Comparison of Simulation and Experimental Data of a Zero Energy Home in an Arid Climate

Document Type



In this study, a widely used software package, Trace 700 was used to simulate the energy consumption of the heating and cooling loads of two residential homes and compare them with their experimental values. One home is classified as a zero energy home (ZEH) and employs advanced construction features, which is designed to consume significantly less energy than a normal home. The baseline home is of the exact same dimensions and floor plan as the ZEH, but uses more traditional construction practices. Trace was used to model both homes during periods where both cooling and heating were used, respectively, for an available period of two weeks in 2005. Actual weather data from the vicinity were obtained during the monitoring phase and were introduced into Trace as input data to create a more accurate representation of the conditions. The difference between the simulated predictions and the actual experiments showed an average difference of 2.25 and 6.29% for the baseline house for cooling electric energy and heating energy, respectively, while that difference was 10.67% in cooling for the ZEH. No estimate is presented to the difference in the heating mode for the ZEH due to a plumbing problem. The data showed the ZEH reduced the cooling load by about 76% experimentally and 75% by simulation. The simulation comparison between the baseline and ZEH indicate a reduction of the heating load of about 12%.


Architectural Engineering | Energy Systems | Engineering | Environmental Design | Mechanical Engineering | Sustainability


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