Thermal mass and energy recovery utilization for peak load reduction

Jevgeni Fadejev*, Raimo Simson, Jarek Kurnitski, Mark Bomberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)


Highly energy performing buildings need cost effective solutions which can deliver specified indoor climate and energy performance targets. In this study temperature variation of indoor climate category II according to EN 15251 standard is applied with the aim to allow free floating temperatures in this range to activate internal thermal mass of walls. Main hypotheses are that interior thermal mass of enough thick concrete layers can enable utilization of solar and internal gains resulting in significantly reduced peak loads for both heating and cooling, and reduced overall energy need. In this study, dynamic energy simulations are conducted to identify optimal solutions for a planned experimental building. Impact of energy recovery system on annual heating/cooling need and interior thermal mass on cooling design load are studied. Proposed energy recovery system consists of a piping layer installed into internal layer of a wall or floor structure and coupled with storage tank via piping and circulation pump. This system operates only when specified temperature differences exist that is expected to store excess room heat or cool within accepted indoor temperature range and to distribute it into other building zones. Modelling is performed in dynamic whole year simulation environment IDA-ICE, where a simplified two-zone model of a single-family house along with energy recovery system are modelled. Zones envelope and interior structures are modelled with finite difference wall/floor model accounting for thermal capacitances of structures material layers and exposure to solar radiation passing through detailed window model. Model of a piping layer connected to finite difference wall or floor structure computes heat transfer using logarithmic temperature difference. Rest of the energy utilization system is modelled using IDA-ICE standard model library components. Results reveal that interior thermal mass has significant impact on peak loads and energy need reductions. Modelled energy recovery system is capable of significantly reducing heating need as long as high system flow is maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics, NSB2017, 11-14 June 2017, Trondheim, Norway
EditorsStig Geving, Berit Time
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventNordic Symposium on Building Physics - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 11 Jun 201714 Jun 2017
Conference number: 11

Publication series

NameEnergy procedia
ISSN (Electronic)1876-6102


ConferenceNordic Symposium on Building Physics
Abbreviated titleNSB


  • cooling load reduction
  • energy recovery
  • heating need reduction
  • thermal mass


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