Development of Advanced Smart Ventilation Controls for Residential Applications
This study examined the use of zoned ventilation systems using a coupled CONTAM/EnergyPlus model for new California dwellings. Several smart control strategies were developed with a target of halving ventilation-related energy use, largely through reducing dwelling ventilation rates based on zone occupancy. The controls were evaluated based on the annual energy consumption relative to continuously operating non-zoned, code-compliant mechanical ventilation systems. The systems were also evaluated from an indoor air quality perspective using the equivalency approach, where the annual personal concentration of a contaminant for a control strategy is compared to the personal concentration that would have occurred using a continuously operating, non-zoned system. Individual occupant personal concentrations were calculated for the following contaminants of concern: moisture, CO2, particles, and a generic contaminant. Zonal controls that saved energy by reducing outside airflow achieved typical reductions in ventilation-related energy of 10% to 30%, compared to the 7% savings from the unzoned control. However, this was at the expense of increased personal concentrations for some contaminants in most cases. In addition, care is required in the design and evaluation of zonal controls, because control strategies may reduce exposure to some contaminants, while increasing exposure to others.