All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Hessam Taherian

Advisory Committee Members

David L Littlefield

Pradeep Vitta

Lee G Moradi

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) School of Engineering


As energy consumption increases it is imperative to explore techniques to address energy consumption. The objective of this study is to utilize computer modeling to estimate the total electricity consumption, the total heat load of a two-story building and solar energy generation by a photovoltaic (PV) panel located in Birmingham, AL, using an energy modeling tool called Transient System Simulation Program (TRNSYS) [1]. Simulink/MATLAB [2], a graphical programming environment, was utilized to model commonly used household appliances with a realistic schedule feeder based on daily residential usage. Next, Simulink [2] was utilized to create the model and obtain results of heat generation and electricity consumption in kWh for each appliance separately. Finally, the data was recorded and analyzed using MATLAB [3]. A commercially available energy analysis software, GridLAB-D [4], was used to estimate the yearly energy consumption for a domestic water heater. In addition, a 3D modeling software Sketch Up 3D [5] with TRNSYS 3D plugin [6] was used to model the two-story residential building. The building consisted of 3 thermal zones: first story, second story and an attic. Finally, simulations were conducted in TRNSYS [1] for a complete year and the results of energy consumed, heat generated (by domestic appliances), and energy generated by PV panels were recorded at one hour intervals. Based on the defined electric load, results illustrated that the grid energy requirement can be reduced by approximately 240 kWh in summer and almost 220 kWh in winter months by using a photovoltaic panel in Birmingham, AL. Moreover, it was determined that the installation of a 21 kWh battery bank could meet the electric load demand of the 1st & 2nd floor’s lights, a domestic refrigerator and an air-air heat pump operating at night. The advantage of the current modeling technique showed that less time was required as compared to real-time testing of household appliances. Additionally, these models were flexible giving the user the ability to change the appliance properties, such as electric power and cycle time. For future studies, the Simulink and TRNSYS models will be combined for the complete energy analysis of the two-story building.

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