI’s inability to properly account for air leakage and transfer at surface boundaries; HAMT’s inability to handle air leakage, precipitationrelated moisture problems, or condensation problems from high relative humidity; and multiple limitations for EMPD as a simplified method to estimate indoor temperature and humidity levels and generally not used to estimate the hygrothermal performance of the building envelope materials. In conclusion, out of the three investigated simulation tools, HAMT has the greatest modeling potential, is open source, and we have prioritized specific features that can enable EnergyPlus to model all relevant heat and moisture transfer mechanisms that impact the performance of building envelopemore » components.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1407999
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2017/92
73069
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING

Citation Formats

Boudreaux, Philip R., New, Joshua Ryan, Shrestha, Som S., Adams, Mark B., and Pallin, Simon B. State-of-the-Art for Hygrothermal Simulation Tools. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1407999.
Boudreaux, Philip R., New, Joshua Ryan, Shrestha, Som S., Adams, Mark B., & Pallin, Simon B. State-of-the-Art for Hygrothermal Simulation Tools. United States. doi:10.2172/1407999.
Boudreaux, Philip R., New, Joshua Ryan, Shrestha, Som S., Adams, Mark B., and Pallin, Simon B. Wed . "State-of-the-Art for Hygrothermal Simulation Tools". United States. doi:10.2172/1407999. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1407999.
@article{osti_1407999,
title = {State-of-the-Art for Hygrothermal Simulation Tools},
author = {Boudreaux, Philip R. and New, Joshua Ryan and Shrestha, Som S. and Adams, Mark B. and Pallin, Simon B.},
abstractNote = {The hygrothermal (heat and moisture) performance of buildings can be assessed by utilizing simulation tools. There are currently a number of available hygrothermal calculation tools available which vary in their degree of sophistication and runtime requirements. This report investigates three of the most commonly used models (WUFI, HAMT, and EMPD) to assess their limitations and potential to generate physically realistic results to prioritize improvements for EnergyPlus (which uses HAMT and EMPD). The outcome of the study shows that, out of these three tools, WUFI has the greatest hygrothermal capabilities. Limitations of these tools were also assessed including: WUFI’s inability to properly account for air leakage and transfer at surface boundaries; HAMT’s inability to handle air leakage, precipitationrelated moisture problems, or condensation problems from high relative humidity; and multiple limitations for EMPD as a simplified method to estimate indoor temperature and humidity levels and generally not used to estimate the hygrothermal performance of the building envelope materials. In conclusion, out of the three investigated simulation tools, HAMT has the greatest modeling potential, is open source, and we have prioritized specific features that can enable EnergyPlus to model all relevant heat and moisture transfer mechanisms that impact the performance of building envelope components.},
doi = {10.2172/1407999},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • It has been well documented that the HVAC equipment and systems in commercial office buildings are among the highest consumers of electricity across the United States. Substantial reductions in energy use could be accomplished along with improved occupant comfort levels if buildings were constructed as an optimized entity rather than as the sum of separately designed and separately optimized components. Accomplishment of this goal requires a computerized tool that can characterize and assess the potential energy efficiency of new integration concepts for buildings and HVAC systems. Although numerous tools are available to aid early design decisions, conduct building energy analysis,more » simulate equipment and system performance, and design more efficient HVAC systems, there is no means to conduct an ''integrated'' assessment of how well proposed building systems and the elements of building systems will perform. The 21st Century Research Program of the Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute has taken the first step toward gaining such a needed analysis tool. A thorough investigation and evaluation has documented the capabilities of currently available tools for both whole building simulation and design as well as for HVAC system and equipment simulation and design. This investigation was conducted under two separate research projects contracted to Architectural Energy Corporation, Boulder, Colorado, and CDH Energy Corporation, Cazenovia, New York. A literature and software review identified the important design practice issues related to computer use in building design, software availability, and simulation model capabilities. Top-level software providers and their customers were surveyed to assess actual use of whole building design methods and modeling tools. Design professionals quantitatively estimated time constraints and tool use; satisfaction with these practices; and priority for new software research and development. A list and critique of the available software tools is provided along with an editorial assessment and recommendations on tool enhancements needed to answer unmet needs of the various designers. Information from this report will help software developers improve the available building design tools. With improved tools, architects and professional engineers will be positioned to design buildings with fully integrated elements that will achieve increased energy savings and occupant comport.« less
  • The report is divided into seven sections: introduction; summary; comparison of user and developer responses; developer responses; design tool user responses; ACEC membership responses; and supporting appendices. The Summary section highlights the major findings of the research. The section on Comparison of User and Developer Responses highlights those common elements between the three questionnaires. This section is important to developing the major similarities and differences between these three groups. The sections on Developer, User and ACEC Responses provide an opportunity to understand, in detail, each of these groups relationship to the use and development of design tools. The appendices providemore » the questionnaires from which data was collected and the conclusions of the report are developed.« less
  • This fact sheet provides an overview of the software development, modeling, and analysis for wind turbine performance, loads, and stabiluty analysis.
  • This report discusses the causes for premature wind turbine gearbox failure and determining a method for revealing the missing loading conditions relevant to the gearbox design process.
  • The waste-load allocation process for toxic chemicals requires a different approach than that used for conventional pollutants. Present waste-load allocations for toxicants generally rely on simple dilution calculations for low stream-flow conditions. This paper examines the new water quality criteria for toxicants and the modeling strategies used to implement the criteria. The new criteria specify an acute threshold concentration and a chronic-no-effect concentration for each toxicant as well as tolerable durations and frequencies of exposure at or above the two concentrations. Methods for using steady-state and dynamic models to derive waste-load allocations based on the new criteria are reviewed. Physical,more » chemical, and biological processes affecting toxicants in the mixing zone and far-field regimes of streams are summarized.« less