Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) - Oak Ridge, TN
-- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) – Berkeley, CA
-- University of California Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
-- Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, PA
-- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Troy, NY
-- Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University – Gujarat, India
DOE Funding: $500,000
Cost Share: $500,000
Project Term: October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2017
Funding Type: Direct Lab Funding

Project Objective

The U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD) was developed to promote clean energy innovation by teams of scientists and engineers from India and the United States. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is participating in this center through their work on cooling systems. ORNL is re-optimizing existing cooling and dehumidification system approaches for India’s commercial/multi-family new construction market. They are targeting, developing, and testing advancements to the state-of-the-art physical system HVAC technologies, whether compressor-based or non-compressor, which can significantly reduce cooling and dehumidification energy use in both India and the U.S.

ORNL will draft a report on climate specific design options for radiant cooling system integrated decoupling strategies and non-compressor based systems. They will provide performance evaluation of integrated non-compressor systems with chilled water based radiant cooling.

Project Impact

Currently, the cooling and dehumidification needs of India’s new commercial or multi-family buildings are served with building-by-building approaches using primarily mini-split and multi-split units or central chilled water, which may be distributed in a variety of ways. For both approaches, separate dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) to pre-condition fresh outdoor air and distribute it throughout the building would be recommended when energy efficiency and indoor air quality are both desired. In practice, in India, fresh air supply is often neglected and there is no DOAS, especially when unitary splits are used. The tolerance of a broader comfort envelope and on-demand space conditioning in India may create opportunities for non-compressor approaches (multi-stage evaporative cooling) in HVAC and/or DOAS applications.


DOE Technology Manager: Tony Bouza
Lead Performer: Mahabir Bhandari, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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