Project EA Systems Dresden

SimulationX and the Green Building library offer new ways to a systematic development of innovative energy concepts.

For the design of complex buildings and building complexes, EA Systems Dresden draws on the modeling tool SimulationX in order to meet the various multiphysics requirements.

The task at hand

Developing innovative energy concepts

The bar is set high – the amendment to the German Energy Saving Regulation (EnEV) back in 2013 aims at achieving a nearly carbon neutral building stock in Germany by the year 2050. It also brings higher requirements for evaluation methods as they no longer assume static energy balances, but now considers dynamic system behavior and user profiles. It is legislation like the Energy Saving Regulation or the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which will increase the proportion of renewable energy of the total power generation to 80 % by 2050, that are supposed to account for ecological and economic developments. Nuclear disasters in Fukushima and Chernobyl remind us that nuclear power can never be the Holy Grail for all energy related problems. It can – at best – be merely a bridging technology if anything. But as a matter of fact, fossil fuels, too, are causing ever more problems for global climate, which is slowly turning more and more into a an economic issue as well. So it is not surprising that there is a growing momentum in the attempt to find suitable alternatives for power generation. This paradigm shift, however, is mostly motivated by the fact that fossil fuels will have been depleted in a foreseeable future, while global energy demand is continuously growing, which leads to ever higher costs.

In order to counter the financial impact and to boost environmental protection, refurbishments and new buildings have to comply more and more with considerations of energy efficiency. This includes not only structural measures like insulation and the choice of suitable materials, but also technical equipment for power generation, storage and management with respect to fluctuating availability of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. As a consequence, there is a tendency towards more decentralized solutions with local, autonomous systems with intelligent integration into the power grid in contrast to traditional models with only one regional supplier. The development of such innovative energy concepts for buildings and entire areas is the specialty of EA Systems Dresden. They focus on designing integrated energy and storage systems as well as on managing automated processes through computer-aided control engineering. In order to live up to the requirements of this multiphysics approach, EA Systems Dresden draws upon modeling tools, such as SimulationX, for the design process. In collaboration with the Dresden University of Technology and ESI ITI, the Green Building library was developed for SimulationX to be able to create building specific models which was successfully used in the development of an autonomous house in Dresden and for the modernization of an entire area in the historic city center of Lohmen (Saxony, Germany).

The solution

Green Building library in SimulationX

The Green Building library in SimulationX enabled EA Systems to design energy design concepts for single buildings and building blocks efficiently. The multi-purpose reference building in Dresden demonstrates and integrated solution for intelligent energy management systems in combination with renewable energy sources and storage facilities including photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, building zones and also additional systems for charging electric vehicles. Besides the physical simulation of the various technical components, it is the many additional variables, such as individual energy consumption and weather conditions, that have a major impact. For realistic scenarios, SimulationX allows for different user profiles and location-specific weather data to be created or taken from datasheets.

For the development of the control software that is used by the energy management system, the whole assembly was integrated into a SiL test environment via FMI (Functional Mock-up Interface) to optimize the control algorithms. The results formed the basis for the next logical step taking the simulation of a single building to the next level for an integrated energy concept of an entire building complex. The objective was to find a viable solution for the intended modernization of the historic town center with respect to legislation and local conditions for renewable energies.

The complexity of the project was of such a magnitude that only dynamic system simulation was considered a viable means to provide conclusive enough results. Using a virtual solution for calculating and analyzing complex systems allowed EA Systems Dresden to simulate more than 70 variations for the single building supply throughout two projects in the projected region. By considering each building individually, it is possible to determine the optimum energy balance for the whole complex. In conclusion, refurbishment measures could be specified in detail resulting in lower procurement costs, while maintaining a high system efficiency.

The benefits

Calculating and evaluating the best system layout efficiently

SimulationX with the Green Building library opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the de-velopment of energy and urban infrastructure concepts including eMobility configurations as part of an ecofriendly approach for commuters. Application-specific model elements, weather and user profiles as well as the broad support of interfaces for a seamless integration into existing toolchains allow for an efficient workflow to find the optimum system layout. Components and energy concepts can be tested for their dynamic behavior in a series of variation calculations before the installation of the actual system to make sure they meet both economic and legal requirements.

Autonomous smart home systems can be design and optimized conveniently for real-time and SiL scenarios. Virtual tests can help to identify error sources and optimization potential early in order to avoid costly revisions and changes to the actual system. But also the financial gains from the enhanced energy balance of buildings are a vital factor, which in return boosts environmental protection through a reduction in pollutant emissions.

Simulation in the energy technology

The multiphysics simulation software SimulationX is available to beginners with several pre-configured application packages for various tasks in energy engineering. Learn more!

SimulationX for beginners