Publication Details

Banfield, B., McDowell, C., Robinson, D. A. & Agalgaonkar, A. P. (2019). Evaluation of in-depth energy modelling for the design and operation of a net-positive energy Solar Decathlon house. CLIMA 2019: Proceedings of the 13th REHVA World Congress (pp. 1-6).

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CLIMA 2019


The Solar Decathlon is an international competition that challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design and build functioning, sustainable, solar powered houses. The competition is split into ten sub-contests which vary from competition to competition. Contests are a combination of juried (judged by a panel experts) or measured (such as energy usage and thermal comfort) contests. This paper will focus on the measured contests, in particular; energy management, comfort conditions and house functioning. To ensure optimal house performance during the competition, extensive energy and thermal modelling is required to ensure the solar PV and on-site energy storage can achieve net-zero energy while also ensuring the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can meet the strict indoor thermal comfort requirements set by the competition. This paper will review the energy and thermal modelling process of Team UOW Australia's net-positive energy house, the 'Desert Rose', that achieved second place in the Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) competition in 2018. Upon reviewing the energy modelling process, the results from the energy simulations will be compared to the real data that was obtained during the SDME competition to determine the validity of the energy simulations and the subsequent benefits of in-depth energy modelling for competing in a Solar Decathlon.