Urban Energy Modeling

The objective of the Urban Energy Modeling project was to develop models and tools that aid and inform Saudi stakeholders to improve the Kingdom’s energy efficiency. Urban Energy Modeling is an engineering-based bottom-up approach to simulate individual energy flows in an urban environment. These simulations identify the causes of energy loads in Riyadh and allow for the development and evaluation of various energy strategies for the causal reduction of energy demand. We use data-driven analysis to complement and validate the urban energy models. The urban energy model has three main inputs: Weather, Geometry, and Building Archetypes. To develop the model, we obtained weather information from ground stations within Riyadh used LIDAR scans to create the geometry of the city and made a Building Archetypes index by leveraging Riyadh’s housing statistics and field surveys for data. The urban energy model created allows us to calibrate via comparison with actual energy consumption and its simulations to test many scenarios and domestic energy strategies. Chief among these strategies was the microgrid concept, with particular attention to the economic feasibility of incorporating energy storage. Lastly, we developed an intuitive interface to display these parameters, allowing stakeholders to rapidly prototype and evaluate their optimal energy solutions, including retrofitting, distributed generation, and other forms of demand-side management.