HVAC and VOCs: interaction between building systems and indoor VOC concentrations

HVAC systems in newly built or extensively renovated dwellings were all developed with the aim for energy saving with equal or better comfort. However, these systems (floor heating and DCV systems) have certain characteristics which increase the emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and give VOCs the chance to accumulate to higher concentrations. This interaction is investigated based on dynamic simulations using a temperature and humidity dependent VOC emission model. 

Lessons learned from a ten-year monitoring in residential buildings equipped with humidity based demand controlled ventilation in France

Humidity-based DCV systems have been widely used in France for 35 years and are considered as a reference system, including for low-energy residential buildings. Indeed, most of the new residential buildings, which must be low-energy buildings to comply with the RT 2012 energy performance regulation, are equipped with such systems. Feedbacks from two long-term studies show the durability of the humidity sensitive components and show the robustness of this system to bad maintenance or use by occupants.

A review of performance-based approaches to residential smart ventilation

In order to better address energy and indoor air quality issues, ventilation needs to become smarter. A key smart ventilation concept is to use controls to ventilate more at times it provides either an energy or IAQ advantage (or both) and less when it provides a disadvantage. This would be done in a manner that provides improved home energy and IAQ performance, relative to a “dumb” base case. This paper highlights that a favourable context exists in many countries, with regulations and standards proposing “performance-based approaches”.

TVOC concentrations measured in Belgium dwellings and their potential for DCV control

Over the last decade, TVOC sensors have been touted as an interesting alternative to CO2 and RH sensors in DCV systems. Nevertheless, there is little evidence on the nature and the profile of TVOC concentrations in modern dwellings.

Demand controlled ventilation in renovated buildings with reuse of existing ductwork

Most existing non-residential buildings have Constant Air Volume (CAV) ventilation leading to over-ventilation in periods with low or no occupancy. Demand controlled ventilation (DCV) can considerably reduce the ventilation airflow rate and energy use for fans, heating and cooling compared to constant air volume (CAV) ventilation. There is a potentially enormous upcoming marked for converting from CAV to efficient DCV in existing commercial buildings.

New developments in VOC sensing for DCV

The paper summarizes the activites undertaken by AppliedSensor within the European Clear-up project with respect to new developments in volatile organic compound sensing for demand controlled ventilation. State-of-the-art is to use non-dispersive infrared sensor technology for indoor carbon dioxide detection. Carbon dioxide so far serves as indicator for bad indoor air quality and required ventilation rates.

Evaluation of some DCV control strategies based on building types

During the recent decades, energy consumption of buildings, together with the costs for operation, has gained increasing concern. HVAC systems stand for a significant share of the total energy consumption in buildings. Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) has proved to be an efficient system that gives opportunity to strongly reduce energy consumption, especially when contamination loads or temperature load vary during the operating hours. 30-60% energy reduction can be expected by applying proper DCV.

Demand control ventilation using CO2.

Carbon dioxide (CO)-based demand controlled ventilation (DCV) is increasingly used to modulate outside air ventilation based on real-time occupancy. Its use could potentially become as common as thermostatic control is today. This article summarizes the current state of the art in CO 2 -based ventilation control including a brief discussion of the technology used, its reliability and how it is best applied. Like any control approach, the success of a C02-based DCV application is dependent on how it is engineered and installed.