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Title: A Simplified Methodology to Estimate Energy Savings in Commercial Buildings from Improvements in Airtightness

Abstract

Air leakage through the envelope of commercial buildings in the United States accounts for approximately 6% of their energy use. Various simulation approaches have been proposed to estimate the impact of air leakage on building energy use. Although approaches that are based on detailed airflow modeling appear to be the most accurate to calculate infiltration heat transfer in simulation models, these approaches tend to require significant modeling expertise and effort. To make these energy savings estimates more readily available to building owners and designers, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Air Barrier Association of America, and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a user-friendly online calculator that applies a detailed airflow modeling approach to examine energy savings due to airtightness in commercial buildings. The calculator, however, is limited to 52 US cities and a few cities in Canada and China. This paper describes the development of an alternative, simplified method to estimate energy savings from improved airtightness. The proposed method uses the same detailed approach for hourly infiltration calculations as the online calculator but it expands the ability to estimate energy savings to all US cities using hourly outdoor air temperature asmore » the only input. The new simple regression model-based approach was developed and tested with DOE’s standalone retail prototype building model. Results from the new approach and the calculator show good agreement. In addition, a simple approach to estimate percent energy savings for retrofitted buildings was also developed; results were within 5% of the energy saving estimates from the online calculator.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1489580
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energies (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energies (Basel); Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; air leakage; infiltration; airtightness; commercial prototype buildings; energy savings; retrofits; EnergyPlus; stand-alone retail building

Citation Formats

Bhandari, Mahabir S., Hun, Diana E., Shrestha, Som S., Pallin, Simon B., and Lapsa, Melissa Voss. A Simplified Methodology to Estimate Energy Savings in Commercial Buildings from Improvements in Airtightness. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3390/en11123322.
Bhandari, Mahabir S., Hun, Diana E., Shrestha, Som S., Pallin, Simon B., & Lapsa, Melissa Voss. A Simplified Methodology to Estimate Energy Savings in Commercial Buildings from Improvements in Airtightness. United States. doi:10.3390/en11123322.
Bhandari, Mahabir S., Hun, Diana E., Shrestha, Som S., Pallin, Simon B., and Lapsa, Melissa Voss. Wed . "A Simplified Methodology to Estimate Energy Savings in Commercial Buildings from Improvements in Airtightness". United States. doi:10.3390/en11123322. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1489580.
@article{osti_1489580,
title = {A Simplified Methodology to Estimate Energy Savings in Commercial Buildings from Improvements in Airtightness},
author = {Bhandari, Mahabir S. and Hun, Diana E. and Shrestha, Som S. and Pallin, Simon B. and Lapsa, Melissa Voss},
abstractNote = {Air leakage through the envelope of commercial buildings in the United States accounts for approximately 6% of their energy use. Various simulation approaches have been proposed to estimate the impact of air leakage on building energy use. Although approaches that are based on detailed airflow modeling appear to be the most accurate to calculate infiltration heat transfer in simulation models, these approaches tend to require significant modeling expertise and effort. To make these energy savings estimates more readily available to building owners and designers, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Air Barrier Association of America, and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a user-friendly online calculator that applies a detailed airflow modeling approach to examine energy savings due to airtightness in commercial buildings. The calculator, however, is limited to 52 US cities and a few cities in Canada and China. This paper describes the development of an alternative, simplified method to estimate energy savings from improved airtightness. The proposed method uses the same detailed approach for hourly infiltration calculations as the online calculator but it expands the ability to estimate energy savings to all US cities using hourly outdoor air temperature as the only input. The new simple regression model-based approach was developed and tested with DOE’s standalone retail prototype building model. Results from the new approach and the calculator show good agreement. In addition, a simple approach to estimate percent energy savings for retrofitted buildings was also developed; results were within 5% of the energy saving estimates from the online calculator.},
doi = {10.3390/en11123322},
journal = {Energies (Basel)},
number = 12,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Standalone retail building prototype. Left: Building shape and orientation. Right: Layout of five thermal zones.

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Works referenced in this record:

Contrasting the capabilities of building energy performance simulation programs
journal, April 2008


Different modeling strategies of infiltration rates for an office building to improve accuracy of building energy simulations
journal, January 2015


Multizone airflow models for calculating infiltration rates in commercial reference buildings
journal, March 2013


Analysis of U.S. Commercial Building Envelope Air Leakage Database to Support Sustainable Building Design
journal, March 2014


Airtightness in New and Retrofitted U.S. Army Buildings
journal, March 2014


Weather correlations to calculate infiltration rates for U. S. commercial building energy models
journal, January 2018


A novel method for measuring air infiltration rate in buildings
journal, June 2018


CO2 tracer gas concentration decay method for measuring air change rate
journal, January 2015


Feasibility of building envelope air leakage measurement using combination of air-handler and blower door
journal, July 2013


Field measurements of infiltration rate in high rise residential buildings using the constant concentration method
journal, February 2016