Simulating Energy Usage Impact of Retrofitting Residential Registers with a Simple Damper System
conditioning and heating comprised 47.7% of total energy usage in residential homes in
the United States in 2009 equating to 4.86 quad (5.13 EJ) energy used. According to the
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this is down from 58% in 1993. This is in
large part due to the difference types of energy efficiency measures, from installing
more efficient equipment to drafting ... read morebetter building codes that are inclusive of energy
saving measures. Generally, these measures are very effective for new buildings.
However, older buildings may still rely on less efficient materials and equipment thus
inflating the building's energy usage. The installation of simple dampers on the
registers of a two-story, 2400 sq. ft. residential house as a retrofit measure to
increase energy efficiency of its heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system is
explored in this thesis. A residential house was modeled in EnergyPlus (v8.4), a
whole-building energy simulation software available from the U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE). The house was simulated for total energy usage with a typical HVAC system serving
seven rooms; it was compared to a simulation of the same system with simple dampers
installed on the registers. It is shown that by installing dampers that self-fluctuate
for local room temperatures, the system has an 11% reduction in energy usage in the
Boston, Massachusetts climate zone. Additionally, the dampers are able to reduce hot and
cold spots within the building and reduce, on average, the difference between the first
and second floor temperatures. It is also shown that the effects of overpressurization
of the HVAC system could be minor through an airflow simulation using CONTAM and
EnergyPlus, but more experimentation is required. Seven other climate zones in the US
were also simulated.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Luisa Chiesa.
Committee: Luisa Chiesa, Robert Hannemann, and Michael Gevelber.
Keyword: Mechanical engineering.read less