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A Prediction of Energy Savings Resulting from Building Infiltration Control
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This thesis provides a description of the methods of application of theoretical models of heat transfer in computer simulations, to determine the energy performance of a wall or building. The heat transfer simulations include calculation equations which account for the interaction among conduction heat transfer, solar gain, and infiltration heat transfer in building walls. This interaction effect has received only limited previous study. The goal of modeling the behavior of a building with these simulations is to determine optimum arrangements of induced (or controlled) airflow direction and magnitude in building exterior walls, where the walls can be considered porous and can act, to an extent, like a heat exchanger. Recent research toward designing walls especially suited to this application has developed porous walls which are dubbed "dynamic walls." This study attempts to determine the optimum application of dynamic walls, or walls which behave in a similar fashion, in a building in a theoretical analysis. The computer simulations which apply the calculations to model the energy use of a building have been written especially for this study. The results of the theoretical analysis made for this thesis show that significant energy savings can be realized with the use of controlled airflow through non-airtight walls in a building. Comparing the energy use of a building which uses airflow control in dynamic walls with the energy use found with a standard calculation (where the interaction effect is not considered), annual energy savings were found in a warm climate as high as 17%, and as high as 30% in a cooler climate. The results were less promising when compared against the performance of a building experiencing natural, or not induced, airflow (and heat recovery) through its exterior walls: the best annual savings percentages were 10% in a warm climate and just 2% in a cooler climate. The specific building airflow arrangements which produce the best theoretical performances found in this study should be considered for application in future experimental tests, if the dynamic walls and/or building airflow control system are considered economically feasible in light of the projected energy savings they produce.
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Includes bibliographical references.
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
McWatters, Kenneth Rob (1995). A Prediction of Energy Savings Resulting from Building Infiltration Control. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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