Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Validation and modification of modeling thermally activated building systems (TABS) using EnergyPlus


thermally activated building systems, EnergyPlus, low temperature radiant system module, thermal resistance, modified simulation


EnergyPlus (EP) integrates a low temperature radiant system module to evaluate thermal performance of radiant systems such as thermally activated building systems (TABS), but the assumptions in this module neglect thermal resistance of the pipe and thermal resistance between the pipe exterior surface and the pipe level, which may result in the inaccurate evaluation of TABS in terms of surface temperature and surface heat flow. In this paper, in order to validate this module used in EP, steady and transient heat transfer processes of TABS in buildings were studied by analytical solution, two-dimensional numerical simulation and EP simulation. The comparison shows that the assumptions indeed result in a largely overestimated cooling and heating capacity of TABS. In order to improve this radiant module, a simple solution of introducing a no mass material layer with the neglected thermal resistances to both sides of the pipe level was proposed. With this method, the results of mean surface temperature and mean heat flow show good agreement with that from analytical solution as well as numerical simulation. Furthermore, the results of the simulation coupling the modified module with room systems show very small deviation from the results found in the literature. In addition, the application of the modified module in a hollow core concrete deck structure with TABS was investigated.


Tsinghua University Press