Capturing Energy Savings from VAV Box Minimums
Project Lead: Yuming Xu
Sponsor: CEDR, Paul Raftery
TGIF Grant: $49,937.00
Project Theme: Energy Conservation & Efficiency
Project Description: Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems are the most common Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems for commercial and institutional buildings. The typical design and control strategies for these systems are quite inefficient, especially in older buildings. One specific practice that has resulted in significant energy waste in building ventilation systems is setting an unnecessarily high minimum airflow setpoint for a space (30-50% of maximum airflow). This causes excessive air recirculation in the building, wasting substantial fan, cooling, and heating energy (and therefore GHG emissions). This project will move the campus towards carbon neutrality by reducing campus energy waste and the associated emissions, by reducing minimum airflows without changing the amount of ventilation (fresh) air entering the building. The TGIF grant will fund a stipend for a graduate student working with Center for the Built Environment (CBE), Yuming, to update the minimum airflow setpoints in at least one campus building and implement other low- or no- cost energy saving measures as possible. There will be close collaboration with the Energy Management System (EMS) group in Facilities Services and the Energy Office. They will monitor the building(s) during the summer (including historical energy and trend data as available), correct the VAV box minimum airflow setpoints, and collect data throughout the Fall semester. This will provide pre- and post-implementation data, which they will analyze in the Spring semester to provide a quantitative metric of energy-savings.
Goals: 1) Reduce campus energy waste and the associated emissions to move the campus towards carbon neutrality.
2) Update the minimum airflow setpoints in at least one campus building
3) Provide quantitative energy-saving result and project the savings across all campus buildings.
4) Provide a detailed, publicly available guide including the processes to implement changes, lessons learned, estimated time and costs required, and estimated savings/ROI.