Creating Opportunities for Adaptation Based on PULSE

Population in Urban Landscape for Sustainable built Environments

EFRI PULSE: Abstract

The NSF EFRI PULSE project will provide tools, procedures, and guidelines to enable innovations for operation, renovation and design of existing and new building structures at university campuses.

Sponsor: National Science Foundation(NSF), Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research & Innovation (EFRI), Science in Energy & Environmental Design (SEED)

Dates: 1/2011-12/2014

The project includes multi-scale modeling with overall system boundaries spanning across a whole urban neighborhood to capture the combined effect of multiple buildings on energy flows for cooling/heating/lighting, while maintaining a model resolution small enough to simulate these effects based on first principles, conservation laws directly applied to multiple scales. The energy flow modeling efforts will be coupled with research outcomes on occupant comfort and health ranging from mucosal irritation and lower respiratory symptoms to occupant alertness. The main campuses at Penn State and Harvard will serve as case studies for this project helping the project team to develop urban design performance metrics related to building energy use and occupant satisfaction with the urban environment. These metrics will support the development of improved building energy control strategies by taking full benefits of sun, wind and rain at the neighborhood scale, as well as, accounting for inputs from occupants. EFRI. Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation 2010 SEED. Science in Energy & Environmental Design

What is PULSE?

EFRI PULSE from building science GROUP on Vimeo.

 

PULSE (Population in Urban Landscape for Sustainable Built Environment):
Is a joint collaboration between the University of Maryland, Penn State University, MIT, and the Harvard School of Public Health funded by the National Science Foundation to study the interaction between building design, energy management and human health in the urban built environment.

Note: This video shows the initial efforts during the project's first year.

EFRI PULSE: Case Studies on The University of Maryland

Virtual PULSE Urban Simulations

UMD Electricity EUI

UMD Real Time Utility Data Demo

EFRI-PULSE case studies were conducted using Virtual PULSE Software. Training materials for Virtual PULSE are availalbe in the Urban Micro Climate COurse

EFRI PULSE: Software

virtual pulse buildings

Energy modeling of buildings has traditionally been exceptionally time consuming and cumbersome. Oftentimes, it takes an experienced designer days or even weeks to develop a reliable energy model. Buildings are complex, and software to model its geometry and energy demands is limited. Current software solutions lack either a user friendly front end interface or a proven back end engine. By simplifying the building input process, the user interface, and the access to such software, energy simulations reach a wider audience and empower modelers to capture even the combined effect of multiple buildings. VirtualPULSE is a new web application that allows users to simulate building energy and airflow. The tool encapsulates an online web interface with building specification fields, geometry importing, 3D visualization, the Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus simulation engine / outputs, and computational fluid dynamics airflow analyses. First, this publication outlines the steps taken to develop a web application, configure an Amazon server, setup a testing environment, and install EnergyPlus onto a web server. Second, we will outline the methodology taken to narrow the initial energy model to the minimal number of building input parameters. Future research will explore the optimization of more complex mechanical systems as well as urban scale simulations.


3D Geometry Import & Visualization

Advanced Geometry Creation

Highlights for the software packages integrated under the Virtual PULSE web application

Virtual PULSE

  • Developed by the Building Science Group with the NSF Funding (EFRI-1038264 / EFRI-1452045)
  • Relies on pre-packaged assumptions for each of integrated software packages that can further be modified by expert users
  • Creates an OpenStudio file (*.osm) file that you can further modify in OpenStudio
  • Provides two Energy Plus (*.idf) files, one for direct EnergyPlus simulations and the other for optional neighborhood simulations with Radiance and OpenFOAM
  • Much easier to use than any of the integrated software packages

OpenStudio

  • Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Represents software middleware to pre-package inputs for EnergyPlus simulation engine
  • Can use SketchUp to build more detailed building enclosure models for EnergyPlus
  • Cannot access all of the wealth of models available in EnergyPlus, but it is easier to use
  • Provides graphical interface and output that add model complexity compared to Virtual PULSE models

EnergyPlus

  • Developed by the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
  • Allows building energy simulations with many different types of building systems
  • Requires text only inputs and provides text only outputs
  • Enables very complex and powerful simulations

Radiance

  • Developed by the University of California and distributed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Enables simulations of solar radiation with the ray tracing method
  • Requires many inputs such as solar radiation, geometry, and mesh that Virtual PULSE provides

OpenFOAM

  • Developed by the OpenCFD Ltd and distributed by the OpenFOAM foundation
  • Enables airflow simulations with the computational fluid dynamics method
  • Requires many inputs such as wind data, geometry, and mesh that Virtual PULSE pre-packages

EFRI PULSE: Presentations

EFRI PULSE: Events

Virtual PULSE: Course Project Demonstration Webinar

07/20/2015 2pm-3pm: The Virtual PULSE demonstration webinar is meant for instructors seeking to integrate energy simulation into their coursework, but want to avoid the significant time investment it takes for students to learn how to build a complete energy model in energy simulation software. The webinar will give a live demonstration, and discuss experiences from using the tool in a course during the Spring 2015 semester.

Register

Dr. Jelena Srebric Presenta EFRI PULSE Findings at Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center

11/10/2014: At a Seminar hosted at the M-Square Research Building by the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center Dr. Srebric used findings and research methods from the EFRI-PULSE project to give a lecture on "Assessing the Role of Buildings in Sustainable Eco-Environments."

View Presentation

Stefan Gracik presented initial EFRI PULSE CFD/Radiance simulation and validation at the APS DFD 2013 Annual Meeting.

11/24/2013: At the American Physical Society’s 66th annual DFD meeting, Stefan presented the results of the abstract Coupled Convective and Radiative Heat Transfer Simulation for Urban Environments which provided an analysis of simulation results using OpenFOAM CFD software and RADIANCE solar radiation results. The case study compared measured outdoor temperature data near Penn State Campus dormitories with outdoor temperature results from the combined simulation.

Jiying Liu Presents at 2013 ASME's Summer Heat Transfer Conference

07/18/2013: Jiying Liu presented an invited presentation entitled "A Rapid and Reliable Numerical Method for Predictions of Outdoor Thermal Environment in Actual Urban Areas" at 2013 ASME's summer Heat Transfer conference. This study used commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to implement the newly derived ZEQ turbulence model and CHTC wall boundary conditions. This modified version of CFD software was then used to predict the thermal environment of an actual urban area including air temperatures and wind velocities.

View Presentation

Meeting of NSF EFRI Project in Boston

02/14/2013: The Harvard group of NSF EFRI project will hold this semi-annual meeting in Boston during Feb. 14 to 15, 2013. Both the PSU and MIT groups will join in this special meeting and discuss the latest research progress on this project. The last meeting was held by the PSU group in State College, 2012.

Jakubiec's Team Develops Interactive Solar Map

10/02/1012: NSF EFRI PULSE co-PI Dr. Reinhard and his research group have developed an online map and tool that predicts electricity yield, associated costs and financial incentives for installing a photovoltaic (PV) system on almost any rooftop in Cambridge.

More Information | Solar Map Web App

Fall 2012 NSF EFRI PULSE MEETING

09/19/2012: The NSF EFRI project team will hold a semi-annual meeting in State College during Sept. 19 to 20, 2012. Both the PSU and MIT groups will join in this special meeting and discuss the latest research progress on this project.

Agenda

NSF EFRI Team Attends COBEE 2012

08/01/2012: Dr. Srebric and researchers involved with the NSF EFRI research group attended COBEE 2012 in Boulder, Colorado. The four day event on Building Energy and Environment saw many people involved with EFRI-PULSE present.

Learn More | Conference Papers

EFRI Team Attends 2012 Grantees Meeting

03/07/2012: NSF EFRI PULSE members presented their research findings to other EFRI, NSF, DOEas well as USGBC scientists and established a collaboration research plan for 2012-2013.

Learn More

EFRI PULSE: Publications

Journal Papers under Preparation:

  1. Wentz J.R., Chen J., Li J., Heidarinejad M., and Srebric J. "VirtualPULSE: the first open source building energy modeling & airflow simulation web application," To be submitted to Energy and Buildings.

Referred Journal Papers:

  1. S. Gracik, M. Heidarinejad, J. Liu, and J. Srebric, “Effect of Urban Neighborhoods on the Performance of Building Cooling Systems”, Building and Environment, 2015 (In Press)
  2. J. Srebric, M. Heidarinejad, and J. Liu, “Building Neighborhood Emerging Properties and their Impacts on Multi-Scale Modeling of Building Energy and Airflows”, Building and Environment, 2015 (In Press)
  3. J. Liu, M. Heidarinejad, S. Gracik, and J. Srebric, “The impact of exterior surface convective heat transfer coefficients on the building energy consumption in urban neighborhoods with different plan area densities”, Energy and Buildings, 86, p. 449-463, 2015.
  4. X. Chen, Q. Wang, J. Srebric, “A Data-driven State-space Model of Indoor Thermal Sensation Using Occupant Feedback for Low-energy Buildings”, Energy and Buildings, 2015
  5. J. Liu, M. Heidarinejad, S. Gracik, J. Srebric, N. Yu, “An indirect validation of convective heat transfer coefficients (CHTCs) for external building surfaces in an actual urban environment”, Building Simulation, 2015 (In Press)
  6. D. Davidovic, J. Liu, M. Heidarinejad and J. Srebric, “Airflow study for a cluster of campus buildings using different turbulence modeling approaches”, International Journal of Building, Urban, Interior and Landscape Technology, 2014
  7. J. Huang, J.G. Cedeño-Laurent, J Spengler, “CityComfort+: A simulation-based method for predicting mean radiant temperature in dense urban areas”, Building and Environment, 80, p. 84, 2014.
  8. M. Fadeyi, “Initial study on the impact of thermal history on building occupants’ thermal assessments in actual air-conditioned office buildings”, Building and Environment, 80, p. 36-47, 2014.
  9. A. Jakubiec and C. Reinhart, “Assessing disability glare potential due to reflections from new constructions: Case study analysis and recommendations for the future”, Transportation Research Record, 2014.
  10. J. Liu, J. Srebric, and N. Yu, “Numerical Simulation of Convective Heat Transfer Coefficients at the External Surfaces of Building Arrays Immersed in a Turbulent Boundary Layer”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 61, p. 209-225, 2013.
  11. A. Jakubiec and C. Reinhart, “A Method for Predicting City-Wide Electricity Gains form Photovoltaic Panels Based on LiDAR and GIS Data Combined with Hourly Daysim Simulations”, Solar Energy, 93, p. 127-143, 2013.
  12. A. Jakubiec and C. Reinhart, “The 'adaptive zone' – A concept for assessing discomfort glare throughout daylit spaces”, Lighting Research & Technology, 44, p. 149-170, 2012.

Conference Papers:

  1. X. Chen, Q. Wang, “A Data-driven Thermal Sensation Model Based Predictive Controller for Indoor Thermal Comfort and Energy Optimization”, Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2014.
  2. J. Liu, M. Heidarinejad, S. Gracik, D. Jareemit, J. Srebric, “The Impact of Surface Convective Heat Transfer Coefficients on the Simulated Building Energy Consumption and Surface Temperatures”, 13th Indoor Air Conference, Hong Kong, July 7-12, 2014.
  3. J. Srebric and M. Heidarinejad, “Sustainability in the Built Environment”, “Workshop on Measurement Science for Sustainable Construction and Manufacturing”, ASCE/NIST/ASME Workshop, June 12-13, 2014 (Invited Position Paper).
  4. X. Chen, Q. Wang, J. Srebric, and M. Fadeyi, “Data-driven State-space Modeling of Indoor Thermal Sensation Using Occupant Feedback”, IEEE American Control Conference, Portland, Oregon, June 4-6, 2014.
  5. A. Jakubiec and C. Reinhart, “Assessing disability glare potential due to reflections from new constructions: Case study analysis and recommendations for the future”, 2014 Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C., 2014.
  6. J.G. Cedeño-Laurent*, C. Wu, E. McNeely, G. Adamkiewicz, S.C. Lung, F. Dominici, J. Spengler, “Spatial relation between greenness and student performance in five cities of Massachusetts”, Conference on Environmental Health, Basel, Germany, 2013.
  7. S. Gracik, M. Sadeghipour, G. Pitchurov, J. Liu, M. Heidarinejad, J. Srebric, “Coupled Convective and Radiative Heat Transfer Simulation for Urban Environments”, American Physical Society 66th Annual DFD Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, November, 2013.
  8. A. Jakubiec and C. Reinhart, “Predicting visual comfort conditions in a large daylit space based on long-term occupant evaluations: A field study”, Building Simulation, Chambery, France, August, 2013.
  9. C. Reinhart, T. Dogan, A. Jakubiec, T. Rakha, and A. Sang, “Umi – An urban simulation environment for building energy use, daylighting and walkability”, Building Simulation, Chambery, France, August, 2013.
  10. J. Liu, J. Srebric, N. Yu, “A Rapid and Reliable Numerical Simulation Method for Predictions of Outdoor Thermal Environment in Actual Urban Areas”, Proceeding of the ASME 2013 Summer Heat Transfer Conference (HT 2013), Minneapolis, Minnesota, July, 2013.
  11. H. Jianxiang, J.G. Cedeño-Laurent, J. Spengler and C. Reinhart, “A GIS-based assessment method for mean radiant temperature in dense urban areas”, Proceedings of SimBuild, Madison, Wisconsin, 2012.
  12. J. Srebric and J. Liu, “Multi-Scale CFD Modeling of Built Environments”, Submitted at COBEE 2012.
  13. N. Rekstad, M. Heidarinejad, J. Wentz, and J. Srebric, “Energy Performance Analyses of Campus Buildings over Heating and Cooling Seasons”, Proceedings of COBEE, Boulder, Colorado, 2012.
  14. A. Jakubiec, and C. Reinhart, “Towards validated urban solar radiation maps based on LiDAR measurements, GIS data, and hourly DAYSIM simulations”, Simbuild, 2012.
  15. B. Burley, J. Srebric, S. Haupt, L. Peltier, and J. Liu, “Modeling of Urban Wind for Infiltration Studies”, Indoor Air 2011, June 5-10, Austin, Texas, 2011.
  16. A. Jakubiec and C. Reinhart, “The ‘adaptive zone’ – a concept for assessing discomfort glare throughout daylit spaces”, Proceedings of Building Simulation, Sydney, 2011.
  17. J. Niemasz, J. Sargent, and C. Reinhart, “Solar Zoning and Energy in Detached Residential Dwellings,” Proceedings of SimAUD, Boston, April, 2011.

EFRI PULSE: People

Leaders

Jelena Srebric, Ph.D. (PI)
Architectural Engineering Department, Pennsylvania State University

Christoph Reinhart, Dr. Ing., (co-PI)
Architecture, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

John D. Spengler, Ph.D., (co-PI)
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Qian Wang, Ph.D.
Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Eileen McNeely, Ph.D.
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health


Postdoctoral Fellows

Ramon Sanchez, Ph.D.
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Mohammad Heidarinejad, Ph.D.
Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland

Nada Yaghoobian, Ph.D.
Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland


Special Thanks To

Thomas Goode, B.S.
Computer Engineering Department, University of Florida
Chief Technology Officer, ParkSmoothGoodeIT

Dongwon Lee, Ph.D.
nformation Sciences & Technology Department, Pennsylvania State University

Jason Degraw, Ph.D.
Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Research Staff

Doctoral

Alstan Jakubiec, M.Sc.
Architecture, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Memo Cedeño Laurent, M.Sc.
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Matt Dahlhausen, M.Sc.
Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland

Mingjie Zhao, M.Sc.
Architectural Engineering Department, Pennsylvania State University

Yang-Seon Kim, M.Sc.
Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Xiao Chen, M.Sc.
Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Stefan Gracik, M.Sc
Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Pennsylvania State University


Undergraduate

Nicolas Rekstad, B.A.E.
Architectural Engineering Department, Pennsylvania State University


Developers

Nicholas Mattise, B.A.E.
Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland

Joshua Wentz, B.A.E., B.S.
Architectural Engineering Department, Penn State University Information Sciences & Technology Department, Penn State University

Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari
Architectural Computation Consultant Thorton Tomasetti

Kai Lui, B.S.
Computer Science, Pennsylvania State University

Disclaimer and Acknowledgment

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant EFRI-1038264 & EFRI-1452045. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.