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Title: Probabilistic modeling of the indoor climates of residential buildings using EnergyPlus

Abstract

The indoor air temperature and relative humidity in residential buildings significantly affect material moisture durability, HVAC system performance, and occupant comfort. Therefore, indoor climate data is generally required to define boundary conditions in numerical models that evaluate envelope durability and equipment performance. However, indoor climate data obtained from field studies is influenced by weather, occupant behavior and internal loads, and is generally unrepresentative of the residential building stock. Likewise, whole-building simulation models typically neglect stochastic variables and yield deterministic results that are applicable to only a single home in a specific climate. The

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center; Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center; Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) (SC-27)
OSTI Identifier:
1356931
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Building Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1744-2591
Publisher:
SAGE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 42 ENGINEERING; Indoor climate; probabilistic modeling; building simulation; moisture buffering; relative humidity

Citation Formats

Buechler, Elizabeth D., Pallin, Simon B., Boudreaux, Philip R., and Stockdale, Michaela R.. Probabilistic modeling of the indoor climates of residential buildings using EnergyPlus. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1177/1744259117701893.
Buechler, Elizabeth D., Pallin, Simon B., Boudreaux, Philip R., & Stockdale, Michaela R.. Probabilistic modeling of the indoor climates of residential buildings using EnergyPlus. United States. doi:10.1177/1744259117701893.
Buechler, Elizabeth D., Pallin, Simon B., Boudreaux, Philip R., and Stockdale, Michaela R.. Tue . "Probabilistic modeling of the indoor climates of residential buildings using EnergyPlus". United States. doi:10.1177/1744259117701893. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356931.
@article{osti_1356931,
title = {Probabilistic modeling of the indoor climates of residential buildings using EnergyPlus},
author = {Buechler, Elizabeth D. and Pallin, Simon B. and Boudreaux, Philip R. and Stockdale, Michaela R.},
abstractNote = {The indoor air temperature and relative humidity in residential buildings significantly affect material moisture durability, HVAC system performance, and occupant comfort. Therefore, indoor climate data is generally required to define boundary conditions in numerical models that evaluate envelope durability and equipment performance. However, indoor climate data obtained from field studies is influenced by weather, occupant behavior and internal loads, and is generally unrepresentative of the residential building stock. Likewise, whole-building simulation models typically neglect stochastic variables and yield deterministic results that are applicable to only a single home in a specific climate. The},
doi = {10.1177/1744259117701893},
journal = {Journal of Building Physics},
number = 3,
volume = 41,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Apr 25 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Apr 25 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • The indoor air quality (IAQ) at six residential buildings in Hong Kong was investigated based on different locations and characteristics. IAQ parameters measured from October 1997 to January 1998 included temperature, relative humidity, CO{sub 2}, PM{sub 10}, HCHO, bacteria, SO{sub 2}, NO, NO{sub 2}, and CO. CO{sub 2}, PM{sub 10}, and HCHO were monitored for a 24-h period, and other IAQ pollutants were monitored continuously. IAQ pollutants at the six sites were below the Hong Kong Interim IAQ Guidelines except for PM{sub 10} and bacteria levels. Sites where tobacco smoking is permitted had the worst IAQ. During smoking, PM{sub 10}more » levels were as high as 2,153 {micro}g/m{sup 3}. All sites had bacteria levels below the recommended action level of 1,000 CFU/m{sup 3}. Three sites (North Point, Ngau Tau Kok, and Prince Edward), with relatively high bacteria levels, were buildings over 20 y old. Maximum CO{sub 2} levels detected were as high as 2.63 mL/L due to poor ventilation. The results indicated that IAQ at residential areas in Hong Kong should be constantly monitored and improved.« less
  • Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat pumps are increasingly used in commercial buildings in the United States. Monitored energy use of field installations have shown, in some cases, savings exceeding 30% compared to conventional heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. A simulation study was conducted to identify the installation or operational characteristics that lead to energy savings for VRF systems. The study used the Department of Energy EnergyPlus? building simulation software and four reference building models. Computer simulations were performed in eight U.S. climate zones. The baseline reference HVAC system incorporated packaged single-zone direct-expansion cooling with gas heating (PSZ-AC) or variable-air-volumemore » systems (VAV with reheat). An alternate baseline HVAC system using a heat pump (PSZ-HP) was included for some buildings to directly compare gas and electric heating results. These baseline systems were compared to a VRF heat pump model to identify differences in energy use. VRF systems combine multiple indoor units with one or more outdoor unit(s). These systems move refrigerant between the outdoor and indoor units which eliminates the need for duct work in most cases. Since many applications install duct work in unconditioned spaces, this leads to installation differences between VRF systems and conventional HVAC systems. To characterize installation differences, a duct heat gain model was included to identify the energy impacts of installing ducts in unconditioned spaces. The configuration of variable refrigerant flow heat pumps will ultimately eliminate or significantly reduce energy use due to duct heat transfer. Fan energy is also studied to identify savings associated with non-ducted VRF terminal units. VRF systems incorporate a variable-speed compressor which may lead to operational differences compared to single-speed compression systems. To characterize operational differences, the computer model performance curves used to simulate cooling operation are also evaluated. The information in this paper is intended to provide a relative difference in system energy use and compare various installation practices that can impact performance. Comparative results of VRF versus conventional HVAC systems include energy use differences due to duct location, differences in fan energy when ducts are eliminated, and differences associated with electric versus fossil fuel type heating systems.« less
  • This field study evaluated the ability of a multi-sorbent sampling tube/thermal desorption technique to identify and to provide quantitative data on volatile organic contaminants in indoor air. Air samples, from 12 Canadian homes, were collected on multilayer sorbent cartridges and analyzed using Adsorption/Thermal Desorption coupled with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. The study included the identification and quantitation of 23 target compounds. Analysis of sorbent tubes fortified with these target compounds indicated that recoveries were greater than 70 percent and the precision was usually better than 15 percent. These organic compounds were found to be stable on the sorbent tubes for atmore » least seven days. With some exceptions, the target compounds were usually detected at 1 to 10 micrograms/m3 in indoor air samples; other organics identified qualitatively were saturated hydrocarbons, unsaturated hydrocarbons, cyclic hydrocarbons, substituted aromatics, oxygenates, some halogenates and cyclic species such as camphenes/pinenes and carenes.« less