New whole-house mechanical ventilation controls enhance HVAC systems to provide homeowners with added energy savings and indoor air comfort
UCF researchers have developed a smart ventilation system that can be used with new or existing residential heating and cooling systems to improve indoor air quality, reduce costs and save energy. Most ventilation control systems are simplistic, using only temperature to try and optimize air quality and system usage. In contrast, the UCF invention has a more comprehensive approach to system optimization. It evaluates not only temperature but also other parameters, such as humidity, occupancy and utility peak conditions. Thus, by accounting for natural daily and seasonal temperature and humidity cycles, the new system can provide homeowners with added comfort and energy savings.
The invention comprises a smart ventilation control system and methods for optimizing the mechanical ventilation airflow of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A unique weather-adaptive algorithm enables the system to interpret measurements of outdoor temperature and moisture patterns and then vary ventilation conditions to minimize sensible and latent load impacts. The system works to shift ventilation from periods that have large indoor-outdoor temperature and moisture differences to periods when the differences are smaller, and their effects on energy and comfort are expected to be less. The UCF Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) conducted simulations to tune the algorithm with differing flow targets and seasonal adjustment factors to maximize heating and cooling energy savings. The scheme maintained similar indoor relative humidity and relative exposure targets (compared to continuous ventilation) with respect to ASHRAE Standard 62.2. One simulation suggested that compliant annual average and acute RE could be maintained with 73 percent sensible and 9 percent latent load reductions during cooling conditions.
- Reduces energy use and costs associated with heating and cooling systems
- Automatically adjusts ventilation to changes in climate and weather patterns
- Average cooling energy savings of 10 percent due to a reduction in latent load
- Complies with ASHRAE Standard 62.2
- Residential-scale ventilation products
- Can be used with existing energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) or to develop new ERVs to reduce cooling needs significantly