Project at a Glance

Title: Air movement as an energy efficient means toward occupant comfort

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Arens, Edward

Contractor: UC Berkeley

Contract Number: 10-308

Research Program Area: Atmospheric Processes, Climate Change

Topic Areas: Field Studies, Greenhouse Gas Control, Sustainable Communities


Personal environmental control (PEC) systems including micro fans and nozzles have been demonstrated to improve thermal comfort, reduce or eliminate potential overcooling, and potentially help to change building temperature set points for maximum energy efficiency. Numerous fan-and nozzle configurations can be attached to office furniture, partitions, and ceilings, but the market may best be characterized by lack of innovation. This project optimized the design of air movement devices suitable for mounting in a range of positions within a room, and quantified their ability to produce fast-acting personal environmental control for the occupants. Using manikins, measurement instruments, and constructing office type environments equipped with PEC, investigators determined the optimum PEC configurations and maximum energy savings. Using example buildings in northern and southern California, investigators studied transition from current air conditioning systems to a PEC equipped systems. In collaboration with industrial partners, optimal devices to act as stand-alone or integrated into building systems are recommended. Success in this study has significant impacts in terms of energy reductions and associated avoided anthropogenic emissions, thus supporting the Title 24 California Energy Efficiency standards and the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act. Avoided anthropogenic emissions may reduce ambient ozone and aerosol concentrations.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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