Modeling Air Wall vs. Single zone

Hi all,

I’ve been trying to simulate and validate a workflow for voxelated building energy model - similar to what has been discussed by (Dogan, Reinhart, and Michalatos. 2014; Zhang, Wong, Hii. 2015), and have been reading about how to use Air Walls but have yet to really understand them. From (Dogan, Reinhart, and Michalatos. 2014), I get the sense that by subdividing a single zone the total EUI changes based on subdivision strategy. However, their work doesn’t seem to reference Air Walls explicitly, and being new to energy simulation I do not know if this is already encompassed in their description of mixing for an open plan/small building?

If so, does the AirWall option in HoneyBee’s Solve for Adjacent component reflect this and can it be customized? And in that case should using the AirWall option produce simulation results similar to modeling the same zone with no internal partitions?

So far I have just been using the default AirWall and have gotten some seemingly inaccurate results. I am modeling two shoeboxes (5m by 5m by 3m tall) with 50% WWR in both, and another case with 50% WWR in only one. The HVAC is set to Ideal Air Loads. I understand that when you use the AirWall option, Honeybee creates a ZoneMixing category for each zone joined by the Airwall with a design flow rate of 1.4445m3/s.

In these simulations, I have tried modeling the interior partition as adiabatic, AirWall and just an interior wall construction to compare to the same geometry with no interior partition (single box closed zone with the window in the same place).

A more experienced energy modeler has been attempting a different method using the OpenStudio Sketchup Plugin and defined AirWalls as a “Construction: AirBOundary” without the ZoneMixing cateogry which has gotten much closer results to the simulation of the two zones as one whole. Apart from the construction of the interior surfaces defined by the “Find Adjacent” component and the addition of the ZoneMixing category, both the AirWall and Construction:AirBoundary files are the same. The model of the zones as one whole does not have any interior partitions or ZoneMixing but the same exterior construction values.

Would really appreciate the help!