Co-zyBench: Using Co-Simulation and Digital Twins to Benchmark Thermal Comfort Provision in Smart Buildings


Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems account for 40% to 50% of energy usage in commercial buildings. Thus, innovative ways to control and manage HVAC systems while preserving occupants' comfort are required. State-of-the-art solutions employ pervasive systems with sensors or smart devices to gauge individual thermal sensations, yet assessing these methods is challenging. Real-world experiments are expensive, limited in access, and often overlook occupant and regional diversity. To address this, we introduce Co-zyBench, a benchmark tool using a Digital Twin (DT) approach for evaluating personalized thermal comfort systems. It employs a co-simulation middleware interfacing between a DT of the smart building and its HVAC system and another DT representing occupants' dynamic thermal preferences in various spaces. The DTs that support Co-zyBench are generated based on information, including data captured by sensors, of the space in which the thermal comfort system has to be evaluated. Co-zyBench incorporates metrics for energy consumption, thermal comfort, and occupant equality. It also features reference DTs based on standard buildings, HVAC systems, and occupants with diverse thermal preferences.

International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communication (PerCom)
Jun Ma
Ph.D Student

My research interests include Smart Building, Internet of Things.