A Computer Simulation Appraisal of Non-Residential Low Energy Cooling Systems in California

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Conference Paper

Date Published




An appraisal of the potential performance of different Low Energy Cooling (LEC) systems in nonresidential buildings in California is being conducted using computer simulation. The paper presents results from the first phase of the study, which addressed the systems that can be modeled, with the DOE-2.1E simulation program.

The following LEC technologies were simulated as variants of a conventional variable-air-volume system with vapor compression cooling and mixing ventilation in the occupied spaces:

  • Air-side indirect and indirect/direct evaporative pre-cooling
  • Cool beams
  • Displacement ventilation

Results are presented for four populous climates, represented by Oakland, Sacramento, Pasadena and San Diego. The greatest energy savings are obtained from a combination of displacement ventilation and air-side indirect/direct evaporative pre-cooling. Cool beam systems have the lowest peak demand but do not reduce energy consumption significantly because the reduction in fan energy is offset by a reduction in air-side free cooling. Overall, the results indicate significant opportunities for LEC technologies to reduce energy consumption and demand in non-residential new construction and retrofit.


2002 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

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