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Using the IESVE to identify building tuning opportunities

By Roger Cladingboel on Tuesday 24 February 2015

Building tuning has long been recognised as a critical method for improving the performance of existing buildings. However estimating the potential benefits of HVAC control adjustments can be difficult if you don’t have the right building simulation technology.

A paper written by Dr Paul Bannister and Hongsen Zhang of Energy Action Pty Ltd (incorporating Energy Australia Pty Ltd), was recently published in Ecolibrium, the official journal of AIRAH. The paper named ‘What simulation can tell us about building tuning’ investigates how by using the IESVE, it is possible to test a number of common tuning strategies to determine their effectiveness in achieving energy savings.

Using an IES Simulation Model, the impacts of a number of common control algorithm adjustments were assessed, including dead-band adjustments for VAV terminals, fan control and supply-air temperature control, economy cycle and minimum outside air control. Results are repeated for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Darwin to show the way energy impacts change with climate.

The Base case is a typical Australian commercial building with a conventional well-designed VAV HVAC system. The VAV configuration represents the most common building servicing type for medium to large buildings in Australia.

Combined scenarios with common failures or improvements are used to show that the difference between best practice and poor control can range as high as 90 percent, demonstrating the fundamental importance of control. Sensitivity to control is considerably greater in milder climates.

Click here to read the full paper.


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