Human Comfort - CFD Modelling to Provide Energy Efficient Air-Conditioning in a Modern Office

Higgs, Callan (2017) Human Comfort - CFD Modelling to Provide Energy Efficient Air-Conditioning in a Modern Office. [USQ Project]

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The design philosophy of supplying air conditioning to the modern office layout is a tried and true method with little challenge from the norm. Engineers are taught design rules and guidelines to design an open plan office. This design includes ceiling mounted grilles which work by diffusing cold air across the ceiling which then through natural convection falls down, cooling the whole area from floor to ceiling. While this method works fine and does fulfil the design requirement it is unnecessarily cooling large volumes of air located above people heads which is not required for human comfort conditions. This unnecessary cooling results in a larger cooling demand on the air conditioning system and wasted energy.

This report aims to improve energy efficiency in a modern office by focusing on and comparing a floor based delivery system to that of the more conventional ceiling based. As the floor based system will provide more of a task based cooling system which will focus on cooling around the person and limit the cooling of air in transient areas such as hallways, lobbies and printer areas. People don't congregate in these areas for extended periods of time and will be accepting of slightly higher temperatures than if they were sitting at their desk.

Through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling different ceiling and floor task based air distribution systems have been analysed. The results indicate that a potential energy saving of approximately 15% is realisable by adapting the recommended setpoint of 26.5°C and humidity of 30% to 35% for the office space, which will still maintain acceptable levels of human comfort within the space.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 03:59
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 03:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy efficient; air-conditioning; modern office; floor based system

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