Matching Items (15)

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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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Date Created
  • 2020

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Self-configuring and self-adaptive environment control systems for buildings

Description

Lighting systems and air-conditioning systems are two of the largest energy consuming end-uses in buildings. Lighting control in smart buildings and homes can be automated by having computer controlled lights

Lighting systems and air-conditioning systems are two of the largest energy consuming end-uses in buildings. Lighting control in smart buildings and homes can be automated by having computer controlled lights and window blinds along with illumination sensors that are distributed in the building, while temperature control can be automated by having computer controlled air-conditioning systems. However, programming actuators in a large-scale environment for buildings and homes can be time consuming and expensive. This dissertation presents an approach that algorithmically sets up the control system that can automate any building without requiring custom programming. This is achieved by imbibing the system self calibrating and self learning abilities.

For lighting control, the dissertation describes how the problem is non-deterministic polynomial-time hard(NP-Hard) but can be resolved by heuristics. The resulting system controls blinds to ensure uniform lighting and also adds artificial illumination to ensure light coverage remains adequate at all times of the day, while adjusting for weather and seasons. In the absence of daylight, the system resorts to artificial lighting.

For temperature control, the dissertation describes how the temperature control problem is modeled using convex quadratic programming. The impact of every air conditioner on each sensor at a particular time is learnt using a linear regression model. The resulting system controls air-conditioning equipments to ensure the maintenance of user comfort and low cost of energy consumptions. The system can be deployed in large scale environments. It can accept multiple target setpoints at a time, which improves the flexibility and efficiency of cooling systems requiring temperature control.

The methods proposed work as generic control algorithms and are not preprogrammed for a particular place or building. The feasibility, adaptivity and scalability features of the system have been validated through various actual and simulated experiments.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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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

The effect of floor to area ratio parameter on net zero commercial buildings located in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

The building sector is one of the main energy consumers within the USA. Energy demand by this sector continues to increase because new buildings are being constructed faster than older

The building sector is one of the main energy consumers within the USA. Energy demand by this sector continues to increase because new buildings are being constructed faster than older ones are retired. Increase in energy demand, in addition to a number of other factors such as the finite nature of fossil fuels, population growth, building impact on global climate change, and energy insecurity and independence has led to the increase in awareness towards conservation through the design of energy efficient buildings. Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB), a highly efficient building that produces as much renewable energy as it consumes annually, provides an effective solution to this global concern. The intent of this thesis is to investigate the relationship of an important factor that has a direct impact on NZEB: Floor / Area Ratio (FAR). Investigating this relationship will help to answer a very important question in establishing NZEB in hot-arid climates such as Phoenix, Arizona. The question this thesis presents is: “How big can a building be and still be Net Zero?” When does this concept start to flip and buildings become unable to generate the required renewable energy to achieve energy balance? The investigation process starts with the analysis of a local NZEB, DPR Construction Office, to evaluate the potential increase in building footprint and FAR with respect to the current annual Energy Use Intensity (EUI). Through the detailed analysis of the local NZEB, in addition to the knowledge gained through research, this thesis will offer an FAR calculator tool that can be used by design teams to help assess the net zero potential of their project. The tool analyzes a number of elements within the project such as total building footprint, available surface area for photovoltaic (PV) installation, outdoor circulation and landscape area, parking area and potential parking spots, potential building area in regards to FAR, number of floors based on the building footprint, FAR, required area for photovoltaic installation, photovoltaic system size, and annual energy production, in addition to the maximum potential FAR their project can reach and still be Net Zero.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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A methodology to sequentially identify cost effective energy efficiency measures: application to net zero school buildings

Description

Schools all around the country are improving the performance of their buildings by adopting high performance design principles. Higher levels of energy efficiency can pave the way for K-12 Schools

Schools all around the country are improving the performance of their buildings by adopting high performance design principles. Higher levels of energy efficiency can pave the way for K-12 Schools to achieve net zero energy (NZE) conditions, a state where the energy generated by on-site renewable sources are sufficient to meet the cumulative annual energy demands of the facility. A key capability for the proliferation of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) is the need for a design methodology that identifies the optimum mix of energy efficient design features to be incorporated into the building. The design methodology should take into account the interaction effects of various energy efficiency measures as well as their associated costs so that life cycle cost can be minimized for the entire life span of the building.

This research aims at developing such a methodology for generating cost effective net zero energy solutions for school buildings. The Department of Energy (DOE) prototype primary school, meant to serve as the starting baseline, was modeled in the building energy simulation software eQUEST and made compliant with the requirement of ASHRAE 90.1-2007. Commonly used efficiency measures, for which credible initial cost and maintenance data were available, were selected as the parametric design set. An initial sensitivity analysis was conducted by using the Morris Method to rank the efficiency measures in terms of their importance and interaction strengths. A sequential search technique was adopted to search the solution space and identify combinations that lie near the Pareto-optimal front; this allowed various minimum cost design solutions to be identified corresponding to different energy savings levels.

Based on the results of this study, it was found that the cost optimal combination of measures over the 30 year analysis span resulted in an annual energy cost reduction of 47%, while net zero site energy conditions were achieved by the addition of a 435 kW photovoltaic generation system that covered 73% of the roof area. The simple payback period for the additional technology required to achieve NZE conditions was calculated to be 26.3 years and carried a 37.4% premium over the initial building construction cost. The study identifies future work in how to automate this computationally conservative search technique so that it can provide practical feedback to the building designer during all stages of the design process.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Developing new methods for analyzing urban energy use in buildings: historic turnover, spatial patterns, and future forecasting

Description

Energy use within urban building stocks is continuing to increase globally as populations expand and access to electricity improves. This projected increase in demand could require deployment of new

Energy use within urban building stocks is continuing to increase globally as populations expand and access to electricity improves. This projected increase in demand could require deployment of new generation capacity, but there is potential to offset some of this demand through modification of the buildings themselves. Building stocks are quasi-permanent infrastructures which have enduring influence on urban energy consumption, and research is needed to understand: 1) how development patterns constrain energy use decisions and 2) how cities can achieve energy and environmental goals given the constraints of the stock. This requires a thorough evaluation of both the growth of the stock and as well as the spatial distribution of use throughout the city. In this dissertation, a case study in Los Angeles County, California (LAC) is used to quantify urban growth, forecast future energy use under climate change, and to make recommendations for mitigating energy consumption increases. A reproducible methodological framework is included for application to other urban areas.

In LAC, residential electricity demand could increase as much as 55-68% between 2020 and 2060, and building technology lock-in has constricted the options for mitigating energy demand, as major changes to the building stock itself are not possible, as only a small portion of the stock is turned over every year. Aggressive and timely efficiency upgrades to residential appliances and building thermal shells can significantly offset the projected increases, potentially avoiding installation of new generation capacity, but regulations on new construction will likely be ineffectual due to the long residence time of the stock (60+ years and increasing). These findings can be extrapolated to other U.S. cities where the majority of urban expansion has already occurred, such as the older cities on the eastern coast. U.S. population is projected to increase 40% by 2060, with growth occurring in the warmer southern and western regions. In these growing cities, improving new construction buildings can help offset electricity demand increases before the city reaches the lock-in phase.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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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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An adaptive intelligent integrated lighting control approach for high-performance office buildings

Description

An acute and crucial societal problem is the energy consumed in existing commercial buildings. There are 1.5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. with only about 3% being built each

An acute and crucial societal problem is the energy consumed in existing commercial buildings. There are 1.5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. with only about 3% being built each year. Hence, existing buildings need to be properly operated and maintained for several decades. Application of integrated centralized control systems in buildings could lead to more than 50% energy savings.

This research work demonstrates an innovative adaptive integrated lighting control approach which could achieve significant energy savings and increase indoor comfort in high performance office buildings. In the first phase of the study, a predictive algorithm was developed and validated through experiments in an actual test room. The objective was to regulate daylight on a specified work plane by controlling the blind slat angles. Furthermore, a sensor-based integrated adaptive lighting controller was designed in Simulink which included an innovative sensor optimization approach based on genetic algorithm to minimize the number of sensors and efficiently place them in the office. The controller was designed based on simple integral controllers. The objective of developed control algorithm was to improve the illuminance situation in the office through controlling the daylight and electrical lighting. To evaluate the performance of the system, the controller was applied on experimental office model in Lee et al.’s research study in 1998. The result of the developed control approach indicate a significantly improvement in lighting situation and 1-23% and 50-78% monthly electrical energy savings in the office model, compared to two static strategies when the blinds were left open and closed during the whole year respectively.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Leveraging smart meter data through advanced analytics: applications to building energy efficiency

Description

The poor energy efficiency of buildings is a major barrier to alleviating the energy dilemma. Historically, monthly utility billing data was widely available and analytical methods for identifying building energy

The poor energy efficiency of buildings is a major barrier to alleviating the energy dilemma. Historically, monthly utility billing data was widely available and analytical methods for identifying building energy efficiency improvements, performing building Monitoring and Verification (M&V;) and continuous commissioning (CCx) were based on them. Although robust, these methods were not sensitive enough to detect a number of common causes for increased energy use. In recent years, prevalence of short-term building energy consumption data, also known as Energy Interval Data (EID), made available through the Smart Meters, along with data mining techniques presents the potential of knowledge discovery inherent in this data. This allows more sophisticated analytical tools to be developed resulting in greater sensitivities due to higher prediction accuracies; leading to deep energy savings and highly efficient building system operations. The research explores enhancements to Inverse Statistical Modeling techniques due to the availability of EID. Inverse statistical modeling is the process of identification of prediction model structure and estimates of model parameters. The methodology is based on several common statistical and data mining techniques: cluster analysis for day typing, outlier detection and removal, and generation of building scheduling. Inverse methods are simpler to develop and require fewer inputs for model identification. They can model changes in energy consumption based on changes in climatic variables and up to a certain extent, occupancy. This makes them easy-to-use and appealing to building managers for evaluating any general retrofits, building condition monitoring, continuous commissioning and short-term load forecasting (STLF). After evaluating several model structures, an elegant model form was derived which can be used to model daily energy consumption; which can be extended to model energy consumption for any specific hour by adding corrective terms. Additionally, adding AR terms to this model makes it usable for STLF. Two different buildings, one synthetic (ASHRAE medium-office prototype) building and another, an actual office building, were modeled using these techniques. The methodologies proposed have several novel features compared to the manner in which these models have been described earlier. Finally, this thesis investigates characteristic fault signature identification from detailed simulation models and subsequent inverse analysis.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Regression tree-based methodology for customizing building energy benchmarks to individual commercial buildings

Description

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to which an individual building consumes energy in excess of its peers is the first step in initiating energy efficiency improvement. Energy Benchmarking offers initial building energy performance assessment without rigorous evaluation. Energy benchmarking tools based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) database are investigated in this thesis. This study proposes a new benchmarking methodology based on decision trees, where a relationship between the energy use intensities (EUI) and building parameters (continuous and categorical) is developed for different building types. This methodology was applied to medium office and school building types contained in the CBECS database. The Random Forest technique was used to find the most influential parameters that impact building energy use intensities. Subsequently, correlations which were significant were identified between EUIs and CBECS variables. Other than floor area, some of the important variables were number of workers, location, number of PCs and main cooling equipment. The coefficient of variation was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the new model. The customization technique proposed in this thesis was compared with another benchmarking model that is widely used by building owners and designers namely, the ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. This tool relies on the standard Linear Regression methods which is only able to handle continuous variables. The model proposed uses data mining technique and was found to perform slightly better than the Portfolio Manager. The broader impacts of the new benchmarking methodology proposed is that it allows for identifying important categorical variables, and then incorporating them in a local, as against a global, model framework for EUI pertinent to the building type. The ability to identify and rank the important variables is of great importance in practical implementation of the benchmarking tools which rely on query-based building and HVAC variable filters specified by the user.

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Date Created
  • 2013