Third System Identification Competition

A series of case studies for estimation techniques for the energy performance characterisation of buildings and building components.


The objective of the third competition is to further develop knowledge of system identification applied to thermal performance assessment in the built environment.


After the success of the first competition in 1994 and the second one in 1996, the organisation has prepared a third challenging one, involving data from in situ measurements and real experimental set-ups. The previous competitions show that a number of methods and techniques exist and how inventive researchers can be to solve the physical problem of thermal behaviour. The most important conclusion has been that one needs a certain level of skill using system identification techniques, to perform well. The PASLINK network has organised over the last couple of years several workshops and courses to bring the knowledge to the people and to further improve the tools. The implementation now of the Energy Performance of Building Directive requires adequate calculation and modelling tools and this is the main reason that a third competition has been organised.

The application of system identification techniques to the energy performance assessment of buildings and building components requires a high level of knowledge of physical and mathematical processes. Similar problems arise in most observational disciplines, including physics, biology, and economics. The DYNASTEE network has brought knowledge from different disciplines together to work on this subject.

This new challenge has been organised to help clarify the conflicting claims among many researchers who use and analyse building energy data and to foster contact among these persons and their institutions. The intent is not to declare winners, but rather to set up a format in which rigorous evaluations of techniques can be made. In all cases, however, the goal is to collect and analyse quantitative results in order to understand similarities and differences among the approaches. Moreover participation to this competition will offer material for training and self study.

Research on energy savings in buildings can be divided in to three major areas:

  1. building components,
  2. test cells and unoccupied buildings in real climate and
  3. occupied buildings.

Three competitions were planned along this line, of which the present competition concerned with real data from buildings components will be the third and last one.

The present competition is concerned with four different cases for estimation and prediction including real data from a retrofitted wall, an occupied house, an urban area and a solar chimney. Description and data for each case can be found below. Participants are free to submit results from any number of cases. Since all cases deal with experimental data, detailed description is accompanying the data however basic knowledge about the practical energy flows is required.

The data and description for all four cases is available from 1st of July 2007. The submitted results will be evaluated at regular interval, 3 to 4 months, starting from September 2007. Because there are natural measures of performance; a rank-ordering will be given and published on the internet.

The best contributions will be selected for publication in the SIC III book provided that the submission is before 1st of May 2008. The SIC III book is planned to be published in Spring 2009.

SIC III – Organisation

M.J. Jimenez, Ciemat, Madrid, Spain
P. Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland
H. Madsen, IMM Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
J. Bloem, EC – Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy


WHY did the DYNASTEE network decide to organize it?

With the recently introduced Energy Performance for Buildings Directive in mind and the need for advanced calculation methods, the requirements for specific expertise are identified. Emphasis lays therefore on training, building up knowledge and study of practical cases. Therefore:

  • Training in the use of dynamic analysis methodology
  • Improve level of skill
  • Further development of software tools

For WHO is this competition intended?

  • Students
  • Researchers
  • Consultancies

The System Identification Competition III is a web based competition and will continue for unlimited time. It will have:

  • Cases for self training (learning); download from here
  • Cases for competition (ranking system)
  • Cases for building component studies
  • Cases for building performance studies
  • Specific component studies (like Building Integrated Photovoltaic modules)
  • Forum feedback (exchange of expertise)

Download of the SIC III Dynamic Analysis Cases

  • Case 1 Wall retrofit case study; download from here
  • Case 2 Occupied house case study; available soon.
  • Case 3 City district heating case study; download from here
  • Case 4 Specific Case – Solar Chimney; download from here

Training cases from former SIC 1 and 2

After two previous System Identification Competitions, SIC 1 and SIC 2, a third competition will be organised during 2007. Visit this web-site regular to keep updated or send us an e-mail if you want to be informed.


By July 2007 all cases will be available on the web; including description and data. Since it is a web-based competition there will be several deadlines. The second deadline is 15 December 2007. Initial results and a second announcement will be made during the PALENC conference, Crete 27-29 September. Third deadline 1 May 2008 (including selected papers for the SIC III book).

Participants are kindly asked to inform the organisers about their intention to participate. Please send an e-mail to .

Outcome of the third competition will be reported at several conferences:

IFAC World Congress (S-Korea) 6-11 July 2008

SysId09 (St Malo, France) 2009

The book of results of the SIC III is expected to be published in 2009

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