The Impact of Control Setpoints, Economizers and Energy Recovery Systems on Building Energy Use

Open Access
Liu, Xing
Graduate Program:
Architectural Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 04, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Stephen James Treado, Thesis Advisor
  • William Banhfleth, Thesis Advisor
  • Jelena Srebric, Thesis Advisor
  • HVAC
  • control
  • energy
  • building
  • setpoint
  • economizers
  • energy recovery
This paper presents one possible method of applying simulation to examine the impact of building HVAC system setpoints such as air/water temperature, flow rate and outdoor air fraction on represented building operation for a typical system design and operation. The method utilizes the performance characteristics of the system components along with the outdoor and indoor air conditions to determine the optimum collection of setpoints and operating conditions. The idea is to use simulation predictions to get the best building system setpoints with the best energy performance. The objective is to determine the range of energy usage and the potential for reducing or minimizing building energy requirements by dynamically adjusting setpoints. The analysis focuses on the energy consumption condition in four different climate zones. At the same time, an improved method to determine the optimum outdoor air fraction and mix air temperature of the economizer and the energy recovery ventilator in certain outside weather environment are discussed and demonstrated. Potential energy savings due to improved control algorithms are presented and discussed.