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Title: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system optimization : a study of the effect of climate, building design, system selection and control strategy on the energy consumption of a typical office building in London and Athens
Author: Spasis, G.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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The increasing demand for air conditioning in commercial buildings imposes a serious threat to Europe's CO2 reduction targets. Architects and engineers are therefore in a key position to help reduce the impact of buildings on the environment by taking appropriate decisions concerning the design of the building and the associated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The thesis studies the effect of a number of building and HVAC system related design factors on the energy performance of a notional air-conditioned office building employing either a variable air volume (VAV) system with terminal re-heaters, or a four-pipe fan coil unit (FCU) system with fresh air supply from a central plant, using mainly a dynamic simulation tool and the response surface methodology. The evaluation of the energy performance of the HVAC systems is for two types of climate, using typical weather data for London (UK) and Athens (Greece). It has been found that the design variables associated with the solar radiation through the transparent building elements and the internal heat gains should be the main concern of the building designer. On the other hand, the HVAC system engineer should give emphasis to the parameters associated with the plant performance and operation, as well as the temperature control set-points. It has been shown that it is possible to reduce the carbon emissions of the base case scenario by up to 88% depending on the HVAC system and the climate for which it is simulated. The carbon savings, however, are reduced by up to 22% where humidification is provided. This reduction differs depending on the HVAC system and the climatic conditions. The VAV system is more energy efficient than the FCU system, mainly due to the exploitation of the free cooling capacity of the outdoor air. The difference in carbon emissions between the two systems drops when both of them are simulated for the Athens as opposed to the London typical weather conditions. It has been found that it is possible to turn the carbon scales in favour of the FCU system when humidification to a high RH set-point is provided throughout the year, since the adjustment of the RH of the air is particularly energy wasteful for the VAV system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available