AIRFLOW AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY ANALYSES CAPABILITIES OF ENERGY SIMULATION SOFTWARE

 

Lisa Ng, Andrew K. Persily

 

Abstract:

 

A wide range of tools are used to design and analyze the energy implications of different ventilation and space conditioning strategies to reduce building energy use. However, questions exist regarding how and whether these tools consider airflow and indoor contaminant concentrations, which is of increasing importance given current efforts to reduce building energy consumption. The airflow and indoor air quality (IAQ) analyses capabilities of several energy simulation software packages are investigated and summarized. This study discusses the key question of whether an energy simulation software package simulates airflow rates or considers them to be inputs.  The manner in which contaminants are simulated (if at all) is also investigated. Both the physical theory behind the simulations and any rule-of-thumb alternatives are summarized and evaluated. Finally, suggestions as to how airflow and IAQ analyses can be more appropriately accounted for when performing building energy simulation are presented.