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The Envelope Thermal Test Unit (ETTU): Full Measurement of WallPerform ance

Description: There are many ways of calculating the dynamic thermal performance of walls and many ways of measuring the performance of walls in the laboratory, relatively few field measurements have been made of the dynamic performance of wall in situ. Measuring the thermal performance of walls in situ poses two separate problems: measuring the heat fluxes and surface temperatures of the wall, and reducing this data set into usable parameters. We have solved the first problem by developing the Envelope Thermal Test Unit (ETTU). ETTU consists of two specially constructed polystyrene blankets, 1.2m square, placed on either side of the test wall that both control and measure the surface fluxes and surface temperatures of the wall. To solve the second problem we have developed a simplified dynamic model that describes the thermal performance of a wall in terms of its steady-state conductance, a time constant, and some storage terms. We have used ETTU in the field to measure the thermal performance of walls, and have applied our simplified analysis to calculate simplified thermal parameters from this data set. In this report, we present the in-situ measurements made to date using ETTU, and the resulting model predictions. The agreement between measured and predicted surface fluxes demonstrates the ability of our test unit and analytic model to describe the dynamic performance of walls in situ.
Date: October 1, 1981
Creator: Sonderegger, R.C.; Sherman, M.H. & Adams, J.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Infiltration measurements in audit and retrofit programs

Description: A model that relates fan pressurization measurements to infiltration values during the heating season is the basis for infiltration estimates in several different audit programs. The model is described and validation results are presented. The model is used in three different audit strategies. The first is an energy audit to determine economically optimal retrofits for residential buildings, based on actual, on-site measurments of key indices of the house. Measurements are analyzed on a microprocessor and retrofit combinations compatible with minimum life-cycle cost and occupant preferences are determined. The second uses graphical techniques to make infiltration calculations while the third is a non-instrumented walk-through audit that was developed as a standard reference in the Residential Conservation Service Program.
Date: April 1, 1981
Creator: Grimsrud, D.T.; Sonderegger, R.C. & Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Although the U-values of many building materials have been determined by laboratory testing, the in-situ thermal performance of walls, under either static or dynamic conditions, is not so well documented. This report examines the use of field measurements of heat flow and surface temperatures to determine the dynamic as well as static thermal performance of walls. The measurement strategies examined include both active devices, which generate their own heat fluxes on the wall surfaces, and passive devices, which rely on the weather to induce the required fluxes and temperature differences. Data obtained with both devices are analyzed with the Simplified Thermal Parameter (STP) model, which was designed to characterize a wall from flux and temperature measurements rather than from assumed material characteristics. The active measurement data are also analyzed with a modified version of the STP model that takes into account lateral heat losses. Some possible sources of error for both active and passive measurement strategies are also examined, and recommendations for both measurement strategies are given.
Date: September 1, 1984
Creator: Modera, M.P.; Sherman, M.H. & de Vinuesa, S.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Distribution Effectiveness for Residential Mechanical Ventilation: Simulation and Comparison of Normalized Exposures

Description: The purpose of ventilation is to dilute indoor contaminants that an occupant is exposed to. Even when providing the same nominal rate of outdoor air, different ventilation systems may distribute air in different ways, affecting occupants' exposure to household contaminants. Exposure ultimately depends on the home being considered, on source disposition and strength, on occupants' behavior, on the ventilation strategy, and on operation of forced air heating and cooling systems. In any multi-zone environment dilution rates and source strengths may be different in every zone and change in time, resulting in exposure being tied to occupancy patterns.This paper will report on simulations that compare ventilation systems by assessing their impact on exposure by examining common house geometries, contaminant generation profiles, and occupancy scenarios. These simulations take into account the unsteady, occupancy-tied aspect of ventilation such as bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans. As most US homes have central HVAC systems, the simulation results will be used to make appropriate recommendations and adjustments for distribution and mixing to residential ventilation standards such as ASHRAE Standard 62.2.This paper will report on work being done to model multizone airflow systems that are unsteady and elaborate the concept of distribution matrix. It will examine several metrics for evaluating the effect of air distribution on exposure to pollutants, based on previous work by Sherman et al. (2006).
Date: May 1, 2009
Creator: Petithuguenin, T.D.P. & Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hazard Assessment of Chemical Air Contaminants Measured in Residences

Description: Identifying air pollutants that pose a potential hazard indoors can facilitate exposure mitigation. In this study, we compiled summary results from 77 published studies reporting measurements of chemical pollutants in residences in the United States and in countries with similar lifestyles. These data were used to calculate representative mid-range and upper bound concentrations relevant to chronic exposures for 267 pollutants and representative peak concentrations relevant to acute exposures for 5 activity-associated pollutants. Representative concentrations are compared to available chronic and acute health standards for 97 pollutants. Fifteen pollutants appear to exceed chronic health standards in a large fraction of homes. Nine other pollutants are identified as potential chronic health hazards in a substantial minority of homes and an additional nine are identified as potential hazards in a very small percentage of homes. Nine pollutants are identified as priority hazards based on the robustness of measured concentration data and the fraction of residences that appear to be impacted: acetaldehyde; acrolein; benzene; 1,3-butadiene; 1,4-dichlorobenzene; formaldehyde; naphthalene; nitrogen dioxide; and PM{sub 2.5}. Activity-based emissions are shown to pose potential acute health hazards for PM{sub 2.5}, formaldehyde, CO, chloroform, and NO{sub 2}.
Date: May 10, 2010
Creator: Logue, J.M.; McKone, T.E.; Sherman, M. H. & Singer, B.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CFD Simulation of Infiltration Heat Recovery

Description: Infiltration has traditionally been assumed to affect the energy load of a building by an amount equal to the product of the infiltration flow rate and the sensible enthalpy difference between inside and outside. Results from detailed computational fluid dynamics simulations of five wall geometries over a range of infiltration rates show that heat transfer between the infiltrating air and walls can be substantial, reducing the impact of infiltration. Factors affecting the heat recovery are leakage path length, infiltration flow rate, and wall construction. The classical method for determination of the infiltration energy load was found to over-predict the amount by as much as 95 percent and by at least 10 percent. However, the air flow paths typical of building envelopes give over-predictions at the low end of this range.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Buchanan, C.R. & Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intercomparison of tracer gases used for air infiltration measurements

Description: A direct intercomparison has been made between common tracer gases used to measure air infiltration rates in buildings. The results indicate that air exchange rates measured using sulfur hexafluoride, SF/sub 6/, are slightly larger than those measured using methane, CH/sub 4/, or nitrous oxide, N/sub 2/O. The ratio of air change rates measured using SF/sub 6/ to air change rates measured concurrently using a lighter tracer gas was found to be 1.10 +- 0.10.
Date: November 1, 1979
Creator: Grimsrud, D.T.; Sherman, M.H.; Janssen, J.E.; Pearman, A.N. & Harrje, D.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of Indoor Air Quality Benefits and Energy Costs of Mechanical Ventilation

Description: Intake of chemical air pollutants in residences represents an important and substantial health hazard. Sealing homes to reduce air infiltration can save space conditioning energy, but can also increase indoor pollutant concentrations. Mechanical ventilation ensures a minimum amount of outdoor airflow that helps reduce concentrations of indoor emitted pollutants while requiring some energy for fan(s) and thermal conditioning of the added airflow. This work demonstrates a physics based, data driven modeling framework for comparing the costs and benefits of whole-house mechanical ventilation and applied the framework to new California homes. The results indicate that, on a population basis, the health benefits from reduced exposure to indoor pollutants in New California homes are worth the energy costs of adding mechanical ventilation as specified by ASHRAE Standard 62.2.This study determines the health burden for a subset of pollutants in indoor air and the costs and benefits of ASHRAE's mechanical ventilation standard (62.2) for new California homes. Results indicate that, on a population basis, the health benefits of new home mechanical ventilation justify the energy costs.
Date: July 1, 2011
Creator: Logue, J.M.; Price, P.N.; Sherman, M.H. & Singer, B.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Efficacy of intermittent ventilation for providing acceptable indoor air quality

Description: Ventilation standards and guidelines typically treat ventilation as a constant and specify its value. In many circumstances a designer wishes to use intermittent ventilation, rather than constant ventilation, but there are no easy equivalencies available. This report develops a model of efficacy that allows one to calculate how much intermittent ventilation one needs to get the same indoor air quality as a the continuous value specified. We have found that there is a simple relationship between three dimensionless quantities: the temporal ventilation effectiveness (which we call the efficacy), the nominal turn-over and the under-ventilation fraction. This relationship allows the calculation of intermittent ventilation for a wide variety of parameters and conditions. We can use the relationship to define a critical time that separates the regime in which ventilation variations can be averaged over from the regime in which variable ventilation is of low effectiveness. We have found that ventilation load-shifting, temporary protection against poor outdoor air quality and dynamic ventilation strategies can be quite effective in low-density buildings such as single-family houses or office spaces. The results of this work enable ventilation standards and guidelines to allow this extra flexibility and still provide acceptable indoor air quality.
Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simplified modeling for infiltration and radon entry

Description: Air leakage in the envelopes of residential buildings is the primary mechanism for provided ventilation to those buildings. For radon the same mechanisms that drive the ventilation, drive the radon entry This paper attempts to provide a simplified physical model that can be used to understand the interactions between the building leakage distribution, the forces that drive infiltration and ventilation, and indoor radon concentrations, Combining both ventilation and entry modeling together allows an estimation of Radon concentration and exposure to be made and demonstrates how changes in the envelope or ventilation system would affect it. This paper will develop simplified modeling approaches for estimating both ventilation rate and radon entry rate based on the air tightness of the envelope and the driving forces. These approaches will use conventional leakage values (i.e. effective leakage area ) to quantify the air tightness and include natural and mechanical driving forces. This paper will introduce a simplified parameter, the Radon Leakage Area, that quantifies the resistance to radon entry. To be practical for dwellings, modeling of the occupant exposures to indoor pollutants must be simple to use and not require unreasonable input data. This paper presents the derivation of the simplified physical model, and applies that model to representative situations to explore the tendencies to be expected under different circumstances.
Date: August 1, 1992
Creator: Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Single-zone stack-dominated infiltration modeling

Description: Simplified, physical models for calculating infiltration in a single zone, usually calculate the air flows from the natural driving forces separately and then combine them. For most purposes -- especially minimum ventilation or energy considerations -- the stack effect dominates and total ventilation can be calculated by treating other effects (i.e., wind and small fans) as perturbations, using superposition techniques. The stack effect is caused by differences in density between indoor and outdoor air, normally attributable to the indoor-outdoor temperature difference. This report derives an exact, but practical, expression for calculating the stack effect from the air densities and leakage distribution using the power law formulation of envelope leakage. The neutral height -- the height at which there is no stack-related indoor-outdoor pressure difference -- is a key intermediate in stack modeling. This report defines a computable parameter called stack height, which contains all of the leakage distribution information necessary for estimating stack flows, thus freeing the model from specific assumptions (e.g., that the leakage is separable into evenly distributed floor, wall, and ceiling components). Example calculations including comparisons with other models, as well as validations using measured data from dwellings, are also presented. The dimensionless neutral level, which is related to the neutral height, is often used as an indicator of leakage distribution and in superposition. Its definition and role in these regards are discussed in detail. The more exact formulation is then used to analyze the simple box cases normally assumed in infiltration modeling and other approximations. Measured ventilation data will be used to infer leakage distributions and neutral levels as well as for example calculations.
Date: September 1, 1991
Creator: Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Formaldehyde as a basis for residential ventilation rates

Description: Traditionally, houses in the U.S. have been ventilated by passive infiltration in combination with active window opening. However in recent years, the construction quality of residential building envelopes has been improved to reduce infiltration, and the use of windows for ventilation also may have decreased due to a number of factors. Thus, there has been increased interest in engineered ventilation systems for residences. The amount of ventilation provided by an engineered system should be set to protect occupants from unhealthy or objectionable exposures to indoor pollutants, while minimizing energy costs for conditioning incoming air. Determining the correct ventilation rate is a complex task, as there are numerous pollutants of potential concern, each having poorly characterized emission rates, and poorly defined acceptable levels of exposure. One ubiquitous pollutant in residences is formaldehyde. The sources of formaldehyde in new houses are reasonably understood, and there is a large body of literature on human health effects. This report examines the use of formaldehyde as a means of determining ventilation rates and uses existing data on emission rates of formaldehyde in new houses to derive recommended levels. Based on current, widely accepted concentration guidelines for formaldehyde, the minimum and guideline ventilation rates for most new houses are 0.28 and 0.5 air changes per hour, respectively.
Date: April 28, 2002
Creator: Sherman, M.H. & Hodgson, A.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a new duct leakage test: DeltaQ

Description: Duct leakage is a key factor in determining energy losses from forced air heating and cooling systems. Several studies (Francisco and Palmiter 1997 and 1999, Andrews et al. 1998, and Siegel et al. 2001) have shown that the duct system efficiency cannot be reliably determined without good estimates of duct leakage. Specifically, for energy calculations, it is the duct leakage air flow to outside at operating conditions that is required. Existing test methods either precisely measure the size of leaks (but not the flow through them at operating conditions), or measure these flows with insufficient accuracy. The DeltaQ duct leakage test method was developed to provide improved estimates of duct leakage during system operation. In this study we developed the analytical calculation methods and the test procedures used in the DeltaQ test. As part of the development process, we have estimated uncertainties in the test method (both analytically and based on field data) and designed automated test procedures to increase accuracy and reduce the contributions of operator errors in performing field tests. In addition, the test has been evaluated in over 100 houses by several research teams to show that it can be used in a wide range of houses and to aid in finding limits or problems in field applications. The test procedure is currently being considered by ASTM as an update of an existing duct leakage standard.
Date: August 1, 2001
Creator: Walker,I.S.; Sherman,M.H.; Wempen, J.; Wang, D.; McWilliams, J.A. & Dickerhoff, D.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of flow hood measurements for residential register flows

Description: Flow measurement at residential registers using flow hoods is becoming more common. These measurements are used to determine if the HVAC system is providing adequate comfort, appropriate flow over heat exchangers and in estimates of system energy losses. These HVAC system performance metrics are determined by using register measurements to find out if individual rooms are getting the correct airflow, and in estimates of total air handler flow and duct air leakage. The work discussed in this paper shows that commercially available flow hoods are poor at measuring flows in residential systems. There is also evidence in this and other studies that flow hoods can have significant errors even when used on the non-residential systems they were originally developed for. The measurement uncertainties arise from poor calibrations and the sensitivity of exiting flow hoods to non-uniformity of flows entering the device. The errors are usually large--on the order of 20% of measured flow, which is unacceptably high for most applications. Active flow hoods that have flow measurement devices that are insensitive to the entering airflow pattern were found to be clearly superior to commercially available flow hoods. In addition, it is clear that current calibration procedures for flow hoods may not take into account any field application problems and a new flow hood measurement standard should be developed to address this issue.
Date: September 1, 2001
Creator: Walker, I.S.; Wray, C.P.; Dickerhoff, D.J. & Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Delta Q method of testing the air leakage of ducts

Description: The DeltaQ test has been developed in order to provide better estimates of forced air system air leakage for use in energy efficiency calculations and for compliance testing of duct systems. The DeltaQ test combines a model of the house and duct system with the results of house pressurization tests with the air handler on and off to determine the duct leakage air flows to outside conditioned space at operating conditions. The key advantage of the DeltaQ test over other methods is that it determines the air leakage flows directly, rather than requiring interpretation of indirect measurements. The results from over 200 field and laboratory tests are presented. The laboratory tests have shown that the DeltaQ repeatability uncertainties are typically 1% or less of system fan flow and that the accuracy of the test is between 1.3% and 2.5% of fan flow (or 13 cfm to 25 cfm (6 to 12 l/s) for this system).
Date: March 1, 2002
Creator: Walker, I.S.; Dickerhoff, D.J. & Sherman, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department