Energies, Vol. 16, Pages 4247: In Situ Measurement of Wall Thermal Properties: Parametric Investigation of the Heat Flow Meter Methods through Virtual Experiments Data

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Energies, Vol. 16, Pages 4247: In Situ Measurement of Wall Thermal Properties: Parametric Investigation of the Heat Flow Meter Methods through Virtual Experiments Data

Energies doi: 10.3390/en16104247

Authors:
Andrea Alongi
Luca Sala
Adriana Angelotti
Livio Mazzarella

Energy retrofit of existing buildings is based on the assessment of the starting performance of the envelope. The procedure for the in situ measurement of thermal conductance is described in the ISO 9869-1:2014, which provides two techniques for data processing: the average method (AM) and the dynamic method (DM). This work studies their effectiveness using virtual data from numerical simulations based on a finite difference model applied to different wall kinds, considering winter and summer boundary conditions alternatively (Italian Milan-Linate TMY). The estimated thermal conductances are compared to the reference theoretical values. The main purposes are: (i) defining the shortest test duration that provides acceptable results; (ii) assess the reliability of the criteria provided by the standard to evaluate the measurement quality; (iii) evaluate the sensitivity of both methods to variables such as wall properties, boundary conditions and others more specific to the DM (namely, the number of time constants and linear equations). The AM always provides acceptable estimates in winter (−3.1% ÷ 10% error), with better outcomes when indoor heat flux is considered, except for the highly insulated wall, but is not effective in summer, despite the fulfillment of the acceptance criteria for the highly insulated wall. The DM provides improvements in both seasons (0.05% ÷ 8.6% absolute values of error), for most virtual samples, and requires shorter sampling periods, even below the 3 days limit suggested by the standard. The test on the confidence interval indicated by the ISO 9869-1:2014 is not reliable and measurements are sensitive to the number of linear equations, that is left to the user’s discretion without strict indications. This work suggests a possible approach for overcoming this issue, which requires deeper future investigation.

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