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Study of Cubic Splines and Fourier Series as Interpolation Techniques for Filling in Short Periods of Missing Building Energy Use and Weather Data

[+] Author Affiliations
Juan-Carlos Baltazar, David E. Claridge

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Paper No. SED2002-1031, pp. 15-21; 7 pages
  • ASME Solar 2002: International Solar Energy Conference
  • Solar Energy
  • Reno, Nevada, USA, June 15–20, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-1689-3
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


A study of cubic splines and Fourier series as interpolation techniques for filling in missing data in energy and meteorological time series is presented. The followed procedure created artificially missing points (pseudo-gaps) in measured data sets and was based on the local behavior of the data set around those pseudo-gaps. Five variants of the cubic spline technique and 12 variants of Fourier series were tested and compared with linear interpolation, for filling in gaps of 1 to 6 hours of data in 20 samples of energy use and weather data. Each of the samples is at least one year in length. The analysis showed that linear interpolation is superior to the spline and Fourier series techniques for filling in 1–6 hour gaps in time series dry bulb and dew point temperature data. For filling 1–6 hour gaps in building cooling and heating use, the Fourier series approach with 24 data points before and after each gap and six constants was found to be the most suitable. In cases where there are insufficient data points for the application of this approach, simple linear interpolation is recommended.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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