Modelling energy flows on a neighbourhood scale per months/seasons

Dear ladybug community,

I would like to design optimized local cold and heat grids on a neighborhood scale connecting:

  • residential buildings = demand,
  • points in the city with heat/cold supply potential = LT sources such as waste heat, PVTs,
  • locations points for thermal storage.
    For this purpose, I would like to find a way to describe mathematically these heat flows, using equations. Do you maybe know some method that could work for this and that I could reproduce in grasshopper/ladybug. UrbanOpt is like a black box to me and I would like to find a simplified method to do this work in my ladybug graph.

One solution I have thought could be to look at the energy profiles (typical end-use energy demand for different buildings functions) and match it with the potential for local heat supply, and in addition find some design logic for the thermal storage capacity. But I am not sure how to translate this into equations in grasshopper…
Any idea?

I’m not really following you here since URBANopt is all open source and it uses the open source EnergyPlus and OpenStudio under the hood. Are you just asking about where you should look to get a better understanding of URBANopt so it doesn’t feel like a black box to you? Did you read any of the URBANopt docs? Or all of the free resources and sample files on the site here? Or this 6-hour video tutorial series on Dragonfly and URBANopt?

I imagine this load-matching sample file is geared towards what you are interested in studying here.

Hi! Thank you for your reply and sharing the documentation.
I am interested in the design of next-generation district thermal systems for an existing neighborhood (eg. several building blocks).

I tried to use dragonfly combined with URBANopt to visualize the load matching potential (office vs residential for instance) and decide on potential connections between buildings. However, the calculation does take a very long time (2 days) to process for approx. 300 building units on a dense area of 200m radius.

Due to this, I was wondering if I could skip this calculation process and replicate in grasshopper with simple formulas some very simplified scenarios of heat flows for a micro-grid in this test area.