AIVC - Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre

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Can duct tape take the heat?

Duct leakage has been identified as a major source of energy loss in residential buildings. Most duct leakage occurs at the connections to registers, plenums or branches in the duct system. At each of these connections a method of sealing the duct system is required. Typical sealing methods include tapes or mastics applied around the joints in the system. Field examinations of duct systems have typically shown that these seals tend to fail over extended periods of time.

Case Study Field Evaluation of a Systems Approach to Retrofitting a Residential HVAC System

This case study focusing on a residence in northern California was undertaken as a demonstration of the potential of a systems approach to HVAC retrofits. The systems approach means that other retrofits that can affect the HVAC system are also considered. For example, added building envelope insulation reduces building loads so that smaller capacity HVAC system can be used. Secondly, we wanted to examine the practical issues and interactions with contractors and code officials required to accomplish the systems approach because it represents a departure from current practice.

Classification of measured indoor volatile organic compounds based on noncancer health and comfort considerations

Building occupants are exposed to complex mixtures of air pollutants including many volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A recent review summarized the central tendency and upper limit indoor VOC concentrations measured in North American residences and office buildings since 1990. Although this database is limited in many respects, it serves as a useful starting point for evaluating the potential health and comfort effects of indoor VOC exposures. Excluding cancer and birth defects, the primary concern is chronic inhalation exposure to toxicants that can cause serious health problems.

COMIS - an international multizone air-flow and contaminant transport model.

A number of interzonal models have been developed to calculate air flows and pollutant transport mechanisms in both single and multizone buildings. A recent development in multizone air-flow modeling, the COMIS model, has a number of capabilities that go beyond previous models, much as COMIS can be used as either a stand-alone air-flow model with input and output features or as an infiltration module for thermal building simulation programs.

Comparison between predicted duct effectiveness from proposed ASHRAE standard 152P and measured field data for residential forced air cooling systems

The proposed ASHRAE Standard 152P "Method of Test for Determining the Design and Seasonal Efficiencies of Residential Thermal Distribution Systems" (ASHRAE 2002) has recently completed its second public review. As part of the standard development process, this study compares the forced air distribution system ratings provided by the public review draft of Standard 152P to measured field results. 58 field tests were performed on cooling systems in 11 homes in the summers of 1998 and 1999.

Deposition of biological aerosols on HVAC heat exchangers

Many biologically active materials are transported as bioaerosols 1-10 µm in diameter. These particles can deposit on cooling and heating coils and lead to serious indoor air quality problems. This paper investigates several of the mechanisms that lead to aerosol deposition on fin and tube heat exchangers. A model has been developed that incorporates the effects of several deposition mechanisms, including impaction, Brownian and turbulent diffusion, turbophoresis, thermophoresis, diffusiophoresis, and gravitational settling.

Development of a New Duct leakage Test: Delta Q

Several studies (Francisco and Palmiter 1997 and 1999, Andrews et al. 1998, and Siegel et al. 2001) have shown that the duct system efficiency cannot be reliably determined without good estimates of duct leakage. Specifically, for energy calculations, it is the duct leakage air flow to outside at operating conditions that is required. Existing test methods either precisely measure the size of leaks (but not the flow through them at operating conditions), or measure these flows with insufficient accuracy.

Dirty air conditioners: Energy implications of coil fouling

Residential air conditioning is responsible for a substantial amount of peak electrical demand and energy consumption throughout most of the United States. Coil fouling, the deposition of indoor dusts and other particulate matter on evaporator heat exchangers, increases system pressure drop and, correspondingly, decreases system air flow and air conditioner performance. In this paper, we apply experimental and simulation results describing particle deposition on evaporator coils as well as research about indoor particle and dust concentrations to determine coil fouling rates.

Distribution effectiveness and impacts on equipment sizing for residential thermal distribution systems

Previous studies (including earlier phases of this research project) have shown that losses from residential thermal distribution systems have significant energy and comfort implications. This study looks at the potential for improvement of thermal distribution systems and the possibility of reducing equipment size as a result. These distribution system and equipment interactions were examined through field testing and computer simulation.

Duct Tape Durability Testing

Duct leakage has been identified as a major source of energy loss in residential buildings. Most duct leakage occurs at the connections to registers, plenums or branches in the duct system. At each of these connections a method of sealing the duct system is required. Typical sealing methods include tapes or mastics applied around the joints in the system. Field examinations of duct systems have typically shown that these seals tend to fail over extended periods of time. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been testing sealant durability for several years. Typical duct tape (i.e.