LBNL Report Number
In many parts of North America residential HVAC systems are installed outside conditioned space. This leads to significant energy losses and poor occupant comfort due to conduction and air leakage losses from the air distribution ducts. In addition, cooling equipment performance is sensitive to air flow and refrigerant charge that have been found to be far from manufacturers specifications in most systems. The simulation techniques discussed in this paper were developed in an effort to provide guidance on the savings potentials and comfort gains that can be achieved by improving ducts (sealing air leaks) and equipment (correct air-flow and refrigerant charge). The simulations include the complex air flow and thermal interactions between duct systems, their surroundings and the conditioned space. They also include cooling equipment response to air flow and refrigerant charge effects. Another key aspect of the simulations is that they are dynamic — which accounts for cyclic losses from the HVAC system and the effect of cycle length on energy and comfort performance.