February 28, 2024
Journal Article

helios: An R package to process heating and cooling degrees for GCAM


helios is an open-source R package that estimates population-weighted heating and cooling degree-hours (HDH and CDH) and degree-days (HDD and CDD) at various temporal (e.g., energy dispatch segments, monthly, yearly) and spatial scales (e.g., U.S. states, global political regions, countries). The degree hour and degree day outputs from helios are used to inform electricity demand load in the Global Change Analysis Model (GCAM) [@calvin2019gcam] as well as in GCAM-USA (which is the version of GCAM with U.S. state-level details) [@binsted2022gcam-usa]. helios uses a workflow with four steps: processing raw data; calculating heating and cooling degrees; visualizing performance diagnostics; and outputing results in various formats. There are two sources of widely-used climate data compatible with helios: (1) hourly climate data with 12-km resolution that are dynamically downscaled with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and projected using a thermal global warming (TGW) approach [@jones2022im3]; and (2) daily climate data with 0.5-degree resolution from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) that is bias-adjusted and statistical downscaled by the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP). In summary, helios is a model that standardizes methodology of heating and cooling degrees-hours and degree-days using publicly available data and advance the understanding of the impact of spatial and temporal temperature variability on building energy services.

Published: February 28, 2024


Zhao M., Z. Khan, K.R. Dorheim, and C.R. Vernon. 2024. helios: An R package to process heating and cooling degrees for GCAM. Journal of Open Source Software 9, no. 94:Art. No. 6033. PNNL-SA-188047. doi:10.21105/joss.06033

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