Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Numerical Methods for Building Energy Technology

Overall Course Objectives

To enable the participants to conceive some of the computational tasks occurring in building energy technology on temperature, heat flow, and moisture conditions with the aim to obtain solutions using numerical calculation methods. It is the objective to make the participants acquainted with common numerical calculation methods and to enable the development of associated computer programs. Relevant topics of building energy technology comprise among other things the determination of temperature and moisture conditions, and heat flows in buildings and solar heating systems. Solving of non-linear problems will also be taught.

Learning Objectives

  • employ numerical methods to solve some of the problems that typically occur in building energy technology
  • explain the finite difference and control volume methods and use these methods in own computational models of transient and multidimensional problems
  • use the methods taught to develop a numerical model for a problem of the diffusion type, e.g. heat conduction
  • explain about how to set up a numerical model to calculate convective flows, and which problems it incurs
  • explain and in own programs use Newton-Raphson’s method for non-linear problems
  • set up the numerical algorithms in a programming toolbox or by writing in a computer language
  • explain about typical causes of error in numerical calculation methods
  • compare and critically evaluate numerical calculation results against analytical solutions
  • formulate a practical problem concerning heat or mass flow in a building component or a technical system so it can be calculated using a numerical method

Course Content

The course treats numerical methods for calculation of the following subjects:
– multidimensional and transient heat conduction in structures such as building components and fenestration systems with interfacial heat transmission in the form of solar radiation, thermal radiation, and convection.
– thermal processes in solar heating and other technical systems with liquid or gas flows in tubes, ducts and tanks, and with radiation heat transfer.
– mass flows such as moisture transport or air flow in building components under transient hygrothermal conditions.
An important element of the course is the students’ own construction of computational models based on numerical methods.

Recommended prerequisites

Teaching Method

Lectures and exercises.
Total work load equivalent to 140 hours.
The course can be taken partly by distance learning, and in other periods than E3B, but requires attendance for at least five consultations with the course instructor.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 12936
Course type PhD
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Fri 13-17

10.600,00 DKK