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art 146

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Published by: tigin on May 15, 2008
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Heat Gains influence on Balance Point Temperature andThermal Comfort
 F. Kalmár, PhDUniversity of Debrecen, Faculty of Technical Engineering, Department of Building Services, Hungary; fkalmar@mfk.unideb.hu KEYWORDS
: heat gains, balance point temperature, energy consumption, control.
The length of the heating season is determined based on the balance point temperature of the buildingusing the specific degree-day curve. The orientations of the facades and the glazed surfaces have animportant influence on the balance point temperature value. With higher average thermal resistance of thebuilding envelope the influence of the heat gains on the central heating system operation will increase. At the same time the appropriate control of the heating system is necessary otherwise needless energyconsumption can occur which has a negative influence on the internal thermal comfort beside theeconomical and environmental aspects. In this paper the influence of heat gains on the balance point temperature is presented for different building types and glazed ratio of the facades using the Hungarianspecific degree-day curve. Also the heat gains influence on the heating system operation is analysed inretrofitted buildings taking into account the limits of the central or/and local control systems.
1. Introduction
Analysing the energy consumption of most European countries it can be observed that the building sector isthe bigger consumer with a share of 28…32% (Mantzos et al., 2003). In East European countries with atemperate climate from the total energy consumption of a building heating represents more than 50%. Thisfact results from the low thermal characteristics of the building envelope. Taking into account the actualenergy policy of the European Union and the measures related to environment protection different nationalprojects are launched in order to improve the thermal efficiency of these buildings.In Hungary there are approximately 4 millions of households and about 3,5 millions are situated inbuildings with an average heat transfer coefficient of the envelope higher than 0,8 W/(m
K) (Csoknyai,2004). In such conditions when a building is retrofitted from energy point of view important energy savingscould be obtained. Due to the financial limits there are cases when a complex building rehabilitation(building envelope and heating system) could not be realised. In these situations intermediate solutionshave to be found in order to obtain appropriate thermal comfort at minimal energy consumption.Thousands of buildings/flats are connected to district heating systems. In Hungary at these systems theheating process is started when the mean outdoor temperature is lower then 12
C three consecutive days,(Halász, 2001). That means comfort problems in buildings where the real balance point temperature differsfrom the assumed value.Improving the thermal resistance of the building envelope beside the lower
value a shorter heating periodis obtained (Kalmár, 2004). If the heating system is not redesigned and completely changed the existent onehas to be controlled properly otherwise the expected energy savings could not be obtained. There are caseswhen the output of the heating system radiators is controlled only by thermostatic valves. Practice hasshown (Petitjean, 1997) that in such situations the thermostatic valves could not operate properly because astable degree of opening cannot be found. It then works in on/off mode with oscillations in the roomtemperature. Changing the heat carrier temperature such situations may be avoided. If the temperature dropis kept constant depending on the rehabilitation level the optimal forward temperature could be determined(Kalmár, 2003). At the same rehabilitation level in function of the room position the heat load reduction isdifferent. Thus, in rooms with different heat loss coefficient the required forward temperature differs fromthe “optimal” value. If the required forward temperature is higher the radiator surface has to be increased. If the required temperature is lower the difference is controlled by the thermostatic valves. As it could be seenin the following if the thermostatic valves are not chosen and set correctly the operation will be unstable.
2. Balance point temperature of a building
Neglecting the variation of stored heat, during the heating system operation, the condition of thermalbalance is:0
are the transmission heat losses;
– heat losses by thermal bridges;
– heat losses byventilation;
– solar gains;
– internal gains;
– heat delivered by heating system.The heat to be delivered by the heating system depends on the climatic conditions and the internal set pointtemperature. The main goal is the minimization of the heat load and the energy consumption. From energypoint of view the achievement of the internal set point temperature without auxiliary heating is favourable.When the heating system does not operate due to the solar and internal gains the internal temperature wouldexceed the external one. The balance point temperature is the external temperature when the heat gains areequal to the heat losses:
is the heat loss coefficient of the building;
– internal set point temperature.Using the balance point temperature value and the specific degree day curve the length of a heating seasoncould be determined (fig. 1).
-15-10-5051015200 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260days
   t  e  m ,   [  o   C   ]
FIG. 1: Determination of the number of days in a heating season.
Using the geometrical interpolation method the degree-day curve can be approximated with a function,(Kalmár, 2002):
(3)In this equation if the external temperature is equal to the balance point temperature the number of days in a heating season could be obtained:
      =
is the external design temperature.After building rehabilitation the heat loss coefficient will decrease considerable (
’) whereas the heat gainsremain the same. Thus, the new value of the balance point temperature could be calculated with thefollowing relation:
Having the value of the balance point temperature after thermal rehabilitation the number of days in thenew shorter heating season is:
           =
 N  N 
(6)The variation of balance point temperature and number of days in the new heating season in function of therehabilitation level when the original value of balance point temperature is 12
C is presented in Figure 2.
051015202530354045500 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40(K-K')/K, [%]
   (   t   b  -   t   b   '   )   /   t   b  ;   (   N  -   N   '   )   /   N ,   [   %   ]
FIG. 2: Number of days in a heating season and balance point temperature.
The heating energy demand for a building could be written as:
( )
 x E 
 N ei
(7)So that using the (5)-(7) equations the ratio of the energy consumption before and after rehabilitation couldbe determined as follows:
( )
[ ]
( )
[ ]
566,2'566,2 '''
 N  N  N  N  E  E 
(8)If the original value of the balance point temperature was 12
C the variation of the energy consumptionratio depending on the rehabilitation level is presented in Figure 3.
00,20,40,60,811 0,95 0,9 0,85 0,8 0,75 0,7 0,65 0,6K'/K
   Q   '   /   Q  ;   E   '   /   E
FIG. 3: Heat load and energy demand variation.

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