An uncertainty-based design optimization method for district cooling systems

Wenjie Gang, Godfried Augenbroe, Shengwei Wang, Cheng Fan, Fu Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Uncertainties exist widely at the planning and design stages of district cooling systems, which have significant impacts on the design optimization. This paper therefore proposes a design method for district cooling systems by quantifying the uncertainties, which is so-called uncertainty-based design optimization method. Uncertainties in the outdoor weather, building design/construction and indoor conditions are considered. The application of the uncertainty-based design optimization method is examined in several aspects: the performance assessment, system sizing, configuration selection and technology integration. With the performance distribution at different risk levels, the design of district cooling systems can be determined by the stakeholders based on the compromise between quantified risk and benefit. Sensitivity analysis is conducted to identify influential variables with uncertainties for the cooling loads of district cooling systems. Results show that the uncertainties in the indoor condition are the most important and the uncertainties in building design/construction have the least impact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Cooling load
  • District cooling system
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Uncertainty quantification
  • Uncertainty-based design method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • General Energy


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