A "Plug-n-Play" Air Delivery System for Low-Load Homes and Evaluation of a Residential Thermal Comfort Rating Method

You are here

Lead Performer: IBACOS Inc.—Pittsburgh, PA
Partner: Best Practices Research Alliance
DOE Total Funding: $600,085
Cost Share: $220,845
Project Term: October 1, 2015 – January 31, 2017
Funding Opportunity: Building America Industry Partnerships for High Performance Housing Innovation

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

The project goal is to investigate a simplified residential air delivery system that is a solution to air distribution and comfort delivery issues being encountered in low-load production-built homes. The project is expected to develop the system to a point where it is emergent upon the industry. The system is assembled in the field from a simple kit of parts with a limited number of small-diameter rigid-material components. The project will demonstrate the system’s predictable performance and advantages over traditional residential duct systems in the areas of comfort performance, integration within the conditioned space of the house, constructability, cost, and value. A design methodology for the system will be developed to be straightforward and intuitive. Companion guidance documents will be developed to enable a technician to quickly produce the equivalent of an engineered design using the simplified air delivery system components.

The project will also assess the industry demand and need for a rating method that quantifies thermal comfort and the ability of a home to provide it to occupants. The Thermal Comfort Rating Method (TCRM) will apply to residential applications to allow builders and homeowners to make value-based decisions involving thermal comfort. The TCRM will also become a platform to facilitate development of new products, materials, methods, and choices for delivering thermal comfort, particularly in low-load homes.

This project applies to all climate zones.

PROJECT IMPACT

The simplified air delivery system is easily integrated within the home’s conditioned space, is installed with less error and waste, and offers predictable performance to help provide comfort in low-load homes. The design methodology will be straightforward and intuitive. The Thermal Comfort Rating Method (TCRM) is a metric of whole-house comfort delivery, to represent the ability of a home to provide comfort to the occupants. Designers can assess, target, and package the “degree of comfort” to be experienced by occupants. Builders can market comfort criteria to consumers. Consumers can compare homes, option packages, and builders.

CONTACTS

DOE Technology Manager: Eric Werling
Principal Investigator: Timothy R. Beggs, IBACOS Inc.

RELATED PUBLICATIONS