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© 2006, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (www.ashrae.org). Published in ASHRAE Journal Vol. 48, Dec. 2006. For personal use only. Additional reproduction, distribution, or transmission in either print or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE’s prior written permission.

not permitted without ASHRAE’s prior written permission. HVAC Power Density An Alternate Path to Efficiency By

HVAC Power Density

An Alternate Path to Efficiency

By Stephen P. Kavanaugh, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE; Steven Lambert, P.E.; and Nickless Devin, Student Member ASHRAE

T o improve building energy efficiency, the development and use of HVAC power density (HvacPD) allowances could be a

powerful tool for improving building efficiency. In a format similar to the lighting power density (LPD) values that appear in ANSI/ ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Build- ings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, HvacPDs would be set in terms of electrical power input per unit area (W e /ft 2 [W e /m 2 ])

for the entire HVAC system.

The HvacPD development process begins by computing the required spe- cific design cooling and heating loads for energy-efficient buildings (Btu/h · ft 2 [W t /m 2 ]). These values are divided by the

system energy-efficiency ratio (EER Btu/Wh or COP W t /W e ) for cooling and the thermal efficiency (h t ) for heating to arrive at HvacPD values. HvacPDs can be developed for each climate zone and

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building type listed in Standard 90.1 for LPDs. Each building type will have ef- ficiency targets that are easily identified, consider the impact of all HVAC system components, and offer an alternative to building energy simulations. However, this concept and the values resulting from the procedures described in this article are not proposed as a replacement for the building envelope and HVAC sections of Standard 90.1. Modern HVAC systems may contain a multitude of subsystems that impact

About the Authors Stephen P. Kavanaugh, Ph.D., is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Steven Lambert, P.E., is a graduate research assistant, and Nickless Devin is an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Alabama.

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In a format similar to the lighting power density (LPD) values that appear in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, HvacPDs would be set in terms of electrical power input per unit area (W e /ft 2 [W e /m 2 ]) for the entire HVAC system.

building energy use and demand. Standard 90.1 provides minimum efficiency prescriptions on a component-by- component basis and contains no parallel to the LPD allowances that also appear in the standard. Limits of LPD in allowable input power per unit area (W e /ft 2 [W e /m 2 ]) are listed for 32 building types. Designers can choose to comply with the value for the entire building or use a space- by-space method. Higher LPD levels are permitted for spaces that require higher illumination levels. Designers can minimize LPD in these spaces with more efficient luminaries or higher illumination in critical areas only (task ambient lighting). While LPD allowances focus on demand reduction, the standard also mandates lighting control strategies to ensure energy consump- tion also is minimized. The entire lighting section of the standard consists of only three pages of text and four tables compared to 10 pages of text and 20 tables for the HVAC equipment section and five pages of text and more than 25 tables for the building envelope section. HvacPD allowances must be based on building type because envelope requirements, internal loads, and ventilation require- ments vary widely. The development of HvacPD allowances is further complicated by climate variations and need for both heat- ing and cooling values. However, these complications merely increase the number of tables required. Once the building type and climate type are identified, HvacPD allowances can be ap- plied either as a preliminary to more complex building energy simulation or as an alternative efficiency indicator if building design budgets do not support detailed simulations used with the Standard 90.1 energy cost budget method. The parallels of HvacPD to LPD guidelines are evident. Just as some building types inherently require high illumination levels, some buildings require much higher cooling and heating

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capacity (tons, MBtu/h or kW t ) due to ventilation requirements, internal loads, high occupant densities, and severe climates. Values for approximate thermal cooling (q c ) or heating (q h ) load per unit area (Btu/h·ft 2 [W t /m 2 ]) or the inverse, area per unit thermal capacity (ft 2 /ton [m 2 /kW t ]), have been used as indicators for the building requirements. 1,2 Just as buildings with stringent LPD requirements can be equipped with high efficiency lighting systems, buildings with high thermal loads can be fitted with high efficiency HVAC systems. Useful figures of merit for cooling equipment performance in this application are system electrical power (kW e ) requirement per unit capac- ity (kW e /ton [kW e /kW t ]), energy efficiency ratio (EER Btu/W·h), or coefficient of performance (COP kW t /kW e ). The electrical demand requirement (kW e ) includes input for all HVAC system components (chillers, compressors, distribution fans, pumps, ventilation fans, etc.). Heating allowances are more typically expressed in capacity per unit floor area (Btu/h · ft 2 [W t /m 2 ]). The building cooling mode thermal requirements are com- bined with the HVAC system efficiency indicators to arrive at the cooling power density (CPD) at design conditions.

CPD (W e /ft 2 ) = q c /A(Btu/h · ft 2 )÷ EER (Btu/W·h) (1)

Heating input densities (HID) would be the heating require- ment (q h ) per unit area (Btu/h·ft 2 or W t /m 2 ) divided by thermal efficiency (h t ) values for fossil fuel equipment.

HID (Btu/h·ft 2 , W t /m 2 ) = q h /A÷h t (2)

HvacPD Benefits and Limitations

Power density allowances encompass the entire system that includes the quality of the building envelope, the efficiency of HVAC equipment, and the attention to load minimization

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Component

Base Efficiency

High Efficiency

Premier Efficiency

Envelope (Walls, Roof, Windows, Floors)

Std. 90.1-2004 Compliant

U-factors/SHGC/C-factors 25% lower than Std. 90.1-2004

U-factors/SHGC/C-factors 50% lower than Std. 90.1-2004

Lighting

LPDs Comply With Std. 90.1-2001

LPDs Comply With Std. 90.1-2004

LPDs 20% Lower Than Std. 90.1-2004

Internal Loads

Medium for Building Type (i.e., 1.0 W e /ft 2 [11 W e /m 2 ] For Office)

Low for Building Type (i.e., 0.75 W e /ft 2 [8 W e /m 2 ] For Office)

Very Low for Type (i.e., 0.5 W e /ft 2 [5.4 W e /m 2 ] For Office)

Ventilation Air

Std. 62.1-2004 Compliant 90% Vent. Efficiency

Std. 62.1-2004 Compliant With 70% HRU,

Std. 62.1-2004 Compliant With 70% HRU, And 100% Vent. Efficiency

(E

V = 0.9)

90% Vent. Efficiency

Ductwork

Std 90.1-2004 Compliant

50% Thicker Insulation Than Std. 90.1-2004

No Losses—All Duct In Conditioned Space

Building Mass

 

Medium Mass for Building Type (i.e., Office: Heavy Weight Walls [HW Block, Rigid Insulation, Brick Veneer] and Lightweight [Metal] Roof)

Table 1: Characteristics of buildings used to determine cooling and heating requirements.

Central U.S.—Zone 4 (St. Louis Weather Data)

Occupant Density People/1,000 ft 2 < People/100 m 2

Building Loads, (Btu/h · ft 2 [W t /m 2 ])

 

Base Efficiency

High Efficiency

Premier Efficiency

Building Type

Cool

Heat

Cool

Heat

Cool

Heat

Office, Medium Density

6

25 (80)

22 (70)

20 (65)

17 (55)

17 (55)

15 (50)

Office, High Density

12

30 (95)

24 (75)

25 (80)

22 (70)

20 (65)

18 (60)

School Classroom

30

40 (125)

35 (110)

35 (110)

30 (95)

32 (100)

25 (80)

Computer Room

30

50 (160)

35 (110)

40 (125)

30 (95)

37 (115)

26 (82)

Cafeteria/Kitchen

70

80 (250)

60 (190)

75 (235)

50 (160)

70 (220)

45 (140)

Motel

10

30 (95)

22 (70)

25 (80)

18 (55)

20 (65)

16 (50)

Multifamily Housing

5

22 (70)

32 (100)

15 (50)

25 (80)

10 (32)

18 (60)

Retail, Medium Density

15

32 (100)

28 (90)

28 (90)

25 (80)

24 (75)

21 (65)

Retail, High Density

25

40 (125)

35 (110)

36 (115)

30 (95)

32 (100)

26 (82)

Table 2: Building cooling and heating allowances using Table 1 building characteristics.

(ventilation efficiency, internal equipment, and lighting). To meet the system targets, trade-offs for less than optimum practices must be made up with better than minimum enhance- ments in other components, so that detailed computations are not required. Additional computation beyond current design practice consists primarily of summing the demand of the HVAC system components (compressors, fans and pumps). The concept of HvacPD provides the following benefits.

• Building envelope quality must be high to minimize re- quired equipment capacity.

• Internal loads must be optimized to lower required equip- ment capacity.

• HVAC system efficiency is used rather than multiple com- ponent efficiencies.

• The impact of all auxiliary equipment, a significant factor, is included.

• Oversizing (to ensure comfort if poor installation qual- ity compromises performance) is minimized since larger

equipment increases power input (W e /ft 2 [W e /m 2 ]).

• If oversizing is minimized, proper system installation and operation is necessary to provide adequate comfort.

• As-built conditions are used rather than predesign simula- tion assumptions.

• The time and cost to compute the building HVAC power

density are less than the time and cost to conduct hour-by- hour building energy simulations. Limitations of the HvacPD concept include the following.

• The allowances are based on peak load demand. Provisions for part-load operation and scheduling for unoccupied periods similar to the lighting control provisions given in Standard 90.1 (Section 9.4.1) must be included to ensure energy efficiency reductions are more fully realized.

• Multiple tables are required since values are climate de- pendent and building types are many.

• In the heating mode, electric equipment input (heat pumps, auxiliary equipment, resistance boilers or fur- naces) must be converted to equivalence with either an

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System 1

kW e

Ton

kW t

System 2

kW e

Ton

kW t

System 3

kW e

Ton

kW t

1 Air Cooled

1.1

1.0

3.5

Water Cooled

0.5

1.0

3.5

Scroll

0.62

1.0

3.5

Screw Chiller

Centrifugal Chiller

Compressor

2 Supply Fan 4 in. w.c. (1.0 kPa) TP 1

0.30

–0.09

–0.3

Supply Fan 4 in. w.c. (1 kPa) TP 1

0.30 –0.09

–0.3

Supply Fan 1 in. w.c. (249 Pa) TP 1

0.10

–0.03

–0.1

3 Return Fan 2 in. w.c. (0.5 kPa) TP 2

0.15

–0.03

–0.11

No Return Fan

No Return Fan

4 No CW Pump

CW Pump 50 ft (15 m) Head 3

0.04

CW Pump 30 ft (9 m) Head 3

0.07

5 CHW Pump 100 ft (30 m) Head 4

0.07

–0.02

–0.06

CHW Pump 70 ft (21 m) Head 4

0.05 –0.01

–0.05

No CHW

   

Pump

6 Condenser Fan

0.07

Cooling Tower Fan

0.07

No Fan

7 FPVAV Fan 1

0.16

–0.05

–0.16

No FPVAV

No FPVAV

Net Demand/Capacity

1.85

0.81

2.9

0.96

0.90

3.2

0.79

0.97

3.4

System kW/ton

2.27

1.07

0.81

System EER (Btu/W·h)

5.3

11.3

14.7

System COP (W t /W e )

1.55

3.29

4.23

1. Supply fan airflow = 400 cfm/ton (54 L/s / kW t ); 2. Recirculated airflow = 320 cfm/ton (43 L/s / kW t ); 3. Condenser water (CW) flow = 3 gpm/ton (3.2 L/s / kW t ) and entering water temperature = 85°F (29°C); 4. Chilled water (CHW) flow = 2.4 gpm/ton (2.6 L/s / kW t ) and leaving liquid temperature = 44°F (7°C).

Table 3: Summary computation of HVAC system efficiency with auxiliary equipment demand and heating deductions included.

electrical system conversion efficiency (i.e., generation, transmission) or energy prices (electrical vs. fossil fuel costs).

ing efficiency levels are given for Climate Zone 4, which is the middle region of the continental United States. Occupant densities in commercial applications are consistent with val- ues used in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004, Ventilation  for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, to compute default mini- mum breathing zone ventilation rates. Two sets of values are provided for two of the building types (office and retail) to represent average and high occupant densities.

HVAC System Efficiency

Table  3 provides a sum- mary of three examples that demonstrate options for de- termining equipment system efficiency (or the inverse sys- tem demand per unit capac-

Building Cooling and Heating Requirements

Tables for building cooling and heating requirements for the primary climate zones can be developed by conducting

heat gain and heat loss calculations for buildings with energy- efficient envelopes, lighting,

equipment, and ventilation practices. Occupant densities (and, therefore, ventilation rates) have dramatic impact on results and values used are typical for each building

type. Results are expressed in three levels to reflect a range of building energy efficiency that is possible using technology commercially available in the HVAC industry. The base efficiency level results when a building is compliant with practices prescribed by Standard 90.1. Two levels of improvement (high efficiency and premier efficiency) are provided above the base level when more strin- gent building practices are followed. Table 1 provides a listing of the specifications for the primary building components that influence required cooling and heating loads. Table  2 presents values for thermal cooling and heating loads per unit area (Btu/h · ft 2 [W t /m 2 ]) for several different building types. Results were generated by conducting a series of heating and cooling load calculations 3 for buildings with the characteristics listed in Table 1. Values for all three build-

HVAC System

EER

COP

Specific Demand (W e /Net Ton)

Heating

Efficiency Level

(Btu/Wh)

AFUE

Base

10

2.9

1.2

80%

High Efficiency

11.5

3.4

1.04

90%

Premier Efficency

13

3.9

0.9

95%

Table 4: Suggested HVAC system cooling and heating efficiencies.

ity). System 1 is an air-cooled chiller with variable air volume (VAV) system that includes supply, return and series terminal fans. System 2 is a water- cooled centrifugal chiller with only supply fans. System 3 is a ground-coupled heat pump system with unitary equipment and low head individual loop pumps. The table subdivides the HVAC system components into seven categories. The first category is the demand (kW) of the primary chilling device per ton (3.51 kW) of capacity. The auxiliary equipment demand (fans and pumps) is included along with the cooling capacity deduction (heat penalty) of those components in the cooling loop (supply fans, the recir- culated air fraction of the return fans, chilled water pump, and terminal fans). The heat penalty is also done on a per ton basis but is noted as a negative value in the computation.

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Central U.S.—Zone 4 (St. Louis Weather Data)

Occupant Density People/1,000 ft 2 < People/100 m 2

 

Cooling Power Density, W e /ft 2 (W e /m 2 ) and Heat Input Density, Btu/h · ft 2 (W t /m 2 )

 

Base Efficiency

High Efficiency

Premier Efficiency

Building Type

CPD

HID

CPD

HID

CPD

HID

Office, Medium Density

6

2.5 (27)

28 (87)

1.7 (18)

19 (60)

1.3 (14)

16 (50)

Office, High Density

12

3.0 (32)

30 (95)

2.2 (24)

24 (77)

1.5 (16)

19 (60)

School Classroom

30

4.0 (43)

44 (138)

3.0 (32)

33 (105)

2.5 (27)

26 (83)

Computer Room

30

5.0 (54)

44 (138)

3.5 (38)

33 (105)

2.8 (30)

27 (86)

Cafeteria/Kitchen

70

8.0 (86)

75 (236)

6.5 (70)

56 (175)

5.4 (58)

47 (149)

Motel

10

3.0 (32)

28 (87)

2.2 (24)

20 (63)

1.5 (16)

17 (53)

Multifamily Housing

5

2.2 (24)

40 (126)

1.3 (14)

28 (88)

0.8 (9)

19 (60)

Retail, Medium Density

15

3.2 (34)

35 (110)

2.4 (26)

28 (88)

1.8 (19)

22 (70)

Retail, High Density

25

4.0 (43)

44 (138)

3.1 (33)

33 (105)

2.5 (27)

27 (86)

Table 5: Resulting cooling power density and heating input density allowances. (Building cooling and heating allowances [Table 2] ÷ HVAC system efficiencies [Table 4].)

Note that not all systems contain equipment in all seven cat- egories. The electrical input to fans on a per ton (kW e /ton) basis can be computed with Equation 3 using the airflow rate (Q a ), total pressure (TP), fan efficiency (h fan ), and fan motor efficiency (h motor ). As demonstrated in Equation 4, the water flow (Q w ) and pump efficiency (h pump ) are used to find the pump power input. 4

kW e

ton

= 0.746

kW

hp

(

kW e

kW t

= 0.284

×

Q (cfm/ton) × TP(in. w.c.)

a

6,350 × h fan h motor

)

kW e

ton

;

(3)

kW e

ton

= 0.746

kW

hp

×

Q

w (gpm/ton) × Dh(ft of water)

3,960 × h pump h motor

;

(

)

kW e

kW t

kW e

ton

= 0.284

(4)

The heat penalty for fans (q Fanpenalty ) with the motors inside the air-handling unit is found using Equation 5.

q Fanpenalty (tons) = 0.284 kW e ; [q Fanpenalty (kW t ) = 1.0 kW e ]

(5)

Equation 5 also can be used for the return fans heat penalty by multiplying the equation by the recirculated air fraction [ (Q Supply  – Q Exhaust )/Q Supply ] to recognize that some of the return fan heat is exhausted. The heat penalty for the chilled water pump also can be computed with Equation 5, but the motor heat is not typically included. This can be corrected by multiplying Equation 5 by the pump motor efficiency (h motor ). No heat penalty exists for condenser pumps or fans. For each of the three systems shown in Table  3, the sum- marized value of demand in the kW column is divided by the summarized value of net capacity (ton = 3.51 kW) to arrive at the system demand per unit of net cooling capacity (kW/ton).

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This is converted to system efficiency and COP by inverting this value and applying the appropriate conversion factors as shown in Equations 6 and 7.

EER = (Btu/W·h) =

12,000 Btu/ton· hour

kW

6 and 7. EER = ( Btu / W·h ) = 12,000 Btu/ton· hour kW t
6 and 7. EER = ( Btu / W·h ) = 12,000 Btu/ton· hour kW t

ton × 1000 W kW

=

12 kW ton
12
kW
ton

(6)

EER (Btu/W·h)

3.412 Btu/W·h

COP

(kW t /kW e ) =

(7)

Table  3 is a departure from the traditional component- by-component method of expressing HVAC equipment performance. Systems with low efficiencies that are possible using the traditional approach (System 1, Table  3) can be

identified and avoided. Although the net efficiency is low (EER = 5.3, COP = 1.55), this system complies with Standard

90.1-2004.

Table  4 provides suggested metrics for HVAC system per- formance for base efficiency, high efficiency, and premier efficiency that are compatible with current state-of-the-art tech- nology as demonstrated by the examples in Table 3. The base efficiency level is set slightly above the minimum EER of 9.7 Btu/W·h listed in Standard 90.1-2004 for room air conditioners (Table 6.8.1d). The room air conditioner value is a system EER since the reported capacity includes the heat penalty deduc- tion and power input is for the compressor, condenser fan and indoor fan. The medium and premier levels were set based on system computations using the procedures demonstrated in the development of Table 3. Central systems with very efficient chillers will have difficulty attaining “high efficiency” designation. So, the values were not set outside the limits of conventional state-of-the-art systems. Heating efficiencies are set slightly above the minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency (78%) for the base efficiency. Medium and premier values are near the minimum and maximum values for condensing fossil fuel furnaces. 5

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HVAC Power Density

The desired result of this HVAC system efficiency com- putation is the generation of a set of power density allow- ances similar to Table  5. The building cooling and heating load values in Table  2 are divided by the HVAC system efficiencies from Table 4 to generate a set of tables for vari- ous building types. Table 5 demonstrates the results for nine building types and subtypes for Standard 90.1 Climate Zone 4. Three levels of efficiency are generated by applying the corresponding values from Tables 2 and 4. For example, the premier levels of power densities are generated using the premier building load values and the premier HVAC system efficiency. These tables can be expanded to include all the 32 building types in all eight climate zones identified in Standard

90.1-2004.

Summary

Identifying the impact of energy-efficient building enve- lopes, internal equipment, lighting and HVAC systems is difficult given the complexity of modern installations. The recommended practice of conducting a building energy simu- lation may not be an affordable option for many projects. The use of HVAC system power density guidelines is an alternative

that does not require much beyond the level of effort required for conventional design. It also directly identifies the impact of all system components upon the net efficiency of the building HVAC system. The concept is not proposed as a replacement for Standard 90.1, which is frequently used for code compli- ance. HVAC power densities are intended to provide a set of indicators to identify “good, better, best” building efficiency levels for a variety of building types and climates.

Acknowledgments

This work discussed in this paper is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, OAR/OAP/Climate Protec- tion Partnerships Division.

References

1. 2005 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals, Chapter 17, Energy

Resources.

2. Means, R. S. 2004. Mechanical  Cost  Data. Kingston, Mass.:

Reed Construction Data.

3. Kavanaugh, S.P. 2006. HVAC Simplified. Atlanta: ASHRAE.

4. Kavanaugh, S.P. 2003. “Estimating demand and efficiency.”

ASHRAE Journal 45(7):36 – 40.

5. 2004  ASHRAE  Handbook—HVAC  Systems  and  Equipment,

Chapter 28, Furnaces.

Systems  and  Equipment , Chapter 28, Furnaces. Advertisement formerly in this space. 48 ASHRAE

Advertisement formerly in this space.

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