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CAEE Department’s Dr. Jin Wen Speaks About Building Energy Modeling in Hong Kong

December 20, 2012

Jin WenDrexel University Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department Associate Professor Dr. Jin Wen is currently on sabbatical in Hong Kong, China.  Dr. Wen is actively involved with teaching and research in the building energy efficiency and indoor air quality areas.  She also manages many research projects currently taking place in the Building Science & Engineering Group laboratory at Drexel.

In December 2012, Dr. Wen was invited to give a lecture at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which was hosted by the University’s Faculty of Construction and Environment and co-hosted by the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD).  Dr. Wen’s lecture was titled: Research and Applications of Building Energy Modeling, Diagnosis and Occupant Behavior. 

In Hong Kong, close to 90% of the city’s primary energy is consumed by buildings (in the United States this number is around 41%).  Dr. Wen spoke about the importance of reducing energy consumption in buildings in order to alleviate a city’s overall energy footprint.  Building owners, facility managers, architects, and engineers often need to select and assess energy conservation measures (ECMs) during building design and retrofitting processes.  Building energy modeling provides an essential means for ECM selection during the design stage and measurement and verification after an ECM is implemented. In this seminar, Dr. Wen also introduced basic building energy modeling concepts.  Model calibration and uncertainty analysis, along with relevant case studies were discussed as well as additional important concepts related to improving building energy efficiency, such as building system diagnosis and occupant energy behavior.

Dr. Wen was invited to conduct her sabbatical project at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she is hosted by Dr. Sheng Wei Wang who is the Chair Professor of the Department of Building Services Engineering and a respected researcher in building control and operation.  Dr. Wen’s sabbatical research is in the general areas of building control and operation.  She has been spending most of her time in Hong Kong working on the development of a new Bayesian Based Automated Fault Diagnosis Strategy for Air Handling Unit.  The operation of an air handling unit greatly affects building energy uses, as well as supply air temperature and humidity levels, which affect the occupant comfort and health.  However, due to the complexity of air handling unit operation, there are very limited mature fault diagnosis methods.    This project has been successfully moving forward and Dr. Wen anticipates outlining the results in a journal paper.  The outcome of this project is expected to benefit another ongoing project funded by the DOE Energy Efficient Building Hub and will be demonstrated in real buildings.

“I have been enjoying Hong Kong very much.  It is a fun metropolis that is packed with beautiful scenes, great food, and lots of interesting commerce.  I reside across from the picturesque Victorian Harbor, which is a very special part of the city.” 

Getting to know the students and faculty at Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been a rewarding experience for Dr. Wen.  She has been able to interact with students on both professional and social levels, partaking in activities such as students BBQs, badminton matches, as well as serving on a student’s thesis committee.

Sarah Colins
Research Development Coordinator
Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering