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Low-energy buildings: energy use, indoor climate and market diffusion
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Low-energy buildings have, in recent years, gained attention and moved towards a large-scale introduction in the residential sector. During this process, national and international criteria for energy use in buildings have become stricter and the European Union has through the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive imposed on member states to adapt their building regulations for ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’, which by 2021 should be standard for new buildings.

With a primary focus on new terraced and detached houses, this thesis analyses how the concept of low-energy buildings may be further developed to reduce the energy use in the residential sector. The main attention is on the technical performance in terms of indoor climate and heat consumption as well as on the market diffusion of low-energy buildings into the housing market.

A multidisciplinary approach is applied, which here means that the concept of low-energy buildings is investigated from different perspectives as well as on different system levels. The thesis thus encompasses methods from both engineering and social sciences and approaches the studied areas through literature surveys, interviews, assessments and simulations.

The thesis reveals how an increased process integration of the building’s energy system can improve the thermal comfort in low-energy buildings. Moreover, it makes use of learning algorithms – in this case artificial neural networks – to study how the heat consumption can be predicted in a low-energy building in the Swedish climate. The thesis further focuses on the low-energy building as an element in our society and it provides a market diffusion analysis to gain understanding of the contextualisation process. In addition, it suggests possible approaches to increase the market share of low-energy buildings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , 64 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2014:5
Keyword [en]
building energy simulations, energy efficiency gap, energy use, indoor climate, low-energy buildings
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143480ISBN: 978-91-7595-019-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143480DiVA: diva2:706608
Public defence
2014-03-28, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140321

Available from: 2014-03-21 Created: 2014-03-21 Last updated: 2016-03-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Simultaneous production of domestic hot water and space cooling with a heat pump in a Swedish Passive House
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simultaneous production of domestic hot water and space cooling with a heat pump in a Swedish Passive House
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization and Simulation of Energy Conversion Systems and Processes, ECOS 2012, 2012, Vol. 7, 251-260 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Passive Houses have gained popularity the last ten years as a way of improving the energy efficiency in the housing stock. During the cold winter in Sweden, space heating is at times needed but a Passive House is limited to a maximum use of energy for space heating. The challenge of avoiding space heating during the cold wint er climate in Sweden has pushed the design of a Passive House in a direction where problems with excessive indoor temperatures might occur summertime. This paper evaluates a comfort cooling strategy for reaching comfortable indoor climate summertime while maintaining good energy efficiency. The strategy is to use the free cooling from a heat pump while producing domestic hot water. A literature study on heat pumps for simultaneous heating and cooling (HPS) was made in order to make assumptions of the cooling and heating capacities of the HPS for the building simulations. The effect this free cooling has on the indoor climate was thereafter simulated with IDA Indoor Climate and Energy. The building model is based on an actual Passive House in the district of Lambohov in Linköping, Sweden, where continuous logging of temperatures are available. Without comfort cooling, the simulations show excessive temperatures summertime, which is consistent with field measurements from the actual house. Further, the simulation results demonstrate a substantial removal (60-80 %) of excessive indoor temperatures summertime with the cooling strategy implemented.

Keyword
Passive House, Comfort cooling, Building Simulation, Heat pump
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143417 (URN)2-s2.0-84896520310 (Scopus ID)978-886655322-9 (ISBN)
Conference
25th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization and Simulation of Energy Conversion Systems and Processes, ECOS 2012, Perugia, Italy, 26 June 2012 through 29 June 2012
Note

QC 20140321

Available from: 2014-03-21 Created: 2014-03-21 Last updated: 2015-05-07Bibliographically approved
2. Phase change material cool storage for a Swedish Passive House
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phase change material cool storage for a Swedish Passive House
2012 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 54, 490-495 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Passive Houses have gained popularity the last 10 years as a way of improving the energy efficiency in the housing stock. The combination of a highly insulating building envelope and large solar heat gains summertime can, however, result in excessive temperatures. The aim of this paper is to evaluate a comfort cooling strategy for attaining good indoor climate summertime while maintaining good energy efficiency. The studied strategy is a night cool storage with phase change material (PCM). To evaluate this, a Matlab code was used for the analysis of climate files along with the thermodynamical properties of PCM storages and then used with IDA Indoor Climate and Energy for building simulations. The building model is based on an actual Passive House in the district of Lambohov in Linköping, Sweden, where continuous logging of temperatures are available. Without comfort cooling the simulations show excessive temperatures summertime, which is consistent with the field measurements from the actual house. The results show that the PCM can remove a substantial share of the degree hours with excessive temperatures.

Keyword
Building simulation, Comfort cooling, Passive House, Phase change material
National Category
Energy Systems Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107235 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2012.05.012 (DOI)000312745200053 ()2-s2.0-84868470604 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20121213

Available from: 2012-12-13 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Predictions of the heat consumption in a low-energy building usingan artificial neural network
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Predictions of the heat consumption in a low-energy building usingan artificial neural network
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143478 (URN)
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-03-21 Created: 2014-03-21 Last updated: 2014-03-21Bibliographically approved
4. Drivers for and barriers to low-energy buildings in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers for and barriers to low-energy buildings in Sweden
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 109, 296-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From the perspective of construction companies, this paper investigates the existence and significance of barriers and driving forces for the implementation of energy-efficient houses in Sweden. Here, eleven construction companies that build low-energy buildings comparable in performance with passive houses have been interviewed. One conclusion is that there is not one specific barrier that keeps energy-efficient housing from taking off. Instead, the barriers include a whole range of issues that have to be considered. Internal pressure has been a strong contributor to the onset of passive house constructions within the companies and the results indicate that personal commitment is central and perhaps the strongest driver. A general reflection from the interviews is that there is a need to show both construction companies and potential customers that it is possible to build passive houses and that they exist. Unlike the national building regulations, which are not considered to be relevant when it comes to energy consumption, the future building regulations from the European Union are identified as a regulatory driver. Moreover, life-cycle thinking is reported to increase among actors, but that it would be beneficial if banks as well as real estate agents could develop a comprehensive view and become better at considering energy and LCC in their capital budgeting templates. Even if the interest for passive houses is considered low among the public, the market is identified as promising among the construction companies recently actually large enough to become a driver in itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Low-energy buildings, Passive houses, Energy-efficiency gap
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180988 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.094 (DOI)000367410000025 ()
Note

QC 20160127

Available from: 2016-01-27 Created: 2016-01-26 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
5. Low-energy buildings and seasonal thermal energy storages from a behavioral economics perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Low-energy buildings and seasonal thermal energy storages from a behavioral economics perspective
2013 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 112, 975-980 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The seasonal thermal energy storage technology for domestic heating applications is not enjoying the same increasing market penetration as the smaller diurnal thermal energy storage technology. Although high efficiencies are to expect with seasonal thermal energy storages, high up-front costs are likely to constitute an efficient market barrier, impeding the growth of this technology. This paper analyses the application of seasonal thermal energy storages and other, more conventional heating alternatives on passive houses and standard houses from a behavioral economics perspective. The results show that when the seasonal thermal energy storage technology is applied to passive houses, more competitive investment and annual costs can be offered.

Keyword
Behavioral economics, Passive houses, Seasonal thermal energy storages, Solar energy
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136094 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.03.047 (DOI)000329377800103 ()2-s2.0-84884203827 (Scopus ID)
Conference
4th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), July 01-04, 2012,China
Note

QC 20131205

Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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