Active improvement of air-conditioning system energy consumption with adaptive thermal comfort approach

Muhammad Saleh, Muhammad Fadzli (2013) Active improvement of air-conditioning system energy consumption with adaptive thermal comfort approach. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The MSc research project aims to suggest improvements to building air-conditioning control systems, to reduce energy consumption while maintaining the comfort level of the occupants. Recent studies have shown that a more “adaptive” approach towards temperature control might be favourable both in terms of energy use and in occupant comfort. An ASHRAE Standard 90.1 compliant Building Energy Analysis Computer Program is utilized to determine potential energy savings with improved operation of the air-conditioning system. These predictions are compared with actual energy savings measured in a field trial carried out in an office building in Peninsular Malaysia. This country is considered to be optimum for such studies because it is where performance can be seen to be attributed to the system and not to external variations caused by the weather.
The field trial conducted consisted of 2 experiments: background measurement while an adaptive approach is adopted, and a transverse survey (of thermal comfort) with energy comparison. The background measurement experiment aimed to investigate the actual indoor climate behaviour when constant, ramp and cyclic changes were applied to the indoor set-point temperature. The other experiment aimed to compare and understand actual occupant responses to constant, cyclic and ramp variations as well as to measure the corresponding HVAC system energy savings.
Although simulations showed that energy reduction could be got through set-point manipulation and experiments showed that occupant comfort were maintained, the HVAC system chosen failed to accommodate the prescribed trajectories. Thus it was not possible to demonstrate the practicability of the approach. However internal temperatures did fluctuate, so to a large extent the occupant surveys were valid and revealed occupant views on temperatures that varied with time. Since decision to choose the selected office building for the field trial was determined after stages of detail comparison to other similar buildings, findings in this research project could certainly be useful for Malaysian government to gauge the actual condition and performance of present HVAC control systems installed in their buildings. A number of buildings were examined and all appeared to suffer from similar problem. Poor building performance must be the key conclusion of this dissertation.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: HVAC Energy Savings, Adaptive Thermal Comfort
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Howell, Dr. John
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr Muhammad Fadzli Muhammad Saleh
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-3928
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2013 10:02
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2013 10:04

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