Chamber experiment to study impact of air movement on thermal comfort using personally controlled fans and eight different thermal conditions.

Figure 1: Chamber experiment to study impact of air movement on thermal comfort using personally controlled fans and eight different thermal conditions. Preliminary results show air movement allowed people to stay thermally neutral up to 32°C, 60% RH.

Source: UC-Berkeley.
Top: Hourly variation of vertical temperature profile (stratification) in a space during a "warm week." Bottom: Evaluation of instantaneous indoor operative temperature based on the IMAC and ASHRAE-55 adaptive models, showing levels of adaptability.

Figure 2: Analysis of monitored data from passively designed buildings.

Lead Performer: University of California - Berkeley, CA
Partners
-- Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
-- Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology - Ahmedabad, India
-- Malaviya National Institute of Technology - Jaipur, India
-- Center for Scientific Research - Auroville, India
FY16 DOE Funding: $75,000
Cost Share: N/A
Project Term: FY 13-FY17
Funding Type: Joint Clean Energy Research and Development FOA (DE-FOA-0000506)

Project Objective

The U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD) conducts energy efficiency research and development (R&D) with a focus on better understanding the performance of climate responsive buildings. This project seeks to advance the state of the knowledge of well-designed climate-responsive architecture in terms of their indoor thermal environments, occupant’s response to the indoor conditions, and the role of air movement in achieving thermal comfort for elevated temperatures. It will look for opportunities to judiciously combine both natural ventilation and low-energy mechanical systems in well-designed “mixed mode” buildings that can improve both energy and comfort performance.

The primary objectives of this task are to:

  1. Develop protocols and study occupant thermal comfort in a range of commercial buildings in India, as well as through thermal comfort chamber experiments, with a particular focus on the role of air movement in elevated temperatures.
  2. Analyze and identify parallels between India and US climate zones, and develop a set of detailed case studies of mixed-mode buildings that could serve as precedents across these zones
  3. Evaluate the thermal environments produced by climate-responsive design strategies in India and the US, with a focus on strategies such as natural ventilation, mixed-mode, thermal mass, and earth-air heat exchangers.
  4. Expand our understanding of climate-responsive and mixed mode buildings’ environmental impacts at the neighborhood level.

Project Impact

Thermal Comfort:
  1. Climate analysis for Indian climate zones
  2. Comprehensive assessment of occupant satisfaction with indoor environmental quality in Indian buildings, with a focus on the role of operable windows and fans, and identification of priorities for improvements in the existing building stock.
  3. Laboratory-based demonstration of comfort, and detailed analysis of the role of air movement from field studies of comfort in buildings in India and the US, and in comparison to other regions.
Physical Performance of Indoor Thermal Environments
  1. Technical case study descriptions of global mixed-mode buildings from climate zones comparable to Indian and US
  2. Analysis of modeled, and existing monitored data from climate-response strategies in high-performance buildings in the US and India, to produce best-practice design guidelines
Neighborhood-level Impacts
  1. Assessment of neighborhood-level impacts of mixed-mode building design and operation in India

Contacts

DOE Technology Manager: Karma Sawyer
Lead Performer: Gail Brager, University of California, Berkeley CA

Related Publications

  1. Anuj Mathur, Ankit Kumar Surana, Poonam Verma, Sanjay Mathur, G.D. Agrawal, Jyotirmay Mathur. “Investigation of soil thermal saturation and recovery under intermittent and continuous operation of EATHE.” Energy and Buildings. 2015.
  2. Dhaka, Shivraj, Jyotirmay Mathur, Gail Brager, and Anoop Honnekeri. "Assessment of Thermal Environmental Conditions and Quantification of Thermal Adaptation in Naturally Ventilated Buildings in Composite Climate of India." Building and Environment 86. 17-28. 2015.
  3. Anuj Mathur, Ayushman Srivastava, G.D. Agrawal, Sanjay Mathur, Jyotirmay Mathur. “CFD analysis of EATHE system under transient conditions for intermittent operation.” Energy and Buildings, 87. 2014.
  4. Anoop Honnekeri, Gail Brager, Sanyogita Manu, Rajan Rawal. “Occupant Feedback in Energy-Conscious and ‘Business As Usual’ Buildings in India.” PLEA (Passive Low Energy Architecture) Conference. Ahmedabad. December 2014.
  5. Doctor-Pingel, Mona, Rajan Rawal, Anna Bakhlina, Vijai Krishnaraj, and Phillippe Bourdon. “Evaluating the Performance of Naturally Ventilated Brick and Lime Domes and Vaults in Warm-humid Climate in South India.” PLEA (Passive Low Energy Architecture) Conference. Ahmedabad. December 2014.
  6. Honnekeri, Anoop, Gail Brager, Shivraj Dhaka, Jyotirmay Mathur. “Comfort and adaptation in mixed-mode buildings in a hot-dry climate.” 8th Windsor Conference: Counting the Cost of Comfort in a changing world. Windsor, UK. 10-13. April 2014.

U.S.-India Project

The U.S. and India are working together to significantly reduce both countries' building energy use. Click the image to learn more.

Figure 3: Analysis of thermal comfort survey conducted in selected energy conscious (EC) and business as usual (BAU) buildings and comparison to Center for Built Environment.

Figure 3: Analysis of thermal comfort survey conducted in selected energy conscious (EC) and business as usual (BAU) buildings and comparison to Center for Built Environment, (CBE Berkeley) benchmarking database.