Improving air handler efficiency in houses

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Although furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps have become significantly more efficient over the last couple of decades, residential air handlers have typical efficiencies of only 10% to 15% due to poor electric motor performance and aerodynamically poor fans and fan housings. Substantial increases in performance could be obtained through improved air handler design and construction. A prototype residential air handler intended to address these issues has recently been developed. The prototype and a standard production fan were tested in a full-scale duct system and test chamber at LBNL specifically designed for testing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The ... continued below

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14 pages

Creation Information

Walker, Iain S. May 1, 2004.

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Description

Although furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps have become significantly more efficient over the last couple of decades, residential air handlers have typical efficiencies of only 10% to 15% due to poor electric motor performance and aerodynamically poor fans and fan housings. Substantial increases in performance could be obtained through improved air handler design and construction. A prototype residential air handler intended to address these issues has recently been developed. The prototype and a standard production fan were tested in a full-scale duct system and test chamber at LBNL specifically designed for testing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The laboratory tests compared efficiency, total airflow, sensitivity to duct system flow resistance, and the effects of installation in a smaller cabinet. The test results showed that the prototype air handler had about twice the efficiency of the standard air handler (averaged over a wide range of operating conditions) and was less sensitive to duct system flow resistance changes. The performance of both air handlers was significantly reduced by reducing the clearance between the air handler and cabinet it was placed in. These test results showed that in addition to the large scope for performance improvement, air handler fans need to be tested in the cabinets they operate in.

Physical Description

14 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00828559

Source

  • 2004 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Pacific Grove, CA (US), 08/22/2004--08/27/2004

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  • Report No.: LBNL--54760
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 828559
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786387

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • May 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 4, 2016, 3:21 p.m.

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Walker, Iain S. Improving air handler efficiency in houses, article, May 1, 2004; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786387/: accessed July 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.