Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-914
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-914

  12 Nov 2021

12 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

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

Yiqing Liu1, Zhiwen Luo1, and Sue Grimmond2 Yiqing Liu et al.
  • 1School of the Built Environment, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 2Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Abstract. Buildings are a major source of anthropogenic heat emissions, impacting energy use and human health in cities. The difference between building energy consumption and building anthropogenic heat emission magnitudes and time lag and are 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 the difference between QEC and QF,B is attributable to a change in the storage heat flux induced by human activities (∆So-uo) (i.e., QF,B = QEC − ∆So-uo). Using building energy simulations (EnergyPlus) we calculate the energy balance fluxes for a simplified isolated building (obtaining QF,B, QEC, ∆So-uo) with different occupancy states. The non-negligible differences in diurnal patterns between QF,B and QEC 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 building but are associated with a large storage heat flux. Building operations (e.g., open windows, use of HVAC system) modify the QF,B by affecting not only QEC but also the ∆So-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 may also be impacted by occupant behaviour.

Yiqing Liu et al.

Status: open (until 24 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-914', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Nov 2021 reply

Yiqing Liu et al.

Yiqing Liu et al.

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Short summary
Anthropogenic heat emission from buildings is important for atmospheric modelling in cities. However, the current building anthropogenic heat flux from is simplified by building energy consumption. Our research proposes a novel approach to determine ‘real’ building anthropogenic heat emission from the changes in energy balance fluxes between occupied and unoccupied buildings. We hope to provide new insight for future parameterisations of building anthropogenic heat flux in urban climate models.
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