A Virtual Testbed for Robust and Reproducible Calibration of Building Energy Simulation Models


A reliable building energy simulation (BES) model is critical for improving building energy performance. While many auto-calibration approaches have been proposed, robust and reproducible BES model calibration remains a challenge due to the lack of a uni- versal evaluation approach and benchmarking frame- work. Therefore, we established a virtual test bed based on DOE prototype buildings to systematically evaluate the calibration results. The Modelica-based testbed enables customized dataset generation and provides the model discrepancy between the calibrated models and the calibration target, which is the key to emulating realistic calibration tasks. We identify three categories of typical pitfalls in BES model calibration and demonstrate them using the virtual testbed. Lastly, a hierarchical model evaluation framework is designed using the testbed for further calibration studies. This study investigates model calibration for buildings from a new perspective and facilitates further research with a standard- ized framework.