Building Energy System Modelling

Introduction

To transform the energy system to meet UK carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions, it is crucial to understand the costs and benefits of different technologies, system designs and decarbonisation pathways.

Energy Systems Catapult offers a unique and dynamic energy simulation tool for homes, which can be used to design decarbonisation pathways to support energy planning.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable, requires a switch to low carbon heating for 28 million existing UK homes, with solutions that can be practically implemented and deliver standards of comfort equivalent to or better than those enjoyed in most of our homes today.

UK homes account for about 28% of the energy we use, with domestic fuel consumption producing  23% of all carbon emissions. This is dominated by space heating 17%, with contributions from hot water 4% and cooking 2%. To meet the UK’s 2050 Climate Change Act commitments, we will need to largely eliminate the emissions from heating at home.

District heating, hybrid gas-electric heating and pure electric heating (including resistive and heat-pumps), in individual homes could all play an important part in the UK’s transition to a low carbon future. These solutions would need to be deployed in a wide range of homes with a diverse range of construction and thermal properties, local environmental conditions and constraints. These factors combined with the very different needs and expectations of the people living in them will determine how effective these low carbon solutions are in practice. The ability of these solutions to provide comfort and amenity to the satisfaction of consumers will be a critical factor in how widely and quickly they will be adopted.

Our Asset

 

Energy Systems Catapult provides expert dynamic energy system modelling and analysis to support decision making relating to residential properties. We use the Home Energy Dynamics toolkit to understand the interactions between different domestic heating systems, control, building fabric, weather and consumer needs.

 

Our Approach

The Modelling team can offer:

  • Whole System Modelling and Analysis – providing a better understanding of energy systems at dwelling level, to help deliver low carbon heating solutions.  We’ve developed a methodology and modelling toolkit to gain insight into the detailed dynamic interactions between the heating system, control system, building fabric, consumer comfort and external factors such as weather on heating our homes.
  • Project development and delivery – this whole system modelling and analysis  toolkit provides a means of better understanding the impact and benefit of implementing different upgrades to homes and their heating systems in order to decarbonise domestic heat.
  • Expert advice and collaboration – to promote greater cohesion across the sector, by actively encouraging businesses, policymakers, regulators and investors to take a whole system perspective.

For further information, email info@es.catapult.org.uk