HVAC Sizing Research
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Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) – Oak Ridge, TN
FY16 DOE Funding: $174,303
Project Term: Current – September 30, 2016
Funding Type: Direct Lab Funding
Oversizing HVAC equipment leads to reduced efficiency, increased wear on equipment, and, for the case of air conditioners and heat pumps, increased indoor humidity during summer months. Despite this, most heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is planned without utilizing sophisticated load calculations, and thus is often oversized. Installers tend to oversize equipment to ensure that there will be ample cooling and reduce the risk of a callback requiring a complete system change out. Through the current project, ORNL will study the impact of oversizing HVAC equipment to determine environmental performance and operational efficiency.
Building energy codes establish energy conservation requirements for residential and commercial buildings, and represent an opportunity to incorporate proven energy-efficient technologies into standard design and construction practices. The United States has realized significant energy savings through building energy codes, with today’s model codes enabling new buildings to use 30% less energy than codes that were in place just 10 years ago. Since program conception (1992–2012), DOE Building Energy Codes Program activities have contributed to an estimated 4 quads of cumulative primary energy savings and cost savings to consumers of more than $44 billion. This project helps to ensure compliance with building energy codes, which is key to realizing the intended savings and environmental benefits.
DOE Technology Manager: David Cohan
Lead Performer: Omar Abdelaziz, Oak Ridge National Laboratory