Advanced Controls for Residential Whole-House Ventilation Systems

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Whole-house ventilation systems are becoming commonplace in new construction, remodeling/renovation, and weatherization projects, driven by combinations of specific requirements for indoor air quality (IAQ), health and compliance with standards, such as ASHRAE 62.2. Ventilation systems incur an energy penalty on the home via fan power used to drive the airflow, and the additional space-conditioning load associated with heating or cooling the ventilation air. Finding a balance between IAQ and energy use is important if homes are to be adequately ventilated while not increasing the energy burden. This study used computer simulations to examine RIVEC the Residential Integrated Ventilation Controller - a prototype ventilation controller that aims to deliver whole-house ventilation rates that comply with ventilation standards, for the minimum use of energy. Four different whole-house ventilation systems were simulated, both with and without RIVEC, so that the energy and IAQ results could be compared. Simulations were conducted for 13 US climate zones, three house designs, and three envelope leakage values.The results showed that the RIVEC controller could typically return ventilation energy savings greater than 40percent without compromising long-term chronic or short-term acute exposures to relevant indoor contaminants. Critical and average peak power loads were also reduced as a consequence of using RIVEC.

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