Department of Mechanical Engineering

Energy systems of buildings and communities

Modern energy systems research focuses on finding optimal solutions for ensuring a comfortable and healthy indoor environment while minimizing energy use. This is achieved both by utilizing computer simulation and optimization and by conducting experimental research on novel technologies.
o    Energy systems of buildings and communities are studied both experimentally and with the help of simulation and optimisation. The main focus areas are building energy efficiency and its optimisation, energy solutions for low-energy buildings and communities, and indoor air quality & thermal conditions.
o    Energy systems research is also studied at the community level by applying simulation, optimisation and system analysis tools. In densely populated areas, balancing the production and usage of energy over multiple buildings is more beneficial than concentrating on individual buildings. Research includes the development of optimal strategies for energy efficiency, environmental impact and economics.
o    Acceptable air quality and thermal conditions are important in maintaining healthy indoor environments. These are influenced by both the HVAC systems of the building and by the building itself. The recent COVID pandemic showed that more research on airborne transmission of diseases indoors is needed, and this has been a major focus in the group. 
o    CFD simulations and particle + tracer gas measurements in the HVAC test room located in our laboratory are used to study different air distribution and purification methods, and to assess their effectiveness in contaminant removal. Thermal environment is also researched through CFD simulations and by performing measurements. Special equipment, such as a breathing thermal manikin, a cough machine, a particle imaging velocimeter (PIV), high-resolution particle sizers and a multi-gas analyser, are used in the measurements.
o    Building energy efficiency and indoor conditions in future climate scenarios are studied by utilizing building simulation tools such as IDA ICE in conjunction with single- or multi-objective optimization methods, e.g. genetic algorithms, and weather models. Climate change has drastically increased the probability and duration of summer heat waves even in Nordic countries, bringing forward challenges for the traditionally heating-focused building systems. Cost- and environment-efficient strategies for minimizing overheating of indoor spaces are researched in the group. Energy solutions promoting renewable sources and optimal use of waste heat are also studied both at building and community levels.
Test dolls
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