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Revising the definition of anthropogenic heat flux from buildings: role of human activities and building storage heat flux

Liu, Yiqing, Luo, Zhiwen ORCID: and Grimmond, Sue 2022. Revising the definition of anthropogenic heat flux from buildings: role of human activities and building storage heat flux. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 22 (7) , pp. 4721-4735. 10.5194/acp-22-4721-2022

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Buildings are a major source of anthropogenic heat emissions, impacting energy use and human health in cities. The difference in magnitude and time lag between building energy consumption and building anthropogenic heat emission is poorly quantified. Energy consumption (QEC) is a widely used proxy for the anthropogenic heat flux from buildings (QF,B). Here we revisit the latter's definition. If QF,B is the heat emission to the outdoor environment from human activities within buildings, we can derive it from the changes in energy balance fluxes between occupied and unoccupied buildings. Our derivation shows that the difference between QEC and QF,B is attributable to a change in the storage heat flux induced by human activities (ΔSo-uo) (i.e. ). Using building energy simulations (EnergyPlus) we calculate the energy balance fluxes for a simplified isolated building (obtaining QF,B, QEC, ΔSo-uo) with different occupancy states. The non-negligible differences in diurnal patterns between QF,B and QEC are caused by thermal storage (e.g. hourly QF,B to QEC ratios vary between −2.72 and 5.13 within a year in Beijing, China). Negative QF,B can occur as human activities can reduce heat emission from a building but this is associated with a large storage heat flux. Building operations (e.g. opening windows, use of space heating and cooling system) modify the QF,B by affecting not only QEC but also the ΔSo-uo diurnal profile. Air temperature and solar radiation are critical meteorological factors explaining day-to-day variability of QF,B. Our new approach could be used to provide data for future parameterisations of both anthropogenic heat flux and storage heat fluxes from buildings. It is evident that storage heat fluxes in cities could also be impacted by occupant behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Additional Information: This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Publisher: European Geosciences Union
ISSN: 1680-7316
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 4 February 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:44

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