A Fourier Series Model to Predict Hourly Heating and Cooling Energy Use in Commercial Buildings With Outdoor Temperature as the Only Weather Variable Academic Article uri icon


  • Accurate modeling of hourly heating and cooling energy use in commercial buildings can be achieved by a Generalized Fourier Series (GFS) approach involving weather variables such as dry-bulb temperature, specific humidity and horizontal solar flux. However, there are situations when only temperature data is available. The objective of this paper is to (i) describe development of a variant of the GFS approach which allows modeling both heating and cooling hourly energy use in commercial buildings with outdoor temperature as the only weather variable and (ii) illustrate its application with monitored hourly data from several buildings in Texas. It is found that the new Temperature based Fourier Series (TFS) approach (i) provides better approximation to heating energy use than the existing GFS approach, ((ii) can indirectly account for humidity and solar effects in the cooling energy use, (iii) offers physical insight into the operating pattern of a building HVAC system and (iv) can be used for diagnostic purposes.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Solar Energy Engineering

author list (cited authors)

  • Dhar, A., Reddy, T. A., & Claridge, D. E.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Dhar, A||Reddy, TA||Claridge, DE

publication date

  • February 1999