A study of energy use and satisfactory zone ventilation of different outdoor air ventilation strategies for terminal reheat variable air volume systems Academic Article uri icon


  • Increased building indoor air quality (IAQ) complaints due to reduced outdoor air ventilation rates led to ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. Even though the stipulated standard total outdoor ventilation flow rate may be drawn into the HVAC system, thermal imbalances in the various zones of the building can lead to certain zones being starved of the specified ventilation flow rate, thereby creating localized IAQ problems. The objective of this paper is to compare the differences in energy use and ventilation air flow rates supplied to different zones in the building for three different practical outdoor air ventilation strategies all of which are identical in performance at design conditions but which differ under part-load operation. A simplified simulation methodology (which past studies have demonstrated to be useful for field evaluation of actual buildings) has been used to predict the heating and cooling energy use of a two-zone terminal reheat variable air volume (TRVAV) system during part-load operation specified by varying outdoor temperature and humidity conditions. The trade-off between outdoor air intake and energy use are studied for the following ventilation strategies for a typical 10,000 m2 commercial building: (i) constant outside air intake based on a value 20% higher than the ASHRAE minimum ventilation rate, (ii) constant ventilation air intake fraction, and (iii) ventilation air intake based on the unfavorable zone requirements (even though the other zone may be over-ventilated). How this trade-off is impacted by building size has also been investigated. Finally, we use bin data for Dallas, TX (a moderately hot and humid location) and Seattle, WA (a mild location) in order to study the differences in energy use and zone ventilation flows of different ventilation strategies due to building location. The effect of economizer cycles and of varying ventilation strategies depending upon diurnal building schedules have not been considered in this study. The results of this study which are based on a simplified HVAC simulation approach are consistent with conclusions reached by other researchers Using more detailed simulation models. This suggests that sound and meaningful diagnostic insights of actual building performance and operating strategies can be obtained from such simplified simulations. 1998 Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Energy and Buildings

author list (cited authors)

  • Reddy, T. A., Liu, M., & Claridge, D. E.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Reddy, TA||Liu, M||Claridge, DE

publication date

  • January 1998