skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Building America Case Study: Energy Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates, Cocoa, Florida

Abstract

In hot and humid climates, it is challenging to energy-efficiently maintain indoor RH at acceptable levels while simultaneously providing required ventilation, particularly in high performance low cooling load homes. The fundamental problem with solely relying on fixed capacity central cooling systems to manage moisture during low sensible load periods is that they are oversized for cooler periods of the year despite being 'properly sized' for a very hot design cooling day. The primary goals of this project were to determine the impact of supplementing a central space conditioning system with 1) a supplemental dehumidifier and 2) a ductless mini-split on seasonal energy use and summer peak power use as well as the impact on thermal distribution and humidity control inside a completely furnished lab home that was continuously ventilated in accordance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013.

Publication Date:
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)
OSTI Identifier:
1340644
Report Number(s):
NREL/FS-5500-65003; DOE/GO-102017-4767
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; residential; residential buildings; BA-PIRC; Building America; mechanical ventilation; relative humidity control; ductless mini-split; dehumidification

Citation Formats

. Building America Case Study: Energy Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates, Cocoa, Florida. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
. Building America Case Study: Energy Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates, Cocoa, Florida. United States.
. Sun . "Building America Case Study: Energy Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates, Cocoa, Florida". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340644.
@article{osti_1340644,
title = {Building America Case Study: Energy Efficient Management of Mechanical Ventilation and Relative Humidity in Hot-Humid Climates, Cocoa, Florida},
author = {},
abstractNote = {In hot and humid climates, it is challenging to energy-efficiently maintain indoor RH at acceptable levels while simultaneously providing required ventilation, particularly in high performance low cooling load homes. The fundamental problem with solely relying on fixed capacity central cooling systems to manage moisture during low sensible load periods is that they are oversized for cooler periods of the year despite being 'properly sized' for a very hot design cooling day. The primary goals of this project were to determine the impact of supplementing a central space conditioning system with 1) a supplemental dehumidifier and 2) a ductless mini-split on seasonal energy use and summer peak power use as well as the impact on thermal distribution and humidity control inside a completely furnished lab home that was continuously ventilated in accordance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • In hot and humid climates, it is challenging to energy-efficiently maintain indoor RH at acceptable levels while simultaneously providing required ventilation, particularly in high performance low cooling load homes. The fundamental problem with solely relying on fixed capacity central cooling systems to manage moisture during low sensible load periods is that they are oversized for cooler periods of the year despite being 'properly sized' for a very hot design cooling day. The primary goals of this project were to determine the impact of supplementing a central space conditioning system with 1) a supplemental dehumidifier and 2) a ductless mini-split onmore » seasonal energy use and summer peak power use as well as the impact on thermal distribution and humidity control inside a completely furnished lab home that was continuously ventilated in accordance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013.« less
  • In hot and humid climates, it is challenging to energy-efficiently maintain indoor RH at acceptable levels while simultaneously providing required ventilation, particularly in high performance low cooling load homes. The fundamental problem with solely relying on fixed capacity central cooling systems to manage moisture during low sensible load periods is that they are oversized for cooler periods of the year despite being 'properly sized' for a very hot design cooling day. The primary goals of this project were to determine the impact of supplementing a central space conditioning system with 1) a supplemental dehumidifier and 2) a ductless mini-split onmore » seasonal energy use and summer peak power use as well as the impact on thermal distribution and humidity control inside a completely furnished lab home that was continuously ventilated in accordance with ASHRAE 62.2-2013.« less
  • This Building America Top Innovations profile describes work by Building America researchers who visited 24 manufactured home factories between 1996 and 2003 to investigate moisture problems while improving energy efficiency and identified insufficient air sealing and poor HVAC installation as the biggest culprits. One manufacturer reported zero moisture-related issues in 35,000 homes built after implementing Building America recommendations.
  • Heat transfer to slab foundations has remained an area of building science with poor understanding over the last three decades of energy efficiency research. This is somewhat surprising since the area of floors in single family homes is generally equal to wall, or windows or attics which have been extensively evaluated. Research that has been done has focused in the impact of slab on grade foundations and insulation schemes on heat losses associated with heating in predominantly heating dominated climates. Slab on grade construction is very popular in cooling-dominated southern states where it accounts for 77 percent of new homemore » floors according to U.S. Census data in 2014. There is a widespread conception that tile flooring, as opposed to carpet, makes for a cooler home interior in warm climates. Empirical research is needed as building energy simulations such as DOE-2 and EnergyPlus rely on simplified models to evaluate these influences. BA-PIRC performed experiments over an entire year from 2014-2015 in FSEC's Flexible Residential Test Facilities (FRTF) intended to assess for the first time 1) slab on grade influence in a cooling dominated climate, and 2) how the difference in a carpeted vs. uncarpeted building might influence heating and cooling. Two identical side by side residential buildings were evaluated, the East with pad and carpet and the west with a bare slab floor. A highly detailed grid of temperature measurements were taken on the slab surface at various locations as well as at depths of 1, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 feet.« less
  • The purpose of this research is to investigate the impact of ducted heat pump water heaters (HPWH's) on space conditioning and water heating energy use in residential applications. Two identical HPWH's, each of 60 gallon capacity were tested side by side at the Flexible Residential Test facility (FRTF) laboratories of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) campus in Cocoa, Florida. The water heating experiments were run in each test house from July 2014 until February 2015.