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Building HVAC Efficiency Open Access

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Energy efficiency is a key component of sustainable living. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings use an immense amount of energy and a lot of it is unnecessary. As technology has advanced, energy efficient HVAC systems have been implemented into buildings. But the cost of replacing an existing system with a new system is hefty. Instead, current HVAC systems can be retrofitted by the addition of zones. Adding a zone consists of adding a sensor, wiring, and an actuated damper. The goal of the project is to achieve 15% energy savings and for the retrofitted system to have a three year payback time. A three-story commercial building was modelled in Autodesk REVIT with floors consisting of cubicles and office spaces. The program allows for realistic building design for accurate evaluation. The model was then imported into AutoDesk CFD software for the testing and evaluation of temperature distribution on each floor under different conditions. The energy usage can be cut in half based on the when the airflow rate is cut in half but still supplied at the same temperature. When the energy usage is lower, the HVAC cost is reduced simultaneously.

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