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Title: Measured Performance of a Varied Airflow Small-Diameter Duct System

Abstract

This study tests the performance of a variable airflow small-diameter duct heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a new construction unoccupied low-load test house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The duct system was installed entirely in conditioned space and was operated from the winter through summer seasons. Measurements were collected on the in-room temperatures and energy consumed by the air handler and heat pump unit. Operation modes with three different volumes of airflow were compared to determine the ideal airflow scenario that maximizes room-to-room thermal uniformity while minimizing fan energy consumption. Black felt infrared imagery was used as a measure of diffuser throw and in-room air mixing. Measured results indicate the small-diameter, high velocity airflow system can provide comfort under some conditions. Solar heat gains resulted in southern rooms drifting beyond acceptable temperature limits. Insufficient airflow to some bedrooms also resulted in periods of potential discomfort. Homebuilders or HVAC contractors can use these results to assess whether this space conditioning strategy is an attractive alternative to a traditional duct system. The team performed a cost analysis of two duct system configurations: (1) a conventional diameter and velocity duct system, and (2) the small-diameter duct system. This work applies to bothmore » new and retrofit homes that have achieved a low heating and cooling density either by energy conservation or by operation in a mild climate with few heating or cooling degree days. Guidance is provided on cost trade-offs between the conventional duct system and the small-diameter duct system.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. IBACOS, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
IBACOS, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B) (Building America)
OSTI Identifier:
1358056
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102017-4664
7648
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; residential; residential buildings; IBACOS; Building America; low load home; HVAC; residential HVAC systems; static pressure; high velocity; small diameter duct; ducts in conditioned space; bulkhead

Citation Formats

Poerschke, Andrew. Measured Performance of a Varied Airflow Small-Diameter Duct System. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1358056.
Poerschke, Andrew. Measured Performance of a Varied Airflow Small-Diameter Duct System. United States. doi:10.2172/1358056.
Poerschke, Andrew. Wed . "Measured Performance of a Varied Airflow Small-Diameter Duct System". United States. doi:10.2172/1358056. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358056.
@article{osti_1358056,
title = {Measured Performance of a Varied Airflow Small-Diameter Duct System},
author = {Poerschke, Andrew},
abstractNote = {This study tests the performance of a variable airflow small-diameter duct heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a new construction unoccupied low-load test house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The duct system was installed entirely in conditioned space and was operated from the winter through summer seasons. Measurements were collected on the in-room temperatures and energy consumed by the air handler and heat pump unit. Operation modes with three different volumes of airflow were compared to determine the ideal airflow scenario that maximizes room-to-room thermal uniformity while minimizing fan energy consumption. Black felt infrared imagery was used as a measure of diffuser throw and in-room air mixing. Measured results indicate the small-diameter, high velocity airflow system can provide comfort under some conditions. Solar heat gains resulted in southern rooms drifting beyond acceptable temperature limits. Insufficient airflow to some bedrooms also resulted in periods of potential discomfort. Homebuilders or HVAC contractors can use these results to assess whether this space conditioning strategy is an attractive alternative to a traditional duct system. The team performed a cost analysis of two duct system configurations: (1) a conventional diameter and velocity duct system, and (2) the small-diameter duct system. This work applies to both new and retrofit homes that have achieved a low heating and cooling density either by energy conservation or by operation in a mild climate with few heating or cooling degree days. Guidance is provided on cost trade-offs between the conventional duct system and the small-diameter duct system.},
doi = {10.2172/1358056},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This study tests the performance of a variable airflow small-diameter duct heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a new construction unoccupied low-load test house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The duct system was installed entirely in conditioned space and was operated from the winter through summer seasons. Measurements were collected on the in-room temperatures and energy consumed by the air handler and heat pump unit. Operation modes with three different volumes of airflow were compared to determine the ideal airflow scenario that maximizes room-to-room thermal uniformity while minimizing fan energy consumption. Black felt infrared imagery was used as a measuremore » of diffuser throw and in-room air mixing. Measured results indicate the small-diameter, high velocity airflow system can provide comfort under some conditions. Solar heat gains resulted in southern rooms drifting beyond acceptable temperature limits. Insufficient airflow to some bedrooms also resulted in periods of potential discomfort. Homebuilders or HVAC contractors can use these results to assess whether this space conditioning strategy is an attractive alternative to a traditional duct system. The team performed a cost analysis of two duct system configurations: (1) a conventional diameter and velocity duct system, and (2) the small-diameter duct system. This work applies to both new and retrofit homes that have achieved a low heating and cooling density either by energy conservation or by operation in a mild climate with few heating or cooling degree days. Guidance is provided on cost trade-offs between the conventional duct system and the small-diameter duct system.« less
  • Copyright American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA, 19428, USA. This document is available from NTIS under license from ASTM.
  • This report investigates the feasibility of using a home-run manifold small-diameter duct system to provide space-conditioning air to individual thermal zones in a low-load home. This compact layout allows duct systems to easily be brought within conditioned space via interior partition walls. Centrally locating the air handling unit in the house significantly reduces duct lengths. The plenum box is designed so that each connected duct receives a similar amount of airflow—regardless of its position on the box. Furthermore, within a reasonable set of length restrictions each duct continues to receive similar airflow.
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