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Title: Using Whole-House Field Tests to Empirically Derive Moisture Buffering Model Inputs

Building energy simulations can be used to predict a building's interior conditions, along with the energy use associated with keeping these conditions comfortable. These models simulate the loads on the building (e.g., internal gains, envelope heat transfer), determine the operation of the space conditioning equipment, and then calculate the building's temperature and humidity throughout the year. The indoor temperature and humidity are affected not only by the loads and the space conditioning equipment, but also by the capacitance of the building materials, which buffer changes in temperature and humidity. This research developed an empirical method to extract whole-house model inputs for use with a more accurate moisture capacitance model (the effective moisture penetration depth model). The experimental approach was to subject the materials in the house to a square-wave relative humidity profile, measure all of the moisture transfer terms (e.g., infiltration, air conditioner condensate) and calculate the only unmeasured term: the moisture absorption into the materials. After validating the method with laboratory measurements, we performed the tests in a field house. A least-squares fit of an analytical solution to the measured moisture absorption curves was used to determine the three independent model parameters representing the moisture buffering potential of thismore » house and its furnishings. Follow on tests with realistic latent and sensible loads showed good agreement with the derived parameters, especially compared to the commonly-used effective capacitance approach. These results show that the EMPD model, once the inputs are known, is an accurate moisture buffering model.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Mountain Energy Partnership, Longmont, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
Residential; Residential Buildngs; NREL; Building America; moisture buffering; moisture capacitance; moisture; relative humidity; moisture modeling