Science & Technology

Pioneering frameworks have the potential to reduce energy demand in homes and buildings

Schematic of thermal interaction and energy transfer with the environment required to calculate the theoretical minimum heat load (TMTL). Credits: Julia Laser and Josh Bauer, NREL

Researchers insist on changing the way we think about building heating and cooling needs.

Building heating and cooling accounts for the majority of the world’s energy demand and is an important source of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next few decades, the energy demand for heating and cooling (also known as thermal energy) is expected to increase significantly. Scientists and engineers have made many advances in reducing building energy demand by improving the energy efficiency of building technology and reducing energy loss from building walls and windows.

Researchers are now worried that tackling the problem through energy-efficient technology and design may push the limits of practice. As a result, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Institute), the National Institute of Renewable Energy, and the University of California, Berkeley have decided on a new frame to determine the minimum thermal energy required to keep building residents comfortable. I pioneered the work.

In a study recently published in the journal Jules, They insist on calculating the theoretical minimum heat load to dramatically reduce the energy required to heat and cool a building.

“Our work shows that the current heat load of a building is orders of magnitude higher than the theoretical minimum heat load,” said Berkeley Institute’s Associate Director of Energy Technology, Associate Travo. Said the author, Ravi Prasher. “In fact, the theoretical minimum heat load can be 19-40 times less energy in a residential building to heat or cool the entire building for occupant comfort. I showed that. “

The theoretical minimum heat load sets a new baseline for occupant comfort with various building parameters, rather than calculating the amount of heating or cooling required to comfort an uncomfortable space. By calculating this baseline, researchers have identified the physical limits of reducing thermal energy usage, the point at which further reductions in thermal energy cause resident discomfort.

Read more in Building Technology & Urban Systems Division website..

See also: “Theoretical Minimum Heat Load of Buildings” by Chuck Booten, Prakash Rao, Vi Rapp, Roderick Jackson, Ravi Prasher, January 20, 2021 Jules..
DOI: 10.1016 / j.joule.2020.12.015

Pioneering frameworks have the potential to reduce energy demand in homes and buildings Pioneering frameworks have the potential to reduce energy demand in homes and buildings

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