Energy Engineering Interview Claytex and Energy Systems Catapult

In an interview conducted by Managing Editor of energy engineering magazine, Steve Welch discovers how Claytex have worked with Energy Systems Catapult to shorten the time it takes to run their Home Energy Dynamics (HED) toolkit.

Energy Systems Catapult has partnered with world-leading simulation experts to dramatically shorten the time it takes to run their Home Energy Dynamics (HED) toolkit. New simulations can simulate decarbonisation pathways for domestic buildings, enabling engineers, policymakers, and housing providers to identify the most cost-effective energy-saving actions.

An estimated 20% of UK carbon emissions are caused by heating our homes and hot water. If we’re to achieve net zero by 2050, tackling this is critical. But the UK’s housing stock is notoriously energy inefficient. All new builds must achieve an EPC C rating (or higher), older homes – many powered by gas boilers and some without insulation – are ideal for investment and improvement. But deciding where the money is best spent has, until recently, involved a lot of educated guesswork. Step forward Home Energy Dynamics (HED). “Home Energy Dynamics is a modelling toolkit that can simulate the energy and carbon savings provided by low-carbon solutions,” said Dr Carl Holland, Buildings Modelling Manager at Energy Systems Catapult.

The Catapult has developed highly accurate modelling using detailed dynamic simulations that enables an understanding of how changes – such as swapping to a heat pump, adding insulation, or installing solar panels – will affect the energy efficiency of a property. HED provides data and analysis on the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of low-carbon technologies for a whole range of UK housing types. This is a massive undertaking given the variety of the UK’s housing stock, from historic buildings to terraces, tenements, and high-rise flats. “The toolkit can work with a range of domestic dwelling types, either as a standalone solution or in combination with other energy efficiency measures,” Holland said.

energy engineering magazine – Issue 96 – June 2023

Claytex has developed a global reputation for its automotive simulations, but it turns out the same expertise can also be applied to home modelling. “We’re using technology and approaches that have come from driver simulators to reduce the run-time of simulations dramatically,” said Claytex’s Alessandro Picarelli. “By applying the same techniques to the house models, we reduced run times by almost 50%.” Moreover, the impressive reduction was achieved through optimisation alone, without any hardware upgrades or changes, Picarelli said. “Our solution focused entirely on improving the mathematical and computational efficiency of the models used,” he said.

Claytex has refined the process, enabling multiple simulations to be performed simultaneously, said Picarelli. “We’re exploiting the characteristics of the machine to run the maximum number of simulations.” The solution developed by Claytex is called MultiRun, enabling simulations to run in parallel.

Read the full article here: Energy-efficient future

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