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Can whole building energy models outperform numerical models, when forecasting performance of indirect evaporative cooling systems?

Badiei, A.; Akhlaghi, Y. G.; Zhao, X.; Li, J.; Yi, F.; Wang, Z.


A. Badiei

Y. G. Akhlaghi

F. Yi

Z. Wang


This paper presents a whole building energy modelling work incorporating a state-of-the-art indirect evaporative cooling system. The model is calibrated and validated with real-life empirical data, and is capable of representing actual performance of the system with high reliability. The investigated system is a novel super-performance Dew Point Cooler (DPC) with a guideless and corrugated Heat and Mass Exchanger (HMX). The DPC is modelled as part of the whole building energy model through detailed description of system and building characteristics at source code level. The developed model has been simulated in all different climates that an Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) system can be operated, namely: subtropical hot desert, humid continental, Mediterranean, and hot desert climates. The performance predictions has been tested against experiments and numerical model of the same system, and a detailed investigation of modelling approaches to efficiently and effectively model aforementioned systems has been provided.
The calibrated and empirically validated whole building energy model predicted the key performance parameters of the dew point evaporative cooling system with mean error values limited to 4.1%. The highest COP values recorded by experiments and whole building energy simulations were 51.1 and 49, respectively. The whole building energy model proved to better predict the performance of dew point evaporative cooler, when compared to numerical models, by incorporating the building-side parameters into the model. This modelling work paves the way toward detailed investigation of the advanced cooling systems within building context to achieve optimised performance of the system in wide range of buildings and operating conditions.


Badiei, A., Akhlaghi, Y. G., Zhao, X., Li, J., Yi, F., & Wang, Z. (2020). Can whole building energy models outperform numerical models, when forecasting performance of indirect evaporative cooling systems?. Energy Conversion and Management, 213,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 21, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2020
Publication Date Jun 1, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 29, 2021
Journal Energy Conversion and Management
Print ISSN 0196-8904
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 213
Article Number 112886
Keywords Dew Point Cooler; Building energy; Model; Performance; Experiment
Public URL
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