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Coupling of thermal mass with night ventilation in buildings

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Passive cooling designs & technologies offer great promise to lower energy use in buildings. Though the working principles of these designs and technologies are well understood, simplified tools to quantitatively evaluate their performance are lacking. Cooling by night ventilation, which

Passive cooling designs & technologies offer great promise to lower energy use in buildings. Though the working principles of these designs and technologies are well understood, simplified tools to quantitatively evaluate their performance are lacking. Cooling by night ventilation, which is the topic of this research, is one of the well known passive cooling technologies. The building's thermal mass can be cooled at night by ventilating the inside of the space with the relatively lower outdoor air temperatures, thereby maintaining lower indoor temperatures during the warmer daytime period. Numerous studies, both experimental and theoretical, have been performed and have shown the effectiveness of the method to significantly reduce air conditioning loads or improve comfort levels in those climates where the night time ambient air temperature drops below that of the indoor air. The impact of widespread adoption of night ventilation cooling can be substantial, given the large fraction of energy consumed by air conditioning of buildings (about 12-13% of the total electricity use in U.S. buildings). Night ventilation is relatively easy to implement with minimal design changes to existing buildings. Contemporary mathematical models to evaluate the performance of night ventilation are embedded in detailed whole building simulation tools which require a certain amount of expertise and is a time consuming approach. This research proposes a methodology incorporating two models, Heat Transfer model and Thermal Network model, to evaluate the effectiveness of night ventilation. This methodology is easier to use and the run time to evaluate the results is faster. Both these models are approximations of thermal coupling between thermal mass and night ventilation in buildings. These models are modifications of existing approaches meant to model dynamic thermal response in buildings subject to natural ventilation. Effectiveness of night ventilation was quantified by a parameter called the Discomfort Reduction Factor (DRF) which is the index of reduction of occupant discomfort levels during the day time from night ventilation. Daily and Monthly DRFs are calculated for two climate zones and three building heat capacities. It is verified that night ventilation is effective in seasons and regions when day temperatures are between 30 oC and 36 oC and night temperatures are below 20 oC. The accuracy of these models may be lower than using a detailed simulation program but the loss in accuracy in using these tools more than compensates for the insights provided and better transparency in the analysis approach and results obtained.

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Date Created
2011

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Energy expenditure of resistance training activities in young men

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ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the energy cost of four modes of resistance training (push-ups, pull-ups, curl-ups, lunges). Twelve well trained men aged 23.6 (SD=2.84) years were recruited to participate in the study. Each

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the energy cost of four modes of resistance training (push-ups, pull-ups, curl-ups, lunges). Twelve well trained men aged 23.6 (SD=2.84) years were recruited to participate in the study. Each of the 12 men completed three trials of each of the four exercises on one visit to the laboratory lasting slightly over one hour (M=72 min, SD=5.9 min). The oxygen consumption of the men was monitored constantly throughout the trial and data was recorded every five seconds. Mean VO2 values were calculated for each exercise. The values for push-ups (M=11.57 ml/kg/min, SD=1.99), curl-ups (M=10.99 ml/kg/min, SD=1.48), pull-ups (M=10.87 ml/kg/min, SD=2.51), and lunges (M=14.18 ml/kg/min, SD=1.78) were converted to METs (Metabolic Equivalents). The MET values (3.31, 3.14, 3.11, and 4.05 respectively) all fall within the range of moderate intensity activity. The findings of this study show that a single set of any of the above exercises will qualify as a moderate intensity activity and can be used to meet recommendations on daily physical activity.

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2011

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Failure and degradation modes of PV modules in a hot dry climate: results after 4 and 12 years of field exposure

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This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF)

This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF) and to identify the failure modes in a "hot-dry desert" climatic condition along with quantitative determination of safety failure rates and reliability failure rates. The data obtained from this study can be used by module manufacturers in determining the warranty limits of their modules and also by banks, investors, project developers and users in determining appropriate financing or decommissioning models. In addition, the data obtained in this study will be helpful in selecting appropriate accelerated stress tests which would replicate the field failures for the new modules and would predict the lifetime for new PV modules. The study was conducted at two, single axis tracking monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) power plants, Site 3 and Site 4c of Salt River Project (SRP). The Site 3 power plant is located in Glendale, Arizona and the Site 4c power plant is located in Mesa, Arizona both considered a "hot-dry" field condition. The Site 3 power plant has 2,352 modules (named as Model-G) which was rated at 250 kW DC output. The mean and median degradation of these 12 years old modules are 0.95%/year and 0.96%/year, respectively. The major cause of degradation found in Site 3 is due to high series resistance (potentially due to solder-bond thermo-mechanical fatigue) and the failure mode is ribbon-ribbon solder bond failure/breakage. The Site 4c power plant has 1,280 modules (named as Model-H) which provide 243 kW DC output. The mean and median degradation of these 4 years old modules are 0.96%/year and 1%/year, respectively. At Site 4c, practically, none of the module failures are observed. The average soiling loss is 6.9% in Site 3 and 5.5% in Site 4c. The difference in soiling level is attributed to the rural and urban surroundings of these two power plants.

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2013

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Concentrated solar power generation

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Solar power generation is the most promising technology to transfer energy consumption reliance from fossil fuel to renewable sources. Concentrated solar power generation is a method to concentrate the sunlight from a bigger area to a smaller area. The collected

Solar power generation is the most promising technology to transfer energy consumption reliance from fossil fuel to renewable sources. Concentrated solar power generation is a method to concentrate the sunlight from a bigger area to a smaller area. The collected sunlight is converted more efficiently through two types of technologies: concentrated solar photovoltaics (CSPV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSTP) generation. In this thesis, these two technologies were evaluated in terms of system construction, performance characteristics, design considerations, cost benefit analysis and their field experience. The two concentrated solar power generation systems were implemented with similar solar concentrators and solar tracking systems but with different energy collecting and conversion components: the CSPV system uses high efficiency multi-junction solar cell modules, while the CSTP system uses a boiler -turbine-generator setup. The performances are calibrated via the experiments and evaluation analysis.

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Date Created
2013

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The cost and benefit of bulk energy storage in the Arizona power transmission system

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This thesis addresses the issue of making an economic case for energy storage in power systems. Bulk energy storage has often been suggested for large scale electric power systems in order to levelize load; store energy when it is inexpensive

This thesis addresses the issue of making an economic case for energy storage in power systems. Bulk energy storage has often been suggested for large scale electric power systems in order to levelize load; store energy when it is inexpensive and discharge energy when it is expensive; potentially defer transmission and generation expansion; and provide for generation reserve margins. As renewable energy resource penetration increases, the uncertainty and variability of wind and solar may be alleviated by bulk energy storage technologies. The quadratic programming function in MATLAB is used to simulate an economic dispatch that includes energy storage. A program is created that utilizes quadratic programming to analyze various cases using a 2010 summer peak load from the Arizona transmission system, part of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). The MATLAB program is used first to test the Arizona test bed with a low level of energy storage to study how the storage power limit effects several optimization out-puts such as the system wide operating costs. Very high levels of energy storage are then added to see how high level energy storage affects peak shaving, load factor, and other system applications. Finally, various constraint relaxations are made to analyze why the applications tested eventually approach a constant value. This research illustrates the use of energy storage which helps minimize the system wide generator operating cost by "shaving" energy off of the peak demand.

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Date Created
2013

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Photovoltaic capacity additions: the optimal rate of deployment with sensitivity to time-based GHG emissions

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Current policies subsidizing or accelerating deployment of photovoltaics (PV) are typically motivated by claims of environmental benefit, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions generated by the fossil-fuel fired power plants that PV is intended to displace. Existing practice is

Current policies subsidizing or accelerating deployment of photovoltaics (PV) are typically motivated by claims of environmental benefit, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions generated by the fossil-fuel fired power plants that PV is intended to displace. Existing practice is to assess these environmental benefits on a net life-cycle basis, where CO2 benefits occurring during use of the PV panels is found to exceed emissions generated during the PV manufacturing phase including materials extraction and manufacture of the PV panels prior to installation. However, this approach neglects to recognize that the environmental costs of CO2 release during manufacture are incurred early, while environmental benefits accrue later. Thus, where specific policy targets suggest meeting CO2 reduction targets established by a certain date, rapid PV deployment may have counter-intuitive, albeit temporary, undesired consequences. Thus, on a cumulative radiative forcing (CRF) basis, the environmental improvements attributable to PV might be realized much later than is currently understood. This phenomenon is particularly acute when PV manufacture occurs in areas using CO2 intensive energy sources (e.g., coal), but deployment occurs in areas with less CO2 intensive electricity sources (e.g., hydro). This thesis builds a dynamic Cumulative Radiative Forcing (CRF) model to examine the inter-temporal warming impacts of PV deployments in three locations: California, Wyoming and Arizona. The model includes the following factors that impact CRF: PV deployment rate, choice of PV technology, pace of PV technology improvements, and CO2 intensity in the electricity mix at manufacturing and deployment locations. Wyoming and California show the highest and lowest CRF benefits as they have the most and least CO2 intensive grids, respectively. CRF payback times are longer than CO2 payback times in all cases. Thin film, CdTe PV technologies have the lowest manufacturing CO2 emissions and therefore the shortest CRF payback times. This model can inform policies intended to fulfill time-sensitive CO2 mitigation goals while minimizing short term radiative forcing.

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Date Created
2013

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A visual analytics based decision support methodology for evaluating low energy building design alternatives

Description

The ability to design high performance buildings has acquired great importance in recent years due to numerous federal, societal and environmental initiatives. However, this endeavor is much more demanding in terms of designer expertise and time. It requires a whole

The ability to design high performance buildings has acquired great importance in recent years due to numerous federal, societal and environmental initiatives. However, this endeavor is much more demanding in terms of designer expertise and time. It requires a whole new level of synergy between automated performance prediction with the human capabilities to perceive, evaluate and ultimately select a suitable solution. While performance prediction can be highly automated through the use of computers, performance evaluation cannot, unless it is with respect to a single criterion. The need to address multi-criteria requirements makes it more valuable for a designer to know the "latitude" or "degrees of freedom" he has in changing certain design variables while achieving preset criteria such as energy performance, life cycle cost, environmental impacts etc. This requirement can be met by a decision support framework based on near-optimal "satisficing" as opposed to purely optimal decision making techniques. Currently, such a comprehensive design framework is lacking, which is the basis for undertaking this research. The primary objective of this research is to facilitate a complementary relationship between designers and computers for Multi-Criterion Decision Making (MCDM) during high performance building design. It is based on the application of Monte Carlo approaches to create a database of solutions using deterministic whole building energy simulations, along with data mining methods to rank variable importance and reduce the multi-dimensionality of the problem. A novel interactive visualization approach is then proposed which uses regression based models to create dynamic interplays of how varying these important variables affect the multiple criteria, while providing a visual range or band of variation of the different design parameters. The MCDM process has been incorporated into an alternative methodology for high performance building design referred to as Visual Analytics based Decision Support Methodology [VADSM]. VADSM is envisioned to be most useful during the conceptual and early design performance modeling stages by providing a set of potential solutions that can be analyzed further for final design selection. The proposed methodology can be used for new building design synthesis as well as evaluation of retrofits and operational deficiencies in existing buildings.

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Date Created
2013

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Energy efficiency policy in Arizona: public participation and expert consultation in the policy implementation process

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Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may slow the energy policy process rather than expedite it. The

Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may slow the energy policy process rather than expedite it. The absence of a state energy policy or plan raises questions about how multiple actors and ideas engage with state energy policy development and whether the absence of a comprehensive state plan can be understood. Improving how policy development is conceptualized and giving more focused attention to the mechanisms by which interested parties become involved in shaping Arizona energy policy. To explore these questions, I examine the future energy efficiency. Initially, public engagement mechanisms were examined for their role in policy creation from a theoretical perspective. Next a prominent public engagement forum that was dedicated to the topic of the Arizona's energy future was examined, mapping its process and conclusions onto a policy process model. The first part of this thesis involves an experimental expert consultation panel which was convened to amplify and refine the results of a public forum. The second part utilizes an online follow up survey to complete unfinished ideas from the focus group. The experiment flowed from a hypothesis that formal expert discussion on energy efficiency policies, guided by the recommendations put forth by the public engagement forum on energy in Arizona, would result in an increase in relevance while providing a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration that is atypical in today's energy discussions. This experiment was designed and evaluated utilizing a public engagement framework that incorporated theoretical and empirical elements. Specifically, I adapted elements of three methods of public and expert engagement used in policy development to create a consultation process that was contextualized to energy efficiency stakeholders in Arizona and their unique constraints. The goal of the consultation process was to refine preferences about policy options by expert stakeholders into actionable goals that could achieve advancement on policy implementation. As a corollary goal, the research set out to define implementation barriers, refine policy ideas, and operationalize Arizona-centric goals for the future of energy efficiency.

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Date Created
2013

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Life cycle assessment of wall systems

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Natural resource depletion and environmental degradation are the stark realities of the times we live in. As awareness about these issues increases globally, industries and businesses are becoming interested in understanding and minimizing the ecological footprints of their activities. Evaluating

Natural resource depletion and environmental degradation are the stark realities of the times we live in. As awareness about these issues increases globally, industries and businesses are becoming interested in understanding and minimizing the ecological footprints of their activities. Evaluating the environmental impacts of products and processes has become a key issue, and the first step towards addressing and eventually curbing climate change. Additionally, companies are finding it beneficial and are interested in going beyond compliance using pollution prevention strategies and environmental management systems to improve their environmental performance. Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) is an evaluative method to assess the environmental impacts associated with a products' life-cycle from cradle-to-grave (i.e. from raw material extraction through to material processing, manufacturing, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and finally, disposal or recycling). This study focuses on evaluating building envelopes on the basis of their life-cycle analysis. In order to facilitate this analysis, a small-scale office building, the University Services Building (USB), with a built-up area of 148,101 ft2 situated on ASU campus in Tempe, Arizona was studied. The building's exterior envelope is the highlight of this study. The current exterior envelope is made of tilt-up concrete construction, a type of construction in which the concrete elements are constructed horizontally and tilted up, after they are cured, using cranes and are braced until other structural elements are secured. This building envelope is compared to five other building envelope systems (i.e. concrete block, insulated concrete form, cast-in-place concrete, steel studs and curtain wall constructions) evaluating them on the basis of least environmental impact. The research methodology involved developing energy models, simulating them and generating changes in energy consumption due to the above mentioned envelope types. Energy consumption data, along with various other details, such as building floor area, areas of walls, columns, beams etc. and their material types were imported into Life-Cycle Assessment software called ATHENA impact estimator for buildings. Using this four-stepped LCA methodology, the results showed that the Steel Stud envelope performed the best and less environmental impact compared to other envelope types. This research methodology can be applied to other building typologies.

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Date Created
2013

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Obtaining LEED credits directed towards healthy inpatient block

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ABSTRACT Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a non-governmental organization of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) which promotes a sustainable built environment with its rating systems. One of the building segments which it considers is healthcare, where it

ABSTRACT Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a non-governmental organization of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) which promotes a sustainable built environment with its rating systems. One of the building segments which it considers is healthcare, where it is a challenge to identify the most cost-effective variety of complex equipments, to meet the demand for 24/7 health care and diagnosis, and implement various energy efficient strategies in inpatient hospitals. According to their “End Use Monitoring” study, Hospital Energy Alliances (HEA), an initiative of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), reducing plug load reduces hospital energy consumption. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the extent to which realistic changes to the building envelope, together with HVAC and operation schedules would allow LEED credits to be earned in the DOE–hospital prototype. The scope of this research is to specifically investigate the inpatient block where patient stays longer. However, to obtain LEED credits the percentage cost saving should be considered along with the end use monitoring. Several steps have been taken to identify the optimal set of the end use results by adopting the Whole Building Energy Simulation option of the LEED Energy & Atmosphere (EA) pre– requisite 2: Minimum Energy Performance. The initial step includes evaluating certain LEED criteria consistent with ASHRAE Standard 90.1–2007 with the constraint that hospital prototype is to be upgraded from Standard 2004 to Standard 2007. The simulation method stipulates energy conservation measures as well as utility costing to enhance the LEED credits. A series of simulations with different values of Light Power Density, Sizing Factors, Chiller Coefficient of Performance, Boiler Efficiency, Plug Loads and utility cost were run for a variety of end uses with the extreme climatic condition of Phoenix. These assessments are then compared and used as a framework for a proposed interactive design decision approach. As a result, a total of 19.4% energy savings and 20% utility cost savings were achieved by the building simulation tool, which refer to 5 and 7 LEED credits respectively. The study develops a proper framework for future evaluations intended to achieve more LEED points.

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2012