Exploring the impact of different parameterisations of occupant-related internal loads in building energy simulation

Rebecca Ward, Ruchi Choudhary, Yeonsook Heo, Adam Rysanek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


A building energy simulation relies on accurate parameterisation of occupant-related internal loads to simulate a realistic energy balance within a building. The internal loads are inextricably linked to occupant behaviour, both directly through the contribution of occupant heat output to thermal energy balance and indirectly via the interactions between occupants, appliances and building services. While occupancy itself is difficult to measure directly, most buildings possess a wealth of data in the form of monitored electricity consumption in varying degrees of resolution. These data, particularly plug loads, may be used to inform the model of occupant-related internal loads. Different approaches to parameterisation of plug loads have been investigated, with the purpose of exploring the conditions that might lead to preference of one approach over another. The models have been tested through a case study and simulation results have been compared against a range of response variables. Conclusions have been drawn as to the most important features of plug load parameterisation for a model to be used for forecasting future demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Building energy simulation
  • Electricity consumption
  • Non-domestic buildings
  • Occupancy-related internal loads
  • Plug loads
  • Stochastic analysis
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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