Matching Items (26)

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Investigation of CO2 tracer gas-based calibration of multi-zone airflow models

Description

The modeling and simulation of airflow dynamics in buildings has many applications including indoor air quality and ventilation analysis, contaminant dispersion prediction, and the calculation of personal occupant exposure. Multi-zone

The modeling and simulation of airflow dynamics in buildings has many applications including indoor air quality and ventilation analysis, contaminant dispersion prediction, and the calculation of personal occupant exposure. Multi-zone airflow model software programs provide such capabilities in a manner that is practical for whole building analysis. This research addresses the need for calibration methodologies to improve the prediction accuracy of multi-zone software programs. Of particular interest is accurate modeling of airflow dynamics in response to extraordinary events, i.e. chemical and biological attacks. This research developed and explored a candidate calibration methodology which utilizes tracer gas (e.g., CO2) data. A key concept behind this research was that calibration of airflow models is a highly over-parameterized problem and that some form of model reduction is imperative. Model reduction was achieved by proposing the concept of macro-zones, i.e. groups of rooms that can be combined into one zone for the purposes of predicting or studying dynamic airflow behavior under different types of stimuli. The proposed calibration methodology consists of five steps: (i) develop a "somewhat" realistic or partially calibrated multi-zone model of a building so that the subsequent steps yield meaningful results, (ii) perform an airflow-based sensitivity analysis to determine influential system drivers, (iii) perform a tracer gas-based sensitivity analysis to identify macro-zones for model reduction, (iv) release CO2 in the building and measure tracer gas concentrations in at least one room within each macro-zone (some replication in other rooms is highly desirable) and use these measurements to further calibrate aggregate flow parameters of macro-zone flow elements so as to improve the model fit, and (v) evaluate model adequacy of the updated model based on some metric. The proposed methodology was first evaluated with a synthetic building and subsequently refined using actual measured airflows and CO2 concentrations for a real building. The airflow dynamics of the buildings analyzed were found to be dominated by the HVAC system. In such buildings, rectifying differences between measured and predicted tracer gas behavior should focus on factors impacting room air change rates first and flow parameter assumptions between zones second.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Coupling of thermal mass with night ventilation in buildings

Description

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

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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  • 2011

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Renewable energy in rural southeastern Arizona: decision factors : a comparison of the consumer profiles of homeowners who purchased renewable energy systems with those who performed other home upgrades or remodeling projects

Description

Arizona has an abundant solar resource and technologically mature systems are available to capture it, but solar energy systems are still considered to be an innovative technology. Adoption rates for

Arizona has an abundant solar resource and technologically mature systems are available to capture it, but solar energy systems are still considered to be an innovative technology. Adoption rates for solar and wind energy systems rise and fall with the political tides, and are relatively low in most rural areas in Arizona. This thesis tests the hypothesis that a consumer profile developed to characterize the adopters of renewable energy technology (RET) systems in rural Arizona is the same as the profile of other area residents who performed renovations, upgrades or additions to their homes. Residents of Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties who had obtained building permits to either install a solar or wind energy system or to perform a substantial renovation or upgrade to their home were surveyed to gather demographic, psychographic and behavioristic data. The data from 133 survey responses (76 from RET adopters and 57 from non-adopters) provided insights about their decisions regarding whether or not to adopt a RET system. The results, which are statistically significant at the 99% level of confidence, indicate that RET adopters had smaller households, were older and had higher education levels and greater income levels than the non-adopters. The research also provides answers to three related questions: First, are the energy conservation habits of RET adopters the same as those of non-adopters? Second, what were the sources of information consulted and the most important factors that motivated the decision to purchase a solar or wind energy system? And finally, are any of the factors which influenced the decision to live in a rural area in southeastern Arizona related to the decision to purchase a renewable energy system? The answers are provided, along with a series of recommendations that are designed to inform marketers and other promoters of RETs about how to utilize these results to help achieve their goals.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Analysis methods for post occupancy evaluation of energy-use in high performance buildings using short-term monitoring

Description

The green building movement has been an effective catalyst in reducing energy demands of buildings and a large number of `green' certified buildings have been in operation for several years.

The green building movement has been an effective catalyst in reducing energy demands of buildings and a large number of `green' certified buildings have been in operation for several years. Whether these buildings are actually performing as intended, and if not, identifying specific causes for this discrepancy falls into the general realm of post-occupancy evaluation (POE). POE involves evaluating building performance in terms of energy-use, indoor environmental quality, acoustics and water-use; the first aspect i.e. energy-use is addressed in this thesis. Normally, a full year or more of energy-use and weather data is required to determine the actual post-occupancy energy-use of buildings. In many cases, either measured building performance data is not available or the time and cost implications may not make it feasible to invest in monitoring the building for a whole year. Knowledge about the minimum amount of measured data needed to accurately capture the behavior of the building over the entire year can be immensely beneficial. This research identifies simple modeling techniques to determine best time of the year to begin in-situ monitoring of building energy-use, and the least amount of data required for generating acceptable long-term predictions. Four analysis procedures are studied. The short-term monitoring for long-term prediction (SMLP) approach and dry-bulb temperature analysis (DBTA) approach allow determining the best time and duration of the year for in-situ monitoring to be performed based only on the ambient temperature data of the location. Multivariate change-point (MCP) modeling uses simulated/monitored data to determine best monitoring period of the year. This is also used to validate the SMLP and DBTA approaches. The hybrid inverse modeling method-1 predicts energy-use by combining a short dataset of monitored internal loads with a year of utility-bills, and hybrid inverse method-2 predicts long term building performance using utility-bills only. The results obtained show that often less than three to four months of monitored data is adequate for estimating the annual building energy use, provided that the monitoring is initiated at the right time, and the seasonal as well as daily variations are adequately captured by the short dataset. The predictive accuracy of the short data-sets is found to be strongly influenced by the closeness of the dataset's mean temperature to the annual average temperature. The analysis methods studied would be very useful for energy professionals involved in POE.

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  • 2011

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Analysis of life cycle costs and energy savings of electrochromic glazing for an office building

Description

Building Envelope includes walls, roofs and openings, which react to the outdoor environmental condition. Today, with the increasing use of glass in building envelope, the energy usage of the buildings

Building Envelope includes walls, roofs and openings, which react to the outdoor environmental condition. Today, with the increasing use of glass in building envelope, the energy usage of the buildings is increasing, especially in the offices and commercial buildings. Use of right glass type and control triggers helps to optimize the energy use, by tradeoff between optical and thermal properties. The part of the research looks at the different control triggers and its range that governs the use of electrochromic glass to regulate the energy usage in building. All different control trigger that can be possibly used for regulating the clear and tint state of glass were analyzed with most appropriate range. Its range was triggered such that 80% time of the glass is trigger between the ranges. The other building parameters like window wall ratio and orientations were also investigated. The other half of the research study looks into the feasibility of using the Electrochromic windows, as it is ought to be the main factor governing the market usage of Electrochromic windows and to investigate the possible ways to make it feasible. Different LCC parameters were studied to make it market feasible product. This study shows that installing this technology with most appropriate trigger range can reduce annual building energy consumption from 6-8% but still cost of the technology is 3 times the ASHRAE glass, which results in 70-90 years of payback. This study concludes that south orientation saves up to 3-5% of energy and 4-6% of cooling tons while north orientation gives negligible saving using EC glass. LCC parameters show that there is relative change in increasing the net saving for different parameters but none except 50% of the present glass cost is the possible option where significant change is observed.

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  • 2012

The net zero-energy home: precedent and catalyst for local performance-based architecture

Description

The building sector is responsible for consuming the largest proportional share of global material and energy resources. Some observers assert that buildings are the problem and the solution to climate

The building sector is responsible for consuming the largest proportional share of global material and energy resources. Some observers assert that buildings are the problem and the solution to climate change. It appears that in the United States a coherent national energy policy to encourage rapid building performance improvements is not imminent. In this environment, where many climate and ecological scientists believe we are running out of time to reverse the effects of anthropogenic climate change, a local grass-roots effort to create demonstration net zero-energy buildings (ZEB) appears necessary. This paper documents the process of designing a ZEB in a community with no existing documented ZEB precedent. The project will establish a framework for collecting design, performance, and financial data for use by architects, building scientists, and the community at large. This type of information may prove critical in order to foster a near-term local demand for net zero-energy buildings.

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  • 2014

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Envelope as climate negotiator: evaluating adaptive building envelope's capacity to moderate indoor climate and energy

Description

Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical

Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical heating and cooling systems. Similarly, continuous manipulation of a building skin's form, insulation, porosity, and transmissivity qualities exerts control over the energy exchanged between indoor and outdoor environments. This research uses four adaptive response variables in a modified software algorithm to explore an adaptive building skin's potential in reacting to environmental stimuli with the purpose of minimizing energy use without sacrificing occupant comfort. Results illustrate that significant energy savings can be realized with adaptive envelopes over static building envelopes even under extreme summer and winter climate conditions; that the magnitude of these savings are dependent on climate and orientation; and that occupant thermal comfort can be improved consistently over comfort levels achieved by optimized static building envelopes. The resulting adaptive envelope's unique climate-specific behavior could inform designers in creating an intelligent kinetic aesthetic that helps facilitate adaptability and resiliency in architecture.

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  • 2013

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Application of Phase Change Materials for Building Energy Retrofits in a Hot Arid Climate

Description

In 2018, building energy use accounted for over 40% of total primary energy consumption in the United States; moreover, buildings account for ~40% of national CO2 emissions. One method

In 2018, building energy use accounted for over 40% of total primary energy consumption in the United States; moreover, buildings account for ~40% of national CO2 emissions. One method for curbing energy use in buildings is to apply Demand Side Management (DSM) strategies, which focus on reducing the energy demand through various technological and operational approaches in different building sectors.

This PhD research examines the integration of DSM strategies in existing residential and commercial buildings in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area, a hot-arid climate. The author proposes three different case studies to evaluate the effectiveness of one DSM strategy in buildings, namely the integration of Phase Change Materials (PCMs). PCMs store energy in the freezing process and use that stored energy in the melting process to reduce the energy demand. The goal of these case studies is to analyze the potential of each strategy to reduce peak load and overall energy consumption in existing buildings.

First, this dissertation discusses the efficacy of coupling PCMs with precooling strategies in residential buildings to reduce peak demand. The author took a case study approach and simulated two precooling strategies, with and without PCM integration, in two sample single-family homes to assess the impact of the DSM strategies (i.e., precooling and PCM integration) on load shifting and load shedding in each home.

Second, this research addresses the feasibility of using PCMs as sensible and latent heat storage in commercial buildings. The author documents the process of choosing buildings for PCM installation, as well as the selection of PCMs for retrofitting purposes. Commercial building case studies compare experimental and simulation results, focusing on the impact of the PCMs on reducing the total annual energy demand and energy cost.

Finally, this research proposes a novel process for selecting PCMs as energy efficiency measures for building retrofits. This process facilitates the selection of a building and PCM that are complementary. Implementation of this process has not yet been tested; however, the process was developed based on experimental and simulation results from prior studies, and it would alleviate many of the PCM performance issues documented in those studies.

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  • 2020

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Sustainability assessment of community scale integrated energy systems: conceptual framework and applications

Description

One of the key infrastructures of any community or facility is the energy system which consists of utility power plants, distributed generation technologies, and building heating and cooling systems. In

One of the key infrastructures of any community or facility is the energy system which consists of utility power plants, distributed generation technologies, and building heating and cooling systems. In general, there are two dimensions to “sustainability” as it applies to an engineered system. It needs to be designed, operated, and managed such that its environmental impacts and costs are minimal (energy efficient design and operation), and also be designed and configured in a way that it is resilient in confronting disruptions posed by natural, manmade, or random events. In this regard, development of quantitative sustainability metrics in support of decision-making relevant to design, future growth planning, and day-to-day operation of such systems would be of great value. In this study, a pragmatic performance-based sustainability assessment framework and quantitative indices are developed towards this end whereby sustainability goals and concepts can be translated and integrated into engineering practices.

New quantitative sustainability indices are proposed to capture the energy system environmental impacts, economic performance, and resilience attributes, characterized by normalized environmental/health externalities, energy costs, and penalty costs respectively. A comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment is proposed which includes externalities due to emissions from different supply and demand-side energy systems specific to the regional power generation energy portfolio mix. An approach based on external costs, i.e. the monetized health and environmental impacts, was used to quantify adverse consequences associated with different energy system components.

Further, this thesis also proposes a new performance-based method for characterizing and assessing resilience of multi-functional demand-side engineered systems. Through modeling of system response to potential internal and external failures during different operational temporal periods reflective of diurnal variation in loads and services, the proposed methodology quantifies resilience of the system based on imposed penalty costs to the system stakeholders due to undelivered or interrupted services and/or non-optimal system performance.

A conceptual diagram called “Sustainability Compass” is also proposed which facilitates communicating the assessment results and allow better decision-analysis through illustration of different system attributes and trade-offs between different alternatives. The proposed methodologies have been illustrated using end-use monitored data for whole year operation of a university campus energy system.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Statistical and graphical methods to determine importance and interaction of building design parameters to inform and support design decisions

Description

This research is aimed at studying the impact of building design parameters in terms of their importance and mutual interaction, and how these aspects vary across climates and HVAC system

This research is aimed at studying the impact of building design parameters in terms of their importance and mutual interaction, and how these aspects vary across climates and HVAC system types. A methodology is proposed for such a study, by examining the feasibility and use of two different statistical methods to derive all realistic ‘near-optimum’ solutions which might be lost using a simple optimization technique.

DOE prototype medium office building compliant with ASHRAE 90.1-2010 was selected for the analysis and four different HVAC systems in three US climates were simulated.

The interaction between building design parameters related to envelope characteristics and geometry (total of seven variables) has been studied using two different statistical methods, namely the ‘Morris method’ and ‘Predictive Learning via Rule Ensembles’.

Subsequently, a simple graphical tool based on sensitivity analysis has been developed and demonstrated to present the results from parametric simulations. This tool would be useful to better inform design decisions since it allows imposition of constraints on various parameters and visualize their interaction with other parameters.

It was observed that the Radiant system performed best in all three climates, followed by displacement ventilation system. However, it should be noted that this study did not deal with performance optimization of HVAC systems while there have been several studies which concluded that a VAV system with better controls can perform better than some of the newer HVAC technologies. In terms of building design parameters, it was observed that ‘Ceiling Height’, ‘Window-Wall Ratio’ and ‘Window Properties’ showed highest importance as well as interaction as compared to other parameters considered in this study, for all HVAC systems and climates.

Based on the results of this study, it is suggested to extend such analysis using statistical methods such as the ‘Morris method’, which require much fewer simulations to categorize parameters based on their importance and interaction strength. Usage of statistical methods like ‘Rule Ensembles’ or other simple visual tools to analyze simulation results for all combinations of parameters that show interaction would allow designers to make informed and superior design decisions while benefiting from large reduction in computational time.

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Date Created
  • 2015