Description: In this report, we present an analytical evaluation of the potential of occupant-regulated distributed environmental control systems (DECS) to enhance individual occupant thermal comfort in an office building with no increase, and possibly even a decrease in annual energy consumption. To this end we developed and applied several analytical models that allowed us to optimize comfort and energy consumption in partitioned office buildings equipped with either conventional central HVAC systems or occupant-regulated DECS. Our approach involved the following interrelated components: 1. Development of a simplified lumped-parameter thermal circuit model to compute the annual energy consumption. This was necessitated by the need to perform tens of thousands of optimization calculations involving different US climatic regions, and different occupant thermal preferences of a population of ~50 office occupants. Yearly transient simulations using TRNSYS, a time-dependent building energy modeling program, were run to determine the robustness of the simplified approach against time-dependent simulations. The simplified model predicts yearly energy consumption within approximately 0.6% of an equivalent transient simulation. Simulations of building energy usage were run for a wide variety of climatic regions and control scenarios, including traditional “one-size-fits-all” (OSFA) control; providing a uniform temperature to the entire building, and occupant-selected “have-it-your-way” (HIYW) control with a thermostat at each workstation. The thermal model shows that, un-optimized, DECS would lead to an increase in building energy consumption between 3-16% compared to the conventional approach depending on the climate regional and personal preferences of building occupants. Variations in building shape had little impact in the relative energy usage. 2. Development of a gradient-based optimization method to minimize energy consumption of DECS while keeping each occupant’s thermal dissatisfaction below a given threshold. The DECS energy usage was calculated using the simplified thermal model. OSFA control; providing a uniform temperature to the entire building, and occupant-selected HIYW control ...
Date: February 23, 2011
Creator: Khalifa, H. Ezzat; Isik, Can & Dannenhoffer, John F. III
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department