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The Measured Energy Impact of Infiltration in an Outdoor Test Cell
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The energy consumption calculation of house envelopes assumes that conduction heat loss is independent on air infiltration heat loss, and that energy consumption is the sum of these losses. Anderlind , Liu , and Claridge et at.  showed this method can overestimate energy consumption substantially under steady-state conditions. Bailly  and Anderson  reported much smaller house energy consumption when the air flow was organized by mechanical systems. However, none of these studies quantified energy loss reduction under a variety of outdoor weather conditions. The energy performance was investigated in an outdoor test cell with different leakage configurations and air flow rates under both infiltration and exfiltration. It was found that the energy consumption was not only dependent on air flow rate, temperature differences, and solar radiation, but also on the air flow direction and the air leakage configuration. Infiltration could lead to a much lower heating energy consumption than that of exfiltration, and exfiltration could lead to a much lower cooling energy consumption than that of infiltration. The air infiltration energy consumption of a leaky house could be 9 times as high as that of a tight house even when the air flow rate was the same for both houses.
Liu, M.; Claridge, D. E. (1992). The Measured Energy Impact of Infiltration in an Outdoor Test Cell. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.eslwin.tamu.edu). Available electronically from