The H4C Retrosim- Retrofitting Design Planner Tool 

article written by Peru Elguezabal (Tecnalia)

The H4C Retrosim- Retrofitting Design Planner Tool has been developed together by Tecnalia, HSLU, Polimi and Hypertech.

Looking to orient relevant stakeholders involved in the renovation sector, an online web tool has been defined and the first version is currently being benchmarked with pilot demonstration buildings to be implemented within the scope of the project.

Based on the general characteristics of the building to be renovated as defined by the user, main heating and cooling systems are calculated and alternatives are suggested including the technologies developed within the project.

After calculation, key performance indicators are estimated for current systems as well as for each of the alternatives suggested by the tool for the renovation intervention. The user gets parameters related to the energy consumption, payback calculation, greenhouse gas emissions and user comfort-based information to orient the decision about what system better fits their interests. A relevant characteristic of this tool is that it is oriented both to expert users as well as to inexperienced ones.

Three main modules are used to cover each of the different steps defined to complete the assessment process: the web application, the optimizer and the simulation backend. Each module has also submodules for some specific tasks.

The web application front-end is where the user describes the current scenario for the building and systems to be addressed. These inputs are then forwarded to the optimizer, a component conceived to reduce the time consumption and to improve the efficiency of the overall process, where the information is treated both before and after the calculation. Afterwards, a first sizing is suggested by the sizing tool component and then the specific calculation is carried out by the simulation core by modelling the main components of the systems. Energy consumption and user’s comfort is quantified for each of the considered feasible configurations. Results are forwarded to the optimizer for a post-processing of the information. Finally, all the combined information is displayed in the result section of the website.