Integrated comparative validation tests as an aid for building simulation tool users and developers

P.A. Strachan, G. Kokogiannakis, I. Macdonald, I. Beausoleil-Morrison

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Published validation tests developed within major research projects have been an invaluable aid to program developers to check on their programs. This paper sets out how selected ASHRAE Standard 140-2004 and European CEN standards validation tests have been incorporated into the ESP-r simulation program so that they can be easily run by users and also discusses some of the issues associated with compliance checking. Embedding the tests within a simulation program allows program developers to check routinely whether updates to the simulation program have led to significant changes in predictions and to run sensitivity tests to check on the impact of alternative algorithms. Importantly, it also allows other users to undertake the tests to check that their installation is correct and to give them, and their clients, confidence in results. This paper also argues that validation tests should characterize some of the significant heat transfer processes (particularly internal surface convection) in greater detail in order to reduce the acceptance bands for program predictions. This approach is preferred to one in which validation tests are overly prescriptive (e.g., specifying fixed internal convection coefficients), as these do not reflect how programs are used in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • validation tests
  • simulation tools
  • compliance checking

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