Evaluation Of An Extended Duct Air Delivery System For Spaces Conditioned By Rooftop Units
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Traditional air delivery to high-bay buildings involves ceiling level supply and return ducts that create an almost-uniform temperature in the space. Problems with this system include potential recirculation of supply air and higher-than-necessary return air temperatures. A new air delivery strategy was investigated that involves changing the height of conventional supply and return ducts to have control over thermal stratification in the space. A full-scale experiment using ten vertical temperature profiles was conducted in a manufacturing facility over one year. The experimental data was utilized to validated CFD and EnergyPlus models. CFD simulation results show that supplying air directly to the occupied zone increases stratification while holding thermal comfort constant during the cooling operation. The building energy simulation identified how return air temperature offset, set point offset, and stratification influence the building’s energy consumption. A utility bill analysis for cooling shows 28.8% HVAC energy savings while the building energy simulation shows 19.3 – 37.4% HVAC energy savings.