UCL Energy Institute


UCL-Energy staff publish 'The shape of warmth: temperature profiles in living rooms'

8 July 2014


The most commonly used family of models in representing the UK building stock, BREDEM (the Building Research Establishment Domestic Energy Models), assume that all homes exhibit the same heating pattern and hence can be expected to have similar temperature profiles over the course of a day. The presented research shows that homes differ significantly in their respective temperature profile over the course of the day. A cluster analysis performed on temperature data from 275 living rooms in English homes over three winter months resulted in four different clusters of temperature profiles.

The clusters differ significantly in their shape, as revealed by visual inspection, and supported by significant differences in minimum and maximum temperatures and temperature variability across the day. About 40% of homes showed a bimodal temperature pattern as assumed under BREDEM. However, the remaining 60% showed very different profiles. These findings challenge the assumption that one standard pattern fits all homes. Different temperature demand profiles have important implications for future peak power demands, particularly if domestic space heating is switched to electricity. It is also helpful for relating occupant demographics to appropriate forms of fabric retrofit.

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