Energy Modeling of Low-Cost Houses in Colder Climates of South Africa

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robin DeLarm-Neri (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Jeffrey Ramsdell

Abstract: The need for housing in South Africa has spawned a number of different methods for providing materials and construction for low-income housing in central South Africa. Within central South Africa, the colder climate necessitates heating during the winter months, and the lack of energy efficiency of the government-subsidized housing creates potentially unsafe indoor temperatures. The elevation of living standards in the region also allows more homes to have a heating system, typically an appliance space heater. These two factors, combined with inflating energy costs, raise the question of the viability of energy efficiency improvements that can be implemented in the house to decrease energy usage and costs and provide more comfortable conditions. This study analyzes typical houses using two energy modeling programs, EnergyPlus and TRNSYS. A parametric study is performed to find which energy efficiency improvements can be implemented for the maximum savings in both energy and cost. A life cycle cost analysis is performed on the selected improvements. Results show that there are significant reductions in energy usage when simple efficiency measures are implemented. The models created are representative of the actual homes when simulated data is compared to recorded temperature data from actual houses.

Additional Information

DeLarm-Neri, R. (2013). Energy Modeling of Low-Cost Houses in Colder Climates of South Africa. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2013
Energy modeling, South Africa, Energy efficiency, Government housing, Engineering

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