A study of the importance of occupancy to building cooling load in prediction by intelligent approach

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2555-2564
Journal / PublicationEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number7
Online published23 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


Building cooling load prediction is one of the key factors in the success of energy-saving measures. Many computational models available in the industry today have been developed from either forward or inverse modeling approaches. However, most of these models require extensive computer resources and involve lengthy computation. This paper discusses the use of data-driven intelligent approaches, a probabilistic entropy-based neural (PENN) model to predict the cooling load of a building. Although it is common knowledge that the presence and activity of building occupants have a significant impact on the required cooling load of buildings, practices currently adopted in modeling the presence and activity of people in buildings do not reflect the complexity of the impact occupants have on building cooling load. In contrast to previous artificial neural network (ANN) models, most of which employ a fixed schedule or historic load data to represent building occupancy in simulating building cooling load, this paper introduces two input parameters, dynamic occupancy area and rate and uses it to mimic building cooling load. The training samples used include weather data obtained from the Hong Kong Observatory and building-related data acquired from an existing grade A mega office buildings in Hong Kong with tenants including many multi-national financial companies that require 24-h air conditioning seven days a week. The dynamic changes that occur in the occupancy of these buildings therefore make it very difficult to forecast building cooling load by means of a fixed time schedule. The performance of simulation results demonstrate that building occupancy data play a critical role in building cooling load prediction and that their use significantly improves the predictive accuracy of cooling load models. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Artificial neural network, Building occupancy, Cooling load