Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Simulating Energy Usage Impact of Retrofitting Residential Registers with a Simple Damper System
by Skinner, Colin E., M.S., Tufts University, 2016, 110; 10118604
Abstract (Summary)

Air conditioning and heating comprised 47.7% of total energy usage in residential homes in the United States in 2009 equating to 4.86 quad (5.13 EJ) energy used. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this is down from 58% in 1993. This is in large part due to the difference types of energy efficiency measures, from installing more efficient equipment to drafting better building codes that are inclusive of energy saving measures. Generally, these measures are very effective for new buildings. However, older buildings may still rely on less efficient materials and equipment thus inflating the building's energy usage.

The installation of simple dampers on the registers of a two-story, 2400 sq. ft. residential house as a retrofit measure to increase energy efficiency of its heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system is explored in this thesis. A residential house was modeled in EnergyPlus (v8.4), a whole-building energy simulation software available from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The house was simulated for total energy usage with a typical HVAC system serving seven rooms; it was compared to a simulation of the same system with simple dampers installed on the registers.

It is shown that by installing dampers that self-fluctuate for local room temperatures, the system has an 11% reduction in energy usage in the Boston, Massachusetts climate zone. Additionally, the dampers are able to reduce hot and cold spots within the building and reduce, on average, the difference between the first and second floor temperatures. It is also shown that the effects of overpressurization of the HVAC system could be minor through an airflow simulation using CONTAM and EnergyPlus, but more experimentation is required. Seven other climate zones in the US were also simulated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chiesa, Luisa
Commitee: Chiesa, Luisa, Gevelber, Michael, Hannemann, Robert
School: Tufts University
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Energyplus, Hvacr, Register dampers
Publication Number: 10118604
ISBN: 978-1-339-79933-9
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