A new method to develop typical weather years in different climates for building energy use studies

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6121-6129
Journal / PublicationEnergy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


Principal component analysis of 30-year long-term meteorological variables was conducted. Typical principal component years (TPCYs) were determined for Harbin, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming and Hong Kong representing the five major architectural climates across China: severe cold, cold, hot summer and cold winter, mild, and hot summer and warm winter. In each climate zone, the TPCY was compared with the 30 individual years and the widely used typical meteorological year (TMY). The monthly principal component and the predicted total building energy consumption based on the TPCY and TMY were very close to the 30-year long-term mean estimation. TPCY for the 21st century in each of the five cities was also identified using predictions from general climate models. The TPCY approach is a good alternative to the TMY method. Firstly, predicted building energy use from TPCY is closer to the long-term estimation than that from the TMY in different climates. Secondly, because only monthly data are considered, the development of TPCY is much simpler and less time-consuming. This would have important applications in the regular updating of typical weather years for building energy studies and in the assessment of the impact of climate change on energy use in the built environment. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Building energy use, China, Climate change, General circulation models, Principal component analysis, Typical weather years