Initial Business Case Analysis of Two Integrated Heat Pump HVAC Systems for Near-Zero-Energy Homes -- Update to Include Analyses of an Economizer Option and Alternative Winter Water Heating Control Option

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The long range strategic goal of the Department of Energy's Building Technologies (DOE/BT) Program is to create, by 2020, technologies and design approaches that enable the construction of net-zero energy homes at low incremental cost (DOE/BT 2005). A net zero energy home (NZEH) is a residential building with greatly reduced needs for energy through efficiency gains, with the balance of energy needs supplied by renewable technologies. While initially focused on new construction, these technologies and design approaches are intended to have application to buildings constructed before 2020 as well resulting in substantial reduction in energy use for all building types ... continued below

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Baxter, Van D December 1, 2006.

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Description

The long range strategic goal of the Department of Energy's Building Technologies (DOE/BT) Program is to create, by 2020, technologies and design approaches that enable the construction of net-zero energy homes at low incremental cost (DOE/BT 2005). A net zero energy home (NZEH) is a residential building with greatly reduced needs for energy through efficiency gains, with the balance of energy needs supplied by renewable technologies. While initially focused on new construction, these technologies and design approaches are intended to have application to buildings constructed before 2020 as well resulting in substantial reduction in energy use for all building types and ages. DOE/BT's Emerging Technologies (ET) team is working to support this strategic goal by identifying and developing advanced heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and water heating (HVAC/WH) technology options applicable to NZEHs. Although the energy efficiency of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment has increased substantially in recent years, new approaches are needed to continue this trend. Dramatic efficiency improvements are necessary to enable progress toward the NZEH goals, and will require a radical rethinking of opportunities to improve system performance. The large reductions in HVAC energy consumption necessary to support the NZEH goals require a systems-oriented analysis approach that characterizes each element of energy consumption, identifies alternatives, and determines the most cost-effective combination of options. In particular, HVAC equipment must be developed that addresses the range of special needs of NZEH applications in the areas of reduced HVAC and water heating energy use, humidity control, ventilation, uniform comfort, and ease of zoning. In FY05 ORNL conducted an initial Stage 1 (Applied Research) scoping assessment of HVAC/WH systems options for future NZEHs to help DOE/BT identify and prioritize alternative approaches for further development. Eleven system concepts with central air distribution ducting and nine multi-zone systems were selected and their annual and peak demand performance estimated for five locations: Atlanta (mixed-humid), Houston (hot-humid), Phoenix (hot-dry), San Francisco (marine), and Chicago (cold). Performance was estimated by simulating the systems using the TRNSYS simulation engine (Solar Energy Laboratory et al. 2006) in two 1800-ft{sup 2} houses--a Building America (BA) benchmark house and a prototype NZEH taken from BEopt results at the take-off (or crossover) point (i.e., a house incorporating those design features such that further progress towards ZEH is through the addition of photovoltaic power sources, as determined by current BEopt analyses conducted by NREL). Results were summarized in a project report, HVAC Equipment Design options for Near-Zero-Energy Homes--A Stage 2 Scoping Assessment, ORNL/TM-2005/194 (Baxter 2005). The 2005 study report describes the HVAC options considered, the ranking criteria used, and the system rankings by priority. In 2006, the two top-ranked options from the 2005 study, air-source and ground-source versions of an integrated heat pump (IHP) system, were subjected to an initial business case study. The IHPs were subjected to a more rigorous hourly-based assessment of their performance potential compared to a baseline suite of equipment of legally minimum efficiency that provided the same heating, cooling, water heating, demand dehumidification, and ventilation services as the IHPs. Results were summarized in a project report, Initial Business Case Analysis of Two Integrated Heat Pump HVAC Systems for Near-Zero-Energy Homes, ORNL/TM-2006/130 (Baxter 2006). The present report is an update to that document. Its primary purpose is to summarize results of an analysis of the potential of adding an outdoor air economizer operating mode to the IHPs to take advantage of free cooling (using outdoor air to cool the house) whenever possible. In addition it provides some additional detail for an alternative winter water heating/space heating (WH/SH) control strategy briefly described in the original report and corrects some minor errors.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2006/625
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/931497 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 931497
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898694

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  • December 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 4:36 p.m.

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Baxter, Van D. Initial Business Case Analysis of Two Integrated Heat Pump HVAC Systems for Near-Zero-Energy Homes -- Update to Include Analyses of an Economizer Option and Alternative Winter Water Heating Control Option, report, December 1, 2006; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898694/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.