Estimation of building thermal performance using simple sensors and air conditioners

Yuiko Sakuma, Hiroaki Nishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Energy and environmental problems have attracted attention worldwide. Energy consumption in residential sectors accounts for a large percentage of total consumption. Several retrofit schemes, which insulate building envelopes to increase energy efficiency, have been adapted to address residential energy problems. However, these schemes often fail to balance the installment cost with savings from the retrofits. To maximize the benefit, selecting houses with low thermal performance by a cost-effective method is inevitable. Therefore, an accurate, low-cost, and undemanding housing assessment method is required. This paper proposes a thermal performance assessment method for residential housing. The proposed method enables assessments under the existing conditions of residential housings and only requires a simple and affordable monitoring system of power meters for an air conditioner (AC), simple sensors (three thermometers at most), a BLE beacon, and smartphone application. The proposed method is evaluated thoroughly by using both simulation and experimental data. Analysis of estimation errors is also conducted. Our method shows that the accuracy achieved with the proposed three-room model is 9.8% (relative error) for the simulation data. Assessments on the experimental data also show that our proposed method achieved Ua value estimations using a low-cost system, satisfying the requirements of housing assessments for retrofits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2950
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 31


  • Building thermal performance assessment
  • House energy management system (HEMS)
  • Performance gap
  • Smart home
  • System identification
  • Ua-value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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