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Efficient HVAC Systems Deskbook
The Fairmont Press
isbn10 | asin
Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning.
Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning.
Efficient HVAC Systems Deskbook
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Efficient HVAC Systems Deskbook
Albert Thumann, P.E., C.E.M.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Thumann, Albert. Efficient HVAC systems deskbook / Albert Thumann. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0-88173-261-31. Heating. 2. Ventilation. 3. Air conditioning. I. Title.TH7015.T48 1997 697--dc21 97-7758 CIP
Efficient HVAC Systems Deskbook By Albert Thumann.© 1997 by The Fairmont Press, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published by The Fairmont Press, Inc.700 Indian TrailLilburn, GA 30247
Printed in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ISBN 0-88173-261-3 FP
ISBN 0-13-760158-1 PH
While every effort is made to provide dependable information, the publisher, authors, and editors cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
Distributed by Prentice Hall PTRPrentice-Hall, Inc.A Simon & Schuster CompanyUpper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Prentice-Hall International (UK) Limited, LondonPrentice-Hall of Australia Pty. Limited, SydneyPrentice-Hall Canada Inc., TorontoPrentice-Hall Hispanoamericana, S.A., MexicoPrentice-Hall of India Private Limited, New DelhiPrentice-Hall of Japan, Inc., TokyoSimon & Schuster Asia Pte. Ltd., SingaporeEditora Prentice-Hall do Brasil, Ltda., Rio de Janeiro
Table of Contents
Section I — Fundamentals of HVAC Systems
Chapter 1 Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Building Systems Fundamentals
Section II — Indoor Air Quality Improvement
Chapter 2 Energy-Efficient Strategies for Improved Dehumidification
Chapter 3 Ventilation or Filtration? The Use of Gas-Phase Air Filtration for Compliance with ASHRAE Standard 62
Chapter 4 Improved Building Operation through the Use of Continuous Multi-Point Monitoring of Carbon Dioxide and Dew Point
Chapter 5 Practical Approaches for Health Care: Indoor Air Quality Management
Chapter 6 Ventilation Assessment of an Infectious Disease Ward Housing TB Patients
Chapter 7 Tuberculosis Infection Control Strategy in a Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory
Section III — Chillers
Chapter 8 Chillers and Refrigerants
Chapter 9 Central Plant Measurement and Diagnostics
Chapter 10 Industrial Central Chiller Facility Upgrade
Section IV — Natural Gas Heating and Cooling
Chapter 11 HVAC Technology and Trends: A Global Review
Chapter 12 Absorption Chillers
Chapter 13 Case Study: Direct-Fired Gas Adsorption System
Chapter 14 Desiccants: Benefits for the Second Century of Air Conditioning
Chapter 15 Case Study: Natural Gas Technologies at Kennedy Space Center
Chapter 16 Field Monitoring and Evaluation of a Residential Gas-Engine-Driven Heat Pump
Section V — Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
Chapter 17 Geothermal Heating and Cooling Markets
Chapter 18 Case Study: Geothermal at Great Bridge Middle School
Section VI — Thermal Energy Storage
Chapter 19 The Effect of Real-Time Pricing (RTP) on Thermal Energy Storage Systems (TES)
The information contained in this book has been presented by a wide variety of authors at the World Energy Engineering Congress and the International Energy & Environmental Congress sponsored by the Association of Energy Engineers. Appreciation is expressed to all those who have contributed their expertise to this volume.
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Section IFundamentals of HVAC Systems
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Chapter 1Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Building Systems Fundamentals.
This chapter will review the basics of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and buildings as related to energy engineering.
Degree days are the summation of the product of the difference in temperature (ΔT) between the average outdoor and hypothetical average indoor temperatures (65°F), and the number of days (t) the outdoor temperature is below 65°F. Therefore:
Degree days divided by the total number of days on which degree days were accumulated will yield an average ΔT for the season, based on an assumed indoor temperature of 65°F. To find the average outdoor temperature of the season, this figure must be subtracted from 65°F.
Example Problem 1-1
If there are 6,750 degree days recorded over a heating season of 270 days, what is the mean outdoor temperature for that season?
The average outdoor temperature can now be found, since
RESISTANCE (R) TO HEAT FLOW AND CONDUCTANCE (U) AND CONDUCTIVITY (K)
The rate at which heat flows through a material depends on its characteristics. Some materials transmit heat more readily than others. This characteristic of materials which affects the flow of heat through them can be viewed either as their resistance to the flow of heat or as their conductance allowing the flow of heat.
For a section of a building, such as a wall, the conductance is expressed as the U-value for that wall; that is, the number of Btu's that will pass through a one-square-foot section of a building in one hour with a one-degree temperature difference between the two surfaces.
R-Value = Thermal Resistance = The unit time for a unit area of a particular body or assembly having defined surfaces with a unit average temperature difference established between the two surfaces per unit of Thermal Transmission.
The conductivity of a material as related to conductance and resistance is illustrated by Formula 1-3.
where d is the thickness of the material.
VOLUME (V) OF AIR
The volume of air within a structure is constant even though the air itself changes—new air enters and old air leaves. The total volume is equal to the volume of space within the conditioned portion of the home. (Only the volume of conditioned space is considered since air entering and leaving the unconditioned part of the home does not demand energy to condition it.)
To determine the volume (V) of air, multiply the height (H) of the space times the width (W) of the space times the length (L) of the space.* While this can be done for the home as a whole, it is more accurate to calculate it for each room and then add these volumes.
AIR CHANGES PER HOUR (AC)
The rate at which the volume of air in a structure changes per hour differs greatly from building to building. The number of air changes per hour (AC/h) has wide variation due to a number of factor such as:
•The number and size of openings in the envelope—around doors and windows and in the siding itself;
•The average speed of the wind blowing against the structure and the protection the structure has from this wind;
•The number and size of chimneys, vents, and exhaust fans and the frequency of their use;
•The number of times that doors and windows are opened; and
•How the structure is used.
HEATING CAPACITY OF AIR (HC)
Air can be heated and cooled. A certain amount of heat is necessary to change the temperature of each cubic foot (ft3) of air one degree Fahrenheit (F). This amount of heat depends on the density of air, which
*This is only appropriate for structures with flat ceilings.
varies with temperature and pressure. This figure will generally be within the range of 0.018-0.022 Btu's/ft3 °F.
The building experiences heat gains and heat losses depending on whether the cooling or heating system is present, as illustrated in Figures 1-1 and 1-2. Only when the total season is considered in conjunction with lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) can the energy utilization choice be decided. One way of reducing energy consumption of HVAC equipment is to reduce the overall heat gain or heat loss of a building.
CONDUCTION HEAT LOSS
The formula used to determine the amount of heat conducted through the envelope is as follows: Degree days (DD) is the product of the difference in temperature, ΔT, and the time (t) in days, providing that the days in degree days (DD) are converted to hours. This is accomplished by multiplying (DD) times 24 hours a day. This will yield the quantity of heat (Q) conducted through a particular section of the envelope for the entire heating season.
The formula can be written:
In general, heat flow through a flat surface is defined as
where ΔT is the temperature difference causing the heat flow.
Figure 1-1. Heat Gain of a Building
Figure 1-2. Heat Loss of a Building
For a composite wall, the heat flow is represented by Figure 1-3. To calculate the overall U or conductance value, the resistance of each material is added in series. This is analogous to an electrical circuit.
FACTORS IN CONDUCTION
There are four factors which affect the conduction of heat from one area to another. They are:
•The difference in temperature (ΔT) between the warmer area and the colder area;
•The length of time (t) over which the transfer occurs;
Figure 1-3. Typical Wall Construction
•The area (A) in common between the warmer and the colder area; and
•The resistance (R) to heat flow and conduction (U) between the warmer and the colder area.
Difference in Temperature.
Heat flows (much as water moves downhill) from warm areas to cold ones. The steeper the gradient between its origin and its destination, the faster it will flow. In fact, the rate at which heat is conducted is directly proportionate to the difference in temperature (ΔT) between the warmer area and the colder one.
Length of Time
The longer the heat is allowed to flow across the gradient, the more heat will be conducted. The amount of heat (Btu's) is directly proportionate to the time span (t) of the transfer.
Btu/h is the amount of heat transferred in one hour.
The Area (A) in Common
The larger the area common to the warmer and colder surfaces, through which the heat flows, the greater is the rate of conducted heat. For the same material, for the same length of time, at the same ΔT, the amount of heat (Btu's) transferred is directly proportionate to the area (A) in common.
Example Problem 1-2
Calculate the heat loss through 20,000 ft2 of building wall, as indicated by Figure 1-3. Assume a temperature differential of 17°F.
Outside air film at 15 mph
In Figure 1-4 a surface film conductance is introduced.
Figure 1-4. Temperature Distribution for the Composite Wall
The surface or film conductance is the amount of heat transferred in Btu per hour from a surface to air or from air to a surface per square foot for one degree difference in temperature. The flow of heat for the composite material can also be specified in terms of the conductivity of the material and the conductance of the air film.
LATENT HEAT AND SENSIBLE HEAT
The latent heat gain of a space means that moisture is being added to the air in the space. Moisture in the air is really in the form of superheated steam. Removing sensible heat from a space through air-conditioning equipment lowers the dry-bulb temperature of the air. On the other hand, removing latent heat from a space changes the substance
state from a vapor to a liquid. The latent heat gain of a space is expressed in terms of moisture, heat units (Btu) or grains of moisture per hour (7,000 grains equal one pound). The average value for the latent heat or vaporization for superheated steam in air is 1,050.
Example Problem 1-3.
Two thousand grains of moisture are released in a conditioned room each hour. Calculate the heat that must be removed in order to condense this moisture at the cooling coils.
Example Problem 1-4
Calculate the quantity of heat (Q) required by infiltration in an 8,000 cubic foot (ft3) home that has 1.7 air changes per hour (AC/h) when the outside temperature is 48°F and the inside temperature is 68°F (ΔT = 20°F) for one day (24 hours).
Leakage or infiltration of air into a building is similar to the effect of additional ventilation. Unlike ventilation, it cannot be controlled or turned off at night. It is the result of cracks, openings around windows and doors and access openings. Infiltration is also induced into the building to replace exhaust air unless the HVAC balances the exhaust. Wind
*This is a regional variable.
**Once again, all of the units in the formula cancel except Btu's, leaving the units for Q as Btu's.
velocity increases infiltration and stack effects are potential problems. Air that is pushed out the window and door cracks is referred to as exfiltration.
To estimate infiltration, the Air Change Method or Crack Method is used.
Air Change Method
The five factors which determine the amount of energy lost through infiltration can be put together in a formula that states that:
The quantity of heat (Q) equals the volume of air (V) times the number of air changes per hour (AC/h) times the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of air one degree Fahrenheit (0.018-0.022 Btu's) times the temperature difference (ΔT) times the length of time (t). This is expressed as follows:
The Air Change Method is considered to be a quick estimation method and is not usually accurate enough for air-conditioning design. A second method used to determine infiltration is the Crack Method.
When infiltration enters a space it adds sensible and latent heat to the room load. To calculate this gain the following formulas (1-10 and 1-11) are used.
The human body releases sensible and latent heat depending on the degree of activity. Heat gains for typical applications are summarized in Table 1-1.
Table 1-1. Heat Gain from Occupants
Sensible Heat Btuh
Latent Heat Btuh
Total Heat Gain Btuh
Very Light Work—Seated (Offices, Hotels, Apartments)
Moderately Active Work (Offices, Hotels, Apartments)
Moderately Heavy Work (Manufacturing)
Heavy Work (Manufacturing)
Source: ASHRAE—Guide & Data Book
EQUIPMENT, LIGHTING AND MOTOR HEAT GAINS
It is important to include heat gains from equipment, lighting systems and motor heat gain in the overall calculations.
For a manufacturing facility, the major source of heat gains will be from the process equipment. Consideration must be given to all equipment, including motors driving supply and exhaust fans.
To convert motor horsepower to heat gain in Btuh, Formula 1-12 is used.
Similarly, the kilowatts of the lighting system can be converted to heat gain.
RADIANT HEAT GAIN
Heat from the sun's rays greatly increases heat gain of a building. If the building energy requirements were mainly due to cooling, then this gain should be minimized. Solar energy affects a building in the following ways:
1.Raises the surface temperature: A greater temperature differential will exist at roofs than at walls.
2.A large percentage of direct solar radiation and diffuse sky radiation passes through transparent materials, such as glass.
The temperature of a wall or roof depends upon:
(a)the angle of the sun's rays
(b)the color and roughness of the surface
(c)the reflectivity of the surface
(d)the type of construction.
When an engineer is specifying building materials, he should consider the above factors. A simple example is color. The darker the surface, the more solar radiation will be absorbed. Obviously, white surfaces have a lower temperature than black surfaces after the same period of solar heating. Another factor is that smooth surfaces reflect more radiant heat than do rough ones.
In order to properly take solar energy into account, the angle of the sun's rays must be known. If the latitude of the plant is known, the angle can be determined.
SUNLIGHT AND GLASS CONSIDERATIONS
A danger in the energy conservation movement is to take steps backward. A simple example would be to exclude glass from building designs because of the poor conductance and solar heat gain factors of clear glass. The engineer needs to evaluate various alternate glass constructions and coatings in order to maintain and improve the aesthetic qualities of good design while minimizing energy inefficiencies. It should be noted that the method to reduce heat gain of glass due to conductance is to provide an insulating air space.
To reduce the solar radiation that passes through glass, several techniques are available. Heat-absorbing glass (tinted glass) is very popular. Reflective glass in gaining popularity, as it greatly reduces solar heat gains.
To calculate the relative heat gain through glass, a simple method is illustrated below:
THE PSYCHROMETRIC CHART.
Just as the steam table and the Mollier Diagram are used to relate the properties of steam, the psychrometric chart is used to illustrate the properties of air. The psychrometric chart is a very important tool in the design of air-conditioning systems.
PROPERTIES OF AIR
Air expands and contracts with temperature. If pressure is held constant, then air expands or contracts at a specified rate with change in temperature as defined by Formula 1-15.
The change in the volume occupied by air at any temperature can be found by first using Formula 1-15 to calculate the change in volume with pressure and then using Formula 1-14 to calculate the change in volume with temperature.
The temperature at which the water vapor in the atmosphere begins to condense is the Dew Point Temperature. It should be noted that the weight of moisture per pound of dry air in a mixture of air and water vapor depends on the dew point temperature alone. If there is no condensation of moisture, the dew point temperature remains constant.
Humidity Ratio is defined as the weight of water vapor mixed with one pound of dry air.
Degree of Saturation is defined as the actual humidity ratio divided by the humidity ratio at saturation.
Relative Humidity is defined as the vapor pressure of air divided by the saturation pressure of pure water at the same temperature.
Sensible Heat of an Air-Vapor Mixture is defined as the heat which affects the dry-bulb temperature of the mixture only.
Wet-Bulb Temperature can be determined by covering the bulb of a thermometer with a wet wick and holding it in a stream of swiftly mov-
ing air. At first the temperature will drop quickly and then reach a stationary point referred to as the wet-bulb temperature. The wet-bulb temperature is lower than the dry thermometer. The amount of water which evaporates from the wet wick into the air depends on the amount of water vapor initially in the air flowing past the wet bulb. A sling psychrometer is a convenient instrument used to measure wet-bulb temperatures.
Total Heat is defined as the sum of the sensible and latent heat. Sensible heat depends only upon the dry-bulb temperature, while the latent heat content depends only upon its dew point.
The Enthalpy of an Air-Water Vapor Mixture can be calculated by Formula 1-16.
To determine the properties of air, such as the humidity ratio, relative humidity and enthalpy, the psychrometric chart is frequently used. Figures 1-5 and 1-6 illustrate the psychrometric chart.
Example Problem 1-5
Given air at 70° DB and 50% relative humidity, for the air vapor mixture find:
•Dew Point Temperature
Figure 1-5. Psychrometric Chart
Figure 1-6. Psychrometric Chart for Mixture of Air
From Figure 1-5 find the intersection of 70° DB and 50% HR, point "A."
The WB temperature is found as 58.6 WB, point "B."
The Enthalpy is found as 25.5 Btu/lb, point "C."
The Humidity Ratio is found to be 56 grains of moisture per pound of dry air, point "D," and the Dew Point temperature is 53°F, point "E."
The Specific Volume is found to be 13.5 cubic feet per pound of air, point "F," with a Vapor Pressure of .38 inches of mercury, point "G."
The percentage humidity equals the actual humidity, 56, point "D," divided by the humidity ratio at saturation (100% RH), which is found to be 110, point "H." Thus % humidity = 56/110 = .50.
Example Problem 1-6
Given 8,000 cfm of chilled air at 55°F DB and 50°F WB mixed with 3,000 cfm of outside air at 90°F DB and 80°F WB, compute the properties of the mixture.
From Figure 1-6, the intersection of 55°F DB and 50°F WB is point "A." The specific volume is then 13.1 cubic feet/lb, point "B."
Similarly, for the outside air, the specific volume is 14.3 cubic feet/lb, point "D."
The total weight and dry-bulb temperature of the mixture can be found by the following ratios:
The dry-bulb temperature is:
The properties of the mixture, point "E," can now be determined from the chart.
BASICS OF FAN DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS
In order to distribute conditioned or ventilated air, fans are the chief vehicle used. Several basic types of fans commonly used in industry are illustrated in Figure 1-7 and are listed below:
Centrifugal, airfoil blade—used on large heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems. Airfoil fans are used where clean air is handled.
Centrifugal, backward curved blade—used for general heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems. Air handled need not be as clean as above.
Centrifugal, radial blade—a rugged, heavy-duty fan for high pressure applications. It is designed to handle sand, wood chips, etc.
Centrifugal, forward curved blade—ideal for low pressure applications, such as domestic furnaces or room and packaged air conditioners.
The brake horsepower of a fan is illustrated by Formula 1-17.
To compute the fan static pressure
Figure 1-7. Fan Types: (A) Vaneaxial; (B) Backward Curved Blade; (C) Tubeaxial; (D) Radial; (E) Radial Tip Blade; (F) Airfoil Blade. Courtesy of Buffalo Forge Company
The excess pressure above the static pressure is known as the velocity pressure, and is computed by Formula 1-19 for standard air having a value of 13.33 cu ft per lb as
where V is the velocity of air in fpm.
Note that the pressure of air in sheet metal ducts is so low that ordinary pressure gauges (Bourdon type) cannot be used, thus a V-tube or manometer is used, which measures pressure in inches of water. A pressure of 1 psi will support a column of water 2.31 ft high or 27.7 inches.
The performance of a fan at varying speeds and air densities may be predicted by certain basic fan laws as illustrated in Table 1-2.
An energy audit indicates that the ventilation requirements of a space can be reduced from 15,000 cfm to 12,000 cfm. Comment on the savings in brake horsepower if the fan pulley is changed to reduce the fan speed accordingly.
From the Fan Laws:
Table 1-2. Fan Laws
Fan Law for variation in fan speed at constant air density with a constant system
1.1 Air volume, cfm varies as fan speed
1.2 Static velocity or total pressure varies as the square of fan speed
1.3 Power varies as cube of fan speed
Fan Law for variation in air density at constant fan speed with a constant system
2.1 Air volume is constant
2.2 Static velocity or pressure varies as density
2.3 Power varies as density
or a 48.8% savings.
The fan performance is affected by the density of the air that the fan is handling. All fans are rated at standard air with a density of .075 lb per cu ft and a specific volume of 13.33 cu ft per lb. When a fan is tested in a laboratory at different than standard air, the brake horsepower is corrected by using the Fan Laws.
Fan Performance Curves
Fan performance curves are used to determine the relationship between the quantity of air that a fan will deliver and the pressure it can discharge at various air quantities. For each fan type, the manufacturer can supply fan performance curves which can be used in design and as a tool of determining the fan efficiency.
As illustrated by problem 1-7, one energy engineering technique to reduce fan horsepower is to reduce fan speed. An alternate way is to throttle the air flow by a damper. The fan performance curves can be used to illustrate the best choice of these options. The system characteristics can be plotted on the fan curves to show the static pressure required to overcome the friction loss in the duct system. From the Fan Laws the system friction loss varies with the square of fan speed; thus, as the air quantity increases, the friction loss will vary as illustrated by Figure 1-8.
For a detailed analysis, the fan performance curve should be used to predict how a specific fan will perform in a desired application.
Example Problem 1-8
Given Fan Performance Curve Figure 1-9, the fan delivers 21,500 cfm at 600 rpm at a brake horsepower of 12.3. Comment on the savings in brake horsepower by reducing air flow to 14,400 cfm by each of the following methods: (a) reducing fan speed to 400 rpm, (b) throttling the air flow by a damper.
Figure 1-8. System Characteristic Curve
Figure 1-9. Fan Performance Curves
(a) From the Fan Laws the brake horsepower is reduced as follows:
Using the fan performance curve, Figure 1-10, the system characteristic curve "A" is plotted.
Figure 1-10. Fan Performance and System Characteristic Curves
By reducing the rpm from 600 to 400, the system operates at point 1 and then moves to point 2. The brake horsepower is found from Figure 1-9 to be 3.7.
(b) By closing the air damper, the air flow is reduced to 14,400 cfm while still running the fan at 600 rpm. Using the fan performance curve Figure 1-10, the system operates at point 1 and then moves to point 3. The power to operate the fan at point 3 is 7.2 hp from Figure 1-9. Thus, if the fan speed can be reduced it is more efficient than throttling the air flow damper.
Pump and piping considerations are extremely important due to the fact that energy transport losses are a part of any distribution system. Losses occur due to friction and that lost energy must be supplied by pump horsepower.
Centrifugal pumps are commonly used in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning applications as well as utility systems. The output torque for the pump is supplied by a driver such as a motor. Liquid enters the eye of the impeller, which rotates. Pressure energy builds up by the action of centrifugal force, which is a function of the impeller vane
As with fan systems, Pump Laws and curves can be used to predict system responsiveness. The affinity laws of a pump are illustrated in Table 1-3.
The horsepower required to operate a pump is illustrated by Formula 1-20.
Table 1-3. Affinity Laws for Pumps
Specific Gravity (SG)
To Correct for
BHP (or kW)
BHP (or kW)
BHP (or kW)
To convert psi to read in feet use Formula 1-21.
Basically, the size of discharge line piping from the pump determines the friction loss through the pipe that the pump must overcome. The greater the line loss, the more pump horsepower required. If the line is short or has a small flow, this loss may not be significant in terms of the total system head requirements. On the other hand, if the line is long and has a large flow rate, the line loss will be significant.
To calculate the pressure loss for water system piping and the corresponding velocity, Formulas 1-22 and 1-23 are used.
The pressure loss due to fittings is determined by Formula 1-24.
where K is the loss coefficient.
Options to Reduce Pump Horsepower
There are several alternates that will significantly reduce pump horsepower. Some of the available options are summarized below:
1.Many pumps are oversized due to very conservative design practices. If the pump is oversized, install a smaller impeller to match the load.
2.In some instances heating or cooling supply flow rates can be reduced. To save on pump horsepower either reduce motor speed or change the size of the motor sheave.
3.Check economics of replacing corroded pipe with a large pipe diameter to reduce friction losses.
4.Consider using variable-speed pumps to better match load conditions. Motor drive speed can be varied to match pump flow rate or head requirements.
5.Consider adding a smaller auxiliary pump. During part load situations a larger pump can be shut down and a smaller auxiliary pump used.
The summary below illustrates the types of systems frequently encountered in heating and air-conditioning systems.
Single Zone SystemSingle zone systems consist of a mixing, conditioning and fan section. The conditioning section may have heating, cooling, humidifying or a combination of capabilities. Single zone systems can be factory assembled roof-top units or built up from individual components and may or may not have distributing duct work.
Terminal Reheat SystemReheat systems are modifications of single zone systems. Fixed cold temperature air is supplied by the central conditioning system and reheated in the terminal units when the space cooling load is less than maximum. The reheat is controlled by thermostats located in each condition space.
Multizone SystemsMultizone systems condition all air at the central system and mix heated and cooled air at the unit to satisfy various zone loads as sensed by zone thermostats. These systems may be packaged roof-top units or field-fabricated systems.
Dual Duct SystemsDual duct systems are similar to multizone systems except heated and cooled air is ducted to the conditioned spaces and mixed as required in terminal mixing boxes.
Variable Air Volume SystemsA variable air volume system delivers a varying amount of air as required by the conditioned spaces. The volume control may be by fan inlet (vortex) damper, discharge damper or fan speed control. Terminal sections may be single duct variable volume units with or without reheat, controlled by space thermostats.
Induction SystemsInduction systems generally have units at the outside perimeter of conditioned spaces. Conditioned primary air is supplied to the units where it passes through nozzles or jets and by induction draws room air through the induction unit coil. Room temperature control is accomplished by modulating water flow through the unit coil.
Fan Coil UnitsA fan coil unit consists of a cabinet with heating and/or cooling coil, motor and fan and a filter. The unit may be floor or ceiling mounted and uses 100% return air to condition a space.
Unit VentilatorA unit ventilator consists of a cabinet with heating and/or cooling coil, motor and fan, a filter and a return air–outside air mixing section. The unit may be floor or ceiling mounted and uses return and outside air as required by the space.
Unit HeaterUnit heaters have a fan and heating coil which may be electric, hot water or steam. They do not have distribution duct work but generally use adjustable air distribution vanes. Unit heaters may be mounted overhead for heating open areas or enclosed in cabinets for heating corridors and vestibules.
Perimeter RadiationPerimeter radiation consists of electric resistance heaters or hot water radiators usually within an enclosure but without a fan. They are generally used around the conditioned perimeter of a building in conjunction with other interior systems to overcome heat losses through walls and windows.
Hot Water ConvertersA hot water converter is a heat exchanger that uses steam or hot water to raise the temperature of heating system water. Converters consist of a shell and tubes with the water to be heated circulated through the tubes and the heating steam or hot water circulated in the shell around the tubes.
Source: "Energy Conservation with Comfort," Honeywell
Reducing Energy Consumption in HVAC Systems
Variable Air Volume System—A variable volume system provides heated or cooled air at a constant temperature to all zones served. VAV boxes located in each zone or in each space adjust the quantity of air reaching each zone or space depending on its load requirements. Methods for conserving energy consumed by this system include:
1.Reduce the volume of air handled by the system to that point which is minimally satisfactory.
2.Lower hot water temperature and raise chilled water temperature in accordance with space requirements.
3.Lower air supply temperature to that point which will result in the VAV box serving the space with the most extreme load being fully open.
4.Consider installing static pressure controls for more effective regulation of pressure bypass (inlet) dampers.
5.Consider installing fan inlet damper control systems if none now exists.
Constant Volume System—Most constant volume systems either are part of another system—typically dual-duct systems—or serve to provide precise air supply at a constant volume. Opportunities for conserving energy consumed by such systems include:
1.Determine the minimum amount of airflow which is satisfactory and reset the constant volume device accordingly.
2.Investigate the possibility of converting the system to variable (step controlled) constant volume operation by adding the necessary controls.
Induction System—Induction systems comprise an air-handling unit which supplies heated or cooled primary air at high pressure to induction units located on the outside walls of each space served. The high-pressure primary air is discharged within the unit through nozzles in-
ducing room air through a cooling or heating coil in the unit. The resultant mixture of primary air and induced air is discharged to the room at a temperature dependent upon the cooling and heating load of the space. Methods for conserving energy consumed by this system include:
1.Set primary air volume to original design values when adjusting and balancing work is performed.
2.Inspect nozzles. If metal nozzles, common on most older models, are installed, determine if the orifices have become enlarged from years of cleaning. If so, chances are that the volume/pressure relationship of the system has been altered. As a result, the present volume of primary air and the appropriate nozzle pressure required must be determined. Once done, rebalance the primary air system to the new nozzle pressures and adjust individual induction units to maintain airflow temperature. Also, inspect nozzles for cleanliness. Clogged nozzles provide higher resistance to airflow, thus wasting energy.
3.Set induction heating and cooling schedules to minimally acceptable levels.
4.Reduce secondary water temperatures during the heating season.
5.Reduce secondary water flow during maximum heating and cooling periods by pump throttling or, for dual-pump systems, by operating one pump only.
6.Consider manual setting of primary air temperature for heating, instead of automatic reset by outdoor or solar controllers.
Dual-Duct System—The central unit of a dual-duct system provides both heated and cooled air, each at a constant temperature. Each space is served by two ducts, one carrying hot air, the other carrying cold air. The ducts feed into a mixing box in each space which, by means of dampers, mixes the hot and cold air to achieve that air temperature required to meet load conditions in the space or zone involved. Methods for improving the energy consumption characteristics of this system include:
1.Lower hot deck temperature and raise cold deck temperature.
2.Reduce airflow to all boxes to minimally acceptable level.
3.When no cooling loads are present, close off cold ducts and shut down the cooling system. Reset hot deck according to heating loads and operate as a single-duct system. When no heating loads are present, follow the same procedure for heating ducts and hot deck. It should be noted that operating a dual-duct system as a single-duct system reduces airflow, resulting in increased energy savings through lowered fan speed requirements.
Single Zone System—A zone is an area or group of areas in a building which experiences similar amounts of heat gain and heat loss. A single zone system is one which provides heating and cooling to one zone controlled by the zone thermostat. The unit may be installed within or remote from the space it serves, either with or without air distribution ductwork.
1.In some systems air volume may be reduced to minimum required, therefore reducing fan power input requirements. Fan brake horsepower varies directly with the cube of air volume. Thus, for example, a 10% reduction in air volume will permit a reduction in fan power input by about 27% of original. This modification will limit the degree to which the zone serviced can be heated or cooled as compared to current capabilities.
2.Raise supply air temperatures during the cooling season and reduce them during the heating season. This procedure reduces the amount of heating and cooling which a system must provide, but, as with air volume reduction, limits heating and cooling capabilities.
3.Use the cooling coil for both heating and cooling by modifying the piping. This will enable removal of the heating coil, which provides energy savings in two ways. First, airflow resistance of the entire system is reduced so that air volume requirements can be met by lowered fan speeds. Second, system heat losses are reduced because surface area of cooling coils is much larger than that of heating coils, thus enabling lower water temperature requirements. Heating coil removal is not recommended if humidity control is
critical in the zone serviced and alternative humidity control measures will not suffice.
Multizone System—A multizone system heats and cools several zones—each with different load requirements—from a single, central unit. A thermostat in each zone controls dampers at the unit which mix the hot and cold air to meet the varying load requirements of the zone involved. Steps which can be taken to improve energy efficiency of multizone systems include:
1.Reduce hot deck temperatures and increase cold deck temperatures. While this will lower energy consumption, it also will reduce the system's heating and cooling capabilities as compared to current capabilities.
2.Consider installing demand reset controls which will regulate hot and cold deck temperatures according to demand. When properly installed, and with all hot deck or cold deck dampers partially closed, the control will reduce hot and raise cold deck temperature progressively until one or more zone dampers is fully open.
3.Consider converting systems serving interior zones to variable volume. Conversion is performed by blocking off the hot deck, removing or disconnecting mixing dampers, and adding low-pressure variable-volume terminals and pressure bypass.
Terminal Reheat System—The terminal reheat system essentially is a modification of a single-zone system which provides a high degree of temperature and humidity control. The central heating/cooling unit provides air at a given temperature to all zones served by the system. Secondary terminal heaters then reheat air to a temperature compatible with the load requirements of the specific space involved. Obviously, the high degree of control provided by this system requires an excessive amount of energy. Several methods for making the system more efficient include:
1.Reduce air volume of single zone units.
2.If close temperature and humidity control must be maintained for equipment purposes, lower water temperature and reduce flow to
reheat coils. This still will permit control, but will limit the system's heating capabilities somewhat.
3.If close temperature and humidity control are not required, convert the system to variable volume by adding variable volume valves and eliminating terminal heaters.
THE ECONOMIZER CYCLE.
The basic concept of the economizer cycle is to use outside air as the cooling source when it is cold enough. There are several parameters which should be evaluated in order to determine if an economizer cycle is justified. These include:
•The zoning of the building
•The compatibility of the economizer with other systems
•The cost of the economizer
What Are the Costs of Using the Economizer Cycle?
Outside air cooling is accomplished usually at the expense of an additional return air fan, economizer control equipment, and an additional burden on the humidification equipment. Therefore, economizer cycles must be carefully evaluated based on the specific details of the application.
Using outside air to cool a building can result in lower mechanical refrigeration cost whenever outdoor air has a lower total heat content (enthalpy) than the return air. This can be accomplished by an "integrated economizer" or enthalpy control. See Figure 1-11 for a comparison of controls.
Operation of the "integrated economizer" can be made automatic by providing (1) dampers capable of providing 100% outdoor air, and (2) local controls that sequence the chilled water or DX (direct expansion) coil and dampers so that during economizer operation, on a rise in discharge (or space) temperature, the outdoor damper opens first; then on a further rise, the cooling coil is turned "on."
Figure 1-11. Comparative Economizer Controls
Economizer operation is activated by outside air temperature, say 72°F DB*. If outside air is below 72°F, the above described economizer sequence occurs. Above 72°F, outside air cooling is not economical, and the outdoor air damper closes to its minimum position to satisfy ventilation requirements only.
If an economizer system is equipped with enthalpy control, savings will accrue due to a more accurate changeover point. The load on a cooling coil for an air-handling system is a function of the total heat of air entering the coil. Total heat is a function of two measurements, dry bulb (DB) and relative humidity (RH) or dew point (DP). The enthalpy control measures both conditions (DB and RH) in the return air duct and outdoors. It then computes which air source would impose the lowest load on the cooling system. If outside air is the smallest load, the controller enables the economizer cycle. (Dry Bulb Economizer control savings will be less than those shown for enthalpy control, except in dry climates.)
Enthalpy Control Savings Calculations
Savings are based on the assumption that the system previously had either (a) no 100% O.A. damper or (b) a fixed minimum outdoor air setting (whenever the fan operates) sufficient for ventilation purposes; it is also assumed that (c) minimum outdoor air has already been reduced, and the minimum damper opening will be at the new value.
Step 1. Determine minimum cfm of outdoor air to be used during occupied hours.
Step 2. Calculate annual savings.
*This varies according to location.
Formula 1-25 is used to calculate the savings resulting from enthalpy control of outdoor air. The calculated savings generally will be greater than the savings resulting from a dry-bulb economizer. To estimate dry-bulb economizer savings, multiply the enthalpy savings by .93.
Section IIIndoor Air Quality Improvement
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Chapter 2Energy-Efficient Strategies for Improved Dehumidification.
A recent article by William L. McGrath on future trends in HVAC design indicated that "the most profound change in our technology will be in the direction of improving functional performance. . . ," specifically improved humidity control.1 Increased outdoor ventilation rates due to implementation of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, and the realization of the need to maintain relative humidities between 30% and 60% indoors for improved indoor air quality, will likely drive improvements and wider application of humidity control in HVAC systems. This is especially true in hot and humid climates where a lack of proper dehumidification can result in unacceptable comfort levels and microbial growth on interior building surfaces. Although not commonly applied, many options to improve dehumidification control do exist. This chapter discusses options including fan cycling strategies, coil temperature adjustment, heat pipe heat exchangers, and desiccant air conditioning.
Controlling relative humidity indoors has been widely recognized as an important aspect of achieving good indoor air quality. Nevertheless, most HVAC systems today are primarily designed and controlled to only maintain temperatures within a relatively close range. Humidity levels are generally allowed to fluctuate over a wide range depending on ambient conditions and cooling and heating loads. Support for improving relative humidity control, however, does exist. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 states that "Relative humidity in habitable spaces preferably should be maintained between 30% and 60% rh."2
When humidity is not specifically controlled by the HVAC system, it is common to observe periods of indoor relative humidity levels as low
as 15% during the heating season and as high as 85% during the cooling season, especially under part-load conditions. This lack of humidity control has both comfort and health consequences. High humidity levels above 70% rh can result in the air feeling warmer and stuffier. In addition, high humidity levels increase the likelihood of microbial growth on building surfaces. Airborne viruses also survive much better at both low and high humidity levels. Low humidity levels, below 30% rh, rend to dry nasal mucous, resulting in an increased incidence of colds and respiratory infections3. Optimum worker productivity and performance have both shown to correlate with 30-60% rh.4
Of course, humidity control in buildings includes both humidification and dehumidification. Humidification systems such as wetted media, atomizing and steam humidifiers are often employed in building HVAC systems in cold climates. Conversely, methods to control dehumidification are implemented rarely, regardless of climate. This is in spite of the fact that higher outdoor ventilation rates, implemented to improve indoor air quality, often result in unacceptably high relative humidity levels indoors. It is likely that as concern for indoor air quality and the role which relative humidity plays increases, implementation of dehumidification enhancements to the HVAC system will also increase. The following is a discussion of methods available to improve dehumidification with the HVAC system.
Conventional air-conditioning systems only provide between 15% and 30% of their total cooling capacity for dehumidification (or latent load) depending on coil design and temperature, and ambient conditions. The remaining capacity is devoted to reducing temperature (sensible load). In hot and humid climates, it is common for the dehumidification load to exceed 40% of the total cooling load, especially if high outdoor ventilation rates are present. Under these conditions, indoor humidities will rise above the desired limit of 60% rh. The traditional method to adjust the sensible/latent ratio or improve the dehumidification is to implement reheat after the cooling coil. This method works well; however, it is inefficient and expensive to operate since energy has to be expended to both cool and heat the same air stream. As a result, this method is generally only implemented in special needs areas such as
computer rooms, libraries, hospitals, and museums. More efficient and cost-effective methods to increase dehumidification capability include: fan cycling strategies, face-and-bypass reheating, outdoor air pre-conditioning, heat pipe heat exchangers, and desiccant air-conditioning.
FAN CYCLING STRATEGIES
Changing the fan cycling strategy of primary and outdoor air fans will result in changes in indoor humidity levels. Often primary and outdoor air fans are operated in continuous or constant fan mode regardless of compressor operation. On many systems, this mode of operation will allow humid outdoor air to enter the system and building without being cooled or dehumidified when indoor temperatures are satisfied and the compressor is not operating. By switching to an intermittent fan operation such that fans are only run when the compressor is operating, the dehumidification load is decreased in two ways. First, outdoor air is not drawn into the system without firs passing over a cold coil and being dehumidified. Second the cooling coil and condensate pan are allowed to drain when the fan is off, as opposed to being re-evaporated into the building. In addition, energy use is reduced by reduction in fan and compressor operation as a result of less fan operation and heat and reduced outdoor ventilation. This strategy (combined with heat pipes in one area) was recently implemented in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, resulting in a 1995 ASHRAE Technology Award5: Of course, minimum outdoor ventilation requirements should be accounted for based on intermittent versus constant operation.
In addition to fan cycling, adjustment of outdoor ventilation flow can also be employed to improve humidity control. Control strategies which control the amount of outdoor ventilation either by damper or outdoor fan adjustment based on outdoor humidity levels can be used to either reduce or increase the moisture load on the HVAC system. This can result in control of humidity within a tighter range during both heating and cooling modes. Again, this strategy must account for minimum outdoor ventilation rates for proper indoor air quality. In addition, the heating and cooling capacity of the system must be accounted for to ensure that temperature control is not jeopardized. In order to minimize energy use by the HVAC system and provide the minimum outdoor ventilation requirements, occupancy and/or carbon dioxide sensors can
be employed. In hot and humid climates, adjustment of outdoor ventilation based on occupancy will lower the average dehumidification load.
Another energy-efficient method of improving dehumidification capability is face-and-bypass reheating. This method is similar to the traditional reheat method; however, rather than cooling and reheating the entire air flow, only a portion of the recirculation air is cooled with the balance used for reheat as shown in Figure 2-1. Before reaching the cooling coil, the air stream is split such that a portion flows across the coil face and the balance bypasses the coil. The coil can then be operated at lowered temperatures to increase dehumidification capability. The bypass air is then mixed with the cooled, dehumidified air and then delivered to the occupied space at satisfactory temperature and humidity levels. Both the coil temperature and the amount of bypass air can be adjusted to control the resulting indoor relative humidity. Since the reheating is accomplished with recirculation air, no energy is expended for reheat. Lowering coil temperature does, however, result in additional energy costs. This can be avoided if chilled water or ice storage systems are implemented and operated during off-peak hours with lower electrical rates.
Figure 2-1. Face & Bypass Reheating
OUTDOOR AIR PRE-CONDITIONING.
Most HVAC systems do not pre-condition the outdoor ventilation air. Outdoor air is usually first mixed with recirculation air and then cooled or heated as needed. Because the majority of moisture load on an HVAC system is from outdoor air, pre-conditioning outdoor ventilation air to remove moisture before it mixes with recirculation air will lower the moisture load on the primary cooling coils significantly. This has three benefits. First, the pre-conditioned air can be cooled to achieve the desired moisture level without the need for re-heat. Second, the primary cooling coils can be cycled for accurate temperature control without affecting humidity control. And third, the primary cooling coils can be operated above the dew point or "dry," thereby reducing the likelihood for microbial growth within the primary air distribution ducts.
Pre-conditioning outdoor air is often the most cost-effective method to add latent capacity to an existing HVAC system. As many systems today are upgraded to provide increased amounts of outdoor air to satisfy indoor air requirements, pre-conditioning the outdoor air can often allow the existing system to remain intact. This method was successfully employed in an elementary school which had humidity problems and needed increased outdoor air to meet ASHRAE Standard 62-1989.6
HEAT PIPE HEAT EXCHANGERS
Installation of a heat pipe between the entering and leaving air of a cooling coil as shown in Figure 2-2 can improve the latent performance of the system without additional energy input. A heat pipe is simply a sealed metal tube charged with a refrigerant such as HCFC-22. When one end of the tube is exposed to a warm airstream, the refrigerant inside absorbs heat and evaporates and the vapor moves to the other, cooler end. The refrigerant condenses on the cooler end and rejects its heat. After condensing, the refrigerant circulates back to the warmer side by gravity or capillary action, thereby completing the cycle.
A heat pipe installed in the configuration shown in Figure 2-2 will absorb heat from the entering air and transfer it to the leaving air stream. This pre-cools the entering air and re-heats the air leaving the cooling coil. This allows the coil to operate at cooler temperatures, resulting in more moisture removal. The total cooling capacity is not changed by the heat pipe, only the sensible-to-latent heat ratio is altered.
Figure 2-2. Heat Pipe Dehumidification
DESICCANT AIR CONDITIONING
Desiccants are materials which have an affinity, after heating, for water vapor. They have long been used for dehumidification processes in industry. Today, the dehumidification capabilities of desiccants are being integrated with evaporative coolers and conventional HVAC systems to reduce cooling costs and improve humidity control. Many designs exist which utilize both liquid and solid desiccants. The most popular methods today utilize a rotating wheel which has a desiccant impregnated into its surface. The desiccant wheel can be located before or after the cooling coil, depending on design requirements. A schematic of a dual wheel desiccant system combined with conventional cooling is shown in Figure 2-3. The conventional cool section can also be replaced by indirect or direct evaporative cooling. This type of system has seen application in supermarket cooling in order to reduce condensing around refrigerated display cases.7 In order to regenerate or dry the desiccant, systems can use waste heat from the conventional compressor or other waste heat source. Conditions which favor desiccant installations include: high outdoor air requirement, low indoor humidity requirement, available waste heat, and low-cost fuel.
Figure 2-3. Desiccant Cooling Arrangement
Desiccant wheels can also be used to help pre-condition outdoor ventilation air using building exhaust air as the regeneration air. Installing a desiccant wheel to exchange energy between the outdoor ventilation air and exhaust air can result in a reduction of both temperature and moisture in the outdoor supply air to the system. Since the exhaust air is relatively drier and cooler than outdoor ventilation air during the cooling season, transferring these conditions through the wheel to the outdoor ventilation air will result in both a lower sensible and latent load on the primary coiling system with corresponding reductions in energy use. During the heating season this type of heat exchanger will increase moisture levels in the incoming outdoor ventilation air, thereby reducing the need for humidification.
Many different strategies and equipment exist to improve the dehumidification capability of HVAC systems, from simple to complex. Many of these configurations can reduce overall HVAC system energy use while improving humidity control. The increasing recognition that humidity control plays an important role in indoor air quality, combined with the increasing amounts of outdoor ventilation provided by HVAC systems, will likely result in more common application of these and other strategies developed in the future.
1. McGrath, William L., The Human Habitat of the Future, ASHRAE Journal, June 1995.
2. ASHRAE 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.
3. Lubart, J., The Common Cold and Humidity Imbalance, NYS Journal of Medicine, 1962, pg. 816-819.
4. Hansen, Shirley J., Managing Indoor Air Quality, Fairmont Press, 1991, pg. 167.
5. Shirey, Don B. III, Fan Cycling Strategies and Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers Provide Energy Efficient Dehumidification, ASHRAE Journal, March 1995.
6. Downing, C. and Bayer, C., "Indoor Conditions in Schools with Insufficient Humidity Control," Proceeding of IAQ '92, Environments for People Conference, Washington, D.C., ASHRAE, October 1992.
7. Mahoney, Thomas A., Dehumidification Takes Hold in Commercial, Residential Jobs, Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, June 5, 1995, pg. 3.
Chapter 3Ventilation or Filtration? The Use of Gas-Phase Air Filtration For Compliance with ASHRAE Standard 62
ASHRAE Standard 62, in its current form, employs two procedures to provide acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings. These are the Ventilation Rate and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Procedures. This standard further endeavors to achieve the necessary balance between IAQ and energy consumption by specifying minimum ventilation rates and IAQ acceptable to human occupants.
The Ventilation Rate Procedure provides only an indirect solution for the control of indoor contaminants. While it does allow for the use of cleaned, recirculated air, it does not allow the use of this air to reduce the amount of outdoor air specified in the standard. If this air is to be used to reduce the amount of outdoor air required, or for the implementation of energy conservation measures, the IAQ Procedure must be used.
The IAQ Procedure provides a direct solution by reducing and controlling the concentrations of air contaminants, through air cleaning, to specified levels. This procedure allows for both quantitative and subjective evaluation of the effectiveness of the air cleaning method(s) employed. The standard acknowledges that air cleaning, along with recirculation, is an effective means for controlling contaminants when using the IAQ Procedure. Employing this procedure allows the amount of outside ventilation air to be reduced below standard levels if it can be demonstrated that the resulting air quality meets the required criteria.
More buildings are using, or will be using, gas-phase air filtration as part of their overall design for providing and maintaining acceptable IAQ. This trend is being seen in retrofit applications as well as new construction. Among the driving forces behind this are the increased
awareness of people to their environment and how it may affect their well-being, legislative actions which are in effect or have been proposed, and, of course, members of the legal community litigating complaints of sick building syndrome (SBS) and building-related illness (BRI).
This chapter will focus on the use of gas-phase air filtration for compliance with ASHRAE Standard 62 by using the IAQ Procedure. It will cover the requirements of using this procedure, the information required, and will describe several projects where this procedure was successfully used to realize both acceptable IAQ and energy savings.
Key Words: adsorption, ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, chemisorption, dry-scrubbing media, energy conservation, gas-phase air filtration, granular activated carbon (GAC), indoor air quality (IAQ), potassium permanganate-impregnated alumina (PIA).
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) first ventilation standard was ASHRAE Standard 62-73. Under the normal five-year review cycle the Standard was revised to ASHRAE 62-1981. In the light of rapidly changing technology, ASHRAE 62-1989, "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality" was approved by the ASHRAE Standards Committee March 1, 1989 and approved by the Board of Directors on June 2?, 1989. The purpose of the Standard is to specify minimum ventilation rates and indoor air quality that will be acceptable to human occupants and are intended to override adverse health effects.
It is assumed that the "best" air is that which is of naturally occurring composition in the absence of any effects of man or man-made processes and in the absence of any natural pollutants. Thus, an idealized air pollution control strategy would attempt to achieve naturally occurring composition of the air and to remove all pollutants. This is not saying that this level of pollution control is necessarily feasible, or even desirable; rather, that if one could achieve the objective, there would be no further way to improve the air quality.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a function of many parameters, including outdoor air quality and the presence of internal sources of contaminants. Indoor air should not contain contaminant concentrations known to cause discomfort or adverse health effects to occupants. Such contaminants include various gases, vapors and smoke. These may be present in the makeup air or be introduced through indoor activities, by building materials and furnishings, surface coatings and even the human occupants themselves.
An important challenge facing today's engineers is how to improve IAQ while, at the same time, reducing their buildings' energy consumption.2 Historically, as energy conservation measures have been implemented, and energy consumption has decreased, IAQ has suffered. And with the ever-increasing public awareness to IAQ issues, pending IAQ legislation, and the ever-present threat of litigation3,4, this one-sided trade-off is no longer acceptable.
Fortunately, ventilation standards and mechanical codes have evolved to the point that those currently in place allow building designers/engineers the opportunity to address both IAQ and energy conservation. Paralleling this evolution, air cleaning technologies have similarly developed to the point that they may be used in conjunction with these standards to provide healthy, comfortable indoor environments while continuing to conserve energy.
ASHRAE STANDARD 62-1989
Prior to the 1960s, the primary concern with regard to IAQ was human comfort. Indoor contaminants were mostly occupant-generated (i.e., body odors, tobacco smoke). Since then, building interiors have been equipped with synthetic furnishings and materials which generate various pollutants, especially significant levels of VOCs. This, coupled with the energy-conservation measures implemented in the 1970s, created indoor environments that were, at times, hazardous to human health.5
One of the first attempts to establish methods of providing acceptable Indoor Air Quality was ASHRAE's Standard 62-73, "Standard for Natural and Mechanical Ventilation."6 This standard provided a prescriptive approach to ventilation by specifying both minimum and recommended outdoor air flow rates to obtain acceptable indoor air quality for a variety of indoor applications.
The revised Standard 62-1981, "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality,"7 recommended outdoor airflow rates for smoking and nonsmoking conditions in most occupied spaces. This standard also offered an alternative air quality procedure to allow for the use of innovative energy-conservation practices. This procedure allowed for the use of whatever amount of outside air deemed necessary if it could be shown that the levels of indoor air contaminants could be maintained below
The purpose of Standard 62-1981 was" . . . to specify minimum ventilation rates and indoor air quality which will be acceptable to human occupants and are intended to minimize the potential for adverse health effects." Acceptable air quality was based upon the premise that" . . . 80% or more of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction." In addition, acceptable air quality must not contain "known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities." The key words in this definition are "people exposed." Who are the "people exposed" in a particular situation? Are the occupants of a space transient and what is the duration of the "exposure?"
The standard in current form, Standard 62-19898, retains these two procedures for ventilation design, i.e., the Ventilation Rate and the Indoor Air Quality Procedures. This standard endeavors to achieve the necessary balance between energy consumption and indoor air quality by specifying minimum ventilation rates and indoor air quality that will be acceptable to human occupants. The classification section (section 4) describes these two alternative procedures specified for obtaining and maintaining acceptable indoor air quality.
These two procedures are the heart of the new Standard. They approach the indoor air quality problem from different perspectives. The Ventilation Rate Procedure defines the rate at which ventilation air must be delivered to a space, as well as various approaches to conditioning that incoming air.
By contrast, the Indoor Air Quality Procedure requires the calculation of the concentration of contaminants of concern in the indoor air, and limiting those contaminants to acceptable levels through dilution by ventilation or filtration.
The Ventilation Rate Procedure establishes:
•the minimum outdoor air quality acceptable for use in ventilation systems,
•outdoor air treatment when necessary,
•ventilation rates for residential, commercial, institutional, vehicular and industrial space,
•criteria for reduction of outdoor air quantities when recirculated air is treated by contaminant removal equipment,
•criteria for variable ventilation when the air volume in the space can be used as a reservoir to dilute contaminants.
It goes on to state that if the outdoor air contaminant levels exceed those listed in the Ambient Air Quality Standards, this air must be treated to control the offending contaminants. For the removal of gases and vapors, appropriate air-cleaning systems should be used. Properly cleaned air may be used for recirculation.
The above procedure provides only an indirect solution for the control of indoor contaminants. While it does allow for the use of cleaned, recirculated air, it does not allow using this air to reduce the amount of outdoor air specified in the standard. If this air is to be used to reduce the amount of outdoor air required, or for the implementation of energy conservation measures, the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Procedure must be used.
The IAQ Procedure provides a direct solution by reducing and controlling the concentrations of contaminants, through air cleaning, to specified acceptable levels. This procedure allows for both quantitative and subjective evaluation of the effectiveness of the air cleaning method(s) employed. The standard acknowledges that air cleaning, along with recirculation, is an effective means for controlling contaminants when using the IAQ Procedure. Employing this procedure allows the amount of outside ventilation air to be reduced below standard levels if it can be demonstrated that the resulting air quality meets the required criteria.
It was stated earlier that this standard tries to achieve a balance between energy consumption and IAQ. Whereas the Ventilation Rate Procedure focuses primarily on assuring acceptable IAQ, the IAQ Procedure is intended to provide a way to reduce HVAC system operating costs while still providing a healthy environment.
The public's increased awareness towards IAQ-related issues and their demand to be able to work in a healthy environment, along with building owners' and managers' desires to keep energy consumption to a minimum, has fostered a growing need for economical and effective solutions. One of these solutions has been the use of air filtration systems. This mitigation measure can provide results similar to those expected through ventilation, i.e., the reduction of airborne contaminant levels. Air filtration can be applied for the reduction of particulate matter, gaseous contaminants or both. It is the use of air filtration systems
for the control of gaseous contaminants which will be the primary focus of the rest of this discussion.
AIR FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY
To understand and appreciate what air filtering systems can and cannot accomplish, one must look at the contaminants to be controlled. Airborne contaminants are divided into three basic types: liquids, solids (particulates) and gases. These contaminants come in a multitude of particle and molecular diameters. Liquid contamination can be most commonly found in the form of vapors and aerosols (e.g., printing inks, paints, spray cleaners, air fresheners, fungicides, humidifiers), with typical size distribution in the range of 1 to 9 microns.9 Common solid or particulate contaminants are tobacco smoke, paper and atmospheric dust, asbestos and fibrous particles, and viable particulate matter (e.g., pollen, bacteria, fungal and plant spores, and viruses). Size distributions for particulate matter typically range from 0.003 to 100 microns. In contrast, gaseous contaminants, such as carbon monoxide and dioxide (CO and CO2), nitrogen oxides, (NOX), formaldehyde (HCHO), ozone (O3), ammonia (NH3) tobacco smoke components, and volatile organic compounds, typically range in size from 0.003 to 0.006 microns.8
The most common technologies available to deal with the above sources of contamination are particle removal filtration, such as mechanical filters and electronic air cleaners, and gas-phase, or dry-scrubbing, air filtration.
Filters, made of cellulose, fabric and glass fiber are the most common types used for particle removal. However, since a majority of indoor air contaminants are submicron in size, it is not surprising that most particulate filter systems, while able to provide basic cleanliness, are mostly ineffective (with the exception of high-efficiency particulate air [HEPA] filtration).
Some air cleaners use the principles of electrostatic precipitation which basically charge particles and capture them on oppositely charged collecting plates. They are fairly efficient against submicron-sized particles but require regular cleaning. Also, these devices, if not installed and maintained properly, may produce ozone, an unwanted and unwel-
come chemical irritant.9 Other types of electronic air cleaners use ionization to positively or negatively charge fine airborne particulates, purportedly making them easier to filter by causing agglomeration into larger particles.
Gas-Phase Air Filtration
The indoor and outdoor environments differ significantly in both the types and levels of gaseous contaminants common to both10,11,12,13,14,15,16. Contaminants with sources predominantly outdoors include sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Contaminants generated primarily from indoor sources include CO2, formaldehyde (HCHO), ammonia (NH3), acrolein and a variety of organic chemicals.
Gas-phase air filters based on adsorption and/or chemisorption are available in a variety of commercial designs—usually as packed-bed media filters where the dry, granular, gas-phase medium is filled in the space between perforated metal or plastic screens. As shown in Figure 3-1, these include units in which a variety of filter bed types and depths are employed.13 Many of these types of systems are used in tandem with particle removal filters for optimal filtration capabilities. These filters can be installed in side- or front-access housings or other standardized equipment. They can also be installed in some self-contained air cleaner units. These filters are available as refillable or disposable units.
As described previously, dry-scrubbing media can be applied in a number of different configurations. These media, regardless of how installed, utilize two main processes used to remove airborne gaseous contaminants. One is a reversible physical process known as adsorption. The other, which involves adsorption and irreversible chemical reaction(s), is termed chemisorption. Each of these processes will be described briefly below.
The most common form of gas-phase filtration is adsorption, and, by definition, adsorption is the process by which one substance is attracted to and held on the surface of another. Adsorption can occur wherever a material has sufficient attractive force to overcome the kinetic energy of a gas molecule. This is evident by the adsorption of cigarette smoke on the interior of an automobile or on a person's clothing.
Adsorption is viewed as a surface phenomenon, and it is well to understand the significance of this statement. The removal capacity of an adsorbent is directly related to its total surface area, and in a porous solid
Figure 3-1. Gas-Phase Air Filtration Equipment Designs
adsorbent, the surface extends well into the interior of the solid. Therefore, it is important to develop as large an accessible surface area per unit volume as possible. Granular activated carbons (GACs) are the most common materials which fulfill this requirement. Other commonly used sorbents include activated aluminas.
Because of the relatively weak forces involved, adsorption is (essentially) totally reversible.17 Thus the net rate of adsorption depends on the rate at which gas molecules reach the surface of the adsorbent, the per-
cent of those making contact which are adsorbed and the rate of desorption. However, many other factors can affect removal of gaseous contaminants by physical adsorption. Among these are the type of adsorbent, the resistance to airflow (ΔP), the adsorbent bed depth, the gas velocity, the concentration and characteristics of the contaminant(s) in the space around the adsorbent, the removal efficiency required and the temperature and relative humidity of the gas stream.
Adsorbent materials do not adsorb all contaminant gases equally.18,19,20 One way to improve the effectiveness of sorbents for these materials is by the use of various chemical impregnants which react with these "less-adsorbable" gases. These impregnates react (essentially) spontaneously and irreversibly with these gases, forming stable chemical compounds which are bound to the media or released into the air as CO2, water vapor or some material more readily adsorbed by other adsorbents. Therefore, it is common to have a gas-phase air filtration system which uses a combination of unimpregnated and chemically impregnated adsorbent media.
In contrast to the reversible process of physical adsorption, chemical adsorption, or chemisorption, is the result of chemical reactions on the surface of the adsorbent. Chemisorption is specific and depends on the chemical nature of both the adsorption media and the contaminants. It is actually a two-stage process. First, contaminants are physically adsorbed onto the media. Once adsorbed, they react chemically with the media. The chemical impregnant added to the media makes it more or less specific for a contaminant or group of contaminants. Many of the same factors which affect the removal of gases by physical adsorption also affect their removal by chemisorption.
One of the more broad-spectrum chemical impregnants in common use is potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and is typically used as an impregnant on activated alumina. Potassium permanganate-impregnated alumina (PIA) is often used in conjunction with GAC to provide a very broad-spectrum gas-phase air filtration system.
Just as with other forms of air filtration, there are certain negative aspects of gas-phase air filtration. Particular gases, most importantly carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, are not controlled. There is an increased cost in energy to overcome higher pressure drops. And when the media are spent, they must be replaced. Fortunately, the energy cost savings realized by using effective gas-phase filtration systems for air recirculation can far exceed the additional costs.
The three methods of gaseous contaminant control most commonly employed in HVAC systems are source control, ventilation control and removal control. Source control should always be the first strategy examined. Removing the sources of contaminants prevents them from becoming a problem in the first place. However, the source of gaseous contaminants cannot always be readily identified and, therefore, cannot be removed. Many times the buildings themselves are the greatest sources of gaseous contaminants.
When source control is not feasible or practical, ventilation control should be the next option. Ventilation control involves the introduction of clean dilution air into the affected space. Contaminant levels can thus be reduced below acceptable threshold levels. However, as in source control, this may not prove viable in all cases, either.
Most ventilation air used for dilution would come from outside the building. The degree to which internally generated contaminants are diluted depends on the quantity and quality of ventilation air used. The use of outdoor air alone is the simplest means for providing dilution. However, the use of large amounts of outdoor air to reduce contaminant levels is neither energy-efficient nor cost-effective.
The National Primary Ambient Air Quality Standards21 (Table 3-1) represent national goals for permissible outdoor air exposure levels to sulfur dioxide (SO2), total particulates (PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and lead (Pb). However, in many of our urban environments today, the outside air does not meet these criteria with regard to gaseous contaminants. Therefore, if this air were to be used for ventilation, one would simply be substituting one (group of) contaminant(s) for another and even possibly increasing the total contaminant load in the space. In such cases, the outdoor air would require cleaning to be suitable for dilution of internally generated contaminants.
If it is clear that neither source nor ventilation control will adequately control the levels of gaseous contaminants in the affected space, removal control should be employed. Gas-phase air filtration systems employing dry-scrubbing filtration media as an integral part of an HVAC system can effectively reduce gaseous contaminants to well below standard levels. The use of gas-phase air filtration in either recirculation or mixed recirculation and outdoor airflows is effective both for controlling the levels of undesirable contaminants and for conserving energy.
Table 3-1. National Primary Ambient-Air Quality Standards forOutdoor Air as Set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1 yr/24 hr
1 yr/24 hr
aNot to be exceeded more than once per year.
cStandard is attained when expected number or days per calendar year with maximum hourly averageconcentration above 0.12 ppm (235 μg/m3) is equal to or less than one.
dThree-month period is a calendar quarter.
MODELING PROCEDURE FOR CLEANED, RECIRCULATED AIR
Section 6.2 and Appendix E of the ASHRAE standard describe the IAQ Procedure and present the procedure for the use of cleaned recirculated air, respectively. Basically, the amount of outside air specified in Table 2 of the standard—15 cfm per person in this application—may be reduced by recirculating air from which offending contaminants have been removed or converted to less objectionable forms. The amount of outside air required depends on the contaminant generation in the space, the contaminant concentrations in the indoor and outdoor air, the filter location, the filter efficiency for the contaminants in question, the ventila-
tion effectiveness, the supply air recirculation rate and the fraction recirculated.
Figure 3-2 shows a representative system employing recirculation and filtration. Filters may be located in the recirculated airstream (position A, most common placement for gas-phase air filters) or in the supply (mixed) airstream (position B, most common for particulate air filters). The ventilation effectiveness will depend on the location of the supply outlet, the return inlet and the design and performance of the supply diffuser. Figure 3-2 is a schematic of a typical system with the supply outlet and the return inlet in the ceiling. It is possible for some supply air to flow directly from the supply to the return, bypassing the occupied zone of the room. This reduces the effectiveness of the ventilation supplied to the space.
Figure 3-2. Recirculation and Filtration
V = Volumetric Flow
f = filter
C = Contaminant Concentration
o = outdoor
E = Filter Efficiency or Effectiveness
r = return
N = Contaminant Generation Rate
s = supply
R = Recirculation Flow Factor
v = ventilation
Variable-air-volume (VAV) systems reduce the circulation rate when the thermal load is satisfied. This is accounted for by an additional term, Fr, the flow reduction factor. VAV systems normally have a constant supply air temperature. Constant-volume systems require a variable supply air temperature. VAV systems may also have a constant or proportional outdoor airflow rate.
A mass-balance for the contaminants may be written to determine the space contaminant concentration for the constant-volume system configuration diagramed above.
The following equations were taken from Table E-1 of the standard (designated Class II) and are applicable for this system. Their use assumes the following:
• the gas-phase air filtration system will be in position "A" (Figure 3-2)
•a constant volume system,
•a variable supply air temperature,
•a constant outdoor airflow rate.
Equation 3-1 is for calculating the required outdoor air given the allowable space contamination. Equation 3-2 is for calculating the space contaminant concentration when the outdoor airflow rate is specified, and Equation 3-3 is for determining the required recirculation rate. (The standard lists the seven different system configurations accounting for the various permutations of the air-handling and distribution systems.
Typically, one would want to try and reduce the amount of outdoor air to an allowable minimum to maximize the potential for energy savings. Therefore, Equation 3-1 would be used with Vo being a value less than that prescribed from the Ventilation Rate Procedure, but, in any
case, not less than 5 cfm/person. Application of the IAQ Procedure using Equation 3-1 requires the following information:
outdoor air ventilation rate, cfm/person—some value between 5 and 15 cfm/person;
return air, cfm/person—the total system airflow (cfm) minus the total outdoor airflow (cfm) divided by the total occupancy;
contaminant concentration in the outdoor air, mg/ft3—for those contaminants of concern, i.e., SO2, NO2 and O3.
EPA monitoring data for specific locations can provide summaries for outdoor air concentrations of SO2, NO2, O3 and, in some cases, total VOC. The air-monitoring data shown below were used for an actual application employing the IAQ Procedure (described more fully in the CASE STUDIES (Meyerland Plaza General Cinema section which follows).
Table 3-2. EPA Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Data for Houston, TX22
0.00300 ppm (mean)
Croquet Monitoring Station
0.01974 ppm (mean)
Avg. for Houston
0.02300 ppm (mean)
Croquet Monitoring Station
TOTAL 0.04574 ppm (mean), used for design Co
The total outdoor contaminant concentration, Co for these monitoring data would be:
= 0.04574 ppm = 0.04574 mg/l
= 0.04574 mg/l ÷ 0.03531 ft3/1 = 1.30 mg/ft3
= total contaminant concentration in supply air, mg/ft3—for those contaminants of concern; typically includes those from the outdoor
air (Co) along with various VOC. In retrofit applications, air monitoring may be required. For new construction applications, appropriate models may be used until actual air monitoring data become available. If contaminant generation rates are known, Cs may be calculated directly using Equation 3-2. These calculated values may be added together and substituted into Equation 3-1.
= contaminant generation rate, mg/day/person—if actual data are not available, various mathematical models may be used to calculate emission rates from people, furnishings, building materials, etc., and may be used for design purposes.
Table 3-3. Average Generation Rates of Organic Bioeffluents in a Lecture Class (389 people at 9:30 a.m.23)
6.2 ± 4.5
19.9 ± 2.3
50.7 ± 27.3
3.6 ± 3.6
21.9 ± 20.8
44.6 ± 21.5
20.8 ± 11.4
25.4 ± 4.8
44.7 ± 21.5
74.4 ± 5.0
9.5 ± 1.5
7.4 ± 4.9
32.2 ± 5.0
2.73 ± 1.32
Various indoor air contaminants may give rise to odors that are of unacceptable intensity or character or that may irritate the eyes, nose or throat. One factor which affects levels of organic contaminants in a building space are effluents from the human occupants. Such effluents are released from body openings and surfaces. Studies have been performed to correlate the types and concentrations of these contaminants with the presence of humans22 (Table 3-3). Significant effects on organic compound concentrations associated with human occupancy have been reported. Both the number and concentration of organic compounds were observed to increase in the presence of humans. Significant increases were observed for acetone and ethanol, both of which are known to be exhaled in human breath. Outdoor air contributes only 5%-20% of the total indoor VOC concentration. Therefore, it is more appropriate to concentrate on internal sources of VOCs.5
If the data from Table 3-3 are used to determine the generation rate, N, for this particular space, the following value would be obtained (using the "high" value):
= 499.45 mg/day/person ÷(24 hr/day × 60 min/hr)
= 0.3468 mg/min/person
= efficiency of the (gas-phase) air filter(s)—provided by the filter manufacturer or through independent testing. For typical packed-bed media configuration used most commonly in commercial applications (1" media bed depth, Fig. 3-1D & 3-1F), the default value should not be >85% unless specific test data are available. For partial-bypass or impregnated media filters default values should not be >20% unless specific test data are available.
Due to the difference in the contaminant makeup of outdoor versus indoor air, one must be assured that the appropriate dry-scrubbing air filtration media are used. As a general rule, the use of two media—granular activated carbon (GAC) and potassium permanganate-impregnated alumina (PIA)—is required to effectively control these contaminants.19,20
= ventilation effectiveness—the fraction of the outdoor air delivered to the space that reaches the occupied zone. A value of 1.0 indicates perfect mixing. A default value no higher than 0.65-0.75 should be used unless specific data are available.
Filters may be more or less effective against specific contaminants or groups of contaminants. Therefore, when designing a filtration system, consideration must be given to those contaminants for which the system has little or no effectiveness. The amount of outdoor air may only be reduced until some contaminant reaches its maximum acceptable limit.
return air factor—% of recirculation air in return air system. Most commonly expressed as RVr, or recirculated air.
Using the information presented above, the following example illustrates how these data may be used to calculate whether a specified (or target) minimum outdoor air requirement can be used for design purposes when using recirculation with filtration.
8-screen, multiplex theater complex (auditorium #1), seating capacity of 190 persons24
constant air volume
Total supply air:
The one value yet to be determined is Cs, the total contaminant concentration in the supply air. Using Equation 3-2 and substituting the known values, Cs is as follows:
This total space contaminant value is well below any published IAQ action levels by either ASHRAE8 or OSHA.25 However, any analysis of the space contaminant concentration should be twofold: first, by the total contaminant concentration for all contaminants of concern (as above), and second, by each individual contaminant.
An analysis of Cs by individual gas provides the following:
Conc., Cs Standard
From the above, it has therefore been shown that using 5 cfm/person of outdoor air can reduce the total space contaminant concentration to levels low enough to be well below the published guidelines for these contaminants and provide acceptable IAQ. It is not necessary to solve for Vo and RVr in Equations 3-1 and 3-3. These are established values used to calculate Cs in Equation 3-2.
Although organic contaminants are the main sources of odors from humans, carbon dioxide has been widely used as a surrogate indicator of IAQ, due primarily to the fact that it is the contaminant produced by humans in the greatest quantities and it is easily monitored. When using the Ventilation Rate Procedure, keeping the level of indoor carbon dioxide below 1,000 ppm has been recommended to satisfy comfort criteria with respect to odors. However, simply controlling the carbon dioxide levels in the space does not guarantee the elimination of IAQ complaints due to odors coming from other contaminants whose sources may be inside or outside the space.
By implementing the IAQ Procedure, and using recirculation along
with gas-phase air filtration, one can directly control those contaminants which are known to be contributing factors to poor IAQ. In this instance, the levels of carbon dioxide do not have to be monitored. This is because carbon dioxide is used as an IAQ indicator only when the types and concentrations of other offending contaminants are not known. Air monitoring, however, must be performed in order to validate the performance of the gas-phase air filtration system. The Design Documentation Procedures (Section 6.3) of the ASHRAE standard state: "Design criteria and assumptions shall be documented and should be made available for operation of the system within a reasonable time after installation." This means that one may use design data obtained from various modeling techniques or other sources as opposed to having to produce data specific to that application prior to system installation and start-up.
Three case studies illustrating the use of gas-phase air filtration to clean and recirculate air within a building will be discussed briefly below. The first two are retrofit applications which involve ASHRAE award-winning buildings. Both have yielded substantial savings through the installation of gas-phase air filtration equipment to recirculate cleaned, conditioned air within their environments. The third involves a new construction application in which ASHRAE's IAQ Procedure was used on the design phase to reduce the amount of outside air required, which, in turn, reduced the size of the HVAC systems.
VA Medical Center26
Concerned about rising HVAC operating costs, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, embarked on an aggressive energy-conservation program. Built in the 1950s, this 10-story facility is divided into three major zones—North, South, and East Wings—each served by a dedicated air-handling system. Under the existing system, 100% outside air was used to condition these areas. Having previously proved the effectiveness of gas-phase filtration in an animal laboratory located within the center, the VA pursued this technology further.
For this application, the South Wing was chosen to have its exhaust air filtered and recirculated on the basis of several factors: the general system layout (proximity of exhaust air ducts to supply air intakes),
energy usage and zone use characteristics. The 26,000 cfm delivered to this zone is split between patient rooms (~70%), general support areas (~20%), and restrooms (~10%). This air was conditioned, circulated and exhausted at the roof. By cleaning and recirculating 22,000 cfm, or 85% of the air previously exhausted, the hospital realized substantial energy savings (Table 3-4).
Table 3-4. Exhaust Air Recirculation Cost/Benefit Analysis, VA Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Exhaust Air Cleaned & Recirculated
Refrigeration Ton-hours Saved
Heating Fuel Saved
Humidification Fuel Saved
Annual Operating Costs and Savings
Cooling Cost Saved
Water and Chemical Cost Saved
Heating Cost Saved
Humidification Cost Saved
Extra Fan Energy Cost
Purafil Media & Labor Cost
Net Operating Cost Savings
Capital Investment Cost and Savings
Chiller Capacity Reduction
Boiler Capacity Reduction
Chiller Cost Savings
Boiler Cost Savings
Other Capital Savings
Purafil Equipment (less media) Cost
Extra Ductwork Cost
Extra Controls Cost
Net Capital Savings (Cost if Negative)
Today, the conditioned air from this zone is no longer exhausted but is mixed with 4,000 cfm of outside supply air and then routed through the gas-phase filtration system. The gas filter system consists of a particulate prefilter stage, a single stage of gas-phase air filtration medium and a final particulate filter stage. The net effect is improved particulate filtration with the added benefit of gaseous contaminant control.
Annual energy operating savings are impressive. Due to the geographic location, the primary benefit is from heating cost saved—almost $48,000 annually. Even adding in the costs of the gas-filter medium and replacement labor, the extra fan energy cost required to overcome the additional pressure drop of the system (particulate and gas filters), net annual operating savings were projected to be more than $57,000 (Table 3-4).
Because this was a retrofit application, there were no capital equipment savings to realize from downsizing the cooling and heating plant. Up-front capital costs of $16,900 were incurred for the gas-phase filtration system, extra ductwork and controls. Even with these costs, the projected energy savings indicated the gas-phase filtration system would have a simple payback of 0.29 years.
Westin Peachtree Plaza27
The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia, stands 73 stories tall and contains 1,100 guest rooms, nine restaurants and lounges, and two ballrooms. In all, roughly 1,150,000 ft2 of floor space has to be heated and cooled. Heating and cooling costs for a building of this size, as one might suspect, were tremendous.
In another retrofit application, hotel management, with the help of several consulting/engineering firms, cut HVAC energy costs by $25,000 per year after installing an energy retrofit system that substitutes a mixture of minimum outside air and heated, recirculated air for 100% outside air. In the retrofit, the conditioned air from each individual room is no longer exhausted through the roof, but is now being routed through a gas-phase air filtration air system that removes odors and gaseous contaminants. The system saves more than 14 billion BTU's of energy a year, the equivalent of 100,000 gallons of oil, cutting the energy requirements of the original HVAC system by 10 percent.
Yearly energy savings due to the operation of this system were calculated to be as follows:
• Natural gas cost savings
• Fuel oil cost savings
• Cooling costs saved
• Water and chemical cost savings
• Total annual savings
• Dry-scrubbing air filtration medium and labor costs
• Net operating cost savings
• Simple payback
Additionally, the installation of this energy-managed system qualified for the investment tax credit and earned the hotel some tax relief under the government's energy conservation tax clause.
Meyerland Plaza General Cinema24
The HVAC equipment for the Meyerland Plaza General Cinema in Houston, TX, an eight-screen, multiplex theater complex, consists of 14 self-contained rooftop electric cooling units with gas heat and dedicated exhaust fans. Each theater, ticket booth, concession stand, projection area and lobby has its own dedicated unit. Each projector, restroom and popcorn hood has dedicated exhaust fans. Air from each theater and lobby unit is returned through gas-phase air filtration systems. The outside air was filtered for particulates only. These systems are designed to induce outside air through dampers located in the HVAC units.
Because this was a new construction application, reducing the amount of outside air by using cleaned, recirculated air could offer a significant savings in the purchase of the HVAC equipment. The consulting engineer for this project decided to apply ASHRAE's IAQ Procedure to determine if the amount of outside air could be reduced to 5 cfm per person from the 15 cfm per person for this application if he were to use the Ventilation Rate Procedure. If possible, this alone would effectively reduce the cooling requirements from 370+ tons to a little more than 200 tons.
Values for all of the parameters listed above were obtained either by measurement, by calculation or from various references, and the final proposal was submitted to the City of Houston for review. The proposal was approved as submitted. Because of this, the Meyerland Plaza Gen-
eral Cinema was able to realize a significant front-end cost avoidance of more than $85,000.00 by downsizing the HVAC equipment. Operating at 5 cfm per person, it was shown that the HVAC systems would cost less initially, and cost less to operate, than if the Ventilation Rate Procedure were followed. This also provided acceptable IAQ to the customers.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.
Improving IAQ is particularly appropriate today. Increased concerns about the quality of indoor air and its economic ramifications are forcing the IAQ issue to be confronted head-on. The possible liabilities of loss of productivity, increased health-related costs and litigation brought on by poor IAQ have become too great to ignore. Concurrently, engineers are being pressured to conserve energy in light of concerns about rising energy costs and questionable supply reliability, stricter regulations and the economic environment that demand ever-increasing attention to the bottom line.
As described, a hospital, a hotel and a multiplex theater complex—each with its own unique HVAC requirements—illustrate how the use of air filtration, and in particular gas-phase air filtration, can be successfully applied to improve and maintain IAQ while reducing the operating costs associated with a building's HVAC system.
The tools are in place. Industry standards, government regulations, technology, utility companies and consumer awareness have all come together to provide innovative tools and incentives to those who make acceptable IAQ and energy conservation a joint benefit rather than conflicting goals. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 and gas-phase air filtration technology now enable the engineer to improve IAQ while, at the same time, reduce energy consumption due to a number of factors.28
•ASHRAE has exercised jurisdiction over IAQ with Standard 62-1989,
•the prescriptive ventilation rates employed with the Ventilation Rate Procedure have apparently worked well but with obvious limitations,
•the IAQ Procedure has theoretical superiority due to its being a contaminant-based procedure,
•selective use of the IAQ Procedure might provide practical superiority.
Additionally, many major utility companies, including Consolidated Edison of New York, Boston Edison, Ontario Hydro and Kansas City Power & Light, have established aggressive programs to help large energy users develop conservation programs, and, in most cases, will provide substantial funding to implement these system improvements in existing buildings and new designs. Similar funding is available from building control system suppliers like Honeywell, Johnson Controls and others.
The need, the guidelines, the technology and the economic justification are present to merge once-disparate goals: IAQ and energy conservation. The means now exist to improve our existing building stock and make tomorrow's buildings even more healthy and energy-efficient. The benefits of healthy, efficient buildings are reduced operating costs for the building owner/operator and satisfied tenants.
1. C.O. Muller, 1995, Improving Building IAQ Reduces HVAC Energy Cost, Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation and Energy Conservation in Buildings, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, pp. 739-759.
2. A. DiStefano and C. Gilliard, 1992, Are Improved IAQ and Energy Efficiency Compatible Goals?, Better Buildings, April, 1992.
3. G.V.R. Holness, "Human Comfort and IAQ," Heating/Piping/Air-Conditioning, February 1990.
4. J. Rae-Dupree, "Sick Building Suit is Settled Abruptly," Los Angeles Times, South Bay Edition, Metro Section, Part B, October 10, 1990.
5. Farr Company, 1992, Filtration and Indoor Air Quality: A Two-Step Design Solution, El Segundo, CA.
6. ASHRAE. 1977. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1973, Standards for Natural and Mechanical Ventilation, Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
7. ASHRAE. 1981. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1981, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
8. ASHRAE. 1989. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Atlanta, GA. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
9. R.A. Wadden and P.A. Scheff, Indoor Air Pollution: Characterization, Predic-
tion, and Control, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1983.
10. T. Godish, 1991, Air Quality, Second Edition, Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, pp. 339-385.
11. B.O. Brooks and W.F. Davis, 1992, Understanding Indoor Air Quality, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc., pp. 20-34.
12. R.B. Gammage and S.V. Kaye, 1985, Indoor Air and Human Health, Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, pp. 191-203, 259-278, 361-378,.387-414.
13. T. Godish, 1989, Indoor Air Pollution Control, Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, pp. 282-306.
14. J.G. Kay, G.E. Keller and J.F. Miller, 1991, Indoor Air Pollution—Radon, Bioaerosols, & VOCs, Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, pp. 127-131.
15. National Research Council, Committee on Indoor Pollutants, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Hazards, Assembly of Life Sciences, 1981, Indoor Pollutants, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, pp. 30-45.
16. P.J. Walsh, C.S. Dudney, and E.D. Copenhaver, 1984, Indoor Air Quality, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc., pp. 15-37.
17. J.W. Hassler, 1974, Purification with Activated Carbon: Industrial, Commercial, Environmental, New York, NY: Chemical Publishing Co., Inc., pp. 363-367.
18. Purafil, Inc., 1991. Breakthrough Capacity Test Results (typical) @99.5% Efficiency, Final Report.
19. C.O. Muller, 1994, Gas-Phase Air Filtration: Single Media or Multiple Media Systems. Which Should Be Used for IAQ Applications?, Proceedings of IAQ '94: Engineering Indoor Environments, Atlanta, GA: American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
20. C.O. Muller and W.G. England, 1995, Achieving Your Indoor Air Quality Goals: Which Filtration System Works Best?, ASHRAE Journal, February, pp. 24-32.
21. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1992. National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 50 (40CFR 50).
22. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, 1993, Outdoor Air Quality, Texas Air Quality Monitoring Sites, 1993, Austin, TX.
23. T.C. Wang, 1975, A Study of Bioeffluents in a College Classroom, ASHRAE Transactions, 81 (Part I), pp. 32-44.
24. W.D. DeWitt, C.O. Muller and R.J. Nolan, 1994, Indoor Air Quality Procedure, ASHRAE 62-1989, for New Multiplex Theater, Building Permit Reference, City of Houston Public Works & Engineering Department, Project No. 93106006, Zone 9, August, 1994.
25. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 1994. Indoor Air Quality—Docket No. H-122. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Parts 1910, 1915, 1926, 1928 (29CFR 1900).
26. ASHRAE, 1989, Exhaust Air Recirculation Cost/Benefit Analysis, ASHRAE
Awards, Category II- Existing (Retrofit) Commercial and Institutional Public Assembly Buildings, Atlanta, GA, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
27. Purafil, Inc., 1972, World's Tallest Hotel Enjoys Cleaner Air, Increased Energy Savings, Case Study in Value #19, Atlanta, GA.
28. W.S. Cain, J.M. Samet and M. Hodgson, 1995, The Quest for Negligible Health Risk from Indoor Air, ASHRAE Journal, July, pp 38-44
Chapter 4Improved Building Operation Through the Use of Continuous Multipoint Monitoring of Carbon Dioxide and Dew Point
The continuous multipoint monitoring of carbon dioxide and humidity provides information on how a building's ventilation system is actually performing. This information decreases the uncertainty in the operation of the HVAC system, and thereby improves the management of the building. This improved management of the building provides a major step towards the achievement of Sustainable Performance, where operational setpoints of performance for the ventilation system can be maintained over time, despite changes that might occur in the use or condition of the building.
Historically, the emphasis on performance of HVAC systems has related only to the achievement of temperature control and energy conservation. What is also needed, however, is the ability to evaluate and document the performance of HVAC systems in terms of both the effectiveness of moisture control and the amount of ventilation being provided.
One approach for achieving this improved understanding of the performance of HVAC systems is by the use of multipoint monitoring of absolute humidity and carbon dioxide concentrations, as part of a three-phase HVAC management plan.
The first phase of this plan focuses on the documentation of baseline HVAC performance conditions. It assesses the performance of
the HVAC system in terms of adequacy of ventilation quantities in selected zones and the relationship between occupancy distribution and supply air distribution. This phase can therefore provide identification of system-related problems due to its ability to provide continuous proactive diagnostic information.
The second phase of this process includes the design and implementation of a remedial program to address any system deficiencies that were identified in Phase 1. Examples include rebalancing of the supply air allocation to reflect the actual distribution of people in the building, or the correction of pressure imbalances that periodically cause the outdoor air intake to function as a building exhaust.
The third and final phase involves the establishment of an interactive IAQ/Energy Program, where the quantities of outdoor air delivered can be controlled to match actual occupancy patterns. This effective management approach can therefore document the achievement of desired quantities of outdoor air ventilation, without incurring unnecessary energy costs due to overventilation.
There is currently a need for building operators to more easily know exactly how much outdoor air is actually being delivered to the occupants in a building. There are several reasons why it is difficult to obtain this important information. Some of these reasons are listed by Warden1, who points out that most current HVAC systems have no provisions for measuring OA intake and depend upon damper position limits set when the building is commissioned. Difficulties with this are:
•The dampers are difficult to set up and to reposition with accuracy;
•There is no feedback if the dampers fail or are out of adjustment;
•The correct damper position depends upon supply air volume (a particular problem with VAV systems); and
•Flow is affected by both wind and stack effect.
It should also be noted that actual quantity of outdoor air drawn in at the outdoor air dampers is as much, if not more, a function of the pressure differential across the dampers than it is of the damper setting. I have observed outdoor air dampers that were "closed," yet were providing 20% outdoor because of the combination of leaky dampers and a
pressure drop of 250 Pascals (1.0" w.c.). Conversely, I have also observed outdoor air dampers that were fully opened and yet were not drawing in any outdoor air because it was functioning as a building exhaust. This condition was caused by building-wide pressure imbalances and the infiltration of outdoor air at the lower levels of the building.
While attempts are being made to continuously quantify the amount of outdoor air being drawn into the HVAC system, either by means of a flow station, or based on the percentage of outdoor air as calculated from an apportionment among temperature or carbon dioxide concentration of the return air, outdoor air and mixed air streams, none of these approaches addresses the issue of how much of this air actually gets delivered to the building's occupants.
The solution to this problem of lack of information on the performance of the ventilation system can be overcome by the use of continuous multipoint monitoring of carbon dioxide concentrations and dew point temperatures. The combination of these two measurements not only can provide for the automated evaluation and control of ventilation systems, it can also provide for the automated evaluation of humidification and dehumidification systems. Because the information generated by this type of system provides a continuous assessment of the performance of the ventilation system, it can be considered as a component in achieving Sustainable Performance for the building.
AUTOMATED EVALUATION OF VENTILATION
There are several components of the ventilation system that can be evaluated from the data generated by a continuous, multipoint carbon dioxide monitoring system. The specific categories of information provided can be summarized as follows:
•Evaluation of the overall adequacy of the quantity of outdoor air delivered
•Evaluation of the adequacy of the outdoor air distribution within the building
•Evaluation of the duration of the operation of the ventilation system
•Identification of leakage of outdoor air at the building periphery
•Identification of leakage of supply air into the return plenum
•Identification of contamination of outdoor air at the outdoor air intake
•Generation of historical log of system performance
For each of these categories of proactive evaluations, the specific details of their importance are presented and discussed in this section.
Adequacy of the Quantity of Outdoor Air Delivered
The evaluation of the overall adequacy of the quantity of outdoor air delivered to the building occupants can be determined by examination of the peak values of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations measured for the occupied locations. The ability to evaluate the actual amount of ventilation being provided in the occupied zone of the building is incredibly important because it eliminates all of the uncertainty associated with how much outdoor air is drawn into the HVAC system and how much gets lost due to system inefficiencies. The quantity of outdoor air drawn into the building is a function of both the position of the outdoor air dampers and the pressure differential across these dampers.
Another potential ventilation-related problem that can be dealt with very effectively by the use of DCV-based controls is for variable air volume (VAV) systems. With VAV systems, the total volume of supply air delivered varies in response to the changes in heating and cooling loads in the building, and therefore the minimum amount of ventilation will correspondingly need to vary as a percentage of this supply air. For instance, a comparison can be made for a building on a sunny versus cloudy day. On the very sunny day, the contribution of the solar gain could result in a large cooling load on parts, or most, of the building. This situation could result in a near maximum value for the supply air quantity. Under these conditions, the necessary minimum outdoor air requirement may only need to be 15% of the total supply air quantity. In contrast, on an overcast day, the supply air quantity would probably throttle way back, perhaps to as little as 50% of that delivered on the sunny day. Under these conditions, the necessary minimum outdoor air requirement would now need to increase to 30% of the total supply air
quantity. For this type of situation, DCV provides a straightforward approach for generating the information necessary for achieving the appropriate minimum quantities of outdoor air.
Adequacy of the Distribution within the Building
The evaluation of the adequacy of the outdoor air distribution within the building can identify situations where the distribution of the ventilation air does not match the actual distribution of the people within a given HVAC zone. This distribution inefficiency will be reflected in differences in the rate of increase and peak values of the CO2 concentrations. Areas receiving less ventilation air per person than other areas in the building will reflect this fact by exhibiting CO2 plots that rise more steeply and reach higher peaks than the other areas.
If a review of several weeks of data indicates that this is a consistent trend in daily plots of CO2 concentrations, then this would suggest the need for system rebalancing. If a decision is made to rebalance this system, then these daily plots could also assess the effectiveness of the efforts performed to eliminate this unequal distribution. This source of evaluation information would therefore indicate when the redistribution efforts were adequate. This feature of continuous monitoring is particularly useful in buildings where there are periodic redeployments of personnel throughout the building.
Duration of the Operation of the Ventilation System
The duration of operation of a ventilation system is important because if it is not operated long enough, it will not have purged the building of the air contaminants from the previous day's occupancy. While there is no requirement as such, it can be argued it represents "Good Engineering Practice" for a building's ventilation system to be operated long enough such that the air contaminants from a previous day's occupancy have been completely eliminated by the following day. Checking whether this goal is being achieved is easy by reviewing the daily logs generated by a sophisticated DCV system. That is, if the ventilation system has not been operated sufficiently long enough to have purged the building of the previous day's accumulated air contaminants, then the early morning indoor CO2 concentrations will be higher than the simultaneous outdoor values.
Conversely, if the duration of ventilation has achieved this goal, then these early morning, preoccupancy values will be the same as the
outdoor values. Similarly, if the indoor levels of CO2 have dropped down to be the same as outdoor levels by 10:00 p.m., this would suggest either a leaky building or the possibility that the ventilation system is being operated more than is necessary.
Leakage of Outdoor Air at the Building Periphery
Buildings can leak in many ways. This type of problem represents a loss of control over the introduction of outdoor air into the building. This problem is especially important in humid climates because the moisture load introduced by this uncontrolled introduction of outdoor air can exceed the dehumidification capacity of the installed HVAC equipment, and can therefore be a major contributing cause of indoor microbial growth in the building. In all climates, this uncontrolled introduction of outdoor air can cause problems due to excess energy costs, or complaints of poor filtration or thermal control.
The leakage of outdoor air into a building can occur either where the return plenum comes in contact with the exterior of the building or at any leakage site in the building envelope. For leakage directly into the return plenum, this can be attributed to the presence of leakage sites in the building envelope, because the return plenum will be at a negative pressure with respect to both the occupied spaces and the outdoors. If this condition is occurring, then its existence will be reflected in the data generated by the continuous measurement of CO and dew point. Specifically, the CO2 concentration measured in the return air to the air handling unit (AHU) will be less than the average of the spaces it is drawing its return air from. Similarly, the dew point temperature at this location will also reflect the presence of the uncontrolled leakage of the outdoor air into the return plenum. For instance, if it is more humid outdoors than indoors, due to the dehumidification by the HVAC system, then the return air measurement will display a higher dew point temperature than the occupied spaces it is serving.
If infiltration is occurring at the building's doors and other openings to the outdoors, then the ventilation system is not adequately performing its function of pressurizing the occupied spaces with respect to the outdoors. As with the undesirable situation where there is leakage into the return plenum, the existence of this condition will be reflected in the data generated by the continuous measurement of CO2 and dew point. Specifically, the CO2 concentration measured in the peripheral locations of the building will be less than the concentration in the supply air to those loca-
tions. Similarly, the dew point temperature at these locations will also reflect the presence of the uncontrolled leakage of the outdoor air into the return plenum. For instance, if it is more humid outdoors than indoors, due to the dehumidification by the HVAC system, then the return air measurements in these locations will display a higher dew point temperature than the other occupied spaces in the building.
Pressure imbalances in buildings can be so severe that not only is there infiltration at the lower levels of the building, but the pressure differential across the outdoor air dampers can also be affected. There are some buildings where the control of pressures is so poor that the outdoor air opening is functioning as a building exhaust instead of the source of outdoor air into the building. For this to occur, outdoor air will still be entering the building, just at other locations, typically at penetrations in the building envelope at lower portions of the structure. This situation is not indicative of good management of building ventilation systems. The periodic occurrence of this type of pressure imbalance would become readily apparent in a review of daily CO2 logs because a comparison of supply air and return air values would have the supply air value equal to the return air value, instead of being lower than the return air value.
Leakage of Supply Air into the Return Plenum.
Another problem related to leakage in building systems is the leakage of supply air directly into the return plenum, without actually getting delivered to the building's occupants. This type of system deficiency can also be identified by comparing the CO2 concentration values in the return air with those of the occupied spaces served by this AHU. In a properly functioning system, the return air CO2 value will represent an average of the values for the spaces it is drawing air from. While this diagnostic indicator will be similar to the situation where there is leakage of outdoor air directly into the return plenum, the presence of the supply air leakage condition will be reflected in a comparison of dew point temperatures. That is, the return plenum absolute humidity will more closely resemble that of the supply air than that of the occupied spaces it is drawing air from.
Contamination at the Outdoor Air Intake
Outdoor air intakes, by nature of the fact that they draw outdoor air into buildings, are at risk of drawing in air contaminants of outdoor origin. Also, if these air contaminants are delivered into a building they
will persist longer than they would outdoors. Even at a ventilation rate of 1.0 air change per hour, the time required to reduce the concentration by one half, in a well-mixed space, is over 40 minutes. Even after two hours, over 12% of these air contaminants would still be present indoors. A more detailed discussion of this issue is discussed by Ekberg2, where he mentions the approach of reducing the outdoor air change rate during periods with peak outdoor contaminant concentrations.
The ability to evaluate the frequency and magnitude of this type of impact therefore becomes important in terms of sustainable, effective building management. This information becomes readily available from the information provided by the continuous, multipoint monitoring of CO2 concentrations at locations including outdoor air intakes. Once again, if a problem is determined to be serious enough to require mitigation, then the effectiveness of these modifications can be assessed by an ongoing review of daily CO2 plots.
Generation of Historical Log of System Performance
Another benefit of the continuous monitoring of CO2 and dew point is its ability to automatically provide daily records of these parameters at each of the multiple sampling locations of the building. These daily logs of CO2 concentrations and dew point temperatures permit trend analyses to be performed to establish and document baseline performance characteristics. In the event of a change in system performance, this difference will become readily apparent from a review of the daily ventilation plots. Evaluation and corrective measures can then be undertaken promptly. This scenario differs significantly from the way ventilation problems are usually discovered. More typically, evaluation and mitigation efforts are only mobilized in response to complaints from concerned employees or tenants. By the time there are complaints, it can be assumed that there has already been a loss in productivity and morale among the employees. It is far better if any system malfunctions can be identified almost as quickly as they happen, so it is the building operators that know about them first and not last.
AUTOMATED CONTROL OF VENTILATION
Controlling the minimum quantity of outdoor air delivered to the occupied spaces in a building represents an opportunity to achieve a balance between satisfying the requirements of achieving good indoor
air quality and minimizing energy consumption. As pointed out by ASHRAE3, CO2 measurements can be used to control the flow of outdoor air to match the number of occupants in a space. This concept is also referred to as Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV). The ability to match the amount of ventilation being provided to the actual number of people present is important for several reasons.
In its simplest form, DCV can monitor one component of indoor air, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, which it uses as an indicator for occupancy. This information can then be used to automatically export a signal to modulate outdoor air dampers to adjust the amount of ventilation to correspond to the actual occupancy. If just CO2 concentrations are used for this control logic, then this approach should only be used in applications where people are the predominant source of air contaminants. This situation will become more and more common-place as the efforts of "green architecture" become more effective in reducing and eliminating products that off-gas chemicals with odorous and irritating properties. Ultimately, when there are no outdoor sources and both the HVAC system and the furnishings in a building are no longer sources of air contaminants, the only source remaining will be the people in the building.
As a note of caution, however, it needs to be remembered that the achievement of minimum ventilation rates in a building is a necessary but insufficient condition for the achievement of good IAQ. The presence of strong sources of air contaminants, such as microbial amplification occurring due to standing water in a condensate drain pan or due to interior flooding, will degrade IAQ despite the delivery of what would be considered generous quantities of outdoor air for ventilation.
There are two key advantages of a DCV application where the amount of ventilation is based on actual occupancy. This approach cannot only automatically provide for the delivery of maximum amounts of ventilation during intervals of maximum occupancy, but it can also achieve energy savings during intervals of reduced or minimal occupancy, by eliminating costs due to excess ventilation. This approach can be especially useful in buildings or spaces where the number of people present can vary significantly over time. Examples of this type of situation include auditoriums, retail stores, meeting rooms, conference halls and airports.
However, even if the same number of people show up at the same time every day and leave at the same time every day, there are still
important benefits in using a DCV system. This is because DCV can eliminate the guesswork in establishing the minimum position for the outdoor air damper. Even for this hypothetical building, as it is with most buildings, the positioning of this damper was probably based on someone's guess as to how much of an opening is required to bring in the appropriate quantity of outdoor air in order to achieve the minimum ventilation requirements for how many people might be in the building. Clearly, there is a lot of uncertainty involved in this process. Another compounding variable relates to the fact that the actual quantity of outdoor air drawn into the AHU is a function of the pressure differential across the dampers, as well as the net open area between the dampers. Even in buildings where there is a flow-measuring device present, this device will not be able to determine if the quantity of outdoor air drawn into the HVAC system is actually delivered to where the people are located. Also, in my experience, flow-measuring devices in the outdoor air stream frequently become clogged with dirt and lose their effectiveness over time. In addition, temperature-based calculations to determine the percentage of outdoor air in the supply air, based on adiabatic mixing of the return air and outdoor air streams, have very large errors associated with them. This is because of the difficulty of accurately determining what the mixed air temperature actually is, due to poor mixing between the two air streams of usually differing densities.
The consequence of all these uncertainties in the setting of the minimum outdoor air setting is the risk of poor building management; an incorrect setting could easily result in too little or too much ventilation. The first situation contributes to degraded IAQ, and the second situation causes wasted energy. These potential problems are overcome with DCV because the buildup of CO2 concentrations in the occupied spaces is a direct reflection of the interaction between the number of people in the space and the quantity of ventilation air being delivered to those people.
EVALUATION OF HUMIDIFICATION
Humidification systems are by their very nature high-maintenance systems, with many components that all need to be working perfectly if the desired humidity set points are to be achieved. Typically there is a humidity controller in the return ductwork from the space being humidified. This sensor/controller senses the humidity in the air leaving the
space in question and sends a signal to increase or decrease the quantity of moisture added to the supply air to this location, typically in the form of steam. This system may not maintain the desired set point over time because of such problems as the sensor/controller going out of calibration or a clogging or malfunction of the steam generation system.
The continuous, multipoint monitoring of carbon dioxide concentrations and dew point temperatures can create a data acquisition and management system that will help achieve improved management of the operation of ventilation systems. This improved management of the building provides a major step towards the achievement of Sustainable Performance, where operational set points of performance for the ventilation system can be maintained over time despite changes that might occur in the use or condition of the building.
1. Warden, D. Outdoor Air: Calculation and Delivery. ASHRAE Journal June 1995, pp 54-63.
2. Eckberg, Lars E. Outdoor Air Contaminants and Indoor Air Quality under Transient Conditions. Indoor Air, 4(3), pp 189-196, 1994.
3. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. 1995 ASHRAE Handbook: Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Applications, pp 36.16.
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Chapter 5Practical Approaches for Health Care: Indoor Air Quality Management.
A.R. TurkE.M. Poulakos
The management of indoor air quality (IAQ) is of interest to building occupants, managers, owners and regulators alike. Whether by poor design, improper attention, inadequate maintenance or the intent to save energy, many buildings today have significantly degraded IAQ levels. Considering the increase of facilities and occupants in the non-industrial sector of our nation's work force, the consequences of inadequate IAQ, as related to productivity, human wellness and healthcare costs in the commercial (health-care) environment, have become increasingly urgent issues to design professionals, building owners and managers, safety and health professionals, interior product manufacturers and HVAC control vendors.
Acceptable IAQ is defined by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in Standard 62-1989 "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality" as "air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities and with which a substantial majority (80 percent or more) of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction." ASHRAE's definition not only addresses the chemical compounds that may be present in the air, but it also recognizes a need to address both physiological and psychosocial comfort. One must accept that the determination of IAQ is multifaceted, not only in cause and effect but also in solutions.
The first step of proper IAQ management is to fully understand the issue of IAQ and, to a certain elemental degree, the extent of the problem(s), causes and possible solution applications. This will require
input from the individuals affected, their direct supervisors, safety and health professionals, and the facilities/maintenance departments. One of the most cost-effective mechanisms to solicit this information is through a self-administered questionnaire. The second step is to conduct a performance review of the HVAC systems based on equipment design specifications and guidelines for acceptable IAQ. And the third step is to identify potential chemical, physical and biological sources that are known to contribute to adverse air quality. Upon completion of these three steps, you will be able to identify the more significant contributors to IAQ problems and establish applications for prevention and mitigation.
HEALTH CARE INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Hospitals tend to be especially prone to IAQ problems due to chemical activities that occur in various areas of a facility and the older age of many buildings and systems. Staff well-being and preventing the spread of infection are of primary concern in a hospital.
Health care IAQ assumes a more important role than just the promotion of comfort. In many cases, proper air conditioning is a factor in patient therapy; in some instances, it is the major treatment. Although proper IAQ is helpful in the prevention and treatment of disease, the application of air conditioning to health facilities presents many problems not encountered in the typical commercial ventilation system.
The four basic differences between proper heating, ventilating and airconditioning (HVAC) for hospitals (and related health-care facilities) and that for other commercial building types include:
(1)the need to restrict air movement in and between the various departments;
(2)the specific requirements for ventilation and filtration to dilute and remove contamination in the form of odor, airborne microorganisms and viruses, and hazardous chemical and radioactive substances;
(3)the different temperature and humidity requirements for various areas; and
(4)the design sophistication needed to permit accurate control of environmental conditions.
Health-care facility HVAC systems must also provide air virtually free of dust, dirt, odor, chemical and radioactive pollutants. In some cases, outside air is hazardous to patients suffering from cardiopulmonary, respiratory, pulmonary or immunocompromised conditions. In such instances, systems that intermittently provide maximum allowable recirculated air may need to be considered.
Additionally, cross-infection from patient to patient or patient to health-care worker (HCW) is of great concern. This cross-infection is the result of frequent turnover of patients in rooms, microorganism longevity and the inability to clean and disinfect surfaces in the room and air supply systems properly. Because patients are present for short stays and are, to differing degrees, already ill (i.e., compromised), exposure to IAQ problems can only confuse diagnosis and treatment protocols used by medical professionals. Procedures such as respiratory therapy, which force room air into the patient's lungs, and invasive procedures that allow airborne pathogens to bypass the normal body defenses, further strain the immune response ability of already-compromised patients.
As stated above, IAQ can be defined as an indoor environmental condition that contains the lowest possible levels of a broad scope of air pollutants to satisfy the health, comfort and well-being of the vast majority of occupants in any type of building at any given time. IAQ may be viewed as a dynamic interplay within the internal environment of a building, occurring between the building envelope, systems, furnishings and space used by the occupants, which can be influenced by both occupant activities and ambient conditions.
In 1982, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the acronym and term "sick building syndrome" (SBS). WHO contends that if 20% of the occupants of a building complain that the building is causing them one or more physical problems, those problems occur shortly after entering the building, progressing while they are in the building, ceasing to exist shortly after leaving the building, then the building is suspected of being involved and the condition might be rightfully attributed to something in the building. Simply stated, SBS is an IAQ condition which is apparently linked to the building via the time they spend in the building, but no specific cause can be identified. SBS is
further characterized as a phenomenon in which occupants experience symptoms that can be alleviated or temporarily disappear when leaving the building or space.
This phenomenon is also called tight building syndrome because in many cases building designs are limited in natural/outside ventilation, causing containment of emissions from materials used in the building to be implicated as a cause.
SBS may include one or more of the following symptoms: itching or burning eyes, dry or itchy throat, runny nose or sneezing, headache, burning skin or skin irritation, fatigue, difficulty breathing, dizziness and nausea. In most cases of suspected SBS a direct cause of the IAQ problem cannot be identified. The symptoms result from any variety of environmental conditions that have an additive or synergistic effect on the IAQ. Further complicating this is the fact that indoor airborne pollutants tend to have an overlapping symptomology, with each pollutant causing the same type symptoms. Environmental stressors such as improper lighting, noise, vibration, overcrowding, ergonomic stressors, and job-related psychosocial problems (such as job stress) can produce symptoms that are similar to those associated with poor IAQ.
However, one factor that is characteristic SBS is that occupants report that symptoms go away or simply lessen after they leave the workplace.
In contrast to SBS, Building-Related Illness (BRI) occurs when symptoms of diagnosable illnesses are identified (e.g., certain allergies or infections) and can be directly attributed to environmental agents in the air. Legionnaire's disease and hypersensitivity pneumonitis are examples of BRI that can have serious, even life-threatening consequences. In cases of expected BRI, the advice of qualified professionals trained to deal with infectious diseases should be sought. The infamous Legionnaire's disease outbreak in 1976 was the first recognized instance of a BRI. Asbestos, radon and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis are other examples of BRI.
One of the most common IAQ complaints is that "there's a bad smell." Odors in the workplace are often associated with a perception of poor air quality. In even more cases occupants complain of stuffy air conditions or of the workplace being "too hot" or "too cold." Occupant perceptions of the indoor environment can also be influenced by poor housekeeping (i.e., occupants may perceive the IAQ to be poor if the diffusers near them are soiled, or the ceiling tiles closest to the diffusers
are stained, or even if the flooring or furniture is dirty and dusty).
Often the role of an initial IAQ evaluation is to provide assurance of good air quality, thereby pacifying occupant complaints. This role has led many IAQ consulting companies to provide proactive IAQ monitoring services to the building owner and property management community. Such services are conducted from a quality assurance standpoint to ensure that no IAQ problems exist within the building.
According to the EPA, the United States loses tens of billions of dollars each year due to lost productivity, medical costs, lost earnings, sick days and property damage due to IAQ concerns (EPA, 1994). However, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) contends that the proposed OSHA Rule (59 FR 16968) is treating the symptoms and not the cause of poor IAQ. BOMA claims that much of the hysteria that caused OSHA to propose the rule is fueled by misinformation rather than conclusive scientific debate. According to BOMA, the estimated cost of complying with the rule is $8.1 billion per year or between $0.14 to $0.21 per square foot, directly attributable to building systems operations and maintenance (Building Renovations, Winter 1994). Furthermore, BOMA recommends that the compliance deadline be delayed at least 24 months to establish a plan so building owners are not hit with the unscrupulous business operators that characterized both the asbestos abatement and radon mitigation programs of years past.
The impact of the IAQ dilemma in a health-care facility can be understood when "nearly every air-handling unit inspected showed signs of microbial growth or dust accumulation" such as at a 985-bed facility in central Florida (Gill and Wozniak, 1993). With more than 2,000 identified sources of indoor air contamination, identification and remediation of suspect problems will take an ever-increasing share of the maintenance and operations budget dollar in the future.
As the general public and health-care industry become more aware of the health risks associated with indoor air pollution, those in-
volved with designing, operating and controlling buildings face the threat of litigation. This type of litigation is relatively new because significant deterioration in IAQ has occurred most notably within the past decade. The pool of potential plaintiffs is practically limitless, since most Americans spend the majority of their day indoors. Although a specific body of regulations on IAQ is still in the development stage, the proliferation of lawsuits is gaining momentum based on some early plaintiff awards.
It is fact that IAQ lawsuits are increasingly showing up in the legal system. The plaintiffs are basing their cases on grounds such as strict liability, misrepresentation, breach of expressed or implied warranties, and negligence. Helen Eisenstein, attorney for the plaintiff in Call vs. Prudential, a landmark commercial lawsuit, states: "In every state, the owner of a commercial or residential structure has a nondelegable duty to provide occupants with a safe and healthful environment" (Berg, 1994).
IAQ, unfortunately, is not so easily quantified. In Washington, DC, alone, more than 6,800 reports of inspections relating to fumes or gases that might have been hazardous to employees were reported to OSHA (EPA, 1994). This is of concern for any facility, particularly with current IAQ issues, which prove difficult to diagnose because undiagnosed or unresolved IAQ problems typically spread by rumor and can undermine morale, health consciousness and worker productivity.
ASHRAE IAQ Standard 62-1989 is typically being used by both sides in litigation battles. The problem is that, although you can measure airflow and contaminant levels, there are not many guidelines indicating the parameters required. And in variable air volume (VAV) systems, the risk can be even more difficult to manage. The way the ASHRAE standards are written, to minimize litigation, an engineer may need to consider for VAV systems either a dedicated system of conditioned outdoor air delivered at a constant volume to each occupied space, or providing so much outdoor air at the air handler (perhaps 100 percent), that no one could doubt that every occupant has his or her share of consistent, "clean" air. Engineers and other experts are increasingly being hired to test a building's HVAC system, update records and verify system operation to design conditions many years after the original commissioning of the building. Documentation of proper ventilation rates should help keep the building owner out of court. However, additional legislation will only add to the amount of possible litigation.
Unfortunately, many building owners don't know whether or not they are in compliance with current standards. Aside from ventilation, there are issues to resolve with such sources as carpeting, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and other commonly found materials. Even more confusing is how to deal with people who are susceptible to certain chemicals or materials. Ailments such as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) are still debated in both the medical and scientific communities.
Negligence, or the failure to exercise due care in designing or maintaining a building, can be a strong litigation foundation. If a building owner or manager is not reasonably diligent in preventing injury to his occupant he can be sued for negligence. For example, a building owner whose facility does not meet ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, the voluntary standard which is the prevailing code for outside air quantities, could be deemed negligent if an occupant suffers any ill effects from this deficiency. One of the first SBS lawsuits, Buckley v. Kruger-Benson-Ziemer (1987), involved a computer programmer in California who claimed that a series of neuromuscular defects that he had suffered were caused by the poor ventilation in the office and the hazardous chemicals and toxins emanating from the air, carpet, tile and office equipment in the building in which he worked. The suit named as defendants the architects, contractors, mechanical engineers, heating and air-conditioning manufacturers, HVAC control companies, distributors, sellers and installers of air-conditioning equipment, carpentry and floor tiles, as well as manufacturers, sellers and distributors of "certain chemicals commonly used in offices, including but not limited to toners used in duplicating machines." The employee claimed that these parties knew or should reasonably have known of the dangers of these conditions, and were obligated to warn occupants of the health risks involved.
This case illustrates not only the vast number of entities that face liability for IAQ, but also the degree of responsibility such parties may be forced to assume for the indoor environment.
A case based on negligence, Call v. Prudential Insurance Company of America (1990), was brought forth when occupants of an office building sued the owner and a host of other parties because the new building that the company occupied caused adverse health effects in a number of employees. It was discovered that the air from a section of the building still under construction was being recirculated to occupied offices without
proper ventilation to dilute or filter contaminants. The occupants alleged negligence in the defendants' failure to, among other things:
(1)properly evaluate, test and investigate for toxic fumes, chemicals and other substances that produce SBS;
(2)balance the air-conditioning system to produce a sufficient outside air/recycled air ratio spread adequately throughout the entire building; and
(3)use building materials that were incapable of off-gassing formaldehyde and other noxious substances.
These preventive measures, plus the use of properly tested, nontoxic building materials and equipment, could have avoided a lawsuit. The judge in this case also ruled that the HVAC designers, general contractors, HVAC control company and installers could be held liable for poor IAQ under a strict liability theory if the system proved defective.
Strict liability means liability for a defective product, whether the defect occurs in the design or the manufacture of the product. This legal theory focuses on the product alone, and, unlike negligence, does not consider the conduct of the defendant relevant to the case. The majority of IAQ cases involving strict liability initially centered around injuries caused by asbestos. More recently, this theory has been invoked in cases in which the building's HVAC system, or the building itself, is construed as a product. Again, the building owner would not be the sole defendant in the event of a lawsuit, but would probably be named along with virtually anyone involved in the design, construction and installation of the HVAC system, including various manufacturers of each HVAC component such as the air filters, humidifier pads, controls and the air-handling unit itself. The theory of strict liability encourages architects, engineers, builders and manufacturers to design and construct safer buildings and HVAC systems.
Breach of Contract
Plaintiffs have also invoked fraud/misrepresentation and breach of contract as bases for liability in SBS cases. A building that is marketed as "energy-efficient and safe to occupy," as was the newly constructed
building in the Call v. Prudential Insurance Company of America (1990) case, had better have clean indoor air, or be subject to claims of fraud and misrepresentation. A breach of contract occurs when one party (e.g., the building owner) fails to uphold an agreement, whether expressed or implied. If an occupant complains of poor IAQ, the owner must make good on any promises made to rectify the problem. Breach of contract claims can get muddled in instances in which an occupant vacates a building whose indoor air problems are not solved. If the owner sues the occupant for breaking the lease, the occupant may turn around and counter sue, claiming that the owner breached the contract first by failing to provide a habitable environment in which to work.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The concept of responsibility for providing clean indoor air has recently taken a new legal twist, as plaintiffs' counsel have discovered language in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that may substantiate claims of discrimination in cases of poor IAQ. The ADA, enacted by Congress in 1989, prevents discriminating against those with a "physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual." In 1993, several individuals from the state of Connecticut filed suit against the McDonalds Restaurant Corporation, alleging that the passive tobacco smoke from the smoking section of the restaurants had such a dangerous effect on their asthma and other medical conditions that it interfered with their breathing, a "major life activity." Thus, the individuals claimed that this environment prohibited them from enjoying the services of the restaurants, in effect discriminating against them. The plaintiffs sued McDonalds to force the company to ban smoking in its restaurants. Whether IAQ lawsuits invoking the ADA will succeed remains to be seen, but this legal development deserves the attention of the business community.
Providing a habitable indoor environment is, of course, the best way to avoid litigation. It is extremely important to take preventive measures to eliminate actual or potential accumulations of indoor air pollution before it leads to liability lawsuits. Implementing an IAQ management plan may prevent indoor air pollution problems, as well as to serve as evidence of reasonable efforts to guard against poor IAQ. In the event that indoor air pollution problems do occur, responsible parties should
act quickly to resolve them. To do so, building owners and operators must ensure that the appropriate employees are well informed on the issue, and have the knowledge and authority to respond to complaints. Legal assistance may be sought in handling owner/occupant relations while responding to a complaint, so that appropriate steps can be taken to protect against liability.
Lawsuits involving SBS show no signs of becoming a passing trend. As IAQ issues become better understood, and the public's awareness grows, this type of litigation will only increase. Building owners and managers must therefore become well versed in these issues and take appropriate measures to provide safe indoor environments to avoid liability.
Federal legislation on IAQ issues is driven in part by the increasing attention that IAQ has attracted from journalists as well as scientists and engineers. All too frequently, the U.S. Congress has dealt with the IAQ issue on a chemical-by-chemical basis, using a pollutant-specific approach. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has increased efforts to address the IAQ problem through a building systems approach. The EPA Office of Research and Development is conducting a multidisciplinary IAQ research program that encompasses studies of the health effects associated with indoor air pollution exposure, assessments of indoor air pollution sources and control techniques, building studies and investigation methods, risk assessments of indoor air pollutants and a recently initiated program on biological contaminants. Nevertheless, the pollutant-specific approach remains the primary focus of the EPA as evidenced by the statutory requirements of the asbestos abatement requirements. Meanwhile, after seven years of lobbying, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has passed its first indoor air bill (HR 2919), known as the U.S. Indoor Air Act of 1994, which was sponsored by Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Mass). The bill removes many of the mandates that the EPA would have been authorized to enforce, but it also, specifically, directs EPA to:
•Issue voluntary guidelines to identify, reduce and prevent common, significant, indoor air health risks
•Establish a voluntary program to certify contractors regularly engaged in identifying common, significant indoor health risks
•Publish health advisories
•Conduct indoor air studies
•Issue grants to support state and local programs
The bill has been endorsed by the Clinton Administration and is intended to protect the public from common, significant, indoor air health risks through public education efforts designed to promote voluntary actions. It does not give EPA regulatory authority over indoor air.
STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES
Air quality standards serve as a basis for regulating the permissible amounts of specific pollutants in the air. There are a number of occupational standards that define permissible short- or long-term exposure limits for some substances that occur in the indoor air of offices and other non-industrial workplaces. For example, four primary groups in the United States are involved in defining these occupational standards:
• Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
• American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
• Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
• American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Typically when such agencies develop occupational standards, several assumptions, which are not typically representable to health care, are made, including:
• Usually the target groups are presumed to be healthy adults.
• Exposure is limited to eight hours' duration over a 40-hour work week.
• Exposure is voluntary as a function of the chosen occupation.
• The limits of exposure are usually a compromise between technical capability and economic feasibility.
In 1989, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) responded to this newly recognized threat to public health by issuing Standard 62-1989, "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality," which sets minimum recommended levels of outside airflow based on the number of occupants in a given amount of space in a building. This guideline, which is currently under review, is a good start, and should be adhered to when designing new buildings or renovating old ones. Ventilation is only one facet of the problem, however. Indoor air pollutants should not only be diluted, but should be controlled, minimized and eradicated where possible. Contaminants emanate from many sources, namely the synthetic substances used to manufacture building materials, high-tech equipment, and office furnishings, most of which support biological growth under typical indoor ambient conditions and which give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in varying degrees.
The U.S. EPA and U.S. Congress, among other government agencies, are in the process of formulating a uniform body of laws and regulations to address the dangers of these by-products of modern buildings. In the meantime, occupants of office buildings with poor air quality have already begun to demand remediation measures. Some have proceeded to sue property owners and managers, and every other possible participant in the design, construction, material specification and maintenance of the buildings, when their grievances are not satisfactorily addressed. Again, generally these lawsuits proceed based on negligence and strict liability.
A serious problem with indoor air standards is the complexity of substances covered and the possibility of interactions between substances that can be antagonistic or synergistic in nature. Thus, many researchers prefer the use of guidelines rather than standards. These are less binding and less onerous to adopt than standards and therefore are more likely to gain more widespread acceptance. Before suggesting fu-
ture guidelines, we can review the current status of existing air quality standards.
Public Health Standards.
Standards are set by several agencies including the EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These standards have been established by the EPA under authority of the Clean Air Act and cover outdoor ambient levels.
NAAQS are divided into primary and secondary standards. The primary standards are designed to protect the public health with an adequate margin of safety. Levels are set to protect even sensitive individuals such as asthmatics. No technological limits or economic considerations were allowed to impact the chosen values. The standards were designed to protect against short-term exposures (e.g., one hour) and long-term health effects.
The secondary standards were designed to protect the public welfare. These consider comfort factors and protection of crops, animals and property.
The NAAQS standards define limits of pollutant concentrations that must not be exceeded. They include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, suspended particulates (PM-10), nitrogen dioxide, ozone, dioxins and lead.
The World Health Organization (WHO) published in 1984 air quality guidelines for 28 substances found in the indoor and outdoor air. These guidelines were proposed to aid European governments in making risk assessment decisions in controlling both indoor and outdoor pollutants. Health effects were the controlling factor in reaching these limits and all classes of the general public, including those with pre-existing conditions, such as asthmatics, were considered. As is the case with the NAAQS, both short- and long-term exposures were addressed.
The occupational standards of OSHA and ACGIH list between 500 and 600 substances. Regulating bodies in other countries also typically have formulated long lists of standards. Some organizations such as ASHRAE, in the absence of other defined limits, recommend reducing the occupational standards by a factor of ten as a safety margin for use with the general public in non-industrial indoor air applications.
OSHA Proposed Rule
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) re-
cently issued a comprehensive IAQ proposal that could affect as many as 6 million workplaces in the United States. The proposal would establish standards for the nation's "nonindustrial work environments" and would ban smoking in buildings or establish separate, enclosed smoking rooms that are exhausted directly to the outside. OSHA defines the term "nonindustrial work environment" to mean an indoor or enclosed work space such as, but not limited to, offices, educational facilities, commercial establishments and health-care facilities. The proposed regulations were published in the April 5, 1994 Federal Register (59 FR 16968), and would require employers to develop a written IAQ plan and implement that plan through a series of documented actions.
The proposed OSHA regulations have four basic categories of requirements:
1. Compliance planning. This requires each employer to assemble basic information about his or her building, including a description of the facility, schematics of major building systems, operating procedures, information on occupant work activities, a written maintenance program with verification of building systems preventive maintenance and a designated employee to implement the plan.
2. Maintenance. It will be necessary to meet the original design specifications. Also, building ventilation requirements will increase, relative humidity must be below 60 percent in occupied spaces, and carbon dioxide must be below 800 parts per million.
3. Remediation. This requires that employees assist in control of contaminants and follow isolation procedures during construction work. Employers will be required to respond to employee complaints and take action to mitigate the problem.
4. Record keeping and notices. Employers will be required to make written compliance plans and all records readily available for inspection and to provide ongoing notice to employees regarding any contaminants in the workplace.
Many heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) designers view ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 as the minimum ventilation standard to meet, regardless of local codes. In fact, most building codes nationally
have adopted the standard to one extent or another. The purpose of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 is to specify minimum ventilation rates and define acceptable IAQ to avoid adverse health effects. The standard attempts to do this by presenting two alternative procedures for providing acceptable IAQ. The ultimate responsibility for interpretation and compliance, however, rests with the individual design professional.
Section 6.1 of ASHRAE 62-1989 helps the designer by presenting a prescriptive method for achieving acceptable IAQ. It is very concise and complete for some design issues, but unclear on others. This method is generally called the ventilation rate procedure, and overall it provides a relatively well-defined procedure for designing ventilation systems that deliver acceptable IAQ by diluting contaminants with outdoor air.
Section 6.2 of ASHRAE 62-1989 attempts to impart a method for direct control of IAQ. Unfortunately, it presents only a short list of acceptable contaminant levels, includes a post-design evaluation for odors and seems to require ongoing building system vigilance on the part of the designer after the building is designed and operating. This method is generally called the IAQ procedure, but is not likely to be utilized since it fails to provide a well-defined, enforceable path to compliance.
Although there are many legislative and regulatory requirements that may impact IAQ issues, facility owners and operators should, at a minimum, be familiar with the Indoor Air Act of 1994, OSHA's IAQ Proposed Rule and ASHRAE Standard 62-1989.
SOURCES OF IAQ PROBLEMS
To correctly diagnose an IAQ problem, one must be able to identify (hypothesize) potential sources. Doing so requires an understanding of the source or origin of the employees' complaints. There is no greater error than to disregard any source of information during the initial identification phase of an IAQ evaluation. In short, do not jump to assumptions and conclusions when trying to resolve an IAQ issue, as this will exacerbate the employees' concerns, especially if there is no resolution to their satisfaction. To prevent this negative reaction, let's review how to conduct an effective assessment.
To better understand this multifaceted concept, the significant categories of sources can be characterized as building generated, management generated, employee generated and outside (information) gener-
Indoor airborne pollutants can originate within the building or be drawn in from outdoors. When determining the source of an IAQ problem, the IAQ investigator should first determine if the problem is related to normal building operating conditions or if complaints are arising from recent or ongoing renovation/construction activities. Once the determination has been made, the investigator needs to consider the likely origins of the problem within the building system. Sources can arise from within an occupied space, from within the HVAC system or outside the system.
As previously mentioned, identifying potential causes of the IAQ problem within the source categories is the key. The first source category, building generated, is the one from which most causes have their origin. Building systems that generate IAQ problems include heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical, building construction materials, maintenance and equipment.
The building-generated category is very large and diverse and, as such, possesses the greatest potential for specific sources. The management-generated category is perhaps one of the most easily identified but the most unaccepted as it addresses deficiencies in key individuals and the organization itself. Included in this group are typically lack of fulfillment of job responsibilities, lack of recognition, lack of understanding, cost, occupancy rate, insufficient training and insufficient building maintenance.
The next phase is to identify the current status of all building components, as discussed in the section about building-generated sources. It is important to note that these answers will identify the components of building systems that have been shown to impact IAQ. Although all systems must be investigated, HVAC system(s) are the most important cause; they are the major cause of IAQ problems. This is particularly true in a hospital where:
• Multiple areas may be on one system.
•Additions and ongoing renovations are always occurring.
•Health hazards occur in adjacent areas.
•Continuous operations take place.
The following installation, operations and maintenance listing is of typical deficiencies or issues associated with HVAC system design:
•Not designed for current use
•Installation does not meet specification
•Commissioning not performed according to ASHRAE
•Renovation requires redesign
•Operation and maintenance
•Effectiveness of air mixing and distribution (i.e., balancing)
•Velocity to heat exchanger ratio
•Entrainment of package unit combustion gases
•Constant volume systems
•Variable air volume systems
•Building stack effect and effect on building pressures
•Outdoor air intake placement
•Percent outdoor air, return air, relief air
•Operations emergency management system
•Not properly balanced
•Temperature regulation inadequate
•Air changes per hour—too high/low
Other building system issues include:
•Plumbing with deficiencies such as empty drain traps due to insufficient pipe venting, vent pipes separation at joints, or Legionella in hot water systems, cooling towers
•Ruptured lighting ballasts containing PCBs
•Building materials, such as carpets, paints and furniture that off-gas, and sealants
•Maintenance or housekeeping items such as cleaners, vacuuming and pesticide or fertilizer usage
•Special building activities and equipment associated with the potential for chemical ambient releases or spills: laboratories, radiology, central sterile, pathology/autopsy and loading docks
Although management-generated sources are seldom the only cause of a problem, they clearly will cause an amplification of the problem and thereby make the problem worse than it really is. Understanding and accepting management deficiencies must be addressed first so that the credibility of those addressing the IAQ problem is maintained by the complainant(s). Employee-generated sources are perhaps the most difficult to address because understanding people and their reasoning is difficult. The sources include:
•Illness: IAQ- and non-IAQ-related
•Lack of understanding of IAQ
•Insufficient training on job responsibilities
•Mass psychogenic hysteria
•Personal comfort issues
Experience has shown that providing well-documented and factual information from authoritative sources will assist in resolving the majority of employee-generated problems. In addition, allowing employees to be part of the solution process is extremely beneficial. In short, this means listening to (and hearing) their perceptions of the problem.
Outside information or misinformation sources, such as media, doctors, legal/workers' compensation, coworkers and family, are often readily accepted by employees as a primer for problems.
IAQ problems from within the occupied space often stem from the effects of overcrowding. Overcrowding occurs when noise, heat or lack of usable space causes discomfort and disrupts work. In many offices, ventilation rates are set to supply outside air at the energy-efficient levels of 5 cfm per occupant. Another typical feature of energy-efficient operations is that HVAC systems are shut down by minimum and maximum temperature overrides during unoccupied hours. In addition to the rise in the number of occupants, the amount of office equipment has grown over the years to include a large number of computers, laser printers and copiers. Furnishings, including such items as carpeting, adhesives, paint, partitions and furniture, also can contribute pollutants, as can uncon-
trolled housekeeping and maintenance activities.
People represent the first significant source of contamination. Each person sheds literally millions of particles, primarily skin scales and bacteria, over the course of a working day. The normal human activities of respiration and perspiration also produce contaminants, including carbon dioxide and several VOCs. The cosmetics that people use, particularly deodorants and perfumes, are a source of VOCs.
Occupant work habits also contribute to indoor airborne pollution. For example, papers left stacked collect dust and provide a home for biological activity. When moved, or knocked over, they can contribute added dust and biological contamination to the indoor air. Inks and glues emit VOCs, and laser printers and copiers are known to emit heat and ozone when in use.
The use and the improper storage of cleaning materials (i.e., not properly vented) are sources of indoor airborne pollution. In addition to regular housekeeping activities, maintenance activities, such as the use of paint, caulk, adhesive and lubricants, all emit various VOCs into the indoor air. Even the most minor construction or maintenance project (such as lifting ceiling tiles) will typically release dusts, airborne particulates, and potentially molds and biologicals. Also, applications of pesticides introduce known toxins into the indoor environment.
Furnishings and decor items release fibers as well as VOCs. VOC emissions from furnishings are generally highest when the item is new, and tend to decline with age. Emissions from VOCs should, therefore, especially be considered during and directly after renovation/construction activities. Renovation/construction activities can also add dust, fibers and biological contamination from demolition.
Mechanically ventilated buildings are subject to infiltration of various kinds. Soil gas or sewer gas from an unvented line or dry drainage trap can be released into occupied areas. Roof or window leaks, plumbing problems or over-humidification can lead to moisture buildup in occupied areas. Such damp conditions support biological contaminant proliferation.
The presence of indoor contaminants, though normally brought into the occupied space from outdoors, is most significant when there is a greater concentration indoors than outdoors, that is, when they are amplified. Microbial amplification is the most common example of this
problem. Ubiquitous fungi, primarily associated with soil and vegetation, commonly enter a building through assorted routes. Individuals carry them on their clothing and on materials brought into the facility. If the indoor relative humidity is permitted to rise above 60 percent, for 8 to 12 hours per day, the microbial contaminants begin normal metabolism, resulting in reproduction and a substantial increase. Unfortunately, many of these organisms are allergenic and in some instances toxigenic, opportunistic or even infectious (Scarry, 1994).
Since, in January of 1992, the EPA established secondhand tobacco smoke as carcinogenic, the media have paid considerable attention to the complaints of tobacco smoke contributing to poor IAQ. Environmental tobacco smoke has become the center of legislative agenda in many states. Responding to concerns about secondhand smoke and its effect on children and infants, a number of states have banned or are considering a ban on smoking in all public buildings. Until the legislative activity of the past few years, few employers were willing to ban smoking in the workplace for fear of employee complaints by the smoking minority. However, since 1993, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has mandated accredited health-care facilities to ban smoking in the workplace. This requirement has clearly improved the IAQ of their facility by eliminating the indoor contamination caused by tobacco smoke.
Chemical compounds and constituents due to activities and processes will be specifically addressed later in this chapter.
Ambient (Outdoor) Environment Contaminants
IAQ is, in part, a function of outdoor air quality. The air outside (ambient air) that is brought into a building may be polluted. Many major cities in the U.S. are "non-attainment" areas in which pollution levels for certain air contaminants exceed federal standards. Most of the recommended actions for improving IAQ depend on increasing the amount of ambient air drawn into the facility. However, the quality of the outside air must be viewed as a potential contributing factor to poor IAQ.
Building design can cause problems with the air that is available for use in a building. Although outdoor air is generally considered ideal for diluting recirculated indoor air, once it is filtered and conditioned, there are times when the outdoor air itself is the cause for poor IAQ. The location of outdoor air intakes is critical. The outdoor intakes may be
located too near a source of pollution, such as a major roadway, or even the building's loading dock. Poorly located air intakes can draw contaminants from the exhaust of the same or another air-handling unit, resulting in a short circuit of the system. Even when outdoor air intakes are installed as required by code, dangerous odors and fumes may be pulled into the building when pesticides or insecticides are inadvertently used near intakes, when vehicles are parked near intakes with the engines running, when helicopters land and take off near the facility or when smoke is drawn in from a fire nearby. Air intakes can be placed too close to building exhaust vents or, even worse, located adjacent to cooling towers, which can introduce not only moisture but biological contaminants, such as Legionella, or chemical contaminants. Intakes too close to ground level will draw in greater amounts of harmful bacteria and fungi, along with debris such as leaves, bird feathers and droppings and other harmful microorganisms. Placing intakes near these sources may be architecturally pleasing or reduce initial capital costs, but the problems posed by introducing contaminants into the inside air far outweigh the initial savings.
Consideration must be given to adjacent structures and prevailing winds when assessing the contribution of outdoor contaminants on IAQ. Ambient environmental conditions such as physical structure surrounds can also cause the adverse phenomenon of re-entrainment.
With over 2,000 recognized airborne pathogens, viruses, bacteria, fungi and mildew, the assessment, identification and remediation of airborne microbial contamination becomes a difficult challenge. Visible observation of microbial growth in the form of fungi, mildew and dust accumulation are sure indicators of the potential presence of additional sub-micron size pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Microbial contaminants can cause infections and various allergic reactions. Bacteria and fungi propagated within the air-conditioning systems can be particularly aggressive to patients with immunocompromised systems. Allergic respiratory diseases are typically caused by hypersensitivity response to inhaled particles containing viable microorganisms.
Buildings in geographic areas with climates that have extended periods of elevated humidity (60 percent or more) are more likely to have elevated indoor humidities and thus a greater potential for microbial populations.
Construction and Furnishings
The use of synthetics in construction materials has created a major impact on IAQ in new buildings. Polymers in construction components act as glues, binders and soiling retardants. This brought us formaldehyde (HCHO), which is a ubiquitous component of furniture, fabric, particle board and astic surfaces. These contaminants emerge by "out-gassing" or more common "off-gassing" during changes in temperature, humidity and airflow.
The high-density, "high-tech" office has a great deal of fabric and fiberboard in the workstations, with ozone, VOCs and submicron respirable particles from printer toner and the office equipment. In addition, the use of carpet is now widespread, even in hospitals, where hard surfaces previously prevailed. The various contaminants in construction materials and furnishings can trigger multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in those occupants who may be susceptible.
It is important to note that the only mechanism for addressing these kinds of problems is provision of factual/training information to employees. Always expand your investigative approach to include all source categories because both cause and effect are always multifactorial in IAQ.
Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
Typically, ventilation rates for offices were set to supply outside air at a minimum ventilation rate of 5 cfm per person in an effort to conserve energy. Systems were scheduled to shut down with minimum and maximum temperature overrides during normal occupied hours. These relatively low ventilation rates, combined with the buildup of all internally generated pollutants, are the most significant causes affecting IAQ. This was recognized by ASHRAE when it revised its ventilation standard in 1989 from a minimum ventilation rate of 5 cfm per person to 20 cfm per person for general office activity. Without adequate ventilation, indoor airborne contaminants will continually recirculate within a building, with the heavier dust materials and biologicals settling into the duct linings and onto the mechanical equipment and other interior HVAC surface materials, only to be released back into the occupied areas and/or become amplification sites for the biologicals.
However, increased ventilation rates alone are only part of the ventilation concern. Faulty maintenance can lead to dirty ducts and filters, and accumulated, untreated water in condensate pans causes the growth
of molds and other contaminants, which become airborne and enter occupied spaces. Even in well-maintained systems, poorly assembled ductwork can leak and allow unfiltered air into the building or create condensation in supply air ducts, inviting the growth of mold and mildew.
Indications of inadequate ventilation are:
•Carbon dioxide readings greater than 1,000 ppm
•Still, non-moving air
•Closed outside air dampers
•Air systems in automatic off position when temperatures are satisfied
•Insufficient or non-existent return and/or exhaust systems
•Improperly balanced supply and/or return systems
•Blocked diffusers of return air pathways
The use of inefficient filters and poor system hygiene are also significant causes affecting IAQ. Inefficient filters allow dust particles to be carried into the HVAC system where they are deposited and accumulate until they are later dislodged into the airstream by variations in airflow or vibrations in the system. Poor system hygiene is especially a problem in areas of the HVAC system where dust (a biological food source) and water are present, such as air-handling units, cooling coils, insulation materials, ductwork, condensate drain pan areas and humidifier reservoirs. These areas must be maintained and kept scrupulously clean to prevent biological contamination. The following are examples of poor HVAC system hygiene:
•Torn and shredding insulation
•Poorly draining condensate pans/trays
•Rusting of internal surfaces
•Mold contamination on internal surfaces
•Improperly maintained or broken dampers or linkages
•Dirty humidifier reservoirs or cooling towers
•Fans and blowers wired incorrectly
•Materials stored within air-handling equipment
Internally lined ducts present a problem if the fibrous materials from the linings are damaged or worn and fibers are released into the supply air. If moisture accumulates in or on the duct lining the duct can also become contaminated with biological contaminants such as certain species of fungi. If the fungus is allowed to thrive, it will release spores into the airstream, which can be a source of irritation or even infection to exposed persons.
For air-handling systems located in or near major mechanical rooms, where boilers and chillers are located, special care should be taken to guard against infiltration. Intake and return ducts represent zones of negative pressure. Combustion by-products leaking from a boiler stack, chemicals used in maintenance and repair or odors from standing water or plumbing work may all become mixed into the airflow if there are leaking ducts. Worse still, it is not unusual see an air-handling unit left open that is drawing air from a mechanical room where a wide range of contaminants are used and stored.
Because ventilation with outdoor air provides dilution of recirculated indoor air, it also should prevent accumulation of excessive levels of carbon dioxide exhaled by building occupants. Without dilution by outdoor air, an occupied space will see a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide, starting at normal outdoor air levels in the morning and peaking near the end of the business day. The idea of "dilution ventilation," or purging contaminated air with outdoor air by designing a specific number of air changes per hour (ACH), is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the prevention and control of tuberculosis (59 FR 54242).
An area of concern regarding proper ventilation rates has to do with variable air volume (VAV) systems. When working as designed, the majority of VAV systems installed do not maintain a constant volume of outdoor air. Instead, outdoor air volumes decrease dramatically when the systems throttle back to minimum flow conditions, while building exhaust systems continue to exhaust at a constant volume. While VAV systems may perform well when air is balanced at design maximum conditions, entire buildings can become negative with respect to outdoor air when at minimum airflows. The resulting infiltration of unfiltered,
unconditioned air may have significant impact on IAQ. Unfortunately, ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 fails to take VAV systems into account when determining minimum airflow requirements.
Variable air volume (VAV) systems are also known to cause IAQ problems. VAV dampers that close completely cause air circulation and ventilation to be cut off in an area when thermal requirements for that area are met. VAVs are also known to result in thermal discomfort. VAV systems that serve both perimeter and interior spaces with the thermostat located in the perimeter office responding to solar load may cause interior occupants to complain that it is too cold. Similarly, it is common for the perimeter occupants to complain that it is too warm when the thermostat is located in the return air plenum. Improper system balancing and poor placement of diffusers can also cause thermal discomfort.
Inadequate ventilation tops the list of IAQ complaints. However, if the building's ventilation system begins to provide the means for amplification of contaminants, regardless of the contaminant type, the building is well on its way to having poor IAQ and becoming associated with SBS. Proper ventilation, using air that will not negatively affect IAQ, is essential for successful management. All of these contamination problems can be compounded by ventilation practices that involve frequent starting and stopping of fan systems. Upon every start and stop procedure a fan unit has the capabilities of emitting contaminants that have settled in ducts and on other surfaces each time the unit restarts. Further, IAQ problems can easily surface during modifications to HVAC systems. HVAC system repairs and modifications often require disruption of existing fans, coils, dampers, ducts or piping. Work may also require that the fan system be shut down and restarted. Again, these activities aggravate existing conditions in HVAC systems and can be an additional cause of IAQ problems.
Air-handling equipment that is controlled by a thermostat, allowing the unit to cycle off and on, will have the same effect. This is typical in light commercial applications that use residential heat pump equipment in lieu of commercial-grade equipment. Equipment or controls that are wired incorrectly can create IAQ problems. In some cases, investigators have found exhaust fans that are wired backwards. It is also common to find loose fan belts, broken fan belts and unattached ductwork, which will cause decreased airflow.
It therefore becomes evident that HVAC systems play an integral role in the quality of air indoors, and understanding their operation is of
paramount importance to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. With this in mind, the next section highlights the key components of HVAC systems and how IAQ can be affected.
COMPONENTS OF HVAC SYSTEMS AFFECTING INDOOR AIR QUALITY
From an air quality standpoint, all occupied buildings require a supply of outdoor air to dilute internally generated pollutants. Depending on outdoor conditions, the air may need to be heated or cooled before it is distributed into the occupied space. As outdoor air is drawn into the building, indoor air is exhausted or allowed to escape, thus removing air contaminants.
Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems were introduced into buildings in order to provide occupants with a comfortable indoor environment (as temporal seasons change), as well as to remove contaminants generated within the building. Not all HVAC systems are designed to accomplish all of these functions. Some buildings rely only on natural ventilation. Others lack mechanical cooling equipment, and many function with little or no humidity control. Commercial, especially health care, HVAC systems include a wide degree of diversity—the HVAC system for a 20-story office building is completely different from a tertiary-care facility system. The comfort requirements of the occupants is just one of several criteria that must be recognized in the analysis of commercial HVAC systems. Additional criteria include:
•Occupant control of individual HVAC equipment
•Advanced building environmental controls
Although HVAC systems must be installed by code to maintain the minimum heating requirements of the occupants, commercial building owners recognize the importance of HVAC system controls as a selling feature of the building. In the competitive office-building market, individual control of individually packaged HVAC systems installed beneath the windows at the building perimeter, normally used for individually partitioned executive offices, is one facet that can be provided to
office building occupants. The ability of an HVAC system to offer these "value added" features provides an owner with a building that is an enhanced investment.
In many commercial buildings, low installation cost is also an important criterion. Since commercial buildings are built to house one or more businesses, reduced initial cost is part of the entire investment strategy. The use of low-efficiency, residential-type air filters in commercial-class buildings is an example. This reduces the installation cost, but can contribute to contaminant levels in the HVAC system along with compromising the comfort of the occupants.
Operating costs for commercial buildings are a driving design criterion. Because most large health-care buildings are managed by a team of trained individuals as a business investment, lowering the operating costs increases the profit margin. The HVAC system is a major component of the overall utility cost paid by the building management team, which dictates how internal temperature conditions are maintained. For example, most office building leases provide for certain temperature conditions that will be maintained for the leased occupant areas, during normal working hours. When the occupants want to work at night or on weekends, the HVAC system may not provide these same temperature conditions, in an effort to reduce the cost of operation. An alternative is to design the HVAC system so that it is installed on a floor-by-floor basis—the occupants can then be billed separately for their actual afterhours usage.
A final criterion that is taken into account is the complexity and sophistication of the modern equipment and controls. The personal computer revolution has impacted HVAC controls to the extent that many commercial building operators must rely on outside experts to provide competent installation, servicing and equipment monitoring. Sensors linked to electronic transmitters can send data to building control software which can operate on contemporary personal computers. Use of electronic controls or direct digital controls (DDC) for operating individual HVAC components such as dampers and valves continues to evolve. For example, the benefits of DDC include the ability to better maintain individual occupant temperatures, relative humidity levels and detection of IAQ contaminants (VOC sensors). DDC has also helped popularize daylight harvesting by adjusting lighting intensity on sunny days and by providing occupancy-sensitive lighting.
Understanding how HVAC systems operate will provide a basis for
understanding their critical impact on IAQ. In order to understand how HVAC systems operate, the individual components that comprise the HVAC systems must be understood. This section reviews the basic individual components which are included in many typical commercial HVAC systems. The description of each component includes the purpose of the component along with an explanation of how these components work in combination to provide for the comfort levels of the occupants.
Outdoor Air Intake
The purpose of the outside air intake is to allow controlled volumes of outdoor air to be introduced into the air-handling system. The most widely accepted intake rate is prescribed in ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, which calls for a minimum air ventilation rate of 20 cfm of outside air per person for office areas.
Frequently buildings are designed to operate with far more than the minimum rate; indeed, during periods of mild weather many buildings switch to 100% outdoor air to take advantage of "free cooling." The practice of selectively boosting outdoor intake rates based on mixes of outdoor and return air to achieve maximum energy efficiency is termed an air-side economizer cycle.
Outside air intakes must be carefully positioned with regard to prevailing wind directions and wind patterns caused by adjacent structures and the proposed location of exhaust vents from the building. Frequently air intakes are found adjacent to toilet and kitchen exhausts, restaurant and other trash dumpsters, cooling tower spray drifts, toxic gas vents from hospital sterilizing rooms and laboratories, in underground parking garages and at busy street levels.
Outside air intakes should be designed to minimize the entry of snow and rainwater and should be sloped to the outside to allow any water that does enter to completely drain away. The intakes should also be louvered or wired or protected in some other way to prevent the entry of birds, large insects, small animals and wind-blown debris.
The purpose of air filters is to extract particles and/or gases (if installed) from the mixed airstream. Filter media can be porous materials, electronic devices or solid chemical granules. In the case of particulate filters, efficiencies should always be verified in accordance with the ASHRAE Dust Spot Efficiency Method, described in Standard 52-1976. A
minimum of 30% but preferably 60% efficient filters are recommended for use in commercial office buildings while 95%, 99% and even 99.97% HEPA filters are required for specific critical care and treatment areas of health-care facilities. The three basic types of air filtration include mechanical, electronic and gas absorption filters.
Air filters with anti-microbial protection are now available in the commercial market. However, regular inspection and replacement is still an important necessity.
The primary purpose of heating and reheat coils is to promote occupant comfort by raising the dry-bulb temperature of the airstream. The heat output from a heating coil will depend on the coil size, the inlet and outlet temperatures, the fluid flow rate (or electric resistance), and the airflow rate past the coil.
Problems can occur if the heating coil has been set too low in an attempt to reduce energy consumption. Outside air ventilation will either have to be sacrificed to maintain comfortable temperatures or thermal comfort will be sacrificed to maintain sufficient ventilation. Hot water and steam coils should include temperature readers on both inlet and outlet sides to verify the entering and leaving temperatures, as this will allow the operator to quickly determine whether the coil is providing the necessary amount of heating to the airstream.
Cooling Coils and Condensate Pans
Cooling and dehumidifying the airstream is the function of a cooling coil. Dehumidification can only take place if the chilled fluid is maintained at a cold-enough temperature. Chilled water coils should include mercury thermometers on both inlet and outlet sides to verify the entering and leaving temperatures, as this will allow the operator to quickly determine whether the coil is providing the necessary amount of cooling of the airstream. Coatings to reduce buildup on coils between regular cleanings are available.
A condensate pan is designed to capture and drain away condensed moisture that falls from the overhead cooling coil. Standing water will accumulate if the drain pan system has not been designed to drain completely under all operating conditions (sloped toward the drain and properly trapped). Under these conditions, molds and bacteria will proliferate unless the pan is cleaned frequently. Pan coatings are also
available to reduce biofilm attachment in between inspections and cleanings.
Supply Air Fan.
A supply air fan is an air-moving device consisting of a wheel or blade, and housing or orifice plate that increases the static pressure of the conditioned air and propels the air into the supply ductwork. Fan laws have identified the relationship between fan shaft RPM, fan cfm, static pressure and brake horsepower. Squirrel cage fans with integral motors are common in residential and packaged terminal air-conditioning units. Centrifugal, axial, tubeaxial, and vaneaxial fans are available for commercial HVAC systems. Each type of fan has advantages and disadvantages which must be considered in the initial design. The Air Moving and Conditioning Association (AMCA) has produced several high-quality technical publications on fan selection and installation.
Humidifiers increase the moisture content of the conditioned air-flow in order to achieve an elevated relative humidity level in the occupied area. Cold, dry outside air in winter months needs to have warm moisture added to increase the relative humidity level for respiratory comfort as well as patient therapeutic purposes.
Humidifiers are used to increase the relative humidity level to the ASHRAE-recommended level of 30 percent. For commercial buildings, steam humidifiers using a potable water source provide the best method of safely adding moisture to the supply air, because condensed steam will not contribute to the level of microbiological agents in the air, assuming the rest of the system is free from dirt and dust. Residential humidifiers range from potable-cold-mist ultrasonic models to ductmounted spray systems. All humidifiers require frequent inspection and cleaning, and should be part of an ongoing preventive maintenance (PM) program.
Supply Air Duct System
Distribution of the conditioned air from a supply fan through a continuously connected passageway to a multitude of occupied areas is the purpose of the supply air ducts. Galvanized sheet metal is typically used for the primary supply air duct systems in most large commercial buildings, due to structural integrity, first cost, ease of fabrication, easy-
to-clean surface and material longevity. Rigid, fibrous glass duct board is common in many smaller commercial, retail and residential applications. Flexible fibrous glass ducts are typically used to connect rigid supply ducts to the air registers and diffusers. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association is the recognized authority for technical standards and design manuals for all types of air duct systems.
There is widespread agreement that building owners and managers should take precautions to prevent dirt, high humidity or moisture from entering ductwork. There is less agreement at present about when measures to clean ductwork are necessary or how to effectively clean ductwork systems. The North American Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) has developed standards and guidelines for the cleaning of ducts.
Supply Air Terminal Equipment
The presence of dust in ductwork does not necessarily indicate a problem—some dust is inherent to all ductwork systems. Problems with dust and other contamination in the ductwork are a function of filtration efficiency, regular HVAC system maintenance, the rate of airflow and good housekeeping practices in the occupied space. Ductwork contamination can therefore be minimized by paying special attention to these areas. In most cases, the decision of whether or not to clean ductwork systems is left up to building management. Usually the decision will be based on the level of contamination in the system and the soiling that is occurring on interior furnishings from this contamination.
Effective distribution of the conditioned supply air to the building occupants is the intent of this equipment. This includes powered terminal units and ceiling-mounted registers and diffusers. Supply air ductwork from the main supply air fan spreads out like the limbs and branches of a large tree to multiple terminal units. Currently, variable air volume (VAV) boxes are the most commonly installed terminal equipment. VAV boxes contain dampers that modulate the amount of conditioned supply air delivered downstream, in response to a controlling thermostat. Typically, the VAV dampers will decrease the volume of supply air when the temperature in the occupied area is below the thermostat set point. When the temperature increases in the occupied area (due to the addition of people, lights, equipment operation or thermal transfer from the outside) the VAV dampers open to allow an increase in the amount of cool supply air.
The addition of electric or hot-water coils for heating the supply air is typically for those VAV boxes that supply air to the perimeter areas of the building. This permits heated air to be delivered to those specific areas that need to be warmed.
Flexible, round ductwork usually is installed to convey the conditioned air from the terminal units to the ceiling-mounted registers and diffusers. Registers can be round or square and contain an internal damper that can be operated to regulate the volume of air delivered to the occupied area. Diffusers can be circular, square or rectangular and can be installed in long, continuous "strips." Diffusers have integral deflecting vanes that are arranged to promote the optimal air mixing. Since diffusers and registers are the visible components that are seen by the occupants, these are the evident links between the occupants and the HVAC system.
With this in mind, the supply air registers must be kept clean and periodically inspected. These components are prone to condensation problems and air stratification can cause dirt buildup. This is not only unsightly, but it has been shown that microbiological contamination can take a foothold on registers and diffusers and even grow back into the HVAC system (during system shutdown).
Return Air Fan and System
An air conveyance system is needed for the removal of "used" air from the occupied areas and its transport to the mixing plenum. Most commercial and retail buildings do not use return air ducts directly above the suspended ceiling, but instead allow the air to flow into the ceiling return air plenum—the empty space between the supported architectural ceiling tiles and the underside of the upper concrete slab. Return air flows from this return air ceiling plenum to centrally located vertical return air shafts. A return air fan induces the return airflow from the airshafts into a ducted return air system. Return air fans can be centrifugal, tubeaxial or vaneaxial design and are always smaller in airflow capacity than the supply air fans. The reason for the smaller capacity of return air fans is to maintain the building in a state of positive static pressure.
Large supply air systems that have an air side "economizer" to draw outside air into the building to cool the heat that is internally generated require an exhaust air fan, damper and grille. When in the economizer mode, the exhaust fan is energized after the exhaust damp-
ers are opened to allow building air to be expelled. Exhaust dampers can also be used to modulate the airflow to maintain the building at a slightly positive static air pressure. Exhaust fans can be propeller or centrifugal, depending on the quantity of air exhausted from the building.
Building relief fans are typically installed in larger buildings with varying exhaust requirements, to maintain the building in a state of positive air pressure.
It is important to note that if more air is exhausted than is introduced through the outdoor air intake then outdoor air will enter the building at any leakage sites in the shell. IAQ problems can occur if the leakage site is a door to a loading dock, parking garage or some other area associated with pollutants.
The purpose of an exhaust fan is to propel a specific volume of building air to the outside. Fans used to achieve this function can be axial, propeller or centrifugal, depending on the amount of air that is necessary to be exhausted and the static pressure that has to be overcome. For example, in commercial buildings, toilet areas are required by mechanical building codes to be exhausted at a rate of 0.5 cfm per square foot. Multistory buildings with numerous toilet rooms would thus need to have large-volume exhaust fans. Commercial kitchen exhaust fans are also required to expel the odors from cooking and the products of combustion from natural-gas range tops. Some codes allow residential kitchen exhaust fans to expel the air back into the kitchen after it passes through a filter. In some cases, fan-powered returns have been installed with proper filtration to remove pollutants and clean the air in lieu of a more costly exhaust system.
Automatic Temperature Controls
Automatic temperature controls consist of an interconnected series of pneumatic, electric, electronic and/or mechanical components which act in sequence in response to changes in pressure, temperature, humidity, air changes or other variables to maintain desired comfort conditions. Their primary purpose is to maintain desired thermal conditions by serving as a regulating mechanism for the heating and cooling equipment. This can be accomplished via signals provided by compressed air, electric or electronic devices.
In a typical small-scale building, the occupant sets the desired in-
door temperature, thus creating the "temperature set point." A wall-mounted thermostat senses the ambient indoor air dry-bulb temperature, compares this to the thermostat set point, and sends a low-voltage signal to the furnace (for heating) or the air-conditioning compressor (for cooling). Relative humidity and static pressure are usually not control variables sensed by small-scale control systems.
In commercial buildings, automatic temperature controls can link all of the key HVAC components to a central microprocessor for data reporting, analysis of conditions and to initiate the desired response signal (i.e., centralized control). This could include sensors for supply air static pressure, outside and inside air temperature, outside relative humidity, return air temperature, fan discharge temperature, air change rates, and airborne chemical gas and vapor concentrations (i.e., carbon dioxide, VOCs, formaldehyde, etc.)
In order to determine whether the controls are correctly operating it is important to properly measure and regulate the flow of all air and water conveyance systems. Testing and balancing has become an essential component of both initial building commissioning and ongoing service.
To fully explain the many components, their interactive operation, and benefits of a contemporary controls system would require an entirely separate section of this chapter. ASHRAE, as well as the control manufacturers, have ongoing series of multi-day professional development seminars specifically on this topic.
Water Chillers and Cooling Towers
The purpose of water chillers and cooling towers is to provide the steady source of cooling for the chilled water coils. Many of the centrifugal chillers installed in large buildings require a cooling tower located outdoors with connecting condenser water piping, valves and pumps. The cooling tower rejects heat to the atmosphere to maintain the efficient operation of the chiller. Due to the aeration and cooling of the condenser water in the cooling tower, chemical treatment is a necessary maintenance activity to keep down the levels of microbial growth. The water mist that emanates from the top of the cooling tower can be a source of Legionella bacteria, which can be deadly if they reach the lungs of susceptible people. To avert this potential problem, the cooling tower should be installed in a location that will minimize the likelihood the exhaust mist will enter the building (via open windows or outside air
intakes). In addition, a reputable water treatment company should be contacted to service the tower on a regular basis.
Specialized Health-care Systems
In some instances building activities need specialized HVAC systems. For example, operating rooms, procedure rooms, intensive care units (ICU), critical care areas and isolation rooms require specific design, operation and control requirements regarding such variables as temperature, relative humidity, static pressures and air change rates. To meet these needs, special HVAC systems are available that can provide the conditioned air in these rooms.
Hospitals require special HVAC systems to mitigate the spread of airborne infections. For example, operating rooms require multiple banks of filters. Some use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters rated at a minimum of 99.95% efficiency, to capture airborne bacteria and fungi. Operating rooms, isolation rooms, sterilizing rooms and all laboratories require complete exhausting of all entering supply air.
Maintaining appropriate air pressure relationships in specific rooms within hospitals requires constant attention to professional air testing and balancing. Supply and exhaust air duct systems need to be periodically inspected to ensure cleanliness.
Table 3 in chapter 7 of ASHRAE's Fundamentals Handbook covers ventilation standards for comfort, asepsis and odor control in areas of acute-care hospitals that directly affect patient care. Table 3 does not necessarily reflect the criteria of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) or any other group. Therefore it is important to note that if specific organizational criteria must be met, refer to that organization's literature.
Design of health-care HVAC systems must as much as possible provide air movement from clean to less-clean areas. In critical-care areas, constant volume systems should be employed to assure proper pressure relationships and ventilation, except in unoccupied rooms. In non-critical patient care areas and staff rooms, variable air volume (VAV) systems may be considered for energy conservation. When using VAV systems within the hospital, special care should be taken to ensure that minimum ventilation rates (as required by codes) are maintained and that pressure relationships between various departments are maintained. With VAV systems, a method such as air volume tracking between sup-
ply, return and exhaust could be used to control pressure relationships.
According to ASHRAE, the number of air changes may be reduced to 25% of the indicated value when the room is unoccupied if provisions are made to ensure that:
(1)the number of air changes indicated is reestablished whenever the space is occupied and
(2)the pressure relationship with the surrounding rooms is maintained when the air changes are reduced.
In areas requiring no continuous directional control (±), ventilation systems may be shut down when the space is unoccupied and ventilation is not otherwise needed. And in rooms having hoods, extra air must be supplied for hood exhaust so that the designated pressure relationship is maintained. Please refer to Chapter 13, Laboratory Systems, in the ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook for further discussion of laboratory ventilation.
As the ventilation design is developed or addressed for IAQ, a proper smoke control strategy must be considered. Passive systems rely on fan shutdown, smoke and fire partitions, and operable windows. Proper treatment of duct penetrations must be observed.
Active smoke control systems use the ventilation system to create areas of positive and negative pressures that, along with fire and smoke partitions, limit the spread of smoke. The ventilation system may be used in a smoke-removal mode in which the products of combustion are exhausted by mechanical means. As design of active smoke control systems continues to evolve, the engineer and code authority should carefully plan system operation and configuration. Refer to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards 90A, 92A, 99 and 101.
Other specialized HVAC systems are available for low-temperature rooms (such as food-storage lockers), high-purity production facilities ("cleanrooms"), and continuous recirculation environments (self-contained and supporting isolation and animal quarantine). Industrial applications are another challenge to balance IAQ and HVAC design/construction. The ASHRAE HVAC Systems and Applications Handbook pro-
vides further descriptive design criteria for specific system specification and operation.
The HVAC system can be the solution or the source of IAQ problems. Some IAQ problems from the HVAC system may be unnoticed for months, while others can cause almost immediate negative reactions. For example, a clogged condensate drain that is allowing condensate spill onto the fan chamber decking may take an entire season to cause a mold problem. In contrast, an incorrectly positioned thermostat can cause a VAV reheat to activate, when the real need is for occupant cooling, thus causing comfort problems. It should be evident that HVAC system design, installation, operation and maintenance require experience, vigilance and dedication.
Can simply increasing the inflow of outdoor air to meet the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 fully qualify for "acceptable" IAQ? The answer depends on how the following interrelated ventilation system design and operating factors are addressed:
Ensuring Ventilation Design.
The design of a ventilation system must be fully integrated with all aspects of the architectural, mechanical and interior design of a building. Design strategies to assure a reasonable level of ventilation effectiveness should be fully explored. The need for energy conserving strategies can be balanced by the overall requirement for a healthy ventilation system design. Outdoor air intakes must be designed to be located away from potential sources of contamination, such as truck or garage exhausts, cooling towers, stagnant pools of water, animal- and insect-infested areas, etc. Ventilation systems must be designed for access for future inspection and maintenance. All design assumptions which relate to the ventilation system(s) must be clearly documented and provided to the facility managers.
Delivering Outdoor Air to Breathing Zones
The intention of Standard 62-1989 was that proper levels of conditioned outdoor air would reach the occupants' breathing zones. This term refers to the immediate air volume or area surrounding an individual building occupant. If the supply air is summarily reduced or blocked between the outdoor air intake and the supply air register, it does not reach the breathing zone. This can happen for a variety of reasons: closed dampers in the supply air ductwork or at the supply
register, pinched or collapsed supply ductwork, closed dampers in the terminal unit or closed outside air dampers at the air-handling unit(s).
Providing Proper Room Air Mixing
HVAC systems should be designed to provide optimal patterns of airflow within rooms and prevent air stagnation or short-circuiting of air from the supply to the exhaust (i.e., passage of air directly from the air supply to the air exhaust without room mixing).
If the conditioned air that flows from the supply register does not interact and mix with the air in the occupied space, insufficient volumes of outdoor air will reach the occupants. This occurs when the supply air does not "blend" with the air in the space, due to improper selection and installation of air supply and return systems and their components. If there is a supply air register that is providing a steady air inflow, but an insufficient way for the existing room air to flow out, improper mixing will occur. This will result in "dead spots" in the space—stagnant areas that can quickly contribute to occupant discomfort.
Hospital ventilation systems should always be designed, constructed and maintained so that designed and balanced air flows from less contaminated (i.e., more clean) to more contaminated (less clean) areas. For example, air should flow from corridors (cleaner areas) into TB isolation rooms (less clean areas) to prevent spread of contaminants to other areas. Hospital ventilation can be used for diluting and removing contaminated air, controlling airflow patterns within rooms and controlling the direction of airflow throughout a facility, to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the air via uncontaminated supply/incoming air mixing with the contaminated room air (i.e., dilution), which is subsequently removed from the room by the exhaust system.
To provide optimal airflow patterns, the air supply and exhaust should be located such that clean air first flows to parts of the room where health-care workers are likely to work, and then flows across the infectious source and into the exhaust. In this way, the health-care worker is not positioned between the infectious source and the exhaust location.
One way to achieve the clean-to-less-clean airflow pattern is to supply air at the side of the room opposite the patient and exhaust it from the side where the patient is located (i.e., duct/grille polarization). Another method, which is most effective when the supply air is cooler than the room air, is to supply air near the ceiling and exhaust it near the floor.
Airflow patterns are affected by large air temperature differentials such as:
(1)the precise location of the supply and exhausts,
(2)the location of furniture,
(3)the movement of health-care workers and patients, and
(4)the physical configuration of the space.
Adequate air mixing, which requires that an adequate number of ACH be provided to a room, must be ensured to prevent air stagnation within the room. However, the air will not usually be changed the calculated number of times per hour because the airflow patterns in the room may not permit complete mixing of the supply and room air in all parts of the room. This results in an "effective" airflow rate in which the supplied airflow may be less than required for proper ventilation. To account for this variation, a mixing factor (which ranges from 1 for perfect mixing to 10 for poor mixing) is applied as a multiplier to determine the actual supply airflow (i.e., the recommended ACH multiplied by the mixing factor equals the actual required ACH). The room air supply and exhaust system should be designed to achieve the lowest mixing factor possible.
The mixing factor is determined most accurately by experimentally testing each space configuration, but this procedure is complex and time-consuming. A reasonably good qualitative measure of mixing can be estimated by an experienced ventilation engineer who releases smoke from smoke tubes at a number of locations in the room and observes the movement of the smoke. Smoke movement in all areas of the room indicates good mixing. Stagnation of air in some areas of the room indicates poor mixing, and movement of the supply and exhaust openings or redirection of the supply air is necessary.
Providing Quality Filtration
Removal of airborne particulates and microbes which can be produced in the occupied areas, in the outdoor air or in poorly maintained AHUs is a necessity. It is common for areas in modern offices that use large reproduction equipment to produce significant quantities of paper dust and dry ink particles. Interior construction renovation work can produce construction-related dusts. Outdoor construction work adjacent to the outdoor air intakes can similarly be a major source of particulate
matter. Additional filtration equipment may be required within the building as well as in the air-handling units to directly remove particles at their source, particularly if the space air distribution is insufficient.
Proper System Hygiene
Keeping the components of the ventilation system in a clean and orderly condition will reduce the likelihood of microbiological contamination. There are areas in the air-handling unit which can be quite favorable to the growth of bacteria and fungi, with moisture, dirt and a conducive temperature and humidity as the key ingredients for this growth. If not properly removed, bacteria and fungi will propagate and be carried downstream in the supply air system, and eventually reach the occupants' breathing zones.
Ventilation system design is becoming more important, and requires that building owners and their facility managers become active participants in early design decisions. The last four of the above factors can and should be constantly monitored by the facility management staff to prevent it from becoming an acute or chronic health problem for the building occupants. A proactive IAQ monitoring and inspection program should become integral to the existing PM program.
In summary, there are several key design and operating factors which will determine an acceptable level of good IAQ in commercial building ventilation systems. Attention to these items, coupled with sound preventive maintenance measures by the facility management staff, can have a positive impact on the indoor environment.
INDOOR AIRBORNE POLLUTANTS
If required, conduct the various levels of air sampling for contaminants as well as an HVAC assessment to confirm airflows/outdoor air for comparison to applicable guidelines, regulations and codes. Air sampling is conducted to quantify specific airborne contaminants that have the potential to be present and to contribute to health-related symptoms. Air sampling and analyses are to be performed in accordance with established OSHA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and/or EPA methodologies. The types of equipment needed are presented in Table 5-1 which also presents the various levels of sampling and specific equipment requirements.
Virtually everything in the indoors releases particles and/or gases and can likely support microbial (fungi, bacteria) growth. Both common offices and medical supplies and equipment have been found to release dangerous chemicals. As reviewed earlier, people themselves are also major contributors to indoor air pollution. Literally millions of particles, primarily skin scales, are shed by each person over the course of a day, with the average skin scale carrying with it several bacteria along the way. Clothing, furnishings, draperies and carpets shed fibers and other particle fragments. Cleaning processes such as sweeping, vacuuming and dusting normally remove the larger particles, but often increase the airborne concentrations of the smaller particles. Cooking, gas and oil burning and smoking also generate vast numbers of airborne particles and gases. The sources of indoor particles are endless—these particles, combined with moisture, are the prime ingredients necessary to support biological contamination of buildings.
Indoor airborne pollutants can be generically classified as chemical, physical or biological contaminants.
This group of gases includes carbon dioxide, which occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is exhaled as a waste product of respiration. This gas is also a by-product of all forms of combustion in the air. Similarly, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen are by-products of combustion. Ozone, an atmospheric gas that can be produced by electrical discharges such as those that occur in copying machines, laser printers and electrostatic precipitating air cleaners, also falls into this category of inorganic gases.
It is not coincidental that reports of IAQ problems escalated in the late 1970s as buildings became more airtight and outside air ventilation rates were cut back in response to fuel shortages and escalating energy costs. The U.S. Department of Energy and many state agencies at that time promulgated techniques to "lighten" buildings in order to eliminate the intrusion of unheated or non-conditioned outside air. One of the greatest construction booms in U.S. history occurred from the late 1970s through the 1980s. It was dominated by the single-minded focus of well-meaning designers on reducing operating costs, without an adequate understanding of the subsequent negative effect this would have on the
quality of life of the people who would occupy these buildings.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas found naturally in the atmosphere. Ambient (outdoor) concentrations normally range from 50 parts per million (ppm) to 400 ppm, depending on generation and utilization sources.
Similarly, levels inside buildings vary depending on the number of occupants and sufficiency of fresh outdoor makeup air. Since CO2 is produced by human cellular metabolism and released during respiration, room levels of CO2 will increase if the percentage of fresh outdoor makeup air is not sufficient to dilute the amount of CO2 generated.
If indoor CO2 concentrations are more than 1,000 ppm (three to four times the outside level), ventilation is probably inadequate. Therefore, occupants may complain of stale and stuffy air, or may even experience SBS symptoms. The CO2 concentration itself is usually not the irritant, but concentrations of CO2 above 1,000 ppm usually indicate that other contaminants in the building will be present in increased concentrations. These pollutants are likely contributors for IAQ complaints.
ASHRAE has recognized the importance of CO2 as a surrogate indicator of the effectiveness of overall ventilation. ASHRAE adopted a maximum level of CO2 of 1,000 ppm when it raised its overall recommended ventilation rate for office buildings, as per ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. This standard specifies a minimum outdoor air ventilation rate of 15 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per person with a recommended rate for office areas of 20 cfm per minute per person. With normal staffing levels (142 square feet per person), the minimum outside air ventilation rate as specified by ASHRAE will maintain carbon dioxide levels below 1,000 ppm.
Depending on concentrations, health effects from exposure to CO2 in excess of ambient concentrations vary from "no effect" to lethargy, headaches, increased respiration, dizziness and nausea. Generally, these acute symptoms are exhibited across an entire group of individuals when the level of exposure exceeds an 8-hour average of 10,000 ppm. However, chronic effects at lower levels (1,000 to 2,500 ppm 8-hour average) are currently a subject of debate. In addition, the response thresholds of individuals vary considerably among any given population.
In addition to the potential health effects from high levels (>5,000 ppm) of CO2 there are also potential health effects from other contaminants that can accumulate in the indoor environment when the fresh outdoor makeup air is insufficient for their adequate dilution or removal. These contaminants typically include (but are not limited to) odors,
Table 5-1. Indoor Air Quality Survey Equipment
Carbon Dioxide Meter/Data Logger
Carbon Monoxide Meter/Data Logger
Relative Humidity/Temperature Meter
Air Velocity Meter
Airflow Meter (Barometer)
Low Flow Air Sampling Pumps
High Flow Air Sampling Pumps
Detector Tube Pump & Tubes
CO2, CO, Ozone, etc., Tubes
$30 per box
Passive Dosimeters (vapors, HCOH)
$15 per badge
$30 per box
Tracer Gas (Miran or Portable GC)
BASELINE IAQ AUDIT
Note: Limited screening surveys are very cursory and are not adequate for the assessment of health issues.Source: Galson Corporation, 1994.
formaldehyde, VOCs, nitrogen dioxide, respirable particulates and fibers, fungi and contagion (i.e., viruses and bacteria). These contaminants are present in low concentrations, which makes quantification difficult. Thus, the generally accepted approach to evaluating their presence is to use either the ASHRAE CO2 concentration guideline of 1,000 ppm or OSHA's 800 ppm as an indicator of adequate air quality.
Determination of CO2 levels throughout a building generally provides a means to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the ventilation systems and thereby assists in identifying associated potential problems.
There are currently three sets of recommended guidelines for exposure to CO2 as determined by OSHA, ACGIH and ASHRAE.
Carbon Dioxide Exposure Limits
Acceptable Exposure Limit
Please note that the adequacy of ventilation must not be solely based on this carbon dioxide value since intermittent accumulations of other pollutants, including microbes and VOCs, may occur even when carbon dioxide concentrations are below 800 ppm.
Indoor carbon monoxide levels should generally mirror those of outdoor background levels, which range from 0 to 1 ppm for rural areas and 2 to 5 ppm for metropolitan areas. Indoor levels should never exceed the 9 ppm limit set by the EPA for prevailing outdoor levels. When indoor levels of carbon monoxide exceed 9 ppm, they are usually traced to the ingress of vehicle exhaust fumes or fumes leaking from poorly ventilated areas with combustion sources, such as furnaces, stoves and boilers in the building. Because contamination from this gas is so insidious due to its being odorless and colorless, the only way to provide assurance that this gas is not present in buildings is through routine or automated monitoring and testing.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Many of today's building materials, finishes and furnishings are fabricated from synthetic materials, usually man-made, petroleum-based fibers and plastics. In addition, resins and adhesives are used to bond these various components together. The curing process of many of these jointing compounds involves the evaporation of organic solvents. The chemicals that are released are collectively referred to as VOCs. Some of the common classes of these compounds found in buildings include aromatics, aldehydes, esters and hydrocarbons.
Obviously, VOCs originate from hundreds of different sources, and literally thousands of different chemicals are involved. Fortunately, they are normally present in very dilute concentrations in the air, usually only measurable in parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb). These VOCs are more likely to be a problem in the typical home environment than the office or health-care environment, since concentrations in the home are usually higher, mainly due to low air exchange rates. When an office building is new, however, levels will tend to be higher with most compounds off-gassing quickly. The best way to control the level of VOCs within a building is to use low-emitting products and to use exhaust air and pressure principles. These measures, combined with appropriate ventilation policy, will ensure VOCs are maintained to a level that would generally be considered at or below background levels.
Potential sources of VOCs can be carpeting, building materials, laboratories, office supplies, cleaning compounds, human metabolic products, cigarette smoking, office processes such as photocopying and printing, and others. Little is known about the health effects of VOCs at low concentrations typical of nonindustrial settings. However, the symptoms range from unpleasant odors and irritation to general effects such as nausea and headaches.
At present, there is still uncertainty regarding both "no effect" levels of organic vapors and the role of environmental factors in influencing human response. The range of concentrations producing symptoms and the intensity of symptoms may be influenced by individual sensitivity and the presence of other contaminants.
A recent study addressed the relationship between low-level VOC exposures and human health. The study established epidemiological and biological models of human response so that it could compare the results of numerous field investigations and controlled experiments conducted over several years. The study reached the following conclusions:
•The "no effect" level is about 0.2 mg/m3.
•A multi-factorial exposure range exists from 0.2 mg/m3 to 3 mg/m3 in which odor, irritation and discomfort may appear as a consequence of VOC exposure if other exposures (temperature, humidity, etc.) contribute to the etiology.
•Effects are always expected above 3 mg/m3 and
•Irritation symptoms have been documented at 5 mg/m3 in controlled-exposure experiments.
Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas. It is constantly produced in the earth's crust by the natural radioactive decay or breakdown of the elements uranium and radium. Background levels of radon can therefore be found anywhere in the atmosphere, usually in small amounts. Radon is generated in all soil materials but is present in large amounts where heavy deposits of uranium and radium occur, such as shale and granite rock. Larger concentrations can also be found in buildings located on weathered and porous soils. Pollution by radon is far more prevalent in homes than in commercial buildings, primarily because of the lower air exchange rates in residential buildings, and the fact that these structures have a larger area of exposure to soil relative to building volume and soil leakage area.
An increased risk of lung cancer is the only health hazard associated with radon exposure. The increased cancer deaths among uranium miners are the basis for this assertion. No other acute or chronic health effects have been found for airborne radon.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements has recommended an action level of 8 pCi/1 (picocuries per liter of air). The U.S. EPA recommends an action level of 4 pCi/1. Four pCi/1 is the average concentration at which some corrective action may be recommended, depending on additional sampling results. The higher the concentration above the 4 pCi/1 level, the greater the potential health risk.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Environmental Measurements Laboratory recommends "prompt remedial action" if the radon level exceeds 30 pCi/1.
The following paragraphs summarize the relationship between the guidelines and the actual data. It is important to note that the guidelines
and health associated with radon exposure are based on continuous average exposure levels. Potential health risks associated with radon are based on all of the following exposure factors:
(1)18 hours of exposure per day,
(2)length of exposure based on approximately 70 years, and
(3)average concentrations of radon.
The 4 pCi/1 concentration was selected by the EPA because it equals one cumulative working level month (WLM) per year, which is considered to be a "safe" exposure level. Therefore, in order to reach a cumulative total of one WLM per year, an individual needs to have an exposure of 4 pCi/1 for 8,500 hours (354.2 days) per year or 8 pCi/1 for 4,250 hours (177.1 days) per year.
Radon samples can be collected by using the 48-hour passive activated charcoal method, which makes use of the diffusion property of radon gas to enter an open canister of activated charcoal. The canisters are sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Total Airborne Particles
All indoor air was once outdoor air, and therefore contains fractions of typical atmospheric pollutants, including particles generated by natural sources as diverse as volcanoes, fires and man-made particles produced from industrial sites, power plants, mining operations, transportation, agricultural processes and construction and occupant activities.
The levels of airborne particle contamination inside a building depend on many variable factors. The amount of outdoor air that is brought into the building and the variable amounts of dust contained in the air due to varying outdoor conditions will affect indoor airborne particle contamination. Such factors include weather, traffic density and nearby construction activities. The building's air supply system also will affect the indoor airborne particle contamination through such varying factors as the type of filtration, amount of recirculated air, and type and condition of air-handling equipment, including air supply ductwork. Once the supply air enters the receiving areas, indoor airborne particle contamination will vary depending upon the types of activities carried out in an area, the number of people in an area and whether the area contains a significant amount of textile furnishings.
For total airborne particulates (nuisance dusts), ASHRAE recommends using the EPA's National Primary Ambient Air Quality Standards for Outdoor Air, which set 0.26 mg/ml as a maximum concentration for a 24-hour period. Generally speaking, dusts only cause transient irritations and are not the cause of acute or chronic health effects.
Absolute standards of air cleanliness can only readily be applied where air of very low particulate content is required and supplied. Such areas include hospital operating rooms, pharmaceutical filling areas, and special-care procedures or processes areas where high-efficiency filters and other airborne dust-reducing equipment is used. Thus, these areas require high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems to keep airborne particles of all sizes to a minimum.
HEPA filters have numerous applications in health-care facilities, but for the requirements of commercial buildings this type of filtration can be impractical. Most concern is and should be placed on the particles that have the most impact on the health of the people exposed or the total airborne dusts that are in the size range that can be drawn directly into a person's lungs during normal breathing activity. The nose filters out most of the particles of about 10 to 15 microns and then the cilia in the windpipe and throat capture and expel the particles from about 5 to 10 microns, leaving only the finer particles of 5 microns or less in diameter that can penetrate into the lungs. This fraction of airborne particulate contamination is called Respirable Suspended Particulate (RSP). Filtration systems having minimum efficiency ratings of 30 percent but preferably 60 percent according to the ASHRAE Dust Spot Efficiency Tests are the first line of defense in controlling indoor RSP.
In addition to indoor airborne particulate contamination, various fibers that are present in the indoor air, such as wool, cotton and synthetic fibers, must be considered. These fibers are all classified as nuisance dusts or total dusts not containing asbestos.
Prior to 1973, asbestos was the material of choice for fireproofing, thermal insulation and sound insulation. It was used as a spray-on insulation in buildings, as a thermal insulation on pipes, as an abrasion-resistant filler in vinyl flooring and as a bulking material with the best wear characteristic for auto brake pads. Many of these asbestos-containing materials or products are of no health risk whatsoever when used in the normal course of events. If, however, for any reason of wear, abra-
sion, friability or water damage, any of the asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled into people's lungs, there is a health hazard. The scientific evaluation of all available data provides no evidence for a safe level of airborne asbestos exposure; thus any quantity should be considered potentially dangerous. However, recent data show no discernible increase in disease with low exposure from asbestos in buildings.
There are some suggestions that glass fiber fragments will accumulate in the lungs and cause later problems as is the case with asbestos. Regardless of the risk, some fragmentation does occur from fibrous glass insulation materials. This fragmentation is especially noticeable when the loose insulation, popularly used in ceiling voids, is disturbed. Most individuals will experience itching on contact with fibrous glass—dermatitistype reactions are frequent due to airborne fibrous glass particles. Also, these fibers can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and can be especially bothersome to contact lens wearers. Fibrous glass is currently classified as a nuisance dust, but based on its potential as an irritant if airborne, measures should be taken to limit exposure to it.
Biological contaminants are present in all indoor and outdoor environments and come from a variety of sources, including soil, plants, animals and people. Biological contaminants can be pathogenic (disease-producing) or non-pathogenic. Non-pathogenic biological contaminants do not generally infect human beings but some can invoke allergies or produce toxic by-products.
Existing standards and guidelines do not address biological contaminants, yet biological contaminants pose significant IAQ problems and have been shown to be the leading source contaminant in several studies involving hundreds of sick buildings. Surface sampling for biological contaminants is often difficult to interpret, due to irregularities in surface sampling methodologies. Results from surface or airborne sampling should therefore be judged in a qualitative sense, with excessive numbers of known allergenic species viewed as a potential for risk. Such sampling would view elevated levels of fungal allergens, such as Altemaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium species, to be problematic. From a quantitative standpoint, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) suggests that
indoor levels of bioaerosols should be less than one-third of outdoor levels where outdoor air is the only source, and should be qualitatively similar.
Some molds/fungi are known to produce toxins. These toxins may induce direct toxic effects as well as immunosuppression. At low concentrations, some toxins produce gastrointestinal illnesses and suppress blood production. The concentration of toxins in the spores of toxigenic fungi is often very high. The effects of these poisons are primarily known from cases of ingestion, but these toxins may have an effect when inhaled in high concentrations. Most toxins are associated with agricultural settings, where fungal concentrations tend to be significantly higher.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as allergic alveolitis or Farmer's Lung Disease, is the most serious form of allergic response that may be related to buildings. This illness is associated with a number of common bacteria, fungi and parasites. Induction usually requires high doses, but once sensitized an individual is vulnerable to low levels of the antigen and continued exposure can result in death.
Fungi are unicellular or multicellular organisms. Fungi reproduce asexually and often form spores as the reproductive units. Spores can be resistant to long periods of dryness and chemical exposure. In active or vegetative growth stages fungi form hyphae (angel hair)-like structures that secrete enzymes to degrade the growth substrate and assimilate nutrients. Fungi can cause allergic reactions and invasive infections in animals and humans. Active fungal growth should not be a part of the normal indoor flora in commercial, institutional or residential structures. However, spores are often introduced into buildings by outdoor air, materials and occupants entering the building. Controlling active fungal growth indoors is multi-factorial. The building structure should be engineered to control moisture, the interior surfaces should be protected against becoming amplification sites and conscientious maintenance and monitoring programs should be in place.
Bacteria may be divided into two main groups: gram-positive and gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria include staphylococcus (staph) and streptococcus (strep), both notorious for their human infections. Gram-negative bacteria include salmonella and other common strains
that cause food poisoning and other infections. Perhaps the best-known environmental bacterium is the Legionella bacillus.
Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. This illness was first identified during an epidemic at a Legionnaires' convention in a Philadelphia hotel in 1976, which affected 182 persons and caused 29 deaths. Sources of the bacterium include aerosols from cooling towers, evaporative condensers, humidifiers and even shower heads. Legionnaires' disease is treatable, provided early diagnosis is made, but can have serious consequences in susceptible populations including the aged and infirm.
Legionella causes two diseases. Legionnaires' disease, the most commonly known of the two diseases, appears as a form of pneumonia. The incubation period may range from 2 to 10 days, but it is usually 3 to 6 days. Clinically, the early symptoms of the disease are characterized by muscle aches, malaise and headache. Soon after, high fever and shaking chills develop. Most patients suffer from dyspnea (difficulty breathing) and abdominal pain; in addition, gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) may occur. Approximately 5% of exposed individuals develop the disease, which has a fatality rate of 10% to 15%.
It is believed that only viable organisms cause Legionnaires' disease. Results from direct culture on media yield colony-forming units per milliliter of water (cfu/ml), species and serogroup. There are known species and 50 serogroups of Legionella. Legionella pneumophila, serogroup I, is most frequently implicated in causing disease. Therefore, determining species and serogroup is important, especially in the case of a potential outbreak.
Legionella bacteria growth can occur in water temperatures between 68°F and 113°F; however, 95°F to 99°F is the optimal growth temperature range. Legionella bacteria can tolerate wide ranges of environmental conditions, such as pH from 2.0 to 8.0.
To check for Legionella, collect water samples directly into 100 milliliter (ml) sterile propylene bottles. Pack in styrofoam to protect them from extreme changes in temperature and express send to an accredited analytical laboratory. The samples will be analyzed by direct culture on media.
Pontiac fever, named after a 1968 building epidemic in Pontiac, Michigan, is caused by the same bacterium that causes Legionnaires'
disease. Unlike Legionnaires' disease, however, Pontiac fever is a short-term (two to five days) illness characterized by fever, chills, headache and muscle ache, and sometimes coughing, sore throat, chest pains, nausea or diarrhea. Pontiac fever is not fatal but nearly 100 percent of those exposed to the bacterium get the disease.
Samples for airborne bacteria are collected directly on petri dishes containing malt extract agar. In addition to plate counts, samples are collected on malt extract agar plates for identification of predominant taxa of yeasts and molds. The identification procedure further identifies potential allergens and/or pathogens and determines, depending on their airborne concentration, the potential for the manifestation of health effects such as allergic rhinitis, humidifier fever, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and asthma.
Yeasts and molds may be free-floating or attached to particles such as dust, lint, skin, generated aerosols, contagion and dander. Previously wetted or soiled carpeting also provides a good growth medium and can be a potential amplification source for bacteria, yeasts and molds introduced into the indoor environment by building occupants and/or ventilation systems. Airborne yeasts and molds can obtain nutrients from decaying organic material (e.g., wet ceiling tiles, carpeting, grass, wood, leaves, dust, etc.). It is important to note that these organic materials are available in both the indoor and outdoor environments. Some species of yeasts and molds can be allergenic and others pathogenic (i.e., they can grow in the lungs, nasal passages or on the skin).
For yeasts, molds and bacteria to colonize and thrive, there are three primary factors that need to be present. First, there must be suitable substrates to provide organic matter for the organism to feed on. In most outdoor and indoor environments, it is almost impossible to eliminate completely the sources of organic material, but obvious sources can be controlled and minimized. Secondly, the organisms need a source of moisture to sustain and promote growth. Standing water and high relative humidity levels create conditions that can lead to the colonization of organisms. For example, below 30% relative humidity, little interior mold growth occurs except on locally wet surfaces.
Finally, the temperature range to which the organisms are exposed affects the potential for harboring growth. In areas where seasonal temperatures fall below freezing, a significant decrease in outdoor airborne
spore concentrations occurs due to decreased spore production.
In its Guidelines for Assessment and Sampling of Saprophytic Bioaerosols in the Indoor Environment, the Bioaerosols Committee of the ACGIH notes that "during the growing season, outdoor fungus (yeast and mold) spore levels routinely range from 1,000/m3 to 100,000/m3 of air. Indoor levels should be less than one-third of outdoor levels where outdoor air is the only source, and should be qualitatively similar."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not currently regulate bioaerosols, and there is no established permissible exposure limit (PEL) for yeasts and molds. The OSHA Technical Manual recommends that 1,000 colony-forming units per cubic meter of air (cfu/m3) be used as a "trigger" for evaluating airborne yeasts and molds. Levels in excess of 1,000 cfu/m3 do not necessarily imply that the conditions are unsafe or hazardous, but that the potential for health effects exists based on the type and concentrations of airborne microorganisms.
Pathogens (infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses) are communicated by airborne transmission, by physical contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. The common cold virus, the tuberculosis bacterium and the influenza virus are examples of pathogens. Most airborne pathogens are spread directly by person-to-person transmission, but poor ventilation or the presence of airborne irritants can increase infection rates. In these instances, people are the source of the infectious disease. The best controls in the workplace are good hygiene (washing hands and surfaces), isolation (keeping sick people home), and, in a few cases, inoculation. Infectious bacteria, which proliferate in humidifiers, cooling towers, air conditioners and in other building components, have been implicated in epidemics, including outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever. Eliminating accidental water sources, controlling humidity and good systems hygiene can be effective in controlling these organisms.
Allergenic agents provoke an allergic (hypersensitive) reaction in a subset of around 15% to 20% of the population. While some chemicals known as sensitizers can provoke allergic responses, most allergens are biological and include both living organisms and breakdown products.
Living organisms that provoke such responses include: molds, fungi, amoebae, algae and bacteria. Nonviable agents include fecal material of house dust mites, cockroaches and insects, animal dander, nonviable remains of molds and fungi and their spores, dried animal excretions and pollens. Common allergic illnesses include allergic rhinitis, hay fever, bronchial asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Formaldehyde in its pure form is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. The odor threshold for formaldehyde is approximately 1.0 part per million (ppm). Sources that contain formaldehyde and that may result in potential exposure are urea formaldehyde resinous products, office furnishings, cigarette smoke, laboratories, dialysis, OR suites, permanent press fabrics, vehicular exhaust, cosmetics, shampoo, air fresheners, fungicides, etc.
Health effects from formaldehyde are well documented. However, because formaldehyde is a sensitizer, it is important to remember that certain individuals may react differently. Most of the signs and symptoms of formaldehyde exposure are related to irritations of the eyes, throat and upper respiratory tract. Irritation is characterized by burning eyes, tearing and itching. The lowest known concentration causing these symptoms is approximately 0.1 ppm; however, it is typically 0.3 ppm. As concentration increases, the irritation spreads to the lower respiratory tract. Exposure to 50 ppm may result in tearing of the eye, pulmonary reactions, pneumonia, bronchial inflammation and pulmonary edema. Exposure to 100 ppm could result in death after 30 minutes. The carcinogenic potential of formaldehyde in humans has not been proven; however, animal studies have indicated that it is a potential animal carcinogen. The ASHRAE-recommended guideline for acceptable IAQ is based on a World Health Organization guideline and is 0.1 ppm, while the current OSHA-permissible exposure limit is 0.75 ppm.
Air sampling can be conducted utilizing passive sampling badges when sampling for more than a 4-hour period. The room air is passively adsorbed into the sampling media. Analysis of the badges is conducted in accordance with NIOSH Method 3500.
There are currently three sets of recommended guidelines for exposure to formaldehyde as determined by OSHA and ACGIH for industry and by ASHRAE for IAQ:
Formaldehyde Exposure Limits
Acceptable Exposure Limits
0.3 ppm (action level)
2.0 ppm (STEL)
0.1 ppm (Ceiling)
Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Again, although the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has prohibited smoking in healthcare facilities, ETS is typically found via infiltration from inadequately pressurized or segregated smoking areas/lounges.
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is produced by a combustion process which, like many other burning activities (gas, coal, oil, wood, kerosene, etc.), yields thousands of airborne constituents, some of which are suspect carcinogens. Some studies indicate that ETS has been associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. Other studies link ETS exposure with an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections in children and an exacerbation of some preexisting conditions such as asthma.
ETS cannot be measured directly in indoor environments because it is a complex mixture of constituents, many of which may also arise from other sources. As a result, most studies of ETS concentrations have, instead, focused on particular constituents of ETS as proxies for total ETS concentration. These constituents include nicotine, carbon monoxide and airborne particulates.
Pesticides commonly found indoors during the Non-occupational Pesticide Exposure Survey (NOPES) conducted in 1986 by the EPA include some that have been banned for years. The active chemicals in some of these pesticides, such as chlordane, have chemical activity half lives of up to 26 years. The study revealed that the dust indoors contains a major portion of the pesticides in the interior space. Contaminated dusts are also brought in from the outside by HVAC systems and on the
clothing and shoes of building occupants.
The EPA has taken a series of actions that have led to the withdrawal from the marketplace of a family of pesticides, including chlordane, heptachlor, aldrin and dieldrin. Short-term effects from high levels of these pesticides are associated with such symptoms as headaches, dizziness, muscle twitching, weakness, tingling sensations and nausea. Potential long-term effects include damage to the liver and the central nervous system, as well as increased risk of cancer.
It is not possible to list all of the various health effects from exposure to the many pesticides currently on the market. If an exposure is suspected and ill health effects are experienced, the local poison control center should be contacted.
Lead is one of the oldest known pollutants and its toxic effects have been recognized for centuries. Lead toxicity continues to be a significant public health problem, especially for children. Lead paint in older facilities is now recognized as a primary high-dose source of lead in children. Children may eat chips from peeling paint or even ingest lead by sucking their fingers after their hands have been in contact with lead-contaminated dusts in the window wells. Raising and lowering sash-type windows abrades the paint which falls onto the window sills and accumulates in the window wells.
Lead is a highly toxic pollutant and lead poisoning is characterized by loss of appetite, muscle pain, constipation, irritability and lethargy. In high doses, lead can cause permanent neurological damage and even death. Chronic exposure to low doses has produced neuro-psychological effects and behavior disorders in children. The discovery of a continuum of health effects from even very low dosages has caused many scientists to conclude that there is no demonstrated safe level of lead.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs belong to the family of organic compounds known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were produced in the U.S. between 1929 and 1977, until the primary U.S. manufacturer voluntarily stopped making them because of mounting public concern over their harmful environmental effects. Most PCBs were sold for use as dielectric fluids (insulating liquids) in electrical transformers and capacitors. Although PCBs are no longer being made in this country for this use, many electrical trans-
formers and capacitors once filled with PCBs are still in service. Today, federal law prohibits the manufacture of PCBs, controls the phaseout of their existing uses and sees to their safe disposal.
Thermal comfort is defined as the mindset that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. This satisfaction is based on a complex, subjective response to several variables that cause relative degrees of human comfort or discomfort. The design, construction and use of an occupied space, as well as the design, construction and operation of its heating and air-conditioning systems, will determine the degree of satisfaction with the thermal environment.
Individual preferences regarding the thermal environment vary. The perception of comfort relates to an individual's physical activity, body heat exchange with the surroundings and physiological characteristics. The heat exchange between an individual and the surroundings is influenced by the following variables:
•amount of clothing
While ideal thermal conditions are complicated to define for any one individual in a particular setting, ASHRAE has produced a consensus standard (ASHRAE 55-1992, "Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy") based upon experience and research that specifies conditions (described in the following figure) likely to be acceptable to at least 80% of the adult occupants of a space. The temperatures and humidity conditions described are for light sedentary activity (typical office work) with normal levels of seasonal clothing and typical levels of air movement.
ASHRAE recommends comfort temperature ranges of 68°F to 75°F for winter (heating season) and 73°F to 79°F for summer (cooling season). The optimum humidity range for offices is generally considered to be between 30% and 60%. Relative humidities above 60% inhibit evaporation from the skin, giving a sticky, uncomfortable feeling. Relative hu-
midities above 70% can directly lead to condensation problems and result in excessive fungal and mold infestations. Below relative humidities of 20%, the mucus membranes of the nasal passages, throat and eyes begin to dry out, possibly rendering building occupants more susceptible to infections or irritation from other pollutants.
According to ASHRAE 55-1981, RH levels should be maintained, whenever possible, between 40% and 55% for comfort purposes; however, 30 to 55% is tolerable for most individuals. Wide ranges of RH within a building are common, primarily due to temperature differential. This range can be exemplified as follows: if room air contains 8 mg (milligrams) of water per liter of air at 65°F, the RH will be 46%; however, if this same space is heated to 78°F, the RH will drop to 34%.
Whenever individual comfort is an issue, there will be a wide range of acceptable limits, depending on, among other things, an individual's age, gender, physical fitness, activities and clothing. ASHRAE defines acceptable IAQ, which includes RH and temperature, as "air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities and with which a substantial majority (80% or more) of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction."
HVAC design, operation and maintenance has been discussed earlier in this chapter; but it is important to note that buildings when built- or renovated must conform to the code of the municipality in which they are located. Generally, this is the Building Officials and Code Administration (BOCA) Code, which requires a particular total supply airflow based on occupancy classification.
Regarding recirculation of air, the BOCA Code states that a maximum of 67% of the required ventilation air shall be permitted to be recirculated as long as the average annual concentration of particulates is less than 0.075 milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/ml). However, all air in excess of the required ventilation air shall be permitted to be recirculated. Finally, a maximum of 85% of the required ventilation air may be recirculated when the system is equipped with effective adsorption or filtering equipment such that the air supplied to the space meets the EPA's National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
The important point to remember about the BOCA Code is that it addresses neither the concentrations of airborne contaminants generated by occupants or processes, nor the effectiveness of the HVAC system in
delivering the fresh air to the occupants' breathing zone. Its greatest flaw is that it does not address these potential health issues.
ASHRAE recommends that the rate at which fresh outdoor makeup air is delivered into a room be determined by multiplying the number of occupants normally expected at any one moment by 20 cfm of fresh outdoor makeup air. This outdoor makeup air rate is based on estimated maximum occupancy of 7 people per 1,000 sq. ft. of floor space (i.e., 20 occupants × 20 cfm = 400 cubic feet of fresh outdoor makeup air per minute. The goal is to maintain CO2 concentrations at or below 1,000 ppm and to dilute the concentration of micro-contaminants. In smoking lounges, ASHRAE recommends that fresh outdoor makeup air be supplied at 60 cfm per person with local mechanical exhaust and no recirculation.
With regard to the exhaust system in restrooms, the BOCA Code recommends sufficient total exhaust volumes to maintain odors at an acceptable level or 75 cfm per water closet or urinal, whichever is greater. However, ASHRAE recommends exhaust volumes of 50 cfm per water closet or urinal. In either case, placement of the exhaust opening in a restroom in relation to the supply air and water closet(s) is more important than the total exhaust volume. Therefore, both issues need to be addressed when making recommendations for corrective action.
Refer to ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 and ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook for recommended airflows, pressure relationships, air change rates, exhaust and recirculation specifications and filter application efficiencies for specific use areas.
Many other physical and psychosocial factors can affect satisfaction with the indoor environment. Lighting quality, noise levels, drafts, personal odors, interpersonal relations and many other conditions interact to affect people's general comfort and their level of satisfaction with the IAQ. All of these different factors can have a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
Stresses from inadequate or poorly designed lighting (i.e., lighting that produces glare, flicker or poor illumination of work surfaces) can produce symptoms such as eyestrain and headaches. These complaints are sometimes interpreted as signs of poor IAQ. Lighting problems may be evident in large areas or localized in particular work spaces.
Lighting surveys are conducted to identify potential problems associated with the luminaires. These surveys address work object contrast, size of print, or time allowed to do the task, which together with luminance define the visibility of a task. Lumins are measured and compared to the guidelines recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America for interior lighting for the minimum task of reading high-contrast or well-printed materials (see Table 5-2).
Noisy surroundings can reduce the ability to concentrate and produce stress-related symptoms such as headaches. Noise can also contribute to job dissatisfaction, particularly if the problem is caused by over-crowding or other factors likely to produce a sense of substandard work conditions. The ear habituates quickly so a complainant can be unaware of a constant or regular sound. Investigators should recognize that noise can be a source of stress, even if it is not reported as a problem.
Low-frequency vibration is another source of stress that may go unreported by building occupants or become confused with pollutant problems. Vibration can be caused by nearby machinery or movement of the building as a whole; motion sickness has been reported in some high-rise buildings that sway in the wind.
Fatigue, circulation problems and other physical problems can be produced by furniture that is mismatched to the task, such as chairs that are the wrong height for computer terminals. When investigators inquire about whether new furniture has recently been installed in the problem area (to determine if the furniture could be contributing to increased contaminant levels such as VOCs off-gassing), they should also ask about other changes in the workstations, such as furniture rearrangement or new office equipment.
Stresses due to poor labor-management relations, occupant disputes or other interpersonal problems can reduce tolerance for inadequacies in the indoor environment. Psychosocial factors may be suspected as a complication of the IAQ complaint if the investigator is aware of friction over working conditions, lease arrangements or other issues. Even if
Table 5-2. Levels of Illumination Currently Recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES)
Foot Candles (FC)
Detailed drafting and designing cartography
Rough layout drafting
Auditing, tabulation, bookkeeping, business machine operation, computer operation
Reading poor reproductions, business machine operation, computer operation
Reading handwriting in hard pencil or on poor paper, reading fair reproductions, active filing, mail sorting
Reading handwriting in ink or medium pencil on good-quality paper.
Reading high-contrast or well-printed materials
conferring and interviewing
Critical seeing tasks
Note-taking during projection (variable)
interpersonal stresses may be contributing to perceptions of poor IAQ, the investigator should not assume that the occupant's complaints are unfounded. It is possible that psychosocial problems have simply produced heightened sensitivity to substandard environmental conditions.
It is vital that the individual and the health-care professional comprise a cooperative diagnostic team in analyzing symptomatic (Table 5-3), timing (Table 5-4) and spatial (Table 5-5) patterns that may provide clues to a complaint's link with indoor air pollution. A diary or log of symptoms correlated with time and place may prove helpful. If an association between symptoms and events or conditions in the home or workplace is not volunteered by the individual, answers to the following questions may be useful, together with the medical history.
Table 5-3. Addressing Potential Symptom Patterns
• Check HVAC condition and operation.
• Measure indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity. See if extreme conditions exceed design capacity of HVAC equipment.
• Check for drafts and stagnant areas.
• Check for excessive radiant heat gain or loss.
Common Symptom Groups: Headache, lethargy
If onset was acute (sudden and/or severe), arrange for medical evaluation, as the problem may be carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Check combustion sources for uncontrolled emissions or spillage.
• Check outdoor air intakes for nearby sources of combustion fumes. Consider evacuation/medical evaluation if problem isn't corrected quickly.
• Consider other pollutant sources.
• Check overall ventilation; see if areas of poor ventilation coincide with complaints.
Congestion; swelling, itching or irritation of eyes, nose or throat; dry throat; may be accompanied by nonspecific symptoms (e.g., headache, fatigue, nausea)
May be allergic response, if only a small number is affected; more likely to be irrational response if a large number is affected.
• Urge medical attention for allergies.
• Check for dust or gross microbial contamination due to sanitation problems, water damage or contaminated ventilation system.
• Check outdoor allergen levels (e.g., pollen counts).
• Check closely for sources of irritating chemicals such as formaldehyde or those found in some solvents.
Cough; shortness of breath; fever, chills and/or fatigue after return to the building
May be hypersensitivity pneumonitis or humidifier fever. A medical evaluation can help identify possible causes.
• Check for gross microbial contamination due to sanitation problems, water damage or contaminated HVAC system.
May be Legionnaire's disease, histoplasmosis or tuberculosis; related to bacteria or fungi found in the environment.
• Contact your local or State Health Department for guidance.
Suspected cluster of rare or serious health problems such as cancer, miscarriages, etc.
• Contact your local or State Health Department for guidance.
Other Stressors: Discomfort and/or health complaints that cannot be readily ascribed to air contaminants or thermal conditions
Check for problems or causes with:
• Environmental (i.e., lighting, noise, space design, etc.)
• Psychosocial stressors, such as job-related, personal, phobias, etc.
Source: EPA, Building Air Quality—A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers, 1991.
Table 5-4. Addressing Potential Timing Patterns
Symptoms begin and/or are worst at the start of the occupied period
Review HVAC operating cycles. Emissions from building materials, or from the HVAC system itself, may build up during unoccupied periods.
Symptoms worsen over course of occupied period
Consider that ventilation may not be adequate to handle routine activities or operations within the building.
Look for daily, weekly or seasonal cycles or weather-related patterns, and check linkage to other events in and around the building.
Single event of symptoms
Consider spills, other unrepeated events as sources.
Recent onset of symptoms
Ask staff and occupants to describe recent changes of events (e.g., remodeling, renovation, redecorating, HVAC system adjustments, leaks or spills).
Symptoms relieved on leaving the building, either immediately, overnight or (in some cases) after extended periods away from the building
Consider that the problem is likely to be building-related, though not necessarily due to air quality. Other stressors (e.g., lighting, noise) may be involved.
Symptoms never relieved, even after extended absence from building (e.g., vacations)
Consider that the problem may not be building-related.
Source: EPA, Building Air Quality—A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers, 1991.
Table 5-5. Addressing Potential Spatial Patterns
Widespread, no apparent spatial pattern
• Check ventilation and temperature control for entire building.
• Check outdoor air quality.
• Review sources that are spread throughout building (e.g., cleaning materials)
• Consider explanations other than air contaminants.
Localized (e.g., affecting individual rooms, zones, or air handling systems)
• Check ventilation and temperature control within the complaint areas.
• Review pollutant sources affecting the complaint area.
• Check local HVAC system components that may be acting as sources or distributors of pollutants.
• Check for drafts, radiant heat (gain or loss, and other localized temperature control or ventilation problems near the affected individual(s).
• Review local pollutant source(s) near the affected individual(s).
• Consider that common background sources may affect only susceptible individual(s).
• Consider the possibility that individual complaints may have different causes that are not necessarily related to the building (particularly if symptoms differ among the individuals).
Source: EPA, Building Air Quality—A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers, 1991.
Having earlier discussed the typical source categories, let's discuss how to identify potential specific causes of the symptoms that employees are exhibiting. You will need to keep an accurate log of these and other findings for problem identification, future reference and survey documentation.
In the first phase, it is important to solicit information on symptoms and other concerns/opinions/input from employees, particularly with regard to types (of occurrences), frequency and locations. Collecting information related to the employees will help identify patterns that can be used to identify the cause(s) and thereby assist in the investigation.
The health professional can investigate further by matching the individual's signs and symptoms to those pollutants with which they may be associated, as detailed in the discussions of various pollutant categories.
•When did the (symptom or complaint) begin?
•Does the (symptom or complaint) exist all the time, or does it come and go? That is, is it associated with times of day, days of the week, or seasons of the year?
•(If so) Are you usually in a particular place at those times?
•Does the problem abate or cease, either immediately or gradually, when you leave there? Does it recur when you return?
•What is your work? Have you recently changed employers or assignments, or has your employer recently changed location?
•(If not) Has the place where you work been redecorated or refinished, or have you recently started working with new or different materials or equipment? (These may include pesticides, cleaning products, craft supplies, et al.)
•What is the smoking policy at your workplace? Are you exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at work, school, home, etc.?
•Describe your work area.
•Have you recently changed your place of residence?
•(If not) Have you made any recent changes in, or additions to, your home?
•Have you, or has anyone else in your family, recently started a new hobby or other activity?
•Have you recently acquired a new pet?
•Does anyone else in your home have a similar problem? How about anyone with whom you work? (An affirmative reply may suggest either a common source or a communicable condition.)
The following distribution of IAQ complaints (investigated as a cause of poor IAQ) was reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Scarry, 1994):
Indoor Air Quality Complaints Causes
Construction and furnishings
METHODS FOR MITIGATION
Although mitigation is the last step in the resolution of an IAQ problem, it is often the most misunderstood. Mitigation should only be conducted after all identification and evaluation of the problem have been properly completed. If this is not the case, mitigation may not be successful and, therefore, resources used to that point may not be effectively spent. There are two general approaches (or a combination) to take for mitigation: engineering and administrative.
Engineering controls initially include any changes to the physical plant or changes in chemicals used (substitution). These changes are generally considered to be independent of employee interaction; however, that is not entirely correct. Engineering controls include:
•Balance HVAC system(s)
•Change outdoor air quantities
•Increase air changes per hour
•Adjust temperature and/or relative humidity
•Change filtration efficiencies
•Remove microbial growth
•Clean up surface contamination
•Perform preventive maintenance on systems
•Connect piping to plumbing systems
•Tighten up air distribution ducts
•Change chemical cleaners
•Install new exhausts
•Comply with OSHA IAQ proposed regulation
•Comply with ASHRAE 62-1989
•Implement water treatment
(Please note that personal protective equipment that is used in reducing exposures to specific compounds is not an option for IAQ exposures.)
Administrative changes are more related to employees and include training and changing responsibilities. In short, these changes require interaction and, as such, may prove to be more difficult to maintain at a high level of performance. Administrative controls include:
•Educate employees on IAQ
•Train for specific responsibilities
•Transfer BRI (building-related illness) and MCS (multiple-chemical sensitivity) cases
•Develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) for proactive IAQ management
•Meet to discuss the progress
To ensure completion of the IAQ project, it will be necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of any implemented control(s). This last step ensures that the employees' needs have been adequately addressed.
Conducting a self-assessment to resolve IAQ complaints is not difficult to accomplish in most cases. What is required is sincere and rapid response to an employee problem. Whether a problem is real or perceived can only be determined upon completion of an assessment. The following information provided will provide a good understanding of how to address IAQ problems internally. If there is a need to go to a consultant, the reader will better understand what is being provided.
BASELINE SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE
(1)Has a formal complaint-documentation system been established and communicated to employees?
(2)Has a specific process/function questionnaire been distributed to all affected employees?
(3)Has the affected employee's perceptions of causes of the alleged IAQ problem(s), and symptoms of exposure, been determined? (not necessarily quantified)
(4)Have all the different activities/employee processes and procedures, from shift to shift and worker/worker group, been noted?
(5)Has the number of employees per area (e.g., floor, section, department, wing, medical group, etc.) been noted?
(6)Has a walk-through investigation, including interviews and discussions with affected employees, been completed, taking into account what the employees perceive as the causative factor(s), i.e., chemicals, management, etc.?
(7)Has the observation of tasks being done, with attention to workstation design, been completed?
(8)Has the identification of key employees and their involvement in the mitigation project been accomplished?
(9)Has the management and labor relationship been identified and its potential impact on the issue been determined?
(10)Has the need for medical input to evaluate each case been assessed? (Look for commonalities, clusters, etc.)
Note activities in adjacent areas on same floor and adjacent floor. Also, note airflow to or from these areas (see question 6).
(1)Obtain diagram or engineering drawings of floor/room/area layout.
(2)Age of building?
(3)Is building being used as originally designed?
(4)Have population/workgroup densities increased significantly?
(5)Is the area used per its original design, or have renovations taken place? Has ventilation effectiveness been altered by walls, doors, additions?
(6)Identify special-purpose rooms (darkroom, laboratories, blue-print machines, copier rooms, laboratories) that need exhaust ventilation.
(7)Check for placement of exhaust grille, air supply diffusers and contaminants. Note contaminants. Take airflow measurements. Evaluate the need for additional sampling.
(8)Note location of doors and direction of airflows into or out of area of concern. Is the area under positive or negative pressure? Check direction with smoke tubes. NOTE: Ask if any employee in the area has any respiratory problem, e.g., asthma, before using smoke. Check velocity. Obtain door size; note that air movement may vary between top and bottom of doorway.
(9)Look for deposits of dirt, etc., on desks, cabinets, under or near air supply diffusers. Ask employees in the area if they notice dirt, etc., on surfaces, especially when they come to work.
(10)Note any discoloring or "fanning" of dirt on air supply diffuser(s) and ceiling tile.
(11)Note location and height from floor of exhaust openings for contaminant-generating sources.
(12)Look for water damage-stains on ceiling tiles and walls. Identify the cause of damage.
(13)Obtain MSDSs of products used in HVAC treatment, pesticides, cleaning and maintenance products.
(14)Identify stacks from boilers, incinerators, exhausts, etc., from the building and their relationship to fresh air intake(s).
(15)Identify vehicular traffic patterns, parking garages and loading dock(s).
(16)Identify subcontracted work—ventilation maintenance, cleaning and pesticide application.
Analytical Sampling-Oriented Assessments
(1)Establish the appropriate type of survey or assessment application (Table 5-1).
(2)Sample for CO2 in all areas and at varying heights—also, outdoor air. Pay attention to isolated areas, or at ends of these systems. Note the number of occupants in all areas.
(3)Conduct CO2 monitoring in a.m. and p.m. to identify buildup potential. Set up CO2 monitor for 24 hours to get time versus CO2 profile, if justified. Note when occupants enter building.
(4)Conduct carbon monoxide monitoring, if needed, inside and outside loading docks—by fresh air intakes, near gas appliances, emergency generators.
(5)Take relative humidity and temperature readings in all areas and outdoors.
(6)Note noise in the area, type of construction, carpeting, etc. Are surfaces sound-reflective or absorbent?
(7)It is important to note what your senses indicate (i.e., odors, lighting, noise, airflow, etc.)
(8)Evaluate lighting-type, measure illumination (fc), type of work being done (task versus lighting requirements).
(9)Evaluate the need for formaldehyde sampling in recently renovated areas, furniture systems, laboratories, OR suites, and dialysis units.
(10)Evaluate the need for NOx, SOx and other gas sampling, especially in areas where combustion products may be present. Check loading docks, gas appliances and emergency generators.
(11)Evaluate the need for microbial sampling, inside and outside, based on evidence of moisture. Sample visible microbial growth on surfaces or in ductwork.
(12)Conduct total airborne dust or small-particle sampling on a polycarbonate filter for particle size distribution, etc.—elemental identifications.
(13)Evaluate the need for pesticide sampling. Insect infestation may require an entomologist.
(14)Evaluate the need for VOC (total or scan) sampling inside and outdoors.
(15)Sample for Legionella in cooling tower water, domestic hot water.
(16)Sample for lead in paint—important for older buildings.
(17)Identify allergens—(i.e., dust mites, pollen, dander, animal hair, etc.)
(18)Conduct PCB sampling (air/wipes) after fires, or when leaking light ballasts are identified.
HVAC System-Oriented Assessments
(1)Obtain engineering drawing(s) of ventilation system(s), including design specification(s).
(2)Note activities of all areas and number of people served by each ventilation system.
(3)Survey air-handling units (AHUs), main units, heat pumps, etc., for overall housekeeping, direct connection to outdoor air or open louvers in the wall. Note damper settings and locations for outdoor air, return air and relief air.
(4)Look inside air-handling unit for filter type(s), correct size, humidification units. Note any biological/particulate deposits.
(5)Note what is stored in AHU rooms (i.e., chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.)
(6)Obtain maintenance documentation of flow checks (if done), system balancing, filter change and other maintenance.
(7)Obtain information on water treatment for cooling towers, chilled water, hot water, boiler water and steam.
(8)Note fan setting (automatic or continuous run).
(9)Determine if AHUs have separate supply air and return air fans.
(10)Locate fresh outdoor air (OA) intakes. Note conditions surrounding intakes. Confirm outdoor air connection to HVAC systems.
(11)Note activities and industry types surrounding building(s) regarding potential entrainment into fresh air intake.
(12)Note location of fresh outdoor air intake in relation to cooling towers, loading docks or any other building exhaust.
(13)Locate air supply diffusers. Make note of location in relation to doors, size and type of diffuser and velocity.
(14)Locate exhaust and return grilles. Note location in relation to supplies (e.g., regarding short-circuiting), size and velocity (velocity may require cross-sectional measurements).
(15)Talk to responsible person to obtain current information on total air volumes, percent of outdoor fresh air. If possible, get direct readings in ducts.
(16)Does facility have energy management system (EMS) that will minimize fresh outdoor air intake, duty cycling, HVAC turnback?
(17)Return air: Note if ducted or open plenum above ceiling or combination.
(18)Air-conditioning systems. Note cooling towers or air cooling for condensers, condensate drainage, puddling on roof.
(19)Look for blocked-off ducts, air intakes and exhausts.
(20)Identify duct types, construction—fiberglass, metal, etc.
(21)Does HVAC system have humidification system? What type and location?
(22)Any smoking lounges? Determine exhaust and supply airflow rates. Determine exhaust locations.
(23)Identify if HVAC system is constant air volume (CAV) or variable air volume (VAV), and determine minimum damper settings of VAV boxes.
(24)Evaluate condition of any insulation material in mix box and ductwork for integrity, dirt and microbials.
(25)Observe heat exchanges for dirt accumulation.
(26)Observe condition of drip pan, i.e., water drainage, deposits, biological growth, etc.
DESIGNING AND MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BUILDING.
A healthy indoor environment is one with which the surroundings contribute to productivity, comfort and a sense of health and well-being; the indoor air is free from significant levels of odors, dust and contaminants and circulates to prevent stuffiness, without creating drafts; temperature and humidity are appropriate for the season and to the clothing and activity of the building occupants; there is enough light to illuminate work surfaces without creating glare; and noise from building systems does not interfere with occupant activities. A healthy building environment enhances occupant health, comfort and workplace productivity.
Designing a healthy building requires a coordinated effort among architects, engineers, safety and health professionals and interior designers. Generally, a site plan begins the design process. Identification of major outdoor sources of pollutants in the vicinity of the building site and prevailing winds must be considered to allow for correct placement and orientation of air intakes and exhausts. Outside air intakes should not be positioned at ground level or near adverse sources (i.e., loading docks, parking structures, exhausts or cooling towers). Along with addressing these issues during the site-planning phase, architects must also select base building materials. They should examine the manufacturers' material safety data sheets and specify low-emitting products to minimize indoor air pollutants.
Interior designers should also examine safety data sheets and request that manufacturers provide information on curing, drying and airing procedures for their products to minimize subsequent emission rates of finished materials. Consideration should be given to the use of materials and products, such as carpets, adhesives, air filters, HVAC coatings, resinous floors, ceiling tiles and paints manufactured with low- toxic, antimicrobial inhibitors. Specifying products with a durable, broad-spectrum antimicrobial will enhance the quality of the indoor air; however, they must be registered for use by the EPA. From "a total systems stand-point," the interior designer should also be concerned with the maintainability and durability of interior finishes as well as be concerned with the effect furniture will have on HVAC distribution. This is necessary so that office partitions do not impede the effectiveness of the ventilation system.
Engineers' considerations at the design stage include appropriate HVAC selection and controls, ventilation quantity and quality, air-filtra-
tion specifications, effectiveness of air distribution and provisions for system maintenance. It is important to note that creativity at the design stage of a building can produce energy savings that easily offset increases in ventilation energy. Improvements in building envelope materials, lighting, HVAC and fan efficiencies and controls create the opportunity for substantial reductions in energy requirements with little or no increase in initial (first) cost. New technologies for energy recovery are also available, such as the use of heat transfer technology for HVAC systems where energy is reclaimed from exhaust air before it exits and is transferred to the supply air.
Addressing IAQ issues and integrating them into the design and product systems of a building can have a positive impact on IAQ as long as the maintenance systems are considered. Even a building utilizing proper design and superior interior products must be maintained by well-trained and adequately equipped staff. The commitment to address IAQ problems should also include the building owner and property managers.
The building owner and property manager have the authority to see that an IAQ management program is articulated and carried out, the ability to identify staff with skills that enable them to react promptly and effectively to complaints, and the incentive to initiate a program that will prevent indoor air problems in the future.
Facilities staff should be integrated into the program via appropriate IAQ training and education for they are in a position to notice malfunctioning equipment or accidental events that could produce IAQ problems. They can play a critical role in identifying problem situations and averting IAQ crises. On the other hand, if staff are not aware of IAQ issues, their activities can also create IAQ problems. In the past the facility staff was often instructed to keep energy costs to a minimum. Changes in building operation, intended to save energy, have sometimes contributed to IAQ problems (for example, reducing the flow of outdoor ventilation air without taking action to maintain the quality of the recirculated air). Attempting to limit operating costs by reducing ventilation or not changing out dirty filters can be a false economy, if it leads to problems such as increased occupant complaints, reduced productivity and absenteeism.
It is important to note that not all buildings suffer from IAQ problems. Often, in fact, complaints about poor IAQ can be attributed to other factors. As reviewed, thermal comfort is among the many factors that
affect an individual's perception of the indoor environment. Noise, lighting, ergonomic stressors (workstation and task design, and job-related psychosocial stressors also can contribute to the complaints, which are obviously unrelated to the quality of the air. These problems are addressed when a total systems approach is adopted.
The final component of a total systems approach is to perform and document regular maintenance activities and preventive maintenance along with conducting an initial investigation or a self-audit of the building for common indoor air pollution problems. The goal of an initial IAQ investigation should be to identify areas that have the most significant impact on IAQ. If problems or potential problems are identified, modifications can be made before they cause occupant discomfort.
When faced with an IAQ problem, perhaps the worst thing a building owner or manager can do is nothing. It is important to communicate with occupants and establish an open dialogue with them on IAQ issues. The manager should be responsive to any complaints or concerns that are raised by occupants regarding odors, particulates, room temperature or overall comfort. Any IAQ complaints should be investigated, and, if necessary, a qualified IAQ professional consulted. Complete documentation of action should be kept of any efforts undertaken in responding to the alleged problem.
The quality of indoor air reflects directly on the ability of the building management community to compete in the marketplace. Good IAQ is both in demand and close to becoming mandated. Occupants expect the environment to foster productivity by providing comfortable, safe surroundings that enhance the healing environment which is the essence of a health-care facility. Good IAQ simply assures occupant health and well-being and thus fosters productivity, protection and risk management.
ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook, Chapter 7—Health Care Facilities. American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1995.
ASHRAE, Standard 62-1989. Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1989.
Berg, Arthur D. The Facility Manager's Proactive Approach to IAQ. AIPE Facilities, Nov./Dec. 1994.
Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers. U.S. Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Dec. 1991.
Guidelines for Construction and Equipment of Hospital and Medical Facilities, 1992-1993. The American Institute of Architects, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The American Institute of Architects Press, 1993.
Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Health Care Facilities, 1994. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Oct. 28, 1994 (59 FR 54242).
Gill, Kenneth E., and Wozniak, Alan L. "Hospital Gets IAQ Checkup," Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, Aug. 1993.
Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals. American Lung Association, American Medical Association, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; United States Government Printing Office, 1994.
Indoor Air Pollution—A Health Perspective. J.M. Samet and J.D. Spengler; Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.
Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Systems. David W. Bearg, Lewis Publishers, 1993.
Indoor Air Quality Workbook. D. Jeff Burton, IVE Inc., 1990.
Introduction to Indoor Air Quality: A Reference Manual. U.S. EPA, Office of Air and Remediation, July 1991.
Indoor Air Quality: Proposed Rule. Department of Labor—Occupational Safety and Health Administration; April 5, 1994 (59 FR 15968).
Managing Indoor Air Quality. Shirley J. Hansen. The Fairmont Press, Inc., 1991.
NFPA 90A-93: Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilation Systems. National Fire Protection Agency, Quincy, MA; 1993.
NFPA 92A-93: Recommended Practice for Smoke-Control Systems. National Fire Protection Agency, Quincy, MA; 1993.
NFPA 99-93: Standard for Health Care Facilities. National Fire Protection Agency, Quincy, MA; 1993.
NFPA 101-94: Life Safety Code. National Fire Protection Agency, Quincy, MA; 1994.
Scarry, Robert L. "Looking into Sick Buildings," Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, July 1994.
The Work Environment: Indoor Health Hazards. Doan J. Hanson (Editor), CRC Press, Inc., 1994.
Washington State Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code, Chapter 51-13 WAC. Washington State Building Code Council.
Chapter 6Ventilation Assessment of an Infectious Disease Ward Housing TB Patients
M.S. Crandall and R.T. Hughes
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) assisted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in their investigation of nosocomial transmission of tuberculosis (TB) at a Veterans Administration Medical Center. NIOSH was asked to determine whether ventilation requirements expected of TB patient isolation facilities were being met. In the Infectious Disease Ward (5B), 24 staff were given a tuberculin skin test (TST) in the summer of 1991. Eleven (46%) were positive then, and 13 were negative. Ten of the 13 testing negative in 1991 were retested within a year, and 5 (50%) converted to a positive TST. NIOSH investigators made ventilation measurements on Ward 5B, an infectious diseases ward housing patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), two of them with infectious TB, to determine the status of the systems serving the area. Airflow measurements showed that in all the single-patient rooms, exhaust airflow was essentially zero. The average supply airflow varied above and below the designed value. These rooms were all positively pressurized, which would not be recommended for the isolation of infectious patients. Based on the measurements made during this evaluation, it was recommended that a separate isolation facility be constructed in the hospital to house infectious patients. Interim corrective measures for the systems in place were also recommended.
The transmission of tuberculosis is a recognized risk in health-care settings.1 Several recent outbreaks of tuberculosis (TB) in health-care settings, including outbreaks involving multidrug-resistant strains of Myco-
bacterium tuberculosis, have heightened concern about nosocomial transmission. In addition, increases in TB cases in many areas are related to the high risk of tuberculosis among persons infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Transmission of tuberculosis to persons with HIV infection is of particular concern because they are at high risk of developing active tuberculosis if infected. Health-care workers should be particularly alert to the need for preventing TB transmission in settings in which persons with HIV infection receive care, especially settings in which cough-inducing procedures (e.g., sputum induction and aerosolized pentamidine [AP] treatments) are being performed. An effective TB infection-control program requires early identification, isolation and treatment of persons who have active TB. The primary emphasis of TB infection-control plans in health-care facilities should be achieving these three goals by the application of a hierarchy of control measures, including a) the use of administrative measures to reduce the risk for exposure to persons who have infectious TB, b) the use of engineering controls to prevent the spread and reduce the concentration of infectious droplet nuclei and c) the use of personal respiratory protective equipment in areas where there is still a risk for exposure to M. tuberculosis (e.g., TB isolation rooms).
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was requested in June 1992 to provide technical assistance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia. CDC asked for technical support during an investigation of nosocomial transmission of tuberculosis (TB) at a Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in the middle eastern United States. Their request was for NIOSH to determine whether the ventilation requirements expected of TB-patient isolation facilities were being met.
The VAMC was constructed in 1953. This 640-bed hospital had a staff of about 2,200 workers. The CDC investigators collected preliminary tuberculin skin test (TST) information from the VAMC. A positive TST prevalence of 20% to 25% was expected due to the large number of foreign-born staff (mainly from the Philippines), and the fact that many staff come from the Newark/New York City area where the prevalence
is high. A 29% positive TST was found among the VA staff who had been tested, 514 of 1,768. Among the 270-300 medical doctors on staff, 105 were TST positive (35-39%). Many had not been tested, so this prevalence rate may have been low. Of 604 nursing staff, 476 had been tested and 239 (50.2%) were positive. In the Infectious Disease Ward (5B), 24 staff were tested in the summer of 1991. Eleven (46%) were positive then, and 13 were negative. Ten of the 13 testing negative in 1991 were retested within a year, and 5 (50%) had converted to a positive TST.
Areas of concern in the hospital were the wards where TB patients were potentially admitted, and diagnostic and treatment rooms. These areas included Wards 5B, 5D, 7B, the Pentamidine administration room (5-196A, on 5B), and the Pulmonary Lab (7-101, on 7A). The ventilation investigation discussed in this report was focused on Ward 5B. Ward 5B is a residence ward for AIDS patients. During the investigation there were two patients with infectious TB in isolation on 5B.
Ward 5B Description
Ward 5B is an infectious diseases ward having a capacity of 24 beds. There are 12 single-bed patient rooms and four three-bed patient rooms. The orientation (inset) and layout of the ward can be seen in Figure 6-1.
The HVAC system serving the patient rooms on 5B (system 1-AC1) also served rooms on A-level (below the first floor) and on floors one through 13. This system supplied tempered, 100% outdoor air through 85% efficient filters (ASHRAE dust-spot efficiency) via supply fan 1-SF1. The main air supply duct traverses the length of Ward 5B's main corridors. Smaller branch ducts extend off the main supply and provide outside air to each patient room through wall-mounted rectangular diffusers. Air was exhausted from the patient rooms on 5B through a system which serves floors 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 (1-EF4). The exhaust air travels through bathroom exhaust grilles (one bathroom for two adjoining patient rooms) to a large duct branch above the main corridor and then to a rooftop stack. This single-pass supply and exhaust system was designed (according to the plans) to provide an equal amount of supply and exhaust airflow for the patient rooms. A fan-coil unit was mounted near the ceiling over the door to each room to temper and recirculate the air within the room. The VAMC's heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems underwent extensive renovation in the late 1980s.
Figure 6-1. Orientation and Approximate Layout of Ward 5B, VAMC
One patient room (5-190) on this ward was designed to be an isolation room, using a variable supply airflow (20 to 80 cubic feet per minute [cfm] and a fixed amount of exhaust (50 cfm). In this fashion, either a negative pressure or positive pressure isolation environment could be established. The ability of this system to work as designed was not evaluated. However, it was reported by the VAMC engineering staff that it did not. This room had a fan-coil unit for air tempering.
The aerosolized-pentamidine therapy room on 5B had supply air delivered through its fan-coil unit located over the entrance and exhausted air through a dedicated system to the outside. The operation of this system was not evaluated because of maintenance being performed on the fan-coil unit on the day of the survey. There was no local exhaust system for use during AP administration.
The corridors for the ward were supplied air from a different HVAC system (1-AC4) than that serving the patient and therapy rooms. This system supplied a mixture of outdoor air and return air from the central core areas of the hospital to the 5B corridors, floor 2, and floors 4-12.
A walk-through was conducted of the main mechanical unit (1-AC1) supplying air to Ward 5B. The outside air dampers, filters, ductwork and heat transfer coils in the supply systems were visually inspected. The exhaust system (1-EF4) serving 5B was evaluated from a design standpoint using the mechanical plans.
Airflow measurements were made in ten rooms on Ward 5B, seven single-patient rooms, two three-patient rooms and the day room (5-172). Airflow measurements were made using an airflow capture hood. Using this instrument, airflow through a supply diffuser or exhaust grille can be read directly in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The measured airflows were compared to the design specifications on the mechanical plans and to the CDC, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines.1,2,3.
Airflow measurements were obtained under the following four conditions: 1) with the door to hallway open and the door to bathroom closed, 2) with the door to hallway closed and the door to bathroom closed, 3) with the door to hallway closed and the door to bathroom open, and 4) with both doors open.
Smoke tests using chemical smoke tubes were conducted to visually observe the relative pressures of the rooms with respect to the main ward corridor, and the main corridor with the core area of the 5th floor. The direction of smoke, either into or out of the rooms, was observed at the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door, with the door closed, for each of the patient rooms on the ward.
The prevention of tuberculosis transmission in health-care settings requires that all of the following basic approaches be used: a) prevention of the generation of infectious airborne particles (droplet nuclei) by early identification and treatment of persons with tuberculous infection and active tuberculosis, b) prevention of the spread of infectious droplet nuclei into the general air circulation by applying source-control methods, c) reduction of the number of infectious droplet nuclei in air contaminated with them, and d) surveillance of health-care facility personnel for
tuberculosis and tuberculous infection. Experience has shown that when inadequate attention is given to any of these approaches, the probability of tuberculosis transmission is increased. Items b) and c) are addressed through the use of ventilation and filtration to isolate infected patients.
In high-risk settings, source-control methods can be applied to reduce the spread of infectious droplet nuclei into the general air circulation. These methods trap the droplet nuclei as they are emitted by the patient, or "source." These techniques are especially important during performance of medical procedures likely to generate aerosols containing infectious particles, such as AP administration or sputum induction.
Once infectious droplet nuclei have been released into room air, they should be eliminated or reduced in number by ventilation, which may be supplemented by additional measures (high-efficiency particulate air [HEPA] filtration or ultraviolet [UV] irradiation). Health-care facility workers may also reduce the risk of inhaling contaminated air by using personal respirators (PR).
The risk of TB transmission in any setting is proportional to the concentration of viable TB bacilli in the air. All suggested control measures may reduce occupational exposure to TB to some extent; however, there are no currently available methods to quantify the degree of reduction that may be achieved by each control measure. Although ventilation is frequently relied upon to control TB in the health-care setting, ventilation systems sometimes can be complex and difficult to evaluate. Satisfactory performance of ventilation systems requires supervision by engineers or industrial hygienists. Incorrect design applications or inadequate maintenance can, in fact, increase the risk of TB transmission.3,4, Consensus guidelines for ventilation and ancillary measures of worker protection have been formulated and are based on what are believed to be the most effective combination of feasible control strategies.1,5,6
There are two types of ventilation used for control of airborne transmission of TB: general dilution ventilation and local exhaust ventilation. Dilution ventilation provides an exchange of contaminated indoor air with uncontaminated air, thereby diluting the airborne concentration of the infectious agent and reducing potential exposures for workers and other susceptible persons (i.e., patients and visitors). Each of these types of ventilation is explained more fully below.
General Dilution Ventilation
General dilution ventilation performs a variety of functions, including providing sufficient outside air to maintain comfort, controlling the direction of airflow in a facility, controlling airflow patterns within rooms and diluting and removing contaminated air. ASHRAE recommends a range of 15 to 30 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per person of outdoor air for hospitals.2,5 ASHRAE and AIA suggest airflow ranging from 4 to 25 air changes per hour (ACH), depending on the functional area of the hospital.2,3 These guidelines recommend appropriate pressure relationships with respect to adjacent areas, minimum outdoor air and total air changes, exhaust location and recirculation restrictions.
In addition to supplying the specified airflow, ventilation systems should also provide satisfactory airflow patterns both from area to area and within each room. Airflow should be from "clean" to contaminant source areas, such as from hallways to treatment rooms. This can be accomplished by creating negative (lower) pressure in the area into which flow is desired relative to adjacent areas. Negative pressure is attained by exhausting more air from the area than is being supplied. For large areas this will require careful balancing of the ventilation system.
Within a room or small area, a ventilation system should be designed to: 1) circulate air to all areas of the room (prevent stagnation of the air), 2) prevent short circuiting of the supply to the exhaust (i.e., passage of air directly from the supply site to the exhaust point without mixing of room air), and 3) direct the clean air past the worker without recirculation within the room. These conditions are not always achievable but should be attempted to the fullest extent feasible. One way to accomplish this is to supply low-velocity air at one end of a room and exhaust it from the opposite end. Another method is to supply low-velocity air near the ceiling and exhaust it near the floor. However, airflow patterns are also affected by air temperature, the precise location of supply vents and exhaust vents, diffuser design, the location of furniture, movement of workers and the physical configuration of the space. Each room or space must be evaluated individually.
Ideally, ventilation systems used in areas where Mycobacterium tuberculosis may be present should supply non-contaminated air (a portion should be outside air), discharge exhaust air to the outside, and should not recirculate air back into the facility. Where TB may be present, an area of the hospital should be selected where the ventilation can be optimized or simply rebalanced to provide the desired ventilation param-
eters. Where this is not possible, less desirable alternative approaches may be used. Rooms connected to recirculating ventilation systems could utilize high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration in the room exhaust or filter the air before it is recirculated. In cases where a room has no ventilation, a HEPA-filtered recirculating duct system for that room might be considered. In no case should a room or area without mechanical exhaust ventilation be used for patients with M. tuberculosis.
Recommended ventilation rates in hospitals are frequently expressed in terms of air changes per hour (ACH). An ACH is defined by the theoretical number of times that the air volume of a given space will be replaced in a one-hour period. Assuming perfect mixing, a rate of six ACH would require 46 minutes to remove 99.0% of contaminants from a room.1 Hence, the air is not actually "changed" six times per hour. The amount of air required to maintain six ACH in a smaller room will be less than a larger room.
For purposes of general ventilation, all supplied air does not have to be outside air. For example, AIA recommends that operating rooms be ventilated with a minimum of three ACH outside air with a minimum total of 15 ACH. The remaining 12 air changes only need be "clean" air (often referred to as "transfer air"), not necessarily outside air. It is always advisable, however, to use the most stringent and protective alternative possible.
A final function of general ventilation is to provide sufficient exchange of potentially contaminated air with clean air to minimize the risk of infection. The CDC, AIA and ASHRAE ventilation guidelines for TB (infectious) patient isolation rooms are presented in Table 6-1.1,2,3 AIA and ASHRAE recommend that hospital infectious isolation rooms should provide six ACH, based on comfort and odor control.2,3 CDC has recommended that an airflow of ≥6 ACH be provided to TB isolation and treatment rooms in existing facilities. This airflow rate should be increased to ≥12 ACH, where feasible, by HVAC adjustment or modification, or by auxiliary means. New or renovated facilities should be designed to provide ≥12 ACH in these rooms.1 All agree that all air should be exhausted directly to the outside. Exhaust locations should not be near areas that may be populated (e.g., sidewalks or windows that may be opened). Exhaust points should also be away from air intakes, so that exhaust air is not recirculated into the facility.
ASHRAE recommends that two of the six ACH should be outside air and the AIA recommends only one. CDC does not set a minimum
Table 6-1. CDC, AIA and ASHRAE Ventilation Guidelines for Infectious and Protective Isolation Rooms1,2,3
Air movement relationship to adjacent area
Minimum air changes per hour outside air
Minimum total air changes per hour
Recirculated by means of room units
All air exhausted to outside
Infectious (TB) Isolation
outdoor air amount. ASHRAE also recommends a minimum of 25 cubic feet per minute/person (cfm/person) of outside air for patient rooms.5 Infectious isolation rooms should be under negative pressure with respect to adjacent areas.1,2,3,5,7
Local Exhaust Ventilation
Local exhaust ventilation captures the infectious agent in the immediate field of an infectious patient (i.e., scavenging booths or tents) without exposing other persons in the area. A negative pressure is always maintained inside the local exhaust device. It is the preferred type of ventilation because the TB organisms are removed before they can disperse throughout the work area. Local exhaust ventilation is used most effectively in a fixed location. The hood portion of a local exhaust system may be of exterior design, where the infection source is near but outside the hood, or enclosing, where the infectious source is within the hood. Enclosures (booths) are available for aerosol-generating activities, such as sputum collection and aerosol therapy. These devices may be exhausted directly to the outside, or they can exhaust through a HEPA filter back into the room.
HIV PATIENT CONSIDERATIONS
Since immunosuppressed patients are highly susceptible to diseases, they require protective isolation conditions. In cases where the patient is immunosuppressed but not contagious, a positive pressure should be maintained between the patient room and adjacent areas. ASHRAE recommends that rooms for AIDS patients (protective isolation) be positively pressurized, and be supplied a minimum of 15 ACH, two of which should be outdoor air (Table 6-1).2 Filtration of this air should be at the 90% efficiency level or above. ASHRAE also recommends an anteroom which is negative with respect to the patient room. AIA recommendations for protective isolation are similar to theirs for infectious isolation except airflow should be out of the room.3 Both AIA and ASHRAE recommend no recirculation of room air by in-room air-tempering units.
EVALUATION RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.
During the inspection of HVAC system 1-AC1, we observed that the outdoor air dampers were closed. This situation was corrected.
The results of the ventilation measurements on Ward 5B are presented in Table 6-2. Individual measurements made under the four conditions listed above, the average of these measurements, the room design airflows and the pressure relationship of the room with the corridor (±) are shown for each of the rooms.
Table 6-2. Ventilation and Pressure Relationship Measurements,VAMC
The single-patient rooms are grouped in the table according to the shared bathroom exhaust. The design plans indicated that the rooms should be neutrally pressurized (equal supply and exhaust airflow). The measurements made under the different conditions in the rooms were quite variable. From the single-patient rooms, exhaust airflow was essentially zero. The average supply airflow varied above and below that specified in the design. The rooms were all positively pressurized, which was good under protective isolation guidelines, but which would not be recommended for the isolation of infectious patients. Based on an average volume of 1,250 cubic feet for these rooms the number of ACH ranged from one to three and one-half.
Most of the single-patient rooms had a shared bathroom (only 5-190 had a private bathroom). If the HVAC system were operating as designed, a patient using the bathroom would be exposed to any infectious agent from the other room. In the current state of operation there will be room-to-room flow depending on open and closed doors. CDC guidelines suggest that only private rooms be used for TB patient isolation. Two of the rooms with a shared bathroom were being used for TB isolation.
The three-patient room measurements were similarly variable with regard to the design specifications. The most remarkable feature in these rooms was that the exhaust airflows in all rooms were measured to be positive, that is, the exhausts were actually supplying air to the rooms. Room 5-171D received 1.75 ACH using only the airflow through the supply diffuser, while 5-171B received about 2.3 ACH.
The evaluation showed that all of the patient rooms measured were positively pressurized but did not meet the AIA or ASHRAE air exchange guidelines for protective isolation. These figures should be compared to six ACH recommended by the AIA and 15 ACH recommended by ASHRAE. The fact that none of the rooms was under negative pressure indicated that the TB isolation guidelines also were not being met. If the exhaust ventilation were repaired and functioning as designed, in concert with the supply system, providing at least 2 ACH with a neutrally pressurized room, the AIA and ASHRAE guidelines would be met for "normal" patient rooms.
Corridor supply air measurements were also made but not included in the table. In the single-patient room wing, a total of 280 cfm was measured from two supply diffusers. This figure is within the range of the design specification of 260-320 cfm. The supply diffuser in the
three-patient room wing measured 364 cfm (260 cfm design).
Smoke tube traces were also used to judge the relationship of Ward 5B to the core area of the hospital. There was a general flow of air from 5B to the core area. In fact, the air flowed through the core area and into the adjacent wing of the hospital (Ward 5C). There were no doors separating these hospital areas. This condition could cause the circulation of infectious agents to the other floors of the hospital served by HVAC 1-AC4. It was observed that 5C also had no exhaust flow as indicated by smoke tube tests at the exhaust grilles. The flow of air into 5C was apparently caused by several open windows in the ward.
In addition to the lack of TB-patient isolation on Ward 5B, other practices were observed which were compromising to the health-care workers' health. Patient rooms on 5B which were marked as isolation rooms did not have closed doors, and respiratory protection other than surgical masks was not being used in these rooms. The first oronasal, single-use (disposable) dust and mist respirators arrived on the ward the afternoon of the NIOSH walk-through. Two of the nurses on 5B attempting to don respirators for the first time (without prior instruction) were unsuccessful in correctly using the respirators. They were instructed in the correct procedure. One nurse disliked the respirator because it chafed her face. No one used these respirators at any other time.
The Pulmonary Laboratory evaluation consisted only of determining the pressure relationship between it and the corridor. It was strongly positively pressurized. This is indicative of an exhaust flow deficiency similar to 5B. Since bronchoscopy, endotracheal suctioning, sputum induction and other procedures which could generate droplet nuclei take place here, it should be under negative pressure with respect to adjacent areas and the room air should be exhausted directly to the outside.
Because of the number, nature and potential consequences of the problems present at this facility, the ideal solution recommended was to dedicate a hospital wing or floor to be renovated and correctly configured for TB isolation. An alternative solution would be to locate an area
in the hospital which had properly operating ventilation systems and room configurations to permit effective isolation. The short-term solution was to correct the problems which existed on 5B and in other areas housing TB patients.
1.The first, and mandatory, step was to correct the faulty exhaust system. A systematic inspection of all exhausts connected to 1-EF4 was recommended. Flow rates should be brought up to design specifications or greater in all areas. Minimally they should be increased to a flow rate which provides room negative pressure in all areas with TB patients. Increasing supply airflow, to the extent possible, was also recommended so that a sufficient quantity of outdoor air (the ASHRAE guideline is an example) was supplied to each room, or that the required number of ACH were provided.
2.Performance of the corrections would be based on establishing correct directional corridor and room airflow. Some quantity of corridor supply air should be exhausted through the negative pressure rooms; however, some would still flow out of the wing. Doors should be installed at the ward entrance to help in containing the flow and providing some pressurization of the corridor to assist airflow into the negative pressure rooms.
3.As a last resort, failing the establishment of negative pressure using the 1-EF4 system, the use of individual centrifugal-type window fans with HEPA filters may be considered. This alternative must be carefully considered since this will affect the overall HVAC system balance.
1.It was recommended that the VAMC use the services of the industrial hygiene staff of the VA to respond to the variety of health and safety problems encountered in the hospital environment. They should routinely interact with local infection control program coordinators and assist in resolving nosocomial infections and exposures to health-care workers.
2.Also the VAMC should review current work practices and procedures to assure that they are consistent with current CDC and other (ASHRAE, AIA, etc.) guidelines regarding isolation procedures, in-
fection control and medical surveillance of staff and patients. Specifically, isolation room doors should remain closed and health-care workers should always wear respiratory protection when entering TB isolation areas. Patients with infectious TB should not be allowed to directly interact with immunocompromised persons (HIV ward patients) or general community environments (day room, corridor areas or patient visiting lounges). HVAC systems supplying air to rooms occupied by AIDS patients should be HEPA-filtered.1,2
3.Pentamidine administration, sputum induction and other aerosol-producing procedures should be conducted in properly ventilated and designed settings. Ultraviolet lights used in Pentamidine administration rooms should remain on during treatment periods. Patients being administered Pentamidine should remain in the room until all coughing subsides, and only one patient at a time should be treated.
4.VAMC should have a policy for health-care workers regarding the use of respiratory protection against potential inhalation hazards when working with known or suspected TB-infected patients. A respirator program consistent with the guidelines found in NIOSH Publication No. 87-116, Guide to Industrial Respiratory Protection and the requirements of OSHA standards (29 CFR 1910.134) should be in place at the facility. Surgical masks do not meet these guidelines. For exposure to aerosols containing TB organisms, the respirator offering the highest level of protection should be selected that is consistent and feasible with the tasks to be performed by the workers.
The 1994 CDC Guidelines for preventing the transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in health-care facilities should be referenced for specific respiratory protection guidelines. The use of respiratory protection is required to help minimize the risk of exposure to droplet nuclei for health-care facility workers performing certain high-risk procedures or entering specific areas in hospitals.
1. CDC . Guidelines for preventing the transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in health-care facilities, 1994. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR 43, No. RR-13, October 28, 1994.
2. ASHRAE . Health Care Facilities. In: ASHRAE Applications Handbook. Atlanta, GA. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Chapter 7.
3. AIA . Committee on Architecture for Health. Guidelines for construction and equipment of hospital and medical facilities. Waldorf, MD: American Institute of Architects.
4. CDC . Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in a health clinic—Florida. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR 38:256-64.
5. ASHRAE . American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
6. Riley RL . Ultraviolet air disinfection for control of respiratory contagion. In: Kundsin RB, Ed. Architectural design and indoor microbial pollution. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 175-197.
7. CDC . Guidelines for isolation precautions in hospitals. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Control, July/August 1983 (Special Supplement); 4(Suppl.): 2245-325.
Chapter 7Tuberculosis Infection Control Strategy in a Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory
A.M. Weber and K.F. Martinez
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request to conduct an evaluation at a state public health mycobacteriology laboratory. The request concerned the potential for transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in the laboratory resulting from the handling of incoming samples, from the preparation of acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smears and from culturing clinical specimens potentially containing Mtb. NIOSH representatives evaluated the tuberculin skin testing (TST) program, assessed laboratory practices, reviewed the use of safety equipment and determined the operational status of the ventilation system. Criteria used for the evaluation consisted of guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories.
In summary, NIOSH representatives concluded that a health hazard existed for the laboratory employees who may be exposed to infectious aerosols generated in the laboratory. These hazards were present due to deficiencies in the design of the laboratory and operation of the ventilation system, and the lack of appropriate respiratory protection. Exhaust ductwork, located in the ceiling plenum above the anteroom in the TB containment laboratory, was disconnected, thereby allowing potentially contaminated air to reach the return air plenum. Perforated ceiling tiles were present throughout the containment laboratory, rather than a "hard-surfaced," sealed ceiling, which is recommended by CDC and NIH. An attempt had been made to glue the tiles to their aluminum
supports to prevent laboratory air from entering the return air plenum. The results of airflow measurements and observation of airflow direction in the three rooms of the containment laboratory were highly dependent on the operation of the biological safety cabinet (BSC). Without the BSC fan operating, the TB laboratory was under positive pressure. The laboratory should be under negative pressure regardless of the operation of the BSC. According to the calculated air changes per hour (ACH), all three rooms were achieving greater than six ACH. Based on the observations and measurements compiled during the evaluation, recommendations regarding the maintenance of the existing ventilation system and the design of the laboratory were provided.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Mtb is a rod-shaped bacterium and is transmitted by airborne droplets generated when persons with pulmonary or laryngeal TB sneeze, cough or speak.1 Due to the small size of the droplet nuclei (less than 5 micrometers in diameter), normal air currents keep them airborne and can spread them throughout a room or building. Infection occurs when a susceptible person inhales Mtb and the bacilli become established in the alveoli of the lungs, where they multiply and spread throughout the body. Two to ten weeks after the initial infection, the body's immune system usually limits further multiplication and spread of the organisms. However, in approximately 1% of newly infected persons, the initial infection rapidly progresses to active TB. Another 5-10% of those infected will develop active TB over a period of months, years or decades. In 1994, a total of 24,361 cases of TB (9.4 cases per 100,000) were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2
The growing number of TB cases has been accompanied by an increase in the number of clinical samples collected and processed by laboratories. Mtb has been identified as posing a significant risk to laboratory personnel.3,4 Studies have shown that the incidence of Mtb infection in those who work with Mtb in the laboratory is three to five times higher than the incidence among laboratory personnel who do not work with the bacterium.5-7 The route of infection of most laboratory-acquired illnesses has been attributed to the inhalation of aerosols. Some aerosol-generating procedures that have been shown to produce droplet nuclei in the respirable range include: pouring of cultures and supernatant flu-
ids, using fixed, volume automatic pipettors, mixing a fluid culture with a pipette, dropping tubes or flasks of cultures, spilling suspensions from pipettes and breaking tubes during centrifugation.8,10
Additional concerns for microbiologists processing clinical samples include: (1) the increasing numbers of multiple-drug-resistant (MDR) organisms and (2) the increasing numbers of individuals who are co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The laboratory is located on the second floor of a two-story building which was reportedly built in the early 1950s. The laboratory consists of three offices; a conference room; serology, bacteriology, strep and mycobacteriology laboratories; incubator, gas chromatography and refrigeration rooms; and dishwashing and glassware rooms.
There are two mechanical heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems for the building, each serving a separate floor. The HVAC system serving the laboratory is a variable air volume (VAV) system. A fixed amount of outside air enters the air-handling unit (AHU) through dampers, mixes with return air from the occupied spaces and passes through a bank of pleated fiberglass filters. Although the air from the TB laboratory is not recirculated, air from other areas of the second floor is returned to the AHU. Therefore, a portion of the supply air received by the TB laboratory is recirculated air. Supply air is delivered to the occupied spaces through ceiling diffusers. There are reportedly four dedicated exhaust systems (i.e., 100 percent exhaust to the outside) for the laboratory which serve the following areas or equipment: (1) the chemical fume hood located in the bacteriology laboratory, (2) the biological safety cabinet (BSC), (3) the TB laboratory and (4) the autoclave room and TB preparation room. Supplemental radiant heat is supplied to the area by baseboard radiators. There were no HVAC drawings available for the building, and there were no test and balance reports.
The evaluated area of the facility, the containment laboratory, consists of three separate rooms (see Figure 7-1). Entrance to this laboratory is through an anteroom which leads to a preparation room. The preparation room is used for assembling materials and equipment prior to the culturing of specimens. The preparation room contains a through-the-
wall autoclave for the sterilization of contaminated wastes. The third area, the TB laboratory, contains a BSC which is used for all procedures which may generate aerosols. In addition, the TB laboratory contains centrifuges and incubators for the processing of samples. Static pressure sensors control the quantity of makeup air provided to the laboratory to accommodate the operation of the BSC. When the fan of the BSC is turned on, the ventilation system adjusts the supply airflow via the static pressure sensors to provide a larger quantity of makeup air (Figure 7-1 indicates the location of the sensors).
Laboratory Preparation of Specimens
There were 13 laboratory employees, including three clerical staff employees, seven microbiologists (three of whom are involved with tuberculosis, two part-time and one full-time), and three laboratory technicians. Approximately 6,000 to 6,500 suspected Mtb-infected specimens are processed annually by the laboratory with less than one percent resulting in a positive identification of Mtb in the sample.
Specimens are received by the laboratory in the main office area either by local courier or in the mail. Samples received by courier are
Figure 7-1. Tuberculosis Containment Laboratory
delivered in paper bags, and samples received through the mail are delivered in screw-cap cylinders. When mailing samples, the shipper is responsible for complying with the packaging and labeling requirements of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS)11,12 and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).13 Samples are transported to the syphilis laboratory where they are sorted; TB samples are identified by exterior coding on the shipping container.
This particular mycobacteriology laboratory performed three types of diagnostic procedures: (1) detect and isolate mycobacteria, (2) identify the isolated species and (3) test for drug susceptibility. Detailed instructions for culturing and identifying Mtb in clinical specimens are outlined by the CDC.14 The following is a brief description of the methods used by the laboratory to identify Mtb in sputum samples:
Specimens were digested and disinfected by transferring sputum from sample vials to centrifuge tubes with a pipette containing a solution of N-acetyl-L-cysteine and sodium hydroxide. N-acetyl-L-cysteine digests the sputum and the sodium hydroxide decontaminates the sample. The solution was allowed to stand for decontamination to occur, then was diluted and centrifuged. The concentrated sediment was recovered and the supernatant solution was discarded in a glass flask within the BSC. The concentrated sediment was then re-suspended and used to prepare samples for microscopic examination and culture.
The initial step in the laboratory diagnosis of TB is the microscopic examination of AFB smears stained by an acid-fast procedure. Smears were prepared on slides within the BSC and placed on an electric slide warmer, located on the open bench, for heat fixing. It should be noted that Mtb organisms are still viable during the heat-fixing stage.15 Slides were stained and microscopically examined. A definitive diagnosis of mycobacterial disease is based on standard culture methods. Two different types of media (agar-based 7H-10 plates and egg-based Lowenstein-Jensen slants) were inoculated and placed in CO2 incubators. Three to six weeks are necessary before sufficient growth is obtained to identify organisms. Specific identification is accomplished by using DNA probes and standard biochemical test methods. The remaining, unused sediment was refrigerated for future drug susceptibility testing. A BACTEC system (BACTEC® 460 TB Hood; Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Instrument Systems) was recently purchased by the laboratory; however, the system was not operating at the time of the site visit. The BACTEC system will allow for the identification and testing for drug susceptibility
to be completed in approximately one to two weeks.
Personal protective equipment worn by the microbiologist during specimen preparation and analysis included a double-strapped surgical mask, latex gloves and a laboratory gown with a solid front. All potentially infectious laboratory wastes were disinfected in the autoclave located in the preparation room. Autoclaved wastes are collected by a contractor for incineration.
A microbiologist was observed during the processing of samples to evaluate work practices and procedures. A walk-through survey of the laboratory and a visual assessment of the ventilation system were conducted.
Smoke tubes were used to visualize the pressure relationship between the containment laboratory and adjacent areas, as well as between the three rooms of the containment laboratory. The direction of smoke was observed at each cracked doorway. Additionally, quantitative airflow measurements were collected using a Shortridge Instruments, Inc. Flowhood® Model CFM 88. Using this instrument, airflow through supply diffusers and exhaust grilles was read directly in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Measurements were obtained under the following two conditions: (1) when the fan of the BSC was on and (2) when the fan of the BSC was off. Measurements were taken with all of the doors in the containment laboratory closed in order to simulate a "real-use" situation. The measured volumes of supply air were used to calculate the total number of air changes per hour (ACH) in the laboratory.
Recommendations for biosafety in microbiological laboratories are provided in the CDC and NIH document Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).3 For laboratories which are handling concentrated cultures of Mtb and testing for drug susceptibility, a Biosafety Level (BSL)-3 laboratory is recommended. CDC and NIH have recommended a hierarchy of controls to prevent TB transmission in mycobacteriology laboratories. Listed in the order of importance, they
include: (1) safe work practices, (2) use of containment equipment and (3) specially designed laboratory facilities. Utilizing a combination of these methods should reduce exposures to Mtb. These control measures are discussed below.
HIERARCHY OF CONTROL MEASURES
Safe Work Practices
Personnel working in laboratories must receive training in laboratory procedures (e.g., use of safety equipment, decontamination procedures, cleanup of spills, use of an autoclave and waste disposal). The laboratory door should be kept closed at all times during the processing of samples. All activities involving potentially infectious materials must be conducted inside a biological safety cabinet (BSC). The laboratory should also prepare a biosafety manual which identifies hazards associated with processing specimens containing Mtb, and recommends procedures to minimize or eliminate the risks which are involved with these procedures.
Personnel should enter the laboratory only after they have been advised of the potential hazards related to Mtb. A biohazard warning sign should be posted on the door of the TB laboratory. The sign should include the following information: who to contact in case of an emergency, the identity of the infectious organisms present in the laboratory, requirements for the use of personal protective clothing and any special entry requirements such as tuberculin skin testing.
To minimize the transmission of Mtb, early identification and treatment of infected employees, both with and without active disease, is necessary. New employees should receive a tuberculin skin test and have a chest roentgenograph performed upon initial employment. Screening for the identification of individuals with tuberculous infection is accomplished using the tuberculin skin test (Mantoux test). There are standardized guidelines for interpreting the test.16 A "two-step" test procedure is recommended by CDC for the first skin test administered to a person being enrolled in a tuberculosis surveillance system.17 If the first test is negative, a second skin test is given one week later. If the second test is also negative, the person is considered to be free of Mtb infection and can then be enrolled in the periodic screening program (they need only receive a single skin test at each subsequent periodic screening). A for-
mal employee tuberculin screening and follow-up program should be established in accordance with current CDC guidelines.1
In addition to identifying individuals for whom prophylactic treatment is appropriate, routine screening can also serve as a surveillance tool to identify areas where there may be an increased risk of tuberculosis transmission. If a person with a previously negative skin test converts to positive, the test should be followed by a chest x-ray to determine whether active TB has developed.16 Results of PPD skin testing should be recorded in individual employee health records, as well as in a central file for all PPD test results.
Several activities have been shown to produce aerosols in the mycobacteriology laboratory.18 All culture tube samples should be sealed tightly and placed in centrifuge safety cups (safety carriers) within the BSC. Following centrifugation, the safety cups should be transported to the BSC before opening them. The O-rings on the safety cups should be inspected frequently to ensure that there is an adequate seal. All contaminated supplies should be placed in a leak-proof biohazard container, then placed in an autoclave container before removal from the BSC.
Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) are enclosed workstations intended to protect both the worker and the biological specimen from contamination. According to the agent summary statement in the BMBL, a Class II cabinet should be used when working with Mtb. Class II cabinets are designed to operate with an inward flow velocity of 75-100 linear feet per minute (lfpm) depending on the type (A or B) of BSC. Air is drawn across the cabinet face opening to prevent the escape of microorganisms. Another air stream is HEPA-filtered and moves over the specimens to protect them from external airborne contamination. All air which is exhausted passes through a HEPA filter to protect the environment and to minimize the potential for reentrainment of infectious aerosols. A listing of appropriately designed Class II BSCs, as well as performance standards, is available from the National Sanitation Foundation International Standard 49.19 The BSC should be certified at least annually, and additionally, if the cabinet is moved to another location or if there are changes to the room's ventilation system.
Employees should receive training on the appropriate use of the BSC which addresses actions or behaviors that could disturb the airflow patterns within the cabinet and/or at the face of the cabinet.
Protective clothing should be worn to provide an additional measure of personal protection. Protective laboratory clothing, such as solid-front gowns, should be worn in the laboratory and decontaminated before being laundered. Laboratory gowns protect against splatter and minimize the back-flow of cabinet air that may travel along the arms of the worker. Gloves should be worn when handling infectious materials.
Laboratories need to assess their risk of exposure when performing work with Mtb and determine the need for splatter or respiratory protection. Surgical masks and respirators offer different types of protection to the wearer. Surgical masks are designed to block outward discharges of large drops of saliva before they have had an opportunity to evaporate down to droplet nuclei. Masks also protect the face from spattered droplets; however, they are not efficiently designed filters. Surgical masks do not offer appropriate protection from the inhalation of droplet nuclei containing Mtb, due to poor face-seal characteristics and potential leakage of small particles through the filter media. Respirators, however, typically afford greater protection, since the filters are more efficient and can be fit-tested and fit-checked to ensure a tight seal to the wearer's face.
A variety of manipulations of fluid suspensions of cultured Mtb in the laboratory produce aerosols in the same size range as when an individual, who has active TB, produces an aerosol by coughing. The risk of infection with Mtb is dependent on the concentration of Mtb bacilli in the culture, the procedure being performed and the type of culture media (working with liquid cultures poses a greater risk than working with cultures growing on solid media). Recently, the CDC published TB guidelines for protecting health-care workers from TB transmission which recommend performance criteria for respirators.1 The only class of respirators that (1) currently meet these guidelines and (2) are certified by NIOSH (as required by OSHA) are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) respirators.1 Recently, NIOSH published final rules which change the current respirator certification process.20 These changes will allow users of respirators to select from a broader range of certified respirators that meet the performance criteria recommended by CDC for respirators used in health-care settings for protection against Mtb. Although the CDC guidelines were based primarily on protecting workers from patients with TB, they are also applicable to protecting microbiologists from specimens containing Mtb which may become aerosolized
during laboratory procedures.
Whenever respirators are offered to employees, a complete respirator program must be implemented that meets the requirements of the OSHA respiratory protection standard.21 The minimum requirements for a respiratory protection program include the following components: written standard operating procedures, user instruction and training, cleaning and disinfection, storage, inspection, surveillance of work-area conditions, evaluation of the respirator protection program, medical review and use of certified respirators.
BSL-3 laboratories have specific building design criteria as well as ventilation requirements. Personnel access to the laboratory should be through two doors with an air space between them (i.e., anteroom). In order to accommodate decontamination procedures, interior surfaces of walls, floors and ceilings should be sealed and bench tops should be impervious to water, and resistant to acids, alkalis, organic solvents and moderate heat. Other design criteria include special foot-operated hand-washing facilities, automatic door closures, sealed utility penetrations and windows, and an autoclave.
General ventilation reduces the concentration of contaminants through dilution and removal of contaminated room air. The supply air should typically pass through one filter bed containing 35% to 60% efficient filters as a minimum (according to the ASHRAE estimated-dust-spot efficiency test).22 A "single pass" system theoretically exhausts all room air to the outside. Exhaust air from the laboratory should be discharged to the outside through a HEPA filter. The outside exhaust must be directed away from occupied areas and air intakes.
Ventilation rates are frequently expressed in terms of air changes per hour (ACH). An ACH is defined as the theoretical ratio of the ventilation rate (volume of air entering the room per hour) to the room volume, assuming perfect mixing. Ideally, six to twelve room air changes per hour should be provided so that up to 99% of the airborne particulate matter will be removed per hour.14 This is particularly important in the event that a major aerosol is generated outside the BSC, since personnel will then be able to estimate the amount of time which is needed before they can safely re-enter the laboratory to disinfect the area.
In addition to supplying the specified airflow, ventilation systems should also provide satisfactory airflow patterns both from area to area
and within each room. Airflow should be from "clean" to "less clean" areas. This can be accomplished by creating a negative pressure in the area into which flow is desired relative to adjacent areas. Negative pressure is attained by exhausting more air from the area than is being supplied. The laboratory should be kept under negative pressure at all times regardless of the operational status of the BSC.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A microbiologist was briefly observed during the preparation of specimens. During the procedure, the microbiologist wore a solid-front, disposable gown over street clothes, a double-strapped surgical mask and latex gloves. A respiratory protection program meeting OSHA requirements had not been implemented for the laboratory. The fan of the BSC was turned on before sample processing began, and was turned off immediately following sample preparation. A phenol-soaked paper towel was placed on the surface inside the BSC to reduce splatter and aerosol formation which would occur if microbial inocula were dropped or spilled. All of the doors in the containment laboratory were kept closed during the sample preparation. All surfaces were decontaminated at the end of the procedure with a 5% phenol solution, and all potentially infectious wastes were autoclaved. There was no biohazard warning sign posted on the door leading to the TB laboratory. Housekeeping in the laboratory appeared to be very good. All surfaces were visibly clean, and the area was free of waste materials. The BSC is certified semiannually.
Although the heat-fixing of AFB smears was not observed during the site visit, it was reported that this procedure was performed on the open counter. As mentioned previously, Mtb has been shown to remain viable during the heat-fixing process.15 Another issue of concern was the use of a glass flask for the collection of supernatant solutions. The use of glass should be limited in the laboratory, since infectious aerosols may potentially be released into the room environment if the flask were dropped while being transported to the BSC or the autoclave. There is an additional hazard to the microbiologists who may injure themselves while picking up broken glass. The glass could puncture their skin, and therefore, inoculate them with Mtb or other bloodborne pathogens, such as the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or HIV, which may be present in some of the samples.
A biosafety manual had been prepared for the laboratory; however, NIOSH investigators did not review the manual, since it was reportedly being updated at the time of the site visit. Written standard operating procedures were available for the procedures conducted in the laboratory.
Tuberculin skin testing (TST) is performed by the TB Control Group of the Anchorage State Health Department. The facility offers skin testing to employees on an annual basis. Microbiologists responsible for preparing Mtb specimens are tested every six months. Employees are notified by the laboratory director of the date when testing will be provided. If the employee is not present on this day, he or she will not receive testing until the following year. New employees do not receive baseline TSTs upon initial employment. The first TST new employees receive is during the annual testing provided to all employees at the facility. After the result of the skin test is provided to the employee in writing by the AK State Health Department, the employee is instructed to forward the results to the laboratory director. The results are then placed in each employee's personal health records. When several of these records were reviewed, it appeared that some employees had either failed to provide a copy of the results to the laboratory director or they did not receive an annual TST. There was no central file used for tracking TST results.
During the visit, it was noted that the laboratory had recently purchased a BACTEC® system. According to the BACTEC manual, the manufacturer suggests that the system "may be exhausted into a biological safety hood at the laboratory's discretion." However, this may alter the airflow patterns within the cabinet. If this were to be done, the BSC would have to be recertified. There are two other options which BACTEC suggests: (1) since the BSC contains a HEPA filter in the exhaust port, the air may be exhausted directly into the room and (2) the exhaust hose may be ducted directly to the outside.
The four dedicated exhaust fans are located on the roof, except the fan for the chemical fume hood, which is located in the return air plenum. The exhausts on the roof were located a sufficient distance from outdoor air intakes to minimize the potential for entrainment of contaminated air into the building. The ductwork exhausting air from the ante-room in the containment laboratory was disconnected and opened to the return air plenum. Therefore, if contaminated air were to enter the ante-room, this air would be recirculated and distributed to occupied areas on
the second floor through the return air plenum. Ceiling tiles were found throughout the containment laboratory, instead of the recommended "hard-surfaced" ceiling. An attempt had been made to glue the tiles to their aluminum supports in order to prevent laboratory air from entering the return air plenum. Since the laboratory is not properly sealed, a major aerosol release in the laboratory could lead to the dissemination of Mtb bacilli to other parts of the second floor. The walk-through inspection of the mechanical room indicated that the HVAC system was relatively clean. The filters had a rated efficiency of 30 percent, according to the ASHRAE estimated dust-spot-efficiency test; however, ASHRAE recommends that filters with a dust-spot efficiency of 35% to 60% be used in laboratories.
The results of airflow measurements and airflow direction tests for the three rooms in the containment laboratory are presented in Figure 7-1. The anteroom was found to be under positive pressure relative to both the adjacent hallway and the TB preparation room, regardless of the operation of the BSC. However, the pressure relationship in the TB laboratory fluctuated with the operation of the BSC. Without the BSC fan operating, the TB laboratory was under positive pressure. The TB laboratory should be operating under negative pressure regardless of the operation of the BSC. There are two potential contributing factors for this: (1) when the BSC is not exhausting additional air from the TB laboratory, the dedicated exhaust in the room is not removing a sufficient volume of air to ensure that the room is under negative pressure and (2) the static pressure sensor in the preparation room is not working properly. When the fan of the BSC was turned on, additional makeup air is supposed to be supplied. However, the supply air in the preparation room actually decreased in volume when the BSC was turned on, according to the flow measurements collected by the NIOSH investigators.
According to the calculated ACHs, all three rooms were theoretically achieving greater than six ACH. Without the fan of the BSC operating, the following ACHs were calculated for the anteroom, the preparation room and the TB laboratory: 12.9, 11.0 and 16.7, respectively. With the fan of the BSC operating, the following ACHs were calculated for the anteroom, the preparation room and the TB laboratory: 17.6, 10.4 and 18.1, respectively. As would be expected, all of the ventilation rates increased, except in the preparation room, when the fan was operating. Again, the lower ventilation rate in the preparation room when the fan was on indicates that there may be a problem with the static pressure
sensor in this room. Based upon these results, the fan of the BSC should run continuously in order to maintain negative pressure (air flowing in) in the TB laboratory, until the ventilation system is properly balanced.
The NIOSH evaluation identified several environmental deficiencies at the laboratory. Based on the results and observations of this evaluation, the following recommendations are offered to the facility:
1.Infection with Mtb usually can be identified through tuberculin skin testing (TST). The Mantoux technique, the preferred test, involves intradermal injection of 0.1 milliliters of purified protein derivative (PPD) containing five tuberculin units.23 If an individual has been infected with Mtb, preventive drug therapy can greatly reduce the chance of developing active TB. All employees should receive a two-step PPD skin test upon initial employment, as recommended by CDC.17 The clinic should establish a formal employee tuberculin screening and follow-up program in accordance with current CDC guidelines.1 The results of TSTs should be maintained in a central file and should be periodically reviewed to evaluate the effectiveness of the TB control program. Information recorded should include the date tested, testing material used, size of the reaction to the testing in millimeters and interpretation. In addition to the regularly scheduled surveillance testing, all employees who have received a potential exposure to Mtb should be retested (unless a negative tuberculin skin test has been documented within the preceding three months). If the initial test is negative, the test should be repeated 12 weeks after exposure.
2.Personal respiratory protection should be worn by all employees in the TB laboratory during aerosol-generating procedures, since no BSC is 100% effective. At the minimum, a disposable HEPA respirator should be worn, one which is consistent with the CDC guidelines for preventing TB transmission in health-care workers. CDC will be publishing an update to the current BMBL in the near future which will address the use of respiratory protection (this update will be published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report). A respiratory protection program which meets the OSHA requirements should be in place at the facility.21 The program should be periodically reevaluated for its effectiveness.
3.The exhaust duct in the ceiling plenum of the anteroom should be sealed or connected to the exhaust in the TB laboratory to prevent recirculation of contaminated air to other parts of the facility. In addition, the ceiling tiles in the containment laboratory should be replaced with a "hard" ceiling in order to prevent air from leaking into the return air plenum.
4.The ventilation system (including the pressure sensors) in the containment laboratory should be fully evaluated to ensure that it is operating properly. Airflow rates should be evaluated to ensure that 6-12 ACH are achieved at all times in the TB laboratory. The BSC should run continuously in order to maintain negative pressure in the TB laboratory at all times. The laboratory should consider installing a continuous-room-pressure monitor for the TB laboratory. These monitors are commercially available, and are designed to provide a visual indicator to the person entering the room or laboratory that the area is being maintained under negative pressure. The current filtration is not adequate to prevent dust accumulation in the HVAC system and the occupied areas. Filters with lower efficiency may allow for the contamination of "clean" environments and may adversely affect the operation of laboratory equipment. The most efficient filters the system can handle should be used. A ventilation firm should be consulted to determine the maximum filter efficiency.
5.A firm specializing in ventilation should be consulted to determine the amount of outdoor air currently being provided to the laboratory, and to balance the system. This firm should be experienced in working with laboratory facilities. The facility should develop and implement a written preventive maintenance program for the ventilation components of the facility in consultation with the manufacturers of the equipment. Preventive maintenance activities on the components should be documented. For future reference, blueprints of the HVAC system should be prepared in order to assist in maintaining and repairing the present system.
6.AFB smears should be heat-fixed on the slide warmer within the BSC, since organisms remain viable during this procedure. To further eliminate viable organisms, the phenol-based portion of staining may be completed within the BSC before removing the slides.
7.The glass flask used to collect supernatant fluids should be replaced with a splash-proof, plastic (i.e., polyethylene) waste container which can be autoclaved.18 A one-hole rubber stopper should be placed in the opening of the container through which an aerosol-proof funnel should be placed. The container should have a small amount of disinfectant in it, and the funnel should be rinsed with the disinfectant each time supernatant solution is poured into it. In addition, all items which are removed from the BSC as wastes should first be enclosed in a leak-proof, plastic container which can be autoclaved.
8.Laboratory personnel should be trained to respond to spills. CDC has recommended actions to be taken in the event of an accident.14 The steps to be taken depend on the concentration of the spill and the type of ventilation system in use.
9.A biohazard warning sign should be posted on the door of the TB laboratory. The sign should include the following information: who to contact in case of an emergency, the identity of the infectious organisms present in the laboratory, requirements for the use of personal protective clothing and any special entry requirements, such as tuberculin skin testing.
10.The laboratory should consider upgrading the ventilation system for the containment laboratory. Consideration should be given to installing a constant-air-volume system; therefore, the pressure differentials in the laboratory will be easier to maintain.
1. CDC . Guidelines for preventing the transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in health-care facilities, 1994. MMWR 43(RR-13):1-132.
2. CDC . Tuberculosis morbidity—United States, 1994. MMWR 44(20):387-95.2.
3. CDC and NIH . Biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories, 3rd ed. U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 93-8395
4. Pike RM . Laboratory-associated infections: summary and analysis of 3,921 cases. Hlth Lab Sci 13:105-14.
5. Reid DP . Incidence of tuberculosis among workers in medical laboratories. Brit Med J 2:10-14.
6. Capewell S, Leaker AR, and Leitch AG . Pulmonary tuberculosis in health service staff—is it still a problem? Tubercle 69(2): 113-18.
7. Harrington JM and Shanon HS . Incidence of tuberculosis, hepatitis, brucellosis and shigellosis in British medical laboratory workers. Brit Med J 1:759-62.
8. Kenny MT and Sabel FI . Particle size distribution of Serratia marcescens aerosols created during common laboratory procedures and simulated laboratory accidents. Appl Microbiol 16:1146-50.
9. Stern EI, Johnson JW, Vesley D, Halbert MM, Williams IE, and Blume P . Aerosol production associated with clinical laboratory procedures. Amer J Clin Path 62:591-600.
10. McKinney RW, Barkley WE, and Wedum AG . The hazard of infectious agents in microbiological laboratories. In: Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation, 4th ed, Chapter 43, pp. 749-56.
11. 42 CFR 72.3 . Code of Federal Regulations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Office of the Federal Register.
12. 42 CFR 71.156 . Code of Federal Regulations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Office of the Federal Register.
13. 49 CFR 173 . Code of Federal Regulations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Office of the Federal Register.
14. Kent PT and Kubica GP . Public health mycobacteriology; a guide for the level III laboratory. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
15. Allen BW . Survival of tubercle bacilli in heat-fixed sputum smears. J Clin Path 34:719-22.
16. CDC . The use of preventive therapy for tuberculosis infection in the United States: recommendations of the advisory committee for elimination of tuberculosis. MMWR 39 (RR-8):9-12.
17. CDC . Screening of tuberculosis and tuberculosis infection in high-risk populations: recommendations of the advisory committee for elimination of tuberculosis. MMWR 39 (RR-8):1-7.
18. Gilchrest MJR . Laboratory safety management update: Aerosol-
borne microorganisms. Introduction. In: Supplement #1 of the Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook. H.D. Isenberg, Ed. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.
19. NSF . Class II (Laminar Flow) Biohazard Cabinetry. National Sanitation Foundation International Standard 49. Ann Arbor, MI.
20. Department of Health and Human Services . Respiratory protective devices; certification requirements. Public Health Service, 42 CFR Part 84. Federal Register 1995; 60(110):30366-98.
21. Code of Federal Regulations . OSHA respiratory protection standard. 29 CFR 1910.134. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Federal Register.
22. ASHRAE . Health facilities. In: ASHRAE Application Handbook. Atlanta, GA: American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Chapter 7.
23. American Thoracic Society/CDC . Diagnostic standards and classification of tuberculosis. Am Rev Respir Dis 142:725-35
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Chapter 8Chillers and Refrigerants
Energy efficiency challenges presented to the Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) industry and its customers in the 1970s became even greater when combined with environmental mandates in the 1980s. Despite the fact that HVAC machinery worldwide depended on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a United Nations agreement called the Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, mandated that CFCs would have to be phased out of production by January 1, 1996 because of indications that CFCs were damaging the stratospheric ozone layer. Thus the industry was forced to find alternative refrigerant chemicals while developing the new equipment that could use the alternatives in an efficient way.
After development of two major alternatives, HCFC-123 and HFC-134a, the HVAC industry had to develop new, large air conditioners, called chillers, that could efficiently use the alternative refrigerants. Today, new chiller designs, working in concert with efficient building cooling systems, result in energy efficiencies far greater than could be attained only a few years ago.
The new reality of the CFC production phase-out and better-than-ever chiller efficiency offers new opportunities for HVAC customers to save money while protecting the environment by containing existing CFC stocks, converting selected existing chillers and replacing others with more efficient machinery. The HVAC industry, by facing the dual challenges of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, has created opportunities for our customers. These opportunities underline the fact that being business-wise can also be earth-wise.
The development of stable, safe and commercially available CFC refrigerants in the 1930s ushered in tremendous changes in the way we lived and in the way buildings were designed. Air conditioning affected every aspect of our lives: our homes, cars, restaurants, and the office buildings where we work. Prior to air conditioning, office buildings were designed so that all occupied spaces had access to windows because the windows were the air conditioning. As a result office buildings were tall and skinny. Air conditioning allowed buildings to be designed in any conceivable shape, since proximity to a window was no longer important.
Things have changed significantly since the 30s. In the 1970s, increasing energy costs and energy crises led architects to design office buildings with greater energy efficiency. More energy-efficient buildings relied primarily on a "tight" design. Windows no longer opened and occupant comfort came to rely on heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems. Chillers provided the cooling capacity using, more often than not, CFC-based refrigerants. Pressures to continually improve en-
Figure 8-1. Chiller Efficiency Progress
1975-1995: nearly 40 percent improvement
ergy efficiency have resulted in chillers today that are significantly less costly to operate than they were only a few years ago.
The efficiency challenges to the HVAC industry, particularly to air conditioning, grew even more complex in the 1980s. In the early 1980s, scientists became alarmed over signs that the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer was thinning. CFCs, used in a dizzying variety of applications, such as refrigerants, chemical blowing agents and solvents, were believed to be a contributor. In 1989, the Montreal Protocol was signed. The protocol, for the first time, phased out production of an entire class of chemicals, CFCs, on January 1, 1996 to protect the ozone layer.1
The change that CFCs made on our lives was dramatic, the change we are continuing to face in replacing CFCs has been equally dramatic. Today, owners have a number of options that were not available only a few years ago and which offer them the chance to cut operating costs and improve environmental performance.
For large-building owners and managers, making the transition to CFC-free refrigeration can be pain-free. Owners with the right level of analysis and planning can reduce and eventually eliminate CFC use—and nearly eliminate CFC emissions in the meantime—while reducing operating costs as well. This favorable situation is due to progress that has been made in recent years in chiller design. Their decision as building managers is not only critical to tenants, but is also crucial to the success of their business and has important implications for the environment.
Owners and users of CFC-based equipment have relied on these refrigerants for many years, and now will have to choose among alternatives. Building owners and managers will need to operate equipment differently, at some point have to retrofit or replace equipment, keep more precise records, train employees differently—in short, make a lot of changes. The phase-out of CFC production offers a case study in how HVAC manufacturers have faced change, the biggest change since the industry's birth: complete redesign of an entire product line to ensure compatibility and efficiency with the new refrigerants.
A PARTNERSHIP FOR MEETING THE CHALLENGE
Needless to say, these changes present unique challenges to both our customers and the HVAC manufacturing industry—the users of re-
frigerants and the manufacturers of their equipment. But the bottom line remains the same, buildings must remain comfortable and tenants productive.
The HVAC industry has faced the twin challenges of phasing out CFCs and providing our customers with energy-efficient equipment. We are working to supply solutions to our customers' CFC transition needs and do it with safe, reliable and efficient equipment. This has been an exciting challenge for us. Based on the HVAC industry's progress so far, our customers have a number of options available to effectively manage their transition to a CFC-free future.
A Challenge to Building Owners and Managers
Let's look at the challenge of an existing building using CFC refrigerants. What factors must we and our customers consider? A very short list of questions includes: Does the manufacturer of your existing chillers offer a retrofit option? What will the chiller efficiency be after retrofit compared to the original or compared to a new chiller? What will be the economic impact of retrofit versus replace? With three basic options to consider for each chiller—containment, conversion and replacement—an analysis of needs and economic benefits of each option must be considered very carefully. Obviously, the challenge becomes even greater for our customers who own multiple chillers of various ages that operate at differing energy-efficiency levels.
Containment is not so much an option as the current minimum standard of refrigerant management. This is driven right now by two factors: new government regulations, and economics—the desire to conserve remaining stocks of CFCs. Containment simply means that there are certain things that owners will have to do (or have had to do for some time now):
•Since July 1, 1992, technicians are no longer allowed to voluntarily vent CFC and HCFC refrigerants;
•Under the Clean Air Act, service technicians must receive the appropriate training and will need to be certified; and
•Purchase and use records for refrigerants must be kept.
The bottom line for building managers is that for both economic and environmental reasons, containment is right for every refrigerant: CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs.
In terms of the things that can voluntarily be done to conserve existing stockpiles of CFCs, an excellent example is replacement of older purge systems on low-pressure chillers with new, high-efficiency purge systems. Because of the things that have to be done and the additional things that can be done to contain CFCs, building owners and managers should be constructively engaged in this phase.
How do you make the optimum choice in the face of the CFC phaseout? The key point is this: building owners should not choose chillers based solely on one criterion—for instance ozone depletion potential or lowest first cost. This is an arbitrary decision that is not necessarily the best for the overall environment and may also lead to adverse long-term economic consequences. The optimal choice is to consider all alternatives as acceptable, viable alternatives, and to choose those that best meet the criteria and produce the highest return on investment. Trane supports the use of all alternative refrigerants, endorses the Environmental Protection Agency's position on choosing an optimal chiller and believes that owners should not stop at the chiller. The entire chiller plant, including the tower, pumps and equipment room contents, should be carefully analyzed to ensure optional system performance.
THE CONVERSION/REPLACEMENT PROCESS.
After devising a plan to contain all refrigerants, the next question is whether to replace existing HVAC systems or to convert systems to operate on environmentally acceptable CFC replacements. This decision is typically the most difficult, involving the most significant investments. Like any significant investment, careful evaluation and analysis of the options is clearly required.
A standard decision-making process involves five basic steps:
1.Recognize and define the problem.
2.Gather facts and make assumptions needed to define the scope of the solution.
3.Develop possible solutions to the problem.
4.Analyze and compare possible solutions.
5.Select the best solution to the problem.
Based on the fact that CFCs have been phased out (production ceased January 1, 1996) there is little difficulty in recognizing and defining the problem. Actually, rather than a problem, the requirement to convert to CFC-free machinery is much more an opportunity—one that offers cost savings through improved energy efficiency. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Gathering facts and making assumptions necessary to begin defining solutions should begin with a building load analysis.
The building load analysis is important because things may have changed since the original design: reduced load due to lighting retrofits, change in use or occupancy, added load due to computers, people, etc.
Defining the problem continues with categorizing the machines relative to their age, efficiencies, service and maintenance expense, leakage of refrigerant and so on. A good way of beginning an analysis is to bracket the chillers into three age categories: 2-10 years, 10-20 years and over 20 years if you are a multiple chiller owner and you simply want to practice better containment.
20(+) years old: good candidate for replacement with significant opportunity to pay back investment with increased energy efficiency.
CHILLERS 20 YEARS OLD AND BEYOND
Chillers in this category are frequently good candidates for replacement because they are beginning to reach the end of their useful lives. In addition, new chillers are much more efficient than the chillers of 20 to 30 years ago, as we discussed earlier. To cite a typical example, chillers manufactured in the early 1970s' version of water-cooled centrifuge chillers would have efficiencies in the range of 0.8-1.0 kW/ton. Today's water-cooled centrifugal chillers reach efficiencies in the range of .50-.65 kW/ton or better.
Even in a typical office building where operating hours are much less than a hospital or process cooling application, this difference in efficiency can result frequently in a three-year payback or less. This is ex-
tremely advantageous because with a three-year payback, the entire changeout and chiller installation can be financed, and the monthly interest and principal payments will be less than the monthly energy savings. [A payback is the amount of time necessary for an investment to pay for itself. In this case, the payback results from energy cost savings.] Therefore, from day one, the owner will experience a positive cash flow. This is obviously very attractive to any facility manager.
While ozone depletion potential was the cause for the worldwide phaseout of CFCs, there are a number of other environmental factors of refrigerant chemicals and the equipment that uses them which should be considered when new systems are evaluated. These include global warming potential and energy efficiency.
As for refrigerants, there are three common CFC alternatives. None is as thermodynamically efficient as the CFC-11 that is being replaced.
Consider the CFC alternative HCFC-123. HCFC-123 has the highest energy efficiency of all the alternatives.2 Again, efficiencies obtained over the 20- to 30-year lifetime of a chiller can translate into significant cost savings.
HCFC-123's inherently more efficient performance translates into chiller performance that is 5% to 15% more efficient than chillers using HFC-134a or HCFC-22. Current state of the art in HCFC-123 chiller design provides performance between 0.50 and 0.52 kW/ton or better at
ARI conditions in a number of sizes today and will be selectable across the entire product line from 300- to nearly 1,200-ton capacity by the end of 1996.
A quick comparison of two chillers illustrates the importance of apparently small efficiency differences. In fact, an efficiency difference of .10 kW/ton can mean cost savings of $300,000.
0.50 kW/ton HCFC-123 centrifugal chiller compared to a 0.60 kW/ton HFC-134a centrifugal chiller. Assume $.10/kWh energy cost, including demand.
500 tons × 2,000 Equivalent Full Load Hours (EFLH) × .10 kW/ton efficiency difference3 × $.10/kWh = $10,000/year savings
$10,000/year × 30 years = $300,000 energy cost savings over 30-year lifetime of the chiller that uses the more efficient HCFC-123.
GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL—BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT
HFC-134a and HCFC-22 centrifugal chillers, operating at higher pressures with inherently less efficient refrigerants, are typically limited to energy efficiency levels of 0.60 kW/ton level or higher. Although some machines using HFC-134a and HCFC-22 reach efficiency down to 0.56 kW/ton (at ARI conditions), these efficiencies are currently available only in a limited number of "sweet" spots throughout the product line.
Seemingly small differences in efficiency can result in large lifetime savings. For example, if the 500-ton HCFC-123 chiller used above performed at an efficiency level of .02 kW/ton or better it would mean an additional lifetime savings of $60,000. These monetary savings are accompanied by equivalent lower emission levels of greenhouse gases from electrical power production. For example, if every centrifugal chiller in the world were able to be operated at .50 kW/ton instead of .60 kW/ton, utility-generated emissions would be reduced each year by over 21 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas; 138 million pounds of sulfur oxides, which are potential greenhouse gases and contributors to acid rain; and 77 million pounds of nitrogen oxides and their by-products. Nitrogen oxide and its by-products are greenhouse gases, as well as contributors to acid rain and smog.
NEAR ZERO EMISSION DESIGNS
Trane's Earth•Wise™ CenTraVac® chillers represent major design improvements in refrigerant emissions. HCFC-123 chillers, because of their low-pressure design and incremental improvements that have been made over the years, are achieving "near zero" refrigerant emissions levels. Current emissions represent more than a 50-fold reduction in chiller refrigerant emissions over previous designs.
During normal operation, the latest HCFC-123 chillers include electronic early warning systems to detect and alarm chiller leaks. These controls alarm at the first indication of unusual purge operation. They directly monitor the presence of refrigerant that has escaped from the chiller. The loss of refrigerant due to unnoticed catastrophic leaks is thereby virtually eliminated. Professionals in the HVAC industry should become familiar with the guidelines set forth in ASHRAE Guideline 3-1990, Reducing Emissions of Fully Halogenated Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Refrigerants in Refrigeration and Air Equipment and Applications.4
Just as an example, the ASHRAE guideline contains two important elements:
•"Significant loss of refrigerant can be attributed to improper operation and monitoring of equipment operation. Routine operating logs should be kept so that the operator knows how much refrigerant and oil are used.
•A periodic review of logged condenser performance data can show the presence of air in-leakage or fouled heat exchanger surfaces . . ."5
Today, keeping accurate, timely operating logs has never been simpler. Microprocessor-based control systems make recording of critical operating information simple and routine, and require minimal manual input from an operator. Even more importantly, these systems automatically calculate and display the data the operator needs to make informed decisions. For example, these controls produce reports that list not only the condenser approach temperature, but also list it over a period of time so the operator or service engineer can identify trends. To take it one step further, an operator or service company can be automatically notified if operating conditions exceed set parameters.
Historically, leaks have accounted for over 41% of the refrigerant
loss. Flare fittings have been identified as a major contributor to these leaks. To meet this challenge, "near zero" centrifugal chillers have over 85% fewer flare fittings than machines produced only a few years ago.
Purge emissions of refrigerants have been reduced in some cases to less than 0.0049 pounds of refrigerant per pound of air. This means that in a typical 500-ton machine, the loss from purge is less than 3/4 of an ounce of refrigerant annually.
During minor service for centrifugal chillers, emissions are also reduced to "near zero" levels. Minor service for these chillers is characterized by procedures like changing purge and oil filters, etc. The "near zero" emissions centrifugal chiller is normally equipped with a complete system of isolation valves to allow evacuation and extraction of nearly all refrigerant from the oil filtration system. This reduces emissions during minor service to "near zero" losses.
Refrigerant transfer during major repair or overhaul also benefits from special valving arrangements that allow refrigerant to be added to the equipment and recovered with virtually nonmeasurable losses of refrigerant.
Obviously, "near zero" emissions has significant implications for the question of the future availability of refrigerants. Said simply, a chiller which does not lose its refrigerant during normal operations, routine maintenance and major overhaul does not require recharging. For example, a 500-ton centrifugal chiller with an emissions rate of 0.50 percent will lose five pounds of refrigerant recharge each year. A 30-year supply of HCFC-123 (the anticipated useful lifetime of a chiller) will fit into two six-gallon containers, and at current prices cost $750.
Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a date for eventual phaseout of HCFC-123 production in the next century—based on the fact that it does have an ozone depletion potential, however low—recent study has raised questions about this policy's logical basis. Quite simply, it typically takes years for substances like CFCs to reach the upper atmosphere where they can damage the ozone layer. HCFC-123 has an atmospheric life of 1.4 years, while studies have shown that it takes 3 to 5 years for molecules to reach the stratosphere. This means that
very little HCFC-123 ever reaches the stratosphere.6
Dr. Sherwood Rowland, a noted atmospheric scientist and one of the two scientists credited with originating the theory of stratospheric ozone depletion, recently stated that,
"I am certainly in favor that HCFCs should be divided according to their lifetimes, and the [HCFC]-123, for instance, has a short lifetime. I don't see the sense in including it in with the very long lifetime molecules, because most of it is not going to make it to the stratosphere. . . . If the world's governments had asked me for my advice, I would have divided (chlorine-containing compounds) somewhere along the line of lifetimes shorter than five years. I would put them in different categories and not be worried about them for the present time."7
At a 1992 meeting in Copenhagen aimed at following up on implementation of the Montreal Protocol, one scientist challenged the group to measure any quantity of HCFC-123 in the stratosphere. This is based simply on the compound's short atmospheric life and the low emission rate of low-pressure chillers.
The short atmospheric lifetime, combined with the low ozone depletion level (especially compared to CFC-11), is the reason HCFC-123 will retain its current U.S. phaseout date of 2030, and why, when combined with its low Global Warming Potential and high efficiency, there has been discussion of extending or even eliminating HCFC-123's phaseout date.8
In the case of HFC-134a, some environmentalists are calling for greater regulation because of its higher Global Warming Potential. The truth is that just like HCFC-123, as long as refrigeration equipment is designed to have "near zero" emissions, the chemical never escapes to the atmosphere. Hence the challenge to the industry is containment, through which we can be assured that all alternative refrigerants will be around throughout the useful life of the equipment.
CHILLERS 2-10 YEARS OLD
Up to now, we have been discussing replacing aging chillers, but what options are available for newer chillers, say 2-10 years old? The chillers in this category are typically good candidates for conversions.
They are newer and typically reflect improved efficiencies. Perhaps most importantly, HVAC machines in this age category have much of their useful lives remaining.
The Bottom Line: Chiller Replacement/Conversion
2-10 Years Old: Good candidate for conversion with opportunity for energy efficiency providing a return on investment.
20(+) Years Old: Good candidate for replacement with significant opportunity to pay back investment with increased energy efficiency.
There are some very real and significant advantages to retrofitting chillers as opposed to replacing them with non-CFC-using chillers. First, retrofit is typically 50% to 70% less expensive than replacing. Advantages include:
•Less downtime—in some cases retrofits can be accomplished in as few as three to five days;
•Reduced system and piping modifications—no need to change out pumps or piping;
•The ability to continue to use sound chillers (properly maintained chillers can pay back that investment with 20 to 30 years of additional chiller life); and
•The retrofit process adds new life to chillers because most major mechanical parts are replaced or reconditioned.
In this category, planning can save capital expenditures. Proper planning can conserve capital. For example, conversions can be done economically at the time of major overhauls. Overhauls are recommended by all major chiller manufacturers approximately every five to ten years.
WHAT DOES RETROFIT ENTAIL?
•During retrofit to HCFC-123, all the gaskets, "O" rings and seals on the chiller must be changed since they are not compatible with the alternative and traditional refrigerants.
•The motor is removed and may be sent to a motor rewind shop to be rewound. This is an excellent time to replace hermetic motors with ones that are compatible with both the traditional and the alternative refrigerants.
•While the machine is open for conversion and overhaul, the impellers typically need to be trimmed and the refrigerant orifice plates must be reselected and changed.
•For HFC-134a conversions, the motor and gaskets are compatible, but typically the impeller and gear set need to be changed and a change from mineral oil to POE oil is required.
There are a number of other retrofit options available to our customers, one of which is to replace the existing chiller compressor with a new compressor while making the rest of the chiller compatible with the new refrigerant. This option is especially attractive where the existing chiller manufacturer does not offer a retrofit option and the chiller is located in such a hard-to-reach location that replacement is not possible. This option offers some very good capacity and efficiency improvements and can also provide a payback on utility cost savings.
Containment devices such as high-efficiency purges, service fittings, etc., should be installed. Finally, building managers need to insure that the equipment room meets ASHRAE Standard 15 requirements.
By doing the conversion at the time of the major overhaul, building owners can save between $10,000 and $15,000 on the conversion of a typical 500-ton, hermetic, centrifugal chiller, if the conversion is done simultaneously with the overhaul. Our customers frequently are using a computerized spreadsheet or other planning tool to schedule, year by year, for these future major overhauls, and to incorporate the conversion at the time of scheduled overhauls.
Chiller manufacturers can provide computer-based modeling to predict the chiller performance after retrofit, which must be done to
ensure it will be capable of handling the building load using a new, environmentally acceptable refrigerant. A number of options come into play here. If the building load is significantly lower than original design, the retrofitted chiller can be selected at a reduced tonnage, thereby allowing for an improved efficiency at the reduced tons. In some cases, chiller efficiency can be improved to where it is better than the original chiller efficiency. In many cases, the project will have a payback based on utility cost savings.
For Multiple-Chiller Owners
For owners practicing stockpiling, containment will be absolutely critical. However, for owners of ten or more chillers this may be the most economical option. The timed refrigerant removal from selected machines can be used to supply those still in operation.
Stockpiling CFCs from retrofitted chillers for later use in CFC-based machines is an option for building owners and managers who are responsible for multiple chillers of varying ages. This approach allows chiller change-out to proceed gradually over a number of years.
One method to accomplish this without the up-front cost of a big refrigerant stockpile is to use what is called a "working stockpile." With this approach, one or more chillers are retrofitted to alternative refrigerant capability, but the original CFC refrigerant is recharged back into the chiller. The chiller is now fully capable of operating on either CFC or alternative refrigerants. Should the operator need the CFC refrigerant at another location, it is simply removed from the retrofitted chiller and replaced with the appropriate alternative refrigerant. This program reduces the up-front conversion cost, reduces stockpiling costs and minimizes stockpiling risk.
Retrofits are definitely a growing vogue. Here are a number of reasons why:
•Company policy aims toward greening operations;
•Companies that own multiple chillers have developed long-term plans to systematically replace and retrofit chillers in a logical sequence; and
•Because equipment failures prompt major overhauls, a building manager also would have the unexpected opportunity to retrofit as part of the repair.
CHILLERS 10-20 YEARS OF AGE
Our discussion has jumped out of chronological order, going from the oldest to the youngest chillers. That is because middle-age chillers 10-20 years old present the greatest challenges. The building owner must choose between the more-expensive, but more-efficient, replacement option, and the less-expensive, but less-efficient, conversion option.
Experience has shown that a valuable first step in making this difficult choice is to contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). From chiller records, OEMs can ascertain the original performance characteristics and then run computer programs that will provide the capacity and efficiency data, not only on the traditional refrigerant, but on the alternative refrigerant as well. In addition, information can be obtained regarding the cost of reaching capacity and efficiency levels.
Once the cost and efficiency numbers are known for both the conversion as well as the replacement options, design professionals can use computerized life-cycle cost analysis programs to provide information such as simple payback, internal rate of return, cash flow or other valuable financial data to equip the owner to make an informed decision.
To put this decision-making process into perspective, a conversion typically costs only 20% to 40% of the replacement chiller's total installed cost. However, depending on the efficiency differences, the entire first cost difference may be paid back in an extremely short time period, a time period that can be determined accurately and dependably.
Another important additional factor when deciding between conversion and replacement is the availability of microprocessor-based controls for new chillers, as discussed earlier.
In summary, customers are developing possible solutions through the full analysis of their containment responsibilities and options, as well as the options and opportunities available in conversion and replacement. Analysis will be based on economic and environmental considerations with a view toward answering the question only the building owner can address: "Which system will provide my customers with the most comfortable working environment in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner?"
Fortunately for all of us, the HVAC industry has set the standard for developing a wide range of products to fit a wide variety of needs. While nobody can clearly foresee the future, it is safe to say that the trends we have seen over the past 20 years, toward more energy-efficient
products that are environmentally sustainable, will continue. Working in partnership with our customers, we will jointly do the right thing for our customers, for their businesses and for the environment.
1. United Nations Environmental Programme, September 1987, Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.
2. Smithart, Eugene L., April 1991, HCFC-123: The Good News, Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, p. 52.
3. .60 kW/ton–.50 kW/ton = .10 kW/ton energy efficiency difference.
4. Copies are available by calling the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. Publications Sales, 1791 Tullie Circle, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.
5. ASHRAE Guideline 3-1990, Feb. 15, 1990, Reducing Emissions of Fully Halogenated Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Refrigerants in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Equipment and Applications.
6. See also Lupinacci, Jean, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, August 10, 1993, comments as a panelist in the CFC Phaseout—Are You Ready?, cosponsored by E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company and the Trane Company.
7. Dr. Sherwood, Rowland; Summer 1993 ASHRAE Meeting, Denver, Colorado.
8. Gushee, David E., Oct. 1994, Montreal Protocol Negotiations: Should HCFC Phaseout Schedule Be Accelerated in 1995?, Congressional Research Service Report to Congress.
Chapter 9Central Plant Measurement and Diagnostics.
This chapter presents the results of a Central Plant Optimization study using Measured Diagnostics as an enhanced data collection and analysis tool. Measured Diagnostics includes short-term data acquisition and the preparation of graphic reports. Energy baselines and Optimization Measures intended to improve operational and energy performance are identified and acted on based on an engineering analysis of the graphic reports generated from the Measured Diagnostics process.
The benefits of Measured Diagnostics include identification of optimization strategies which reduce energy usage, the stabilizing of erratic plant operation and the creation of factual justification (baselines) to support more costly energy efficiency measures. Although a detailed payback analysis has not been included in this chapter, Measured Diagnostics projects generally accrue "hard" benefits with short-term payback and multiple "soft" benefits which reduce maintenance requirements, increase system reliability and improve comfort. While many chiller plant optimization strategies can be developed by following good engineering practice, we have discovered there are numerous opportunities within central plants and air distribution systems which elude conventional observation methods and therefore cannot be realized without the use of a measurement and diagnostic tool.
MECHANICAL SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
General Building Description
The office building comprises approximately 24 stories with 570,000 sq. ft. The HVAC system includes a central plant located on the
parking level which distributes chilled and hot water to air handlers located in mechanical rooms on two floors. Eight originally constant-volume, double-duct air-handling units, four in each mechanical room, had been previously retrofitted with variable frequency drives.
Chilled Water System Description
The central plant contains two 978-ton and one 100-ton electric water chillers, associated cooling towers, pumps, valves and other devices configured as shown in Figures 9-1 and 9-2 with the following features:
•The two larger chillers serve the main building and retail areas during normal operating hours.
•The smaller, 100-ton chiller serves the retail areas during after-hours operation.
•A plate and frame heat exchanger is used for direct water chilling from the cooling tower (wet-side economizer).
•The main cooling tower has two 50-hp fan motors controlled with one variable frequency drive and a second cooling tower has four 25-hp fan motors, two per cell.
THE MEASURED DIAGNOSTIC PROCESS
Real-time measurement of the central plant loads, operation and efficiencies were performed over a four-week period using the EASI Measurement Service (EMS). Measurement consisted of the simultaneous, real-time logging of energy (kW) demand and consumption, water temperatures and flow rates for each chiller, cooling load and energy flow stream (Figure 9-1 and 9-2).
Data from the Measured Diagnostics activity were processed and reports were generated and interpreted to determine actual operating and performance parameters.
The Measured Diagnostics and energy analysis process consists of the following specific tasks:
Figure 9-1. Chilled Water System Instrumentation
Figure 9-2. Condenser Water System Instrumentation
•System installation, monitoring and equipment removal
•Central Plant characterization and identification of optimization strategies
The following sections describe details of the work performed for each task:
Installation, programming, start-up and verification of a short-term measurement program require comprehensive planning. Planning generally includes the following elements:
•Review existing building documentation including mechanical, electrical and control system drawings.
•Survey the central plant, interview operating engineers and assess site preparation needs for installing temporary measurement equipment.
•Prepare a measurement plan document.
System Installation, Monitoring and Equipment Removal
The following elements were performed during this phase:
•Install temporary temperature, flow and kilowatt sensors, and data logging equipment, in accordance with the plan.
•Program the data logger to record rolling averages of measured parameters at 15-minute intervals.
•Connect a telephone line onto the data logger for remote access of measured data.
Processed, graphical reports are generated based on raw data downloaded from the data logger. Reports are generally presented in the following categories:
•Equipment performance vs. % load.
•Equipment and building loads vs. time.
•Operating parameters vs. time.
Central Plant Characterization and Identification of Optimization Strategies
The review and interpretation of real-time graphic reports provides the opportunity for performance assessment, troubleshooting of problems and creation of optimization strategies. Engineering interpretation includes assessing a series of integrated graphic reports which range from the fully processed performance summaries to individual temperature flow rate and kW measurements. Using this technique, we can summarize and characterize performance of prime moving equipment (chillers, cooling towers and pumps) and understand how control of specific operating parameters (temperature, flow, cooling tower fans) impacts the performance of specific equipment and entire systems.
MEASURED DIAGNOSTIC ANALYSIS SUMMARY
The following performance information for each chiller was discovered:
kW/ton versus percentage load for CH-1 and CH-2 (Figures 9-3 and 9-4). Point entries on these graphs represent each 15-minute interval during the measurement period each chiller actually operated. The density of logged points throughout the load range indicates the frequency chillers operate at each percentage of load.
kW/ton versus time for each chiller throughout the duration of chiller measurement. (CH-1 Figure 9-5)
Chiller Performance Summaries. Chiller performance summaries at various operating points. (Table 9-1)
Figure 9-3. Chiller 1 Performance Summaries
Figure 9-4. Chiller 2 Performance Summaries
Figure 9-5. Chiller Performance Profiles
Table 9-1. Average Chiller Performance
Average Chiller Performance
The following can be observed from these and other measurement reports:
•Chillers operate between 35% and 70% of full load most of the time.
•Chiller performance improves significantly at lower condenser water temperatures. As much as 0.1 kW/ton (or approximately 13%) increase in kW/ton performance can be realized from a 10° reduction in condenser water temperature entering the chillers.
•CH-1 is more efficient than CH-2 by approximately 0.1 kW/ton throughout the loading range.
•Chiller kW/ton performance spikes periodically at the beginning and/or end of the day. This may occur when air-handling units are shut off.
•Either the wet-side economizer or the chillers operate for a short time in the morning to chill the loop and pre-cool the building. Chiller kW/ton performance is erratic during this period.
Low/No Cost Recommendations
Run the more efficient chiller (CH-1) during all on-peak and most mid-peak periods. Operate CH-2 during all other rate periods as necessary to balance run time within facility management requirements.
Check CH-2 refrigerant charge, machine controls and other operating parameters to determine the reason for lower performance.
Reset entering condenser water temperatures to the minimum allowed for all chillers.
Run the pony chiller (CH-3) during early morning hours (between 4:30 a.m. and building occupancy) in lieu of both the wet-side economizer and CH-1 or 2. As shown in Table 9-2, operating the wet-side economizer uses significantly more energy than operating CH-3.
Table 9-2. Wet-side Economizer and CH-3 Energy Comparison
Chiller Water Pump
90 kW @ .9 kW/ton)
Cooling Loads Analysis
Figure 9-6 shows that cooling loads typically ranged between 400 and 800 tons as ambient temperatures varied between 65° and 85°, except on Monday, 10/10/94, when the ambient temperature exceeded 85°. That morning the cool-down loads exceeded 1,000 tons and two chillers were required to operate. This was probably due to heat built up over the previous weekend which was in excess of 90° each day.
Low/No Cost Recommendations
With enhanced control and measurement provided by the new DDC system, the ability to observe, shift and manage load within the range of one chiller during marginally warmer days is enhanced. We recommend the following strategies to extend the number of cooling hours satisfied by one chiller:
Figure 9-6. Cooling Load Profiles
•During hot, summer weekends, pre-cool the entire building with one chiller and all air-handling units for several hours early Monday morning. Use this strategy to avoid running two chillers if temperature increases.
•Minimize condenser water temperature to increase chiller capacity. Consider running the second condenser water pump to lower the chiller head pressure.
•Reduce chilled water supply temperature setpoint to ensure chillers are fully loaded.
•Run chiller CH-3 to shed the retail load from CH-1 or CH-2.
Chilled Water Pumping
Figure 9-7 shows graphic reports of chilled water pumping energy and flow rates. Table 9-3 summarizes observed pumping energy and flow rates under various operating modes.
Table 9-3. Chilled Water Pump Energy and Flow Rates
Based on this information, the following observations are noted:
Design flow rates are significantly higher than actual, measured flow rates.
Figure 9-7. Chilled Water Pumping Profiles
Table 9-3 also shows that P-1 is currently more efficient than P-2 by approximately 12.6%. When both pumps operate, pumping efficiency drops 19.8% less than P-1 alone. Efficiency drops as flow rate increases primarily due to increases in pressure drop at the higher flow rates.
The existing chilled water pumping system operates at a constant flow and energy consumption rate at all cooling loads and for each combination of pump(s).
Low/No Cost Recommendations.
Run the more efficient Pump P-1 during on-peak and most mid-peak periods. Operate P-2 during all other periods as necessary to balance run time usage within facility management requirements.
It may be possible to run one chilled water pump through both periods for loads between 1,000 and 1,500 tons. In this mode, chilled water temperatures would be reduced and differential temperatures increased. We suggest testing flow rates through both chillers when off and comparing these against manufacturers' minimum flow rate requirements before running chillers in this mode.
Check all balancing valves, strainers, pump, seals and motor condition to determine if any operational anomalies may impact the performance of P-2.
Capital Cost Recommendations
Verify the sizing requirements of chilled water pumps. If pumps are actually oversized as they appear, then either a motor changeout alone or in conjunction with a variable frequency drive may be appropriate and should be assessed.
Consider converting to constant-flow primary/variable-flow secondary pumping. The addition of constant-flow primary pumps for each chiller along with a bypass line and variable speed drives on P-1 and P-2 will allow the pumping system to vary the flow rate and significantly reduce the Watts/gallon pumping during many hours of part load operation.
Condenser Water Pumping
Figure 9-8 shows graphic reports of condenser water pumping energy. Internal piping corrosion precluded us from obtaining condenser water flow rates. Condenser water pumps 4 and 5 can operate with either or both Chillers 1 and 2. Table 9-4 summarizes observed pumping
Figure 9-8. Condenser Water Pumping Profiles
energy and design flow rates under various operating modes.
It appears only one condenser water pump operated when both chillers were running on October 10. If this is typical, there may be an opportunity to reduce the flow rate and pumping energy usage when only one (1) chiller operates.
Between October 4 and October 10, condenser water pumps ran continuously from the time chillers were "bumped" at approximately 4:00 a.m. until chillers were turned off at the end of the day.
Table 9-4. Condenser Water Pump Energy and Design Flow Rates
P-1 & P-2
1,830 GPM each
48 kW, 1 Chiller
75 HP each
45 kW, 2 Chillers
Low/No Cost Recommendations
Assess the impact of running one condenser water pump when both chillers are operating as follows:
•Determine the flow rate through each chiller under all operating modes.
•Have the chiller manufacturer run performance calculations based on condenser flow rates and temperatures with only one (1) pump running.
•Compare chiller performance and capacity at various flow rates and temperatures based on manufacturer's information.
•Determine any tradeoff between kW/ton operation with one or two pumps operating.
Capital Cost Recommendations
If the above analysis indicates that reduced condenser water flow at lower temperatures can achieve good kW/ton performance, then consider the installation of a variable frequency drive on one pump and operate this pump at the reduced flow rates.
Figure 9-9 shows graphic reports of cooling-tower fan motor energy usage. Table 9-5 summarizes capacities and measured parameters.
Variable frequency drives on CT-2 fan motors have a significant impact on reducing energy usage.
Cooling-tower fan energy usage tracks ambient temperatures reasonably well.
Full-load fan energy usage during the heat exchanger mode averages approximately 130 kW, with all fans operating at full speed.
Table 9-5. Cooling-Tower Fan Parameters
2 × 50 HP with VFD
60 kW @ full load approx. 20 kW w/VFD
4 × 25 HP const. spd.
75 kW @ full load36 kW @ part load
Low/No Cost Recommendations
The measurements indicate that chiller performance is improved at lower condenser water temperatures. We recommended the following control sequence modifications to take advantage of this opportunity:
Control condenser water temperature entering the chiller, rather than temperature leaving the chiller.
Control to the lowest achievable and reliable condenser water temperature.
Capital Cost Recommendations
Retrofit the remaining cooling-tower fan motors (4 @ 25 hp each) with variable frequency drives. Operating all cooling-tower fans partly loaded with variable frequency drives will save additional energy.
The existing control system appears to include the essential components for equipment control and status monitoring. However, there exists an opportunity to enhance the measurement, reporting and optimization sequence features.
Figure 9-9. Cooling Tower Fan Energy Profiles
We recommend expanding the measurement, reporting and optimization sequences with the new control system. We suggest gaining the ability to produce regular reports of system loads, operation and performance similar to those developed as part of this work. Daily and weekly review of these reports will result in the ability to visualize operations and truly optimize on energy performance.
Measured Diagnostics can be a highly effective tool offering plant engineers unique insight into the real-time operation of their plants and identifying opportunities for optimizing central plant performance. In spite of the possible opportunities, Measured Diagnostics can be a tedious process, requiring cooperative commitment and diligence from both the consulting and plant engineers to achieve its objectives. The following general protocols should be followed:
•The consulting and plant engineers should work together during all phases of the Measured Diagnostic program. Good communication is essential.
•The consultant needs to thoroughly review the procedures and objectives, inspiring the plant engineer to aggressively participate in the process.
•The consultant needs to review the initial findings with the plant engineer to find explanations for various anomalies observed in the information.
•The plant engineer needs to follow up with the low/no-cost recommendations either during or immediately following the Measured Diagnostics period.
As this technology evolves, we should see the principles of Measured Diagnostics integrated into permanent DDC systems, with reports similar to those presented in this paper being produced on a daily basis.
The proactive plant engineer will be able to truly use his energy-management system as an on-line diagnostic tool, with the capability to continually improve plant performance as he learns more through the Measurement Diagnostic process.
Chapter 10Industrial Central Chiller Facility Upgrade
E. Z. Lizardos
An existing 3,000-ton, single-stage, central, chilled-water system at a Wyeth-Ayerst pharmaceuticals plant could not balance and deliver required chilled water flow rates in an energy-efficient manner, especially so considering planned expansions in manufacturing operations.
A modernization design, consisting of a two-stage primary and secondary pump design, and a chilled-water distribution and pressure-equalization header, resulted in an expandable, energy-efficient chilled-water system for existing and expanded manufacturing processes and building air conditioning.
A constant-flow primary pump-chiller loop, independently interfaced to a variable-flow secondary pump supply loop, provides energy-efficient, constant-flow control of chiller operations, while providing an effective chilled-water supply to meet varying building A/C and manufacturing process cooling demands. It achieves both energy efficiency and tighter process control. Additionally, the introduction of a chilled-water distribution and pressure-equalization header provides for efficient, economical expansion for additional site constructions and expanded manufacturing processes.
The solution reduces total water flow demands by 2,500 GPM. As a result of this lower GPM pumping as well as energy-efficient equipment operation, the system modification reduces peak energy usage by 1,400 kWh.
Wyeth-Ayerst, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer, produces several products at its Rouses Point facility located at Lake Champlain, just a few miles from the Canadian border.
Over 25 manufacturing, laboratory, office, storage and utility buildings at the site are supported by a central utility plant housing chillers, cooling towers and pumps. Chilled water for all building A/C and manufacturing process cooling is generated by chillers in the central plant and pumped throughout the complex. Because portions of this large system had been constructed over the past 20 years as manufacturing operations gradually expanded, the original chilled-water system design had difficulty in balancing and delivering required chilled-water flow rates in an energy-efficient manner.
1.One of four central chillers was designed to operate at one-half the temperature differential (6°F) of the other three (12°F), creating operating difficulties when run in conjunction with any of three other chillers.
2.One steam-absorption chiller operated along with three electric chillers which were powered by very economical hydroelectric power from the local utility. Operating the steam-absorption chiller was over three times more expensive than the electric chillers, and was not taking advantage of the environmentally cleaner hydroelectric power that is readily available year-round.
3.Chilled-water distribution piping consisted of 10 independent "home runs" (supply and return distribution circuits) added over the years from the central plant header to groups of different buildings. Some buildings are serviced by more than one circuit, each of varying pipe size. This design required maximum pumping power into each separate circuit. Some of the distribution circuits traversed building roofs and trestles with some circuits well over 1,000 feet in length.These 10 distribution circuits, at peak flow demand, could develop low pressure problems. Of the 10 distribution circuits, one 8" circuit served more than one-third of the total site load. In some instances, new manufacturing processes were provided with small, stand-alone chiller equipment instead of drawing off the central
chilled-water supply. Furthermore, some of the distribution circuits had equipment with three-way control valves which created significant bypass returns and sent "unused" chilled water back to the central chillers for re-cooling and re-pumping.
4.Growth was limited, based on the capacity of existing chillers, as well as costly, having to "home run" new distribution circuits to new installations.
The solution was a system upgrade to maximize process effectiveness via an energy-efficient, modernized chiller plant with dual-stage pumping and reorganizing the chilled-water distribution circuits. The solution reduces total water flow demands by 2,500 GPM. As a result of this lower GPM pumping as well as energy-efficient equipment operation, the system modification reduces peak energy usage by 1,400 kWh.
A primary, constant-flow pump-chiller loop configuration was implemented at the central plant (see Figure 10-1). Four variable-speed 60-hp pumps and chiller sets, arranged in parallel, produce a constant flow through the chillers for optimum equipment efficiency at a temperature differential of 12°F (54°F down to 42°F). As chilled-water demand increases, additional pump-chiller sets operate up to a new current total capacity of 4,500 tons.
The secondary distribution loop is connected to the primary loop via a short header serving as a bridge buffer which permits variable distribution demand loads, meanwhile maintaining constant flow control at the primary loop. Four 200-hp variable-speed pumps arranged in parallel, with remote booster pump sets located on three of the 10 distribution circuits, provide chilled water for the site.
The 6°F chiller was modified to 12°F, like the other three chillers, by reducing the GPM through the chiller by one-half. Consequently, this used almost half the pumping power formerly consumed. The 1,200-ton steam-absorption chiller was replaced with a new 1,500-ton electric chiller.
The chilled-water distribution system was upgraded with the addition of a 10" pipe equalization header main to join and collectively share the chilled water from five of the distribution circuits remote from the central plant (see Figure 10-2). This configuration promotes chilled-water
Figure 10-1. Chilled-Water Flow Diagram
Figure 10-2. Chilled-Water Distribution Circuits with New Pressure Equalization Header and Variable-Speed Booster Pumps
pressure/flow sharing between the processes drawing from one particular distribution circuit. In this way, high-demand pumping is minimized. Automatically controlled, variable-speed pump capacity, in conjunction with the three remote booster pumps, assures proper chilled-water flow and pressure. The new chilled-water header design accommodates economical connection of new distribution piping.
Three-way control valves at various terminal units were replaced with automatic two-way valves. This eliminates excessive bypassing of shut-down processes which caused pressure limitations in the past during high-volume demands. In addition, pressure and temperature sensors installed at the end of each distribution circuit provide differential pressure and supply temperature readings for central plant operators. These temperature and pressure sensors provide the new electronic monitoring control system with input to promptly and accurately adjust chiller and pump output to supply only what is required. This new central control greatly expands the company's operating and energy savings ability.
The system not only recoups costs in energy savings, but allows the company to economically expand operations, thereby increasing manufacturing profits.
Section IVNatural Gas Heating and Cooling
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Chapter 11HVAC Technology and Trends: A Global Review.
Natural gas cooling, dehumidification and combined cycle systems can serve as a strategic energy and environmental solution for many architects, engineers, policy makers, utilities and building owners. Four basic issues dominate when you examine the field of space conditioning today: energy conservation, preserving the environment, durable and reliable equipment, and doing it all economically. These issues confront us with an ever-increasingly complex set of variables which must be solved simultaneously to provide viable solutions. A brief examination of these four issues is necessary to evaluate the development of the engine-driven, absorption and desiccant equipment on the market and to further evaluate their success in the future.
There are four key issues that will impact gas cooling's potential in the residential, light commercial and larger commercial marketplace. They are:
The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning "HVAC" industry is undergoing fundamental change. By the year 2010, or sooner, every
piece of equipment will be dramatically different than its counterpart of 1990. The single most significant driver for this change is the environment.
This chapter is to serve as a support document examining the potential for natural gas cooling, dehumidification, and heating and cooling system technology during this HVAC paradigm shift.
The federal government has yet to implement an energy policy. The Bush Administration initiated the Energy Policy Act, which became law in October of 1992. On March 8, 1994 President Clinton signed an Executive Order on Energy Efficiency. Major components of this order are: a) increasing the federal target for energy use reduction from 20% in the year 2000 to 30% in the year 20041, b) enacting the shared energy savings program component of the Energy Policy Act, c) requiring DOE to study and report on implementing "Full Fuel Cycle Analysis" and d) stimulating the federal use of DSM/IRP incentives offered by utilities. The exact form of America's energy policy has yet to be defined by Congress, but indications are that it will be environmentally driven, using either federal DSM/IRP-type incentives, tax incentives, pollution trading or minimum standard modification.
In sharp contrast, the Japanese government made a strong commitment, in the mid-1980s, to accelerate the acceptance of gas cooling to promote optimum economic use of capital. In utility terms, this means load leveling for both gas and electric utilities. The Japanese government offers a two-tiered tax incentive: the first provides a 7% tax credit for gas cooling purchases (up to 20% of total corporate tax) and special accelerated depreciation; the second is a fuel tax exemption to certain customers who qualify under an energy efficiency program. Along with these strong incentives, Japan's MITI has provided a strong R&D commitment to gas cooling. The results are a 7-year advanced start over the rest of the world on residential/light commercial gas cooling and the 80%+ current dominance of absorption chillers in the large commercial market within Japan.
Application Design and Modeling
The time-honored phrase Caveat Emptor—let the buyer beware—is very important when it comes to selecting any HVAC product. The industry is in the beginning stages of really understanding building envelope performance modeling coupled with chiller system design interface. It is absolutely critical that one understands all the variable and default inputs into any modeling program. This can account for wild swings in results of as much as ±100%. Misapplication is most likely to occur in modeling gas-cooling technologies, which often is the result of not understanding the differences in these technologies versus electric vapor compression.
For example, you would typically apply an electric vapor compression chiller with a 10°F rise across the condenser and allow the condenser water temperature to vary with load and ambient temperature. This application philosophy recognizes the critical relationship between compressor head and system performance and takes every advantage of the cooling tower's ability to lower condensing temperature at off-design points. In other words, energy savings are greater by reducing compressor head then by reducing cooling-tower energy input during these conditions. This is not the case for absorption chillers. First, you will likely reduce full load system performance by raising the absorption condensing temperature by at least 5°F. This recognizes that absorption chillers are less efficiency sensitive to increased head because of the different relationship the solution pump has to head pressure increases versus the compressor. Second, the part-load performance of an absorption chiller with a 15°F rise through the absorber/condenser circuit permits system-wide (chiller, condenser water pumps and cooling-tower fan) energy savings of about 10% over trying to apply an absorption chiller like its vapor compression counterparts.
Independent and trustworthy modelers with little or no gain from the outcome of a sale are the best source of information. Economic and building models should be created by reputable and independent entities. Careful examination of the input data and a manufacturer review of the assumptions minimize chance of gross error. Finally, usage of actual utility rates rather than budget numbers is important so as not to skew results.
The relationship between CFCs and ozone depletion is taught in elementary schools across the globe. It has been proven that chlorine combines with ozone and thus breaks down the important protective ozone layer in the stratosphere. Global production of CFCs ceased December 31, 1995, placing many air-conditioning systems at risk. The existing chiller stock leaks refrigerants at a 10% to 15% annual rate. HCFC-22 production for new equipment is currently scheduled to end in 2010 and production of HCFC-123 for new machines is to cease in 2020. There is even discussion of HFC-134a production ceasing at some future date due to its global warming potential. This would leave the HVAC industry with no known long-term solution for vapor compression air conditioning excepting ammonia and potentially explosive gases like R-290 (propane) and R-152a.
Global warming is an increasingly popular issue for debate with many informed opinions on whether or not global warming is real.
Even assuming global warming exists and is a real threat, the total impact of all water chillers of any type is negligible vis-a-vis global warming potential. The CO2 emissions generated from all chillers worldwide is small. So, selecting one chiller over another based on its indirect global warming potential will have relatively little impact on the environment.
However, global warming is now at the epicenter of the global policy debate and the Clinton Administration has entered in where the Bush Administration refused to go, by signing the Rio Accords. This commits the U.S. to limiting its year 2000 CO2 emissions to 1990 levels.
The HVAC industry is developing a total equivalent global warming potential impact "TEWI" model to describe chiller-system and packaged-unit emissions. This basically takes the impact of direct emissions and adds the indirect emissions through energy consumed (largely CO2 emissions). This is a political battlefield with weapons consisting of seasonal delivered electric resource energy efficiency (and associated emissions), seasonal delivered natural gas resource energy efficiency (and associated emissions), proper application of equipment and accurate modeling. The prize is equipment sales and fuel consumed.
1992 passage of the Clean Air Act Amendment regulates emissions of CFCs, HCFCs and SO2. The Rio Accords will lead to regulation of CO2. With the European Green movement and the Clinton Administrations desire to create the economically viable environmental presidency, we can look forward to more regulation. Gas cooling can play a role through high resource energy efficiency (accounting for all efficiency losses during extraction, delivery to the pipeline and power plant, energy conversion, transmission and distribution) and low resource-based emissions (accounting for all emissions during extraction, delivery to the pipeline and power plant, energy conversion, transmission and distribution). The global gas community must promote the policy of resource energy efficiency and resource-based emissions. Gas cooling, in particular, can benefit from analysis of the economic and resource energy inefficiency of delivered summer electricity.
Indoor air quality "IAQ" problems continue to plague our residential and commercial structures. It appears that increasing building air changes will remain the principle method of alleviating this problem. IAQ is a unique opportunity for gas cooling and, in particular, desiccant technology to expand market share. Desiccant systems make excellent outside air-conditioning units which are necessary for increasing air changes.
We are just beginning to see natural gas engine, absorption and desiccant technology emerge out of U.S. manufacturers' laboratories and field demonstrations. The gas industry can expect to see a significant increase in market share of natural gas engine-based cooling equipment, heating and cooling products, absorption technology and desiccant systems, provided the industry strongly supports product commercialization and provided the various government agencies are also supportive of these technologies.
The Japanese experience is clear evidence that the public/private partnership was good for gas cooling.
In most states within the U.S. DSM/IRP has served to further entrench electric cooling by segregating electric DSM activities from gas
DSM activities. This situation must change if we are to ever expect customers to take advantage of gas-cooling technology, the most efficient cooling for each application.
Vapor Compression Basics.
An electric air-conditioning system utilizes an evaporator which absorbs heat from the conditioned space either directly through an air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger or indirectly through a heat transfer loop. During this process the refrigerant liquid boils into vapor, which is sucked into a compressor, increased in pressure and discharged to the condenser. The condenser in residential/light commercial equipment then cools and condenses the refrigerant by using the outside air (or another type of heat sink like the ground, as in "ground source heat pump"). The condenser in large commercial equipment then cools and condenses the refrigerant by using condenser water, which then rejects heat to the atmosphere through a cooling tower. The high-pressure liquid refrigerant is then reduced in pressure and temperature by a throttling device and returned to the evaporator to begin the process all over again. A heat pump cycle simply uses a series of valves to reverse the refrigerant flow path to use the condenser; as the evaporator and the evaporator as the condenser and thereby cooling the outside air to heat the inside air.
Natural Gas Engine System Basics
A natural gas engine system replaces the electric motor with a natural gas engine and usually the engine heat is reclaimed either in a combined cycle with a desiccant or absorption system, for space or water heating. Furthermore, the variable speed nature of the engine provides for very efficient part-load performance and accurate load matching. Natural gas engine systems are the most efficient HVAC technology available today.
Natural Gas Engine System Development
The success of the Japanese Gas Heat Cooling System market has shown the world that natural gas is a viable solution to provide small engine heating and cooling technology to the residential and light commercial market. Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry "MITI" and Japanese manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, Sanyo, Aisin Seiki and Yanmar are working to improve reliability, durability, emis-
sions, cost and performance of this equipment. The Japanese have experienced a remarkable 79% reduction in the system repair incidence of the GHCS-installed base between introduction in 1987 and 1991, and they further predict that repair rate to be reduced to 10% of the original level. Watch for the Japanese to have 40,000 life units and 4,000 mean time between routine maintenance GHCS within two years. The Japanese units are getting larger with the current product range growing from 1.5 to 13.8 RT to 1.5 to 16 RT within a year or so and perhaps 20 to 25 tons. The latest innovation by Japanese GHCS manufacturers is elimination of HCFCs by introducing GHCS using HFC-134a as the refrigerant.
Meanwhile, the U.S. gas industry and York International are busily preparing for the market introduction of the Triathlon 3-ton GHCS on July 26, 1994. This technology has the reliability (minimum 40,000 hours before overhaul), durability (minimum 4,000 hours between service), high efficiency (according to a recent EPA study the Triathlon unit is the most resource-energy-efficient "air sourced"2 heating and cooling equipment available in the U.S.), low emissions (on a resource basis: low CO2, no SO2, low NOx3) and economical (with today's energy costs, the Triathlon will offer most customers under a 3-year payback). The original 1991 10-unit field trial of the York Triathlon yielded a 98%+ availability. The current 50-unit field demonstration of the pre-production model required some unit wiring changes due to factory errors. No significant engine failure modes have been identified to date. A successful York Triathlon product launch will yield a future water heating option and also an alternator/battery system making the unit independent of external electrical power to provide heating, cooling and eventually water heating and even a little extra power. Commercial success of the 15-ton Thermo-King rooftop split system unit has attracted a second player—Carrier—into this market with a 25-ton rooftop design. These two fledgling product lines are attracting attention especially where commercial buildings suffer from staggering demand and/or ratchet charges. Assuming market success for these single-unit product lines, it can be expected that they will grow to be 10, 15, 20 and 25 RT offerings from both companies.
Tecogen's expanded standard product line has this established chiller manufacturer covering 50 to 750 tons with "off-the-shelf" engine chiller products. Alturdyne, EnChill and Sierra Power have developed extensive engine chiller product lines from 25 tons to 6,000 tons. Several other engine chiller packagers have been producing equipment in re-
gional markets and are eyeing the nation's potential. Finally, the defining moment, proving natural gas engine chillers technology has come of age, was York International's announcement in January 1994 of a joint venture with Caterpillar to immediately develop a standard engine chiller product line spanning 400 to 2,100 tons with astounding simple-cycle cooling COPs around 1.9 and combined-cycle COPs well over 2.0, using single-stage absorption chillers to recover the engine heat loss.
Absorption System Basics
The absorption cycle begins at the evaporator with heat being absorbed from the air either directly, through an air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger, or indirectly, through a heat transfer loop. This heat boils the liquid refrigerant (water or R717), which migrates to the absorber, where it is absorbed into solution with an absorbent (LiBr or water). This "mixed" fluid (usually called dilute solution) is then pumped to condensing pressure by a small solution pump. The high-pressure dilute solution enters the generator section of the unit where heat is added to drive the refrigerant from the solution. The now-concentrated absorbent solution returns to the absorber and refrigerant vapor migrates to the condenser where it is liquefied by transferring heat to the outside air (either directly or through a heat transfer loop to a cooling tower) and the refrigerant is then reduced in pressure by an expansion device and returned to the evaporator to begin the cycle again.
Japanese work on absorption technology is well documented. Both Yazaki and Ebara are working on small, lithium-salt, multiple-effect systems, and Matsushita, Daikin/Rinnai and Sanyo are working on ammonia-based systems.
The only existing U.S.-manufactured air-cooled residential light commercial unit is manufactured by Robur Corporation under the name Servel. The Servel manufacturing plant has been modernized and manufacturing techniques (welding and materials handling) have significantly improved reliability. April 20, 1994 marks the day Robur began production of its first Generator Absorption Heat Exchanger-based, cooling-only unit, and GAX heating and cooling systems by Robur will follow next year.
The most talked-about small (2-30 tons) absorption technology today is the GAX cycle. The U.S. DOE has been pursuing this technology
with Phillips Engineering for the past decade and in November, 1993, Carrier joined the effort along with Gas Research Institute. The first-generation Carrier GAX units should have entered the global market by late 1996 or early 1997. You can expect cooling COPs of 0.7 and heating COPs of 1.55 out of these units. The second-generation GAX cycles hold the promise of 1.0+ cooling COPs and 1.8+ heating COPs.
Light commercial water-cooled lithium bromide units by American Yazaki and McQuay/Sanyo are especially successful among school systems. Operating experience is too new to make any statements at this time.
Carrier, AFFMCQUAY, Trane and York all will manufacture double-effect absorption chillers in North America. York took the lead when its Houston facility went on line in 1992. Significant manufacturing cost improvements are expected as advanced models make their way from design to the shop floor within the next two years. We should expect to see price movement reflecting these improvements. Most serious absorption chiller manufacturers are researching various triple-effect designs and we can expect to see initial products on the market around 1996 boasting cooling COPs of 1.4 to 1.6.
Desiccant System Basics
The desiccant cycle is very different from the aforementioned cooling systems. Desiccants are materials (liquids or solids) that have a great affinity for absorbing or adsorbing water. Solid desiccants are usually bonded with a substrate in a paper form or on a metal foil, corrugated and rolled into a disk. This disk is then placed into a cassette which is divided into two sections (the dehumidification section and the regeneration section). The wheel is turned within the cassette at approximately eight revolutions per hour, passing the material through the dehumidification section (adsorbing moisture) and then passing through the regeneration section where hot air (either direct-fired or indirect via a heat exchanger) drives the water from the desiccant material and exhausts it to the atmosphere. Usually another heat transfer wheel or heat pipe system is employed downstream of the dehumidification section and upstream of the regeneration section to cool the dehumidified air and to preheat the regeneration air.
Desiccant System Development
A whole new class of desiccant systems is emerging from the re-
search laboratories. They are so absorbent that 90%+ of the moisture in an air stream can be removed. This super-dry air can be resaturated to any degree by simply adding water back to it and thus sensibly cooling the air stream. This means, for the first time, desiccants can provide total cooling comfort.
Existing solid adsorbent desiccants, primarily silica gel- and zeolite-based, are expanding sales in niche markets. Supermarkets, hotels in humid climates, hospitals, nursing homes and manufacturing facilities requiring low humidity are all growing markets. The key durability issues are: keeping the filters clean and improving small component reliability (e.g., wheel cassette motor/belt assembly).
The emerging supersorbent desiccant technologies are so new that it is difficult to predict further breakthroughs. We can expect that the general use of desiccant technology will grow because of the Indoor Air Quality issue. Humidity problems are costly and can be fixed using desiccants and the new class of desiccant systems provides both total cooling and also heating.
Economics remains the driving force for consumer behavior everywhere; however, all things being equal the environment will swing decisions.
Predicting the long-term future price of energy is impossible. However, we can envision a likely long-term scenario where, at worst, natural gas cost to the consumer versus electricity is about the same cost/Btu ratio as it is today. The fuel economic drivers of supply, demand, exploration cost, production cost, deliverability cost and environmental compliance cost all point to a future where the current delivered natural gas versus electricity. Urban centers are perhaps the exception due to high peak electric load factors driving up the cost of electricity versus natural gas.
One can also project falling equipment-manufacturing costs and prices for gas-fired absorption, desiccant and engine technology within the decade as economies of scale, experience and competition all kick in.
Finally, operating costs are getting even better already through training of service technicians, broader use of microprocessor controls and better technologies entering the market. The result is that many gas
cooling products cost the equivalent or less to maintain than their electric counterparts when fully evaluated. In those cases where maintenance cost is higher, like a natural gas engine system, the additional maintenance cost is usually absorbed within the savings in life-cycle energy cost.
The gas industry in the U.S. is undergoing mandated deregulation under FERC order 636. Gas utility firm customers now have the full burden of carrying the fixed assets of the delivery system. Many gas utilities view gas cooling as an important tool in reducing the fixed cost burden on all gas customers.
Electric utilities soon face the beginning of deregulation as retail wheeling (allowance of independent electricity purchases and open-access transport across utility lines at the retail level) becomes a reality. This may be a precursor to the deregulation of the electric industry. Assuming this means electric utilities need to become more competitive in the future, these utilities may indeed take a new look at avoiding costly peak power plants with low load factors and instead use all means—including gas cooling—to avoid such costs.
In North America gas cooling sales in 1992 accounted for 2,500 small absorption units (< 10 tons), 100 15-ton engine rooftop units and a handful of engine units between 15 and 30 tons. This is compared to 800,000 electric heat pumps and 2,500,000 split-system air conditioners and 150,000 electric rooftop units under 30 tons. The principle reasons for this disparity are historical and lack of product. This situation will dramatically change in 1994 and beyond.
The larger commercial sector fared somewhat better but remains in its infancy. Absorption chillers accounted for about 217,000 tons and 375 unit sales in 1993 compared to about 15,214,000 tons and 3,447 unit sales for electric centrifugal and screw chillers. Engine chillers accounted for about 36,000 tons and 120 unit sales in 1993. Desiccant systems installed in 1993 accounted for 5,250 tons and 150 unit sales. These were largely conventional silica-gel, solid-desiccant systems. The advanced 1-M type desiccants are now entering the market.
Energy demand in Japan is similar to that of the United States in that significantly more natural gas is consumed in the winter than in the summer (about twice the summer consumption). Electricity, on the other hand, is in high demand during the summer. This is a particular problem for Japan as it imports the large majority of its fuel and has a strong incentive to level seasonal variation to assure adequacy of supply, low fuel price and optimum use of fixed utility assets (high load factors).
Since the 1950s, the Japanese government and HVAC manufacturers have worked to improve the design and performance of absorption chillers with the overarching desire to improve the load profiles of both their electric and natural gas infrastructure.
Japan has the most developed light commercial gas cooling market. Today about 150,000 gas engine heat pumps ("GEHP") or natural gas heating and cooling systems ("GHCS") are installed and sales are growing at the rate of 40,000-50,000 units per year in a 1,000,000-unit-per-year market.
Historically, absorption technology in Japan developed slower than in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. This was largely due to the lack of central steam loops in Japanese cities of that era. Nevertheless, single-stage machines were utilized in chemical plants, hotels and hospitals where excess steam could be utilized to create cooling and thereby save electricity. 1970 saw the first double-effect, gas-fired cooling and heating system operating at the National Sports Arena in Kuramae (Tokyo).
The rapid rise of absorption-cycle machine utilization in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s was encouraged by the Japanese government for the following reasons:
1.Absorption machines can provide both cooling and heating in a single piece of equipment.
2.The absorption cycle operates at low pressure and, according to Japanese operating code, does not require an operating license.
3.Absorption machines require very little electricity to operate.
4.Reduced energy cost compared to electric air-conditioning equipment primarily due to special summer natural-gas air-conditioning rate structure.
5.Absorption air conditioning is useful to balance gas and electric utility load and can operate during very-high-load-factor electric peak days without any difficulty.
6.Environmentally friendly refrigerant (water) and absorbent (lithium bromide) eliminates worries over CFCs.
7.Much quieter operation versus the electric counterparts.
8.Versatility of fuel sources to provide the thermal power including the ability to use combined cycle-generated heat or waste heat.
The strong drive by the Japanese government to balance utilization of both the electric and gas utility infrastructure and a strong national desire to eliminate the use of CFCs in large equipment has led to widespread use of water/lithium bromide absorption systems to the extent that 50% of the large chiller base is absorption technology and 80% to 90% of the annual Japanese large chiller sales are absorption.
Northern Europe does not have an air-conditioning manufacturing base and is largely served by U.S. subsidiary companies Japanese subsidiary companies, and southern European manufacturers. There exists a strong potential for natural gas engine and absorption heat pumps (when developed) for the European heating market.
Russia, while economically not ready to explore gas cooling, dehumidification or heating/cooling systems, has potential, especially with its abundance of natural gas and need for economical, energy-efficient heating systems.
The Pacific Rim (excluding Japan, which we have already explored) is one of the world's fastest-growing areas. These countries have several common characteristics: they are developing nations with limited financial resources and vast natural gas resources; many have high temperatures or high humidity, and no utility infrastructure. Using the theory that electric infrastructure costs about one order of magnitude (10×) greater than gas infrastructure, a logical choice for these countries is to maximize end-use energy conversion, which means high potential for gas cooling.
Natural gas cooling, heating and cooling systems, and dehumidification technologies' combined potential as a market-sustaining, load-lev-
eling and even a market-growth strategy makes sense. The technology is either here, soon to be here or on the horizon.
For the HVAC industry, gas cooling offers wider options to handle the difficult issues of our time from simple economics, to ozone depletion, to resource energy efficiency, to resource-based emissions to indoor air quality. Absorption, engine and desiccant technologies are becoming part of the HVAC mainstream.
The gas industry is beginning to focus on gas cooling as a strategic issue. Strategic focus on gas cooling, investment in gas cooling research, development, demonstration and commercialization can yield significant benefits for the gas industry. Rational projections, provided accelerated effort is made today by the gas industry, can yield increased natural gas throughput in the year 2000 of 196 bcf and in the year 2010 of 840 bcf. Equally significant is the fact that 75% of this load is summer load.
For electric utilities, substitution of natural gas cooling at the strategic level projected above would yield about 6.5 gigawatts of expensive peak power that would not have to be provided in the year 2000 and up to 22 gigawatts that could be avoided by the year 2010.
The HVAC market is undergoing fundamental change, providing unprecedented opportunity for gas cooling equipment to solve serious efficiency and environmental problems for space conditioning and process cooling.
1. Reduction targets are from a 1985 baseline.
2. Ground-sourced equipment is more source energy-efficient, but the cost unsubsidized of ground-source equipment is significant. Should the Triathlon ever be ground coupled it would remain the most efficient technology available.
3. The Briggs and Stratton engine is a lean-burn design which currently meets the most stringent U.S. standards and is being improved to meet even higher standards for the turn of the century.
Chapter 12Absorption Chillers
Absorption may be the only "new" technology that was first recognized in 1777. Most new technologies, as do most Hollywood stars, take 20 to 25 years to achieve "instant success" and notoriety—we only have to look at the fax phenomenon in the past few years to understand this; doesn't anyone remember the telecopiers of the early 70s?
Several questions from this opening line of thought perhaps come to mind. Why has absorption taken more than 200 years to become a viable technology and, secondarily, what is the long-term potential for heavy absorption technology? A third interesting question may be: is there a window of opportunity which was presented by the electric vapor compressor refrigerant issue which will be the last chance for absorption?
Of course we know that absorption is not a new technology. It is, however, being rediscovered in many parts of the world by specifiers and engineers who are otherwise totally familiar with HVAC systems technology. As has been well documented in Japan, absorption-heavy systems have been dominant for some time to the point that over 90% of the new units installed in the heavy systems category are absorption. Further, by now 50% of the installed heavy systems tonnage in the country are absorption chillers. It did not take the electric vapor compressor refrigerant issue to make this huge market for absorption and there aren't too many people in the HVAC business in Japan that view absorption as the "tortoise technology." If we only understood what the drivers
were in Japan to create this absorption market, then perhaps we could understand and possibly predict the long-term potential for the technology in other markets of the world. We could actually look for markets that mirror the prevailing conditions in Japan. There will be those among us who will say that Japan is a unique market in almost every product category and most certainly with respect to heavy chiller systems. More on Japan and market drivers later, but for now we need to return to the thought of absorption as a "tortoise" technology that has been around for a long time but certainly not in much of a race for anything.
The industrialization of the West was founded on the availability of abundant and cheap sources of primary energy with its most refined form, electricity, coming from a multitude of resources, including hydro, coal, oil, nuclear and gas. In the early 70s, the Middle East oil crisis shook the western world into the realization that at least oil was a depleting resource with a price structure that might very well spiral upward as far ahead as we could see. Governments, utilities, companies and even some individuals started to think about saving some of their precious energy and diversifying their energy consumption patterns away from unsecured sources, such as Middle East oil. Roll the clock forward 20-25 years to the mid 90s and we in the industry relate comprehensively to the concepts of Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) and Demand-Side Management (DSM).
The Middle East oil crisis provided a worldwide "significant emotional event" that stimulated the creativity and freed up resources to explore for new energy sources and develop new technologies to utilize them. Some countries were more stimulated than others, one supposes, as a result of prevailing economic conditions in the particular country and of the relative power of its political center. One thinks again of Japan, which must import virtually all of its conventional energy and has a strong policy-setting political center.
Electric vapor compression technology is an elegant solution, born from the industrial revolution, to harness cheap electricity to create indoor comfort for the masses. Billions of dollars over the years have been spent around the globe to engineer the technology to maturity. It has opened up the Sunbelt and made us all want to migrate to the South for the enjoyment of the sun when we choose and the comfort of our offices, factories and homes when we choose. It has been a phenomenally successful technology pushing the world's population towards the middle, making us all more productive, promoting industrialization, freedom of
choice, democracy, and, of course, comfort. The cheap electricity and the vast amount of money spent on HVAC equipment to make the equipment itself relatively inexpensive, if not cheap, minimized the need for alternative technologies. Absorption for the most part was relegated to a tortoise development pace achieving limited acceptance in wastewater and steam applications. Many of these applications were of course not for human comfort but in process manufacturing—no less important but nonetheless not the mainstream of the HVAC business. It's always difficult to allocate development dollars for any technology that doesn't play to the core of a business. The HVAC business is no exception; therefore absorption remained on the fringe.
The Japanese development of direct-fired absorption in the 70s and its relative maturity in the 90s has put absorption technology squarely in the mainstream comfort cooling business. When the right circumstances are in place, absorption is now not only in the mainstream in Japan but in many markets throughout the world. There are significant technology developments required to make absorption head-to-head competitive with electric vapor compression on an efficiency basis as well as on a first-cost basis; but the market drivers for absorption are clearly gaining dominance over the market restrainers.
The major market drivers on a global basis for heavy absorption are dominated by consideration of conservation, regulation and the environment. The drivers are IRP, DSM, gas, government regulations and key applications.
In the developed western economies IRP considers the high cost of new or replacement electric power plants and the full utilization of both the electric grids and the gas distribution system. In developing countries IRP tries to balance the available energy and minimize the development costs of both the electric and gas infrastructure. In Japan and the U.S. we have summer-peaking electric grids and winter-peaking gas distribution networks.
DSM was started by the electric utilities in the developed economies and now, highly supported by gas distribution companies, is helping shave the peaks and maximize the return on investment in both grids. The positive effect of this trend on heavy absorption sales is in its infancy.
Direct-fired absorption can be fired by oil and gas in its various forms. It is, however, the abundant availability of cheap, clean natural gas that is the pervasive long-term driver of this technology. There is already much debate about the price line of electricity vs. gas into the 21st century. As all economists know, forecasting pricing is an uncertain art regardless of the presumed soundness of the underlying assumptions. It's always the unforeseen circumstances that cause real change. With this in mind but nonetheless at great risk, and barring the discovery of any great, new, economical, renewable energy source that could be made widely available, it can be asserted that gas will have economic and environmental viability for the next 25 years.
Governments are often directly or indirectly behind non-electric HVAC technologies. In Korea and Japan the political influence of the center is direct. We can therefore anticipate that the Korean market for heavy absorption will mirror the Japanese. The trend is already in full force as the absorption market is growing quickly. As is often the case in fast-growing markets, other problems arise such as over-capacity, poor quality product and price wars. With good management the Korean situation has the chance to stabilize before tarnishing the reputation of the technology itself.
In other countries governments exercise their influence less directly than regulations and in many, many forms. They influence IRP and DSM policies in the U.S. and Europe. In China the capital formation to build new factories and import foreign technology shapes the direction of policy.
In France the government controls both gas and electric distribution. The country has on balance the cheapest electricity in the world from its nuclear power plants. But this same country is setting goals and providing incentives to encourage the growth of gas cooling.
Key applications will continue to drive heavy absorption chillers. Conservation and the environment as well as pure economics are forcing the utilization of what we once called "waste" energy. Cogeneration and district heating and cooling applications utilizing absorption technology are popular in Europe and Japan and spreading to new, previously unthought-of, sites.
A few years ago one could argue that the very unfamiliarity of the technology was its major problem or market restrainer and certainly very few people outside of Japan and pockets in the U.S. and elsewhere were trained and confident to properly service the equipment. All of this is changing quickly.
Now the major market restrainers to heavy absorption systems are:
•High first cost
•Relatively low efficiency
•Relative electric vs. gas rate structures
•No air-cooled, continuous-duty, direct-fired and gas/infrastructure availability.
Looking down from 30,000 feet, not a lot of focus or engineering dollars have been spent to attack the high first cost of heavy absorption equipment. Some would agree that much of this high cost is inherent in the technology itself since upwards of 70% of the fabrication cost of a typical absorption machine is materials. Further, one could say that not a lot of focus or engineering dollars have been spent to attack the efficiency issue. Where the technology has been mostly dominant, namely Japan, the high first cost and low efficiency were not overriding restrainers. Other forces, which by now should be obvious, easily overcome these issues—government policies, DSM incentives, rate structures. However, as the technology moves into the mainstream HVAC business in a broader range of markets, the technology will need to be more competitive on first cost and efficiency with electric vapor compression systems.
When electricity is relatively inexpensive versus gas, absorption cannot win against electric vapor compression systems at existing first cost and efficiency levels.
The product itself is not yet fully developed to be competitive across the board. In much of Europe cooling water is very expensive. In major cities in South America there is often a limited source of fresh water. Therefore, to compete in these areas the technology needs to be available in air-cooled versions. Technically, this is difficult, but from a market view it is necessary for the technology to compete head-to-head,
application-to-application with electric vapor compression. Further, we have said that direct-fired machines have put the technology into the HVAC mainstream. This assertion is only partially true. No manufacturer yet has the confidence to assert that its machine can deliver 15 years of useful life on continuous duty, but this is what the market needs for cooling applications in the Sunbelt.
Gas is a major driver of absorption technology but the infrastructure is required to get the gas to the point of use. Much of the world supply does not have the infrastructure in place.
A global boom business of the 90s is building gas infrastructure. There now is an abundant supply of gas in many parts of the world and the job is to get it to energy-starved markets. In developed and developing countries, governments are driving new infrastructure projects. Japan, Korea, China, Southeast Asia and South America all have major projects underway or in the planning stages. This gas infrastructure is of course not just for gas cooling. Much of it is being installed to support new gas-fired electric power plants; however, gas cooling will predictably move aggressively with the wave as everyone tries to balance their energy resources and maximize the utilization of both electric and gas grids. It has also been noticed in many developing countries that gas infrastructure is an order of magnitude cheaper to install than the electric.
Heavy electric vapor compression machines for global markets have been developed and manufactured in high-wage, developed economies. Heavy absorption machines are being manufactured in Japan and the U.S. for sure, but more and more in low-labor-rate countries such as Mexico, Korea and China. This trend is a direct attack on the high first cost of the machines, but unfortunately only attacks the 30% or so of direct labor and burden. RD&E dollars and breakthroughs in additive and heat-transfer technology are required to reduce the material cost and as a side benefit downsize the machines. Further RD&E dollars and breakthroughs are required to increase efficiency and to make air-cooled machines viable. Electric vapor compression technology is not standing still while absorption begins to improve with focus on market requirements. The challenge for absorption is to substantially
improve efficiency while reducing cost and footprint. The markets of the world must decide what substantial improvements in efficiency mean and what is adequate in terms of reduction in cost and footprint.
And Japan will not be left out. The recession of the last few years is attacking pricing in every industry. Now the word SALE in Japan is as pervasive as it seems it has always been in America. Soon the Japanese will buy only when an item is on "sale" or at least only when they can be convinced that they are not paying any more than anyone else in the world for the item of similar quality. And soon the Japanese with the entrenched concept of "quality" will move to the broader concept of "value" and perhaps even to the point of preference to buy American products of greater "value."
A Business Week article reported that the price of air conditioners sold in Japan in May 1994 was 17% cheaper than in May 1993. Presumably the reference was to small, window units; however, the trend indicator is there. The Japanese manufacturers of absorption will be facing declining margins soon—even on sales in their home market! Their reaction is already under way. Several have started to move off shore to China to manufacture components and complete machines. Cost reduction redesigns are also reportedly underway, as are global component resource programs and major R&D efforts on additives, inhibitors and heat-exchange technology.
In 1993 Japan's domestic market represented about 60% of the heavy absorption units over 75RT sold and installed in the world. It has been difficult to get reliably accurate numbers for China and countries of the former Soviet Union.
By 1999 the global heavy absorption market is expected to almost double in unit volume and Japan is expected to continue to represent about 50% of those units.
The other major markets in the top five globally are China, Korea, the U.S. and Italy. As previously indicated Korea has the potential of becoming a dominant absorption market similar to Japan. But China, with its vast population and dynamic economic development, will likely be the second-largest market within the next five years, if it is not already.
The U.S. will remain the most openly competitive market in the world; the electric distribution network will respond competitively to the challenges of conservation and the environment, and absorption cooling will be supported and alluring with DSM programs by the gas industry. However, penetration of absorption into the total market for centrifugals, large screws and absorption should not be expected to put absorption in any kind of leading technology position. In the U.S. unit sales are still likely to more than double in units in the market over the next five years.
Italy, with small geography, high population density, relatively expensive electricity, relatively cheap and available gas and policy favoring gas, has the potential to shift to a dominance of absorption in the heavy systems business. This trend perhaps needs a new kick start that could come from a more buoyant overall economy and low-cost manufacturing tuned to special Italian market codes and requirements.
Many other markets from Iraq to Taiwan, Germany, South America and Eastern Europe have the potential of becoming important absorption markets by the turn of the century.
ABSORPTION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS
The technology needs to be led by a commercially viable triple-effect product range. COPs need to be in excess of 1.5 at a cost no greater than 25% more than the equivalent tonnage double effect. For long-term success the cycle and its engineered execution probably need to continue the inherent simplicity of existing single- and double-effect designs.
To back up the new triple-effect machines there will undoubtedly continue to be a place for single-effect and double-effect cycles, but these will need to be lower in cost, smaller in size and higher in efficiency.
The challenge for all this and air-cooled solar machines—and hybrids, too—will undoubtedly prove technically feasible, but strain the RD&E budgets of every manufacturer wishing to compete. The gas industry in America and Japan will help; the support of European gas companies is also needed, but in the end the restrainer on absorption technology development, and hence its competitiveness, will be economic.
There are too many manufacturers in the world chasing the growing heavy absorption market. Globally there is already too much installed or committed manufacturing plant capacity. The early result of too many Korean manufacturers with too much capacity in that country has been a price war. If a similar situation prevailed globally the technology would be robbed of the margin dollars it needs to develop its long-term competitiveness, notwithstanding the partnering of American and Japanese absorption manufacturers to gain sufficient volume to support the RD&E costs required.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
The concept of a window of opportunity for gas cooling technologies which has been presented by the electric vapor compression refrigerant issue is largely an American concept with references to the American market situation. As we have seen, other drivers are in place in many markets that have little to do with this refrigerant issue. Admittedly, even in these markets the dynamics favoring absorption are enhanced by the issue. However, long after the refrigerant issue is resolved, as it will be, absorption should be well positioned for continued growth. This growth has more to do with the balance of drivers versus restrainers market by market.
In America, we may be in a period of restructuring by both electric vapor compression machine manufacturers and by the electric distribution network. In a few more years both may be better positioned competitively on costs and efficiency and to that extent there is a window of opportunity for absorption or a period of time that absorption manufacturers must increase the efficiency of their product while reducing their cost, while presumably being supported by an increasingly efficient and cost-effective gas distribution network.
ABSORPTION CAN WIN
Absorption is no longer the tortoise technology. It will dominate in such markets as Japan and Korea and perhaps Italy in time. Such coun-
tries as China, Russia and India may develop pockets of domination by absorption but are probably too vast to install the requisite infrastructure everywhere. As we have seen, the U.S. is more special for absorption than Japan.
Absorption is probably challenged more with getting the dollars for engineering higher-efficiency and lower-cost product than it is with achieving the technological breakthrough to make it happen. If the engineering development dollars are made available, absorption will be a long-term winner in many more markets than it is today.
Chapter 13Case Study: Direct-Fired Gas Absorption System
The University of Redlands, located in the California Inland Empire city of Redlands, supplies six campus buildings with chilled and hot water for cooling and space heating from a centrally located mechanical center. The university was interested in lowering chilled-water production costs and eliminating ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants, and in adding chiller capacity, for future building, to the central plant piping "loop."
After initially providing a feasibility study of chiller addition alternatives and annual hourly load models, GRT & Associates, Inc. (GRT) provided design engineering for the installation of a 500-ton, direct-gas-fired absorption chiller addition to the University of Redlands' mechanical center.
Based on the feasibility study and energy consumption tests done after the new absorption chiller was added, the university estimates annual energy cost saving versus the existing electric chiller is approximately $65,000 per year. Using actual construction costs, the simple before-tax payback period for the project is six years.
GENERAL DISCUSSION OF ABSORPTION VS. ELECTRIC COOLING
Direct-fire gas absorption chillers offer an attractive alternative to electric-motor-driven chillers in some site-specific locations.
Advantages of gas-fired absorption chillers are: No CFCs, lower on- and mid-peak energy costs, less space required vs. thermal energy stor-
age systems (TES) alternative fuel capability, may eliminate need for separate hot water generator.
Disadvantages of absorption chillers are: Larger condensing water pumps and cooling tower required, high first cost and less familiarity by vendors and repair services.
Electric chillers have the following advantages: Lesser capital costs vs. absorption chillers, high amount of familiarity by vendors and repair services, smaller condensing water system required and often lower off-peak energy costs. Disadvantages are: Very high on-peak demand and electric consumption charges and use of CFC and HCFC refrigerants.
In the Southern California area, at 0.68 kW per ton-hour, the costs to operate a centrifugal electric chiller range from $0.12/ton-hour (on-peak), to $0.06/ton-hour (mid-peak), and $0.035 (off-peak).
Energy costs for gas absorption chillers, using the Southern California Gas Company's Gas-AC rate schedule, average about $0.05 per ton-hour in all time-of-use periods.
Therefore, based on this general analysis, it appears that the most cost-effective chiller plant option is a hybrid system that employs a combination of gas absorption and electric chillers. This combination will offer the lowest cost per ton-hour during all operating periods.
Installed costs, including engineering design, plan check, equipment (chiller, pumps, cooling tower), installation, piping, electrical, computer energy management system, general and structural, painting, insulation, permits, testing and commissioning for absorption chillers is approximately $1,100-$1,200 per ton installed. Installation costs for the same parameters for an electric chiller system range from $650 to $750 per ton installed.
GRT & Associates, Inc. (GRT) was the design engineering firm for the installation of a 500-ton, direct gas-fired absorption chiller addition to the University of Redlands' mechanical center. The mechanical center is a central energy plant that provides chilled and hot water to six buildings throughout the campus totaling 230,000 square feet of air-conditioned space. The university was interested in lowering chilled-water production costs, improving system reliability and eliminating ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants.
GRT was initially retained by the university to provide a feasibility study of chiller addition alternatives. The mechanical center had, at the time, one 500-ton R-11 electric centrifugal chiller. The school planned on adding additional buildings to the central plant piping "loop" so it desired another additional chiller sized to handle both present cooling load of 430 tons, as determined by our model, and future loads of existing or new buildings.
Alternatives studied during this initial feasibility phase included direct-fired gas absorption and non-CFC or HCFC refrigerant (i.e., R-134a) electric chillers. The feasibility study and preliminary design addressed the following important issues which affected the cost vs. benefit study of each alternative:
•Air quality permitting.
•Increased size of absorption chiller.
•Approximate 50% increased heat rejection of absorption chiller necessitating a larger tower and pumps.
•"Constructability" and tie-ins to existing facility.
•Future growth ability.
•Specific mechanical room size constraints.
•Refrigerant management regulations.
•Future expansion capability.
•Costs of installation, energy and maintenance.
•Rebate/incentive programs available.
A York Paraflow direct-fired gas absorption chiller was chosen by the university based on incremental return on investment due to lower energy costs vs. the electric chiller, no CFC, HCFC or HFC refrigerants, and project incentive supplied by the Southern California Gas Company.
Detailed project design commenced in mid-1994 and start-up was achieved in 1995. GRT's responsibilities in addition to the feasibility study included the following:
•Equipment specification and selection, including absorption chiller, cooling tower, pumps, piping and controls.
•Mechanical, electric, structural and civil, and control system design and drawings.
•Plan check and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) permits.
•Project management, contractor bidding and selection, and on-site construction management as the university's representatives.
The design offered many interesting challenges. The mechanical center was designed with "built-in" cooling tower basins and structure, but due to the increased heat rejection requirement for the absorption chiller vs. a centrifugal unit, a Tri-Thermal all-stainless-steel external tower was selected. A 14-foot-high screen wall constructed of blocks matching the mechanical center building to camouflage the unit from the surrounding area.
The installation was designed in compliance with all current codes. As the absorption chiller is larger than a centrifugal chiller, extensive design efforts were made to fit the system into the existing building.
In addition it was necessary to install the required fire walls, and maintain adequate operating and maintenance clearances.
The permit to construct from the SCAQMD was obtained in under 60 days and after the unit passed certified emission testing subsequent to start-up, the permit to operate was issued.
START-UP AND COMMISSIONING
The absorption chiller uses the Southern California Gas Company's gas-AC rate schedule and is metered separately. This rate was obtained
in California in approximately 1993 and the effective cost is about 2/3 of the "core" gas rate used for boilers and heaters.
The electric chiller, pumps and cooling tower remain on the Southern California Edison TOU-8 Time-of-Use rate. By running the absorption chiller as the lead machine, the very costly on-peak period electricity is severely reduced, resulting in an overall energy cost savings.
The absorption chiller eliminates the use of on-peak electricity for chiller operation at the present cooling load, and uses water as the refrigerant. Savings are estimated at approximately $65,000 or more per year. This figure was verified during operational tests performed after start-up by the university's staff.
Using actual construction costs, the simple before-tax payback period for the project is six years. In addition, the incremental, simple, before-tax payback period of the direct-fired absorption chiller versus the installation of an R-134a electric chiller is 3.5 years.
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Chapter 14Desiccants: Benefits for the Second Century of Air Conditioning
Kevin McGaheyLew Harriman
Desiccant technology now stands where mechanical cooling stood in the 1930s. Desiccant systems have been used by industrial engineers to achieve productivity and energy benefits which far outweigh their installed cost. Now, with lower-cost desiccant components, commercial buildings are using desiccant systems because they provide benefits beyond those of air cooling technology alone.
In many ways, the rise of desiccant systems is parallel to the 80-year-old transition from fan-only cooling to mechanical cooling. Mechanical cooling did not reduce the need for fans and blowers. Likewise, desiccant technology may not reduce the need for mechanical cooling. And just as mechanical cooling adds cost to a fan-only system, desiccant equipment can sometimes cost more than mechanical cooling. But just as cooling coils add functionality to a ventilation system, desiccant systems provide benefits which are beyond the reach of mechanical cooling systems. Specifically, desiccant systems can provide:
•Total control of humidity, independent of temperature.
•Dew points below the practical limits of cooling technology.
•Humidity control in cold environments and cold air streams.
•Lower operating cost.
•Lower peak electrical demand.
•Ability to use low-cost thermal energy to control both humidity and temperature.
•Dry duct systems in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 62, avoiding microbial and fungal growth associated with sick building syndrome.
HOW DESICCANTS WORK
Desiccants remove water vapor by chemical attraction caused by differences in vapor pressure. When air is humid, it has a high water-vapor pressure. In contrast, there are very few water molecules on a dry desiccant surface, so the water-vapor pressure at the desiccant surface is very low. Water molecules move from the humid air to the dry desiccant in order to equalize this pressure differential.
With desiccants, moisture removal occurs in the vapor phase. Consequently, desiccant dehumidification can continue even when the dew point of the air is below freezing. This is different from cooling-based dehumidification, in which the removed moisture freezes and halts the process if any part of the coil surface is below 32°F.
Desiccants can be either liquids or solids, and there are many different materials of both types. The principles described here apply to both liquid as well as solid systems. However, the great majority of systems built for commercial buildings use dry desiccants.
Figure 14-1 shows the basic desiccant component—the wheel. The desiccant material, usually a silica gel or some type of zeolite, is impregnated into a support structure. This looks like a honeycomb which is open on both ends. Air passes through the honeycomb passages, giving up its moisture to the desiccant contained in the walls of the honeycomb cells. The desiccant structure is formed into the shape of a wheel. The wheel constantly rotates through two separate air streams. The first air stream, called the process air, is dried by the desiccant. The second air stream, called reactivation or regeneration air, is heated. It dries the desiccant.
One aspect of desiccant wheel behavior can be confusing to the first-time user of the technology: air leaves a desiccant wheel dry, but warmer than when it entered the wheel. For example, if air enters a desiccant wheel at 70°F and 50% rh, it will leave the wheel at about 100°F and 4% rh.
This non-intuitive behavior becomes easier to understand as the reverse of evaporative cooling. When water is sprayed into air, it evapo-
Figure 14-1. Desiccant Wheel Operating Principle
rates by using part of the sensible heat in the air—so the dry-bulb temperature falls as water vapor is added to the air. That process is intuitive to children running through sprinklers in summertime.
Desiccants produce the opposite phenomenon. As water vapor is removed from air, the dry-bulb temperature of the air rises. The amount of temperature rise depends on the amount of water removed. More water removal produces a greater temperature rise. The initial user naturally asks: how can desiccant systems save cooling energy if dehumidification adds sensible heat to the air? Part of the answer is that some heat is moved to reactivation by a heat exchanger. The rest of the answer depends on the application.
For example, if air is dry, it may not be necessary to cool it if the space is already overcooled—as in a supermarket, where display cases cool the aisles as well as the product. Alternatively, dry air can be cooled using low-cost, indirect, evaporative cooling such as cooling towers, or with highly efficient vapor compression systems operating at high
evaporator temperatures. In such cases, desiccants can save energy and energy cost. However, the temperature rise issue also shows that desiccant systems have fewer advantages if inexpensive post-cooling is not available.
ENTHALPY VS. DESICCANT WHEELS
Desiccant wheels are often confused with enthalpy heat recovery wheels. The confusion is understandable. Both devices look nearly the same, because modern enthalpy wheels and all desiccant wheels are constructed with honeycomb media. Also, enthalpy wheels contain desiccant, and sensible heat wheels are sometimes used as post-coolers in desiccant systems. But there are important functional differences between these devices which appear so similar.
Heat wheels are optimized to transfer heat between two air streams, while desiccant wheels are optimized to remove moisture. These different purposes lead to differences in materials and in wheel rotation speed. A heat wheel rotates at a comparatively high speed (20 rpm), to maximize the heat transfer between air streams. A desiccant wheel rotates 60 times more slowly (10 to 20 rph). The slow rotation speed allows the desiccant to absorb more moisture, and it minimizes the amount of heat carried over from the hot reactivation air into the cooler process air.
If the exhaust air is dry, an enthalpy wheel can transfer some moisture out of the incoming air. But enthalpy wheels contain less desiccant than true desiccant wheels. Also, the honeycomb material, air seals and support structure of an enthalpy wheel are not designed to endure the high temperature and moisture differences encountered in desiccant wheel operation. Figure 14-2 shows how these differences affect the moisture removal performance of enthalpy wheels and desiccant wheels.
Systems 1 and 2 differ in only one respect: System 1 uses building exhaust air to cool the process air after the desiccant wheel, and System 2 uses outside air for post-cooling.
In all other respects, the systems are the same. They process 10,000
Figure 14-2. Desiccant Wheels Compared to Enthalpy Wheels
cfm of fresh air and deliver it dry, for subsequent cooling by other systems downstream. Both systems can remove 438 lbs of moisture per hour from the fresh air. Consequently, that air is so dry that it can remove 71 lbs per hour from the building, when the desired control level is 75°, 50% rh. So both systems have ample moisture removal capacity, and it is very unlikely that any cooling coil downstream of the desiccant system will have to remove any moisture at all.
Because the cooling air comes from different places, the two systems do different amounts of work. System 1 does more work, delivering air at 89°F. System 2 delivers air at 95°. This is because, on the cooling side of the heat exchanger, System 1 uses 75° air from the building, where System 2 uses air from the outside at 83°. In almost all cases, the lower temperature is more desirable because it reduces cooling requirements in the rest of the HVAC system.
However, in some buildings, it may not be practical to bring the exhaust air back to the same location as the fresh air inlet ductwork. For example, in a light industrial building with many internal fire walls and a dozen different process exhaust points, the return ductwork may be more costly than the small additional cost to add capacity to the other rooftop air-conditioning units. Or in cases where a very small amount of fresh air is needed, rather than 10,000 cfm, the additional sensible cooling capacity may already be available in other parts of the system at no additional cost, compared with a high cost for return ductwork.
But in most cases, and in particular those cases where as much as 10,000 cfm of fresh air is needed, the use of return air for post-cooling should quickly pay off any small cost of a return duct system to bring the exhaust air back to the unit before it leaves the building.
INDIRECT EVAPORATIVE COOLING
Systems 3 and 4 are very similar to Systems 1 and 2, the difference being that 3 and 4 use indirect evaporative post-cooling.
This feature adds slightly to the purchase cost of the equipment, but saves on downstream cooling capacity in the rest of the HVAC system.
For example, note that the supply air temperature for System 3 is 8 degrees lower than what System 1 can provide (81° compared to 89°). On 10,000 cfm, that allows the System 3 configuration to save 7 tons of
Figure 14-3. System 1, 100% Outside Air with Exhaust Air Used for Post-cooling
Figure 14-4. System 2, 100% Outside Air with Outside Air Used for Post-cooling
cooling capacity. As with the previous systems, System 3 outperforms System 4, because the exhaust air can cool the supply air more deeply than can the outside air. The major advantage to indirect evaporative cooling is its very low operational cost. The only cost to cool the air evaporatively is the cost of the water and the modest cost to overcome the additional airflow resistance of the evaporative pad (less than 0.25" WC). That is usually less than 1/10 the cost of running an equivalent vapor compression cooling system.
Of course, these benefits do come with some cost. For example, the evaporative cooling system will require some additional maintenance beyond the maintenance of the desiccant wheel and the heat exchanger. Also, saving 7 tons on 10,000 cfm may not justify the increased purchase cost and maintenance cost if there are 7 extra tons of cooling capacity downstream of the desiccant system.
These facts imply that indirect evaporative post-cooling is likely to yield the best cost-benefit ratio when:
•The system is large enough so the net cooling savings and peak electrical demand reduction is large in absolute terms.
•The building is large enough to have a maintenance staff which will already be familiar with service requirements of simple evaporative coolers or cooling towers.
•The exhaust can be returned to the same place as the supply, so the extra cooling effect of the dry exhaust air can maximize the cooling savings.
HYBRID SYSTEMS WITH AND WITHOUT EXHAUST RECOVERY.
Systems 5 and 6 are hybrid desiccant systems. In other words, they use conventional or gas cooling coils after the heat exchanger so the system can deliver air to the building at the 55° temperature which is typical of AC systems.
That conventional assist allows these systems to remove 71 lbs of water vapor and 216,000 Btu/h from inside the building, in addition to removing all the temperature and moisture loads from the incoming fresh air.
Figure 14-5. System 3, 100% Outside Air, Exhaust Heat Recovery and Indirect Evaporative Cooling
Figure 14-6. System 4, 100% Outside Air, Outside Air Indirect Evaporative Cooling
To do that, they use 30 and 36 tons respectively of conventional equipment, which is mounted after the heat exchanger. System 5 uses less conventional cooling, because it makes use of recovered cooling by using building exhaust air on the cooling side of the heat exchanger. System 6 has no energy recovery, so it must use an additional six tons of conventional cooling to achieve the same 55° supply air temperature. Each of these alternatives has its own advantages compared to the other, and both have significant differences from Systems 1 through 4.
Systems 5 and 6 vs. Systems 1-4
•5 and 6 remove 18 tons of sensible load from the building, 1-4 add sensible heat load to the building.
•5 and 6 use more electrical power
•5 and 6 cost more to purchase
System 5 Advantages over System 6
•Uses less electrical power for the same cooling work
•Reduces winter heating costs
•Reduces annual operating costs
With these advantages, System 5 is especially useful for buildings which have return air ductwork, and for mid-continent and northern climates where the cost of heating makeup air in the winter can be reduced by the exhaust recovery.
System 6 Advantages over System 5
•Lower installed cost by avoiding return air ductwork
•Allows multiple, independent exhaust points
System 6 is advantageous where first cost is more of a concern than operating cost, and where there is a reduced benefit to winter heat recovery, such as in hot and humid climates. Eliminating a central, combined exhaust makes this system useful in applications where air must be exhausted from a building at many different points.
Figure 14-7. System 5, 100% Outside Air, Exhaust Heat Recovery and Assisted by a Cooling Coil
Figure 14-8. System 6, 100% Outside Air, No Heat Recovery and Assisted by a Cooling Coil
HYBRID SYSTEMS WITH AND WITHOUT EVAPORATIVE COOLING
System 7 includes all the components and same flow schematic as System 6, but also includes an evaporative pad to boost the cooling effect of the heat exchanger.
This allows System 7 to cool the air leaving the desiccant wheel to 90°, which in turn reduces the amount of conventional cooling capacity needed to lower the supply air temperature to 55°. System 7 needs 32 tons of conventional cooling, compared to 36 tons in System 6. That 4 tons of capacity is not really a significant saving at installation time, but it saves a considerable amount of money over a year's operation. As the temperature and moisture outside decrease, the evaporative cooling effect increases. Then the conventional equipment can be shut off entirely for thousands of hours of the year, when the temperature and humidity outside are reduced; for example, during spring and fall and during evenings and mornings in the summer.
System 8 is the ultimate makeup air dehumidification system. Unlike all the other systems, it uses an enthalpy heat exchanger in front of the desiccant wheel to pre-cool and pre-dehumidify the air before the desiccant process. This allows the desiccant wheel to deliver the process air at 31 gr/lb instead of 55 gr/lb. Consequently, the system can remove more than three times as much moisture load from the building as any of the other designs (226 lbs/hr vs. 71 lbs/hr). On the other hand, because System 8 removes so much moisture from the incoming air, and because it does not use a heat exchanger for post-cooling, the system needs 56 tons of conventional assist to cool air to 55°F.
Such a system would be especially useful for buildings which need a lower humidity control level than 50%. The system's immense dehumidification capacity allows a building to be kept at 40% or 45% rh, useful for such buildings as pharmaceutical production areas or research labs. Also, such a system is useful in buildings like theaters and food-processing areas, where either people or wash-down cycles generate a great deal more moisture than sensible heat.
Figure 14-9. System 7, 100% Outside Air, Indirect Evaporative Cooling, Assisted by a Cooling Coil
Figure 14-10. System 8, 100% Outside Air, Enthalpy Wheel Pre-cooling and Pre-dehumidification, and Assisted by a Cooling Coil
COMPARING OUTSIDE AIR ALTERNATIVES.
Figure 14-11 compares all of the makeup air systems according to four characteristics:
•Loads they remove from the building (or add to it).
•Loads they remove or add to the incoming fresh air.
•Thermal energy they need to operate at the design condition.
•Supplemental cooling needed to bring the supply air to a building-neutral temperature of 75° (or to 55° in Systems 5-8).
The figure divides the systems into two groups. Systems 1 through 4 are considered all-desiccant systems, because they do not contain cooling components. Systems 5 through 8 are hybrid systems, because they combine desiccants with conventional cooling.
Each approach has advantages and limitations, but all eight systems share some common characteristics:
Dry and Fungus-Free Ductwork
Every alternative shown here delivers dry air to the building. The warning in ASHRAE Standard 62 against saturated air in duct systems can be satisfied by any of these alternatives. The low humidity also allows all internal cooling coils to run dry, reducing the hazard of microbial growth in drain pans and insulation.
Internal Latent Loads Removed by Makeup Air
All these alternatives remove so much moisture from the makeup air that any internal cooling coils can be designed to operate at a higher evaporator temperature, which can reduce their power consumption.
Rock-Solid Humidity Control
The moisture-removal capacity of all these systems allows very stable humidity levels inside the building.
Figure 14-11. Capacity Comparisons of All 100%-Outside-Air Systems
Improved Temperature Control.
Without the moisture load to remove, the internal cooling system can control temperature much more evenly, because there is no need to over-cool and reheat the air as incoming ventilation air changes in temperature and moisture content.
Reduced Peak-Power Demand
All these systems remove moisture through thermal energy rather than by using electric power. Part of the sensible load created by dehumidification is removed by a heat exchanger, so the net peak-power demand is reduced.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS 1-4
These are all-desiccant systems, in that they contain no supplemental conventional cooling. In addition, they share these characteristics:
Lowest First Cost
The all-desiccant systems are less costly than the hybrid systems because they contain fewer components.
Remove Moisture, but Add Heat
The post-cooling heat exchanger, even when assisted by the evaporative cooler, does not have enough capacity to remove all the sensible heat produced by dehumidification, so these systems remove the latent load from both the incoming air and from the building itself, but they deliver air which must be slightly cooled by other systems inside the building.
Exhaust Recovery Improves Winter Economics
In the summer months, exhaust recovery reduces post-cooling expense, but not by much. For example, System 1 uses exhaust recovery and System 2 does not. System 1 has saved only 5.3 tons of post-cooling. But during winter months, the value of waste heat recovery can be very great, perhaps reducing makeup air heating costs by 60% or more.
Cost Advantage for Buildings with High Internal Sensible Load
If extra sensible capacity already exists inside the building for other
reasons, the small additional sensible load from the all-desiccant makeup air system may be inconsequential. This would keep costs down by avoiding the need for a supplemental cooling system on the makeup air.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS 5-8
These systems all include extra cooling capacity to deliver air at 55°, so they can all remove not only moisture, but also remove some of the heat from inside the building. In addition, they share these characteristics:
They Do More Work So They Cost More
Systems 5-8 all include supplemental cooling coils, so they cost more than Systems 1-4. But the hybrid systems also do much more work than the all-desiccant systems, delivering air at 55° to the building instead of 78° or 90°.
Cost Advantage for Buildings with Low Internal Sensible Load
If the makeup air represents not only 80% of the moisture load on the building, but also a high percentage of the total sensible load, then all the internal loads may be removed by cooling the required makeup air. That way, there may be very little need for internal cooling systems, which would lower the overall installation costs for the building.
System 8 Ideal for Low Humidity Control Levels
Because the makeup air is so deeply dried by System 8, it can be used to control humidity at levels as low as 40% rh inside the building. In electronic manufacturing and pharmaceutical processing, this can save both installed cost and operating costs over conventional alternatives.
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Chapter 15Case Study: Natural Gas Technologies at Kennedy Space Center
Robert L. Sirmons
In 1994 Kennedy Space Center's local gas distribution company (LDC), City Gas Company of Florida, undertook the construction of more than 25 miles of high-pressure natural gas piping to provide natural gas service to Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The Space Center, originally constructed in the 1960s, had used various grades of fuel oil throughout its history. But in the 1990s concern about sulfur oxide emissions from hot water boilers, fuel spills, fuel prices, energy security and federal mandates to use alternative fuels prompted KSC to investigate using natural gas as its primary fuel.
The benefits of natural gas were evident, but funds for constructing a pipeline to KSC, which is located on a barrier island off the eastern coast of central Florida, were not available. In an unusual arrangement that foreshadowed the current use of government/industry partnerships, NASA and City Gas Company executed a contract for City Gas to construct, operate and maintain a high-pressure natural gas pipeline from the mainland to KSC at no capital cost to the government. KSC committed to buy natural gas from the LDC at the prevailing tariff rates for 10 years.
Since completion of the pipeline in mid-1994, almost 4.5 million therms of natural gas have been used, displacing 2.9 million gallons of #2 fuel oil, and avoiding over 140 tons of air pollution. Another indicator of KSC's effective switch to natural gas is that in 1993, KSC was by far the largest single consumer of petroleum fuel in NASA, consuming 341 billion Btu's, over 37% of all the petroleum fuel used by all NASA sites
combined. In 1995, KSC petroleum fuel use had dropped to only 29 billion Btu's while natural gas consumption was 308 billion Btu's.
Most of this fuel switching was accomplished by converting the eight large and seven medium-sized hot water boilers on KSC to burn natural gas. The boilers operate nearly 12 months a year, even in warm weather, since they provide heat for reheat humidity control, a significant load in Florida's humid climate.
A second significant use of natural gas at KSC is as a vehicle fuel. Compressed natural gas is currently fueling over 40 dedicated natural gas vehicles (NGVs) at KSC, and 140 NGVs (sedans) were ordered for the 1996 model year. Availability of NGVs from suppliers has been the chief hindrance in expanding KSC's NGV fleet. In 1995, KSC constructed a state-of-the-art compressed natural gas fueling facility that is designed to handle a 400-vehicle fleet. It was designed to be easily expanded in two additional phases to ultimately service 1,200 vehicles (the total light-duty fleet in use at KSC is over 1,600 vehicles).
These successes have encouraged KSC to explore other options for the use of natural gas at the Space Center. Under study is natural gas cooling, fuel cells and off-road equipment fueling.
NATURAL GAS SUPPLY FOR KSC
Kennedy Space Center was constructed on a barrier island off the east coast of central Florida in the mid-1960s. The remoteness of the location was a problem when considering what fuel to use in facility applications. The local gas distribution company at that time lacked the financial resources to run a pipeline to the new Center, and fuel oil delivered by truck was both readily available and cheap. Various grades of fuel oil have been used in the Center's boilers and heating plants throughout its history, with #2 fuel oil being used most recently. KSC grew over the years and its fuel use grew correspondingly. In 1992, KSC used over 37% of all the petroleum consumed by all NASA facilities worldwide, and more than twice the petroleum used by any other NASA facility. Eighty-seven percent of the petroleum used at KSC was used to fire boilers; 13% was used in vehicles and off-road equipment. In FY 1993, the last full year before natural gas use started on KSC, 331 bBtu (billion Btu) of petroleum (fuel oil and propane) were consumed on KSC. Fuel oil accounted for 326.5 bBtu and propane contributed 4.5 bBtu.
This statistic caused concern for several reasons: federal laws and executive orders mandated the reduction of petroleum product use at federal facilities, the air pollution emissions from fixed sources burning fuel oil at KSC were nearing the threshold for "major facility" status with its resulting increased regulatory requirements and federal fleets were required to begin phasing in alternatively fueled vehicles. In addition, fuel oil delivered by truck was often spilled during unloading, which caused soil contamination and environmental liabilities. These factors, coupled with concerns over energy security and the future of oil prices, prompted KSC to look at alternative fuels to replace some of its petroleum consumption.
In 1993 NASA initiated an Alternative Fuel and Energy Sources Initiative. EG&G Florida, the base operations contractor, established an Alternative Fuels Office to develop and implement the initiative. Several alternative fuels were evaluated, but for the types of applications and the volume of fuel used at KSC, natural gas was deemed to be the best alternative. Natural gas is relatively safe, less expensive than petroleum products, readily available in the quantities KSC needs and can be used as both a boiler fuel as well as a vehicle fuel. It is gaseous and dissipates in case of a leak, resulting in no spills or soil contamination. Finally, it can be delivered by buried pipeline with no truck deliveries required.
The choice of natural gas as an alternative fuel was easy; deciding how to get it supplied to KSC was not. As was mentioned above, KSC is on a barrier island and its main facilities are about 14 miles from the mainland. Over 25 miles of pipeline were needed to deliver natural gas from the nearest "city gate" to the various fuel-using facilities at KSC. This multimillion-dollar construction project would be difficult to fund in an era of tight government money. In addition, the barrier island where KSC is located is designated a wildlife refuge as well as containing coastal waters and wetlands. It is environmentally sensitive and regulated by several agencies. The proposed pipeline would have to cross the Indian River Lagoon as well as several wetlands. It would have to be buried under the Intracoastal Waterway channel in the Indian River. It would require permits from the State of Florida, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Troublesome as these requirements were, they were all considered attainable if a source of funds could be discovered.
The funding problem was overcome when the City Gas Company of Florida proposed building the pipeline at no capital cost to KSC or the
government. KSC would contract to buy natural gas at prevailing tariff rates from City Gas for ten years to allow City Gas to recover its investment. Under this arrangement, City Gas would retain ownership of the pipeline up to each facility served on KSC, and would be responsible for both operating and maintaining the pipeline. This arrangement was approved by the Florida Public Service Commission and by NASA.
City Gas opted to construct a 12-inch-diameter, welded-steel, high-pressure (300 psig) gas main pipeline to KSC. This was well in excess of the size and capacity needed by the identified uses for natural gas on KSC. City Gas recognized, however, that there was the potential for high-volume future uses, such as power generation, gas cooling and a sizable natural gas vehicle (NGV) fleet at KSC. For this reason it decided to construct a pipeline capable of serving these possible future loads.
Construction of the pipeline to KSC required seven separate state and federal environmental permits as well as two blanket KSC permits. Precautions were taken to ensure that any contaminated soil or ground water that was encountered would be controlled and disposed of properly (none was encountered). And finally, 23 individual facilities had to be modified to use natural gas, either in boilers or kitchen equipment, or to provide vehicle fuel.
The pipeline was completely installed in six months. The first facility was ready to go on-line with natural gas as soon as the pipeline was completed so that there was no waiting to flow natural gas due to facility conversions.
BENEFITS OF NATURAL GAS.
The pipeline was completed in mid-1994. During fiscal year 1995 (October 1994 to September 1995) 308 billion Btu (bBtu) of natural gas was consumed on KSC and diesel fuel use dropped to 29 bBtu. Propane use was virtually eliminated. Most of the natural gas is used in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) applications, with relatively small amounts also used in vehicles, kitchens and emergency power (fuel oil heaters). Significant air pollution emissions were avoided by burning natural gas in place of petroleum fuels. For example, during FY 1995, approximately 75 tons of air pollution were avoided.
The natural gas pipeline to KSC, and the effective use of natural gas on KSC, has resulted in KSC meeting all of its goals related to natural gas
use. Natural gas has significantly decreased the #2 fuel oil used on KSC, and virtually eliminated propane use in kitchens and boilers. The air pollution emissions avoided by burning natural gas in place of diesel fuel and propane have eliminated the danger of KSC being classified a "major facility" relative to pollution production. Finally, KSC has a growing fleet of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) fueled by a state-of-the-art fueling facility.
Each of the end uses for natural gas at KSC will now be examined in more detail.
Facility uses for natural gas at KSC include HVAC uses (mainly boilers) and kitchen appliances serving KSC cafeterias.
KSC has three large central heat plants that provide high-temperature hot water (HTHW) and low-temperature hot water (LTHW) to various facilities at KSC for heating and humidity control. Individual facilities not connected to one of the central plants have their own boiler or electric heat.
KSC's climate is warm and humid the whole year. Many facilities at KSC have humidity requirements due to shuttle or payload processing, computer rooms, communications equipment and other electronic or sensitive equipment. A typical humidity requirement on KSC is 50% relative humidity for 24 hours a day either all year or during operations. Some facilities require 30% relative humidity. The standard method of humidity control when KSC was constructed was overcooling the air to reduce the humidity and then reheating the air for comfort or operational requirements.
This reheat requirement places a constant load on the heating plants. Instead of shutting down for the summer, KSC's heating plants run all year. Switching fuel from #2 fuel oil to natural gas both in the central plants and in all of the individual boilers resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of #2 fuel oil used at the Center. One facility used propane in its boiler, and it was also converted to burn natural gas. Heating uses account for 98% of the natural gas used at KSC.
The three large central heat plants have retained the capability of
burning diesel oil in their boilers as a backup in case natural gas is ever unavailable. In this way they have increased energy security for uninterrupted operations.
KSC is a large complex with two separate areas where most of its activities are concentrated. It has six cafeterias to serve these areas. Four of the largest cafeterias were converted to burn natural gas. The cafeterias had been previously converted from electricity to propane by an energy conservation project. The use of natural gas in these four cafeterias along with the boiler conversion mentioned earlier have reduced the propane use at KSC to near zero. Although propane is considered an alternative vehicle fuel, it is considered a petroleum fuel when used in a facility. Although the amount of propane displaced by natural gas was not large compared to #2 fuel oil displacement, it is still important in reducing petroleum fuel use at KSC.
Federal mandates require that federal fleets convert most of their vehicles to alternatively fueled vehicles on a schedule established by federal law and executive order. The requirements that affect KSC are the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) and Executive Order (EO) 12844. The Energy Policy Act required that 25% of the federal fleet procurements must be alternative fueled vehicles in 1996. The percentage escalates to 75% in 1999 and thereafter. EO 12844 increases the percentage for these years. Although the percentages stated in the law and executive orders apply to the federal fleet as a whole, KSC adopted them as the goals for the KSC fleet.
KSC's light-duty vehicle fleet, which numbers approximately 1,600 vehicles, is leased from the General Services Administration. The local GSA fleet manager was supportive of KSC's alternative fueled vehicle goals. KSC and GSA agreed to focus on Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) to meet KSC's alternative fueled vehicle goals. Compressed natural gas (CNG) was the best alternative vehicle fuel for KSC since natural gas was going to be readily available, inexpensive and safe.
To meet the goals, GSA would need to buy NGVs for KSC's use on the following schedule:
Number of NGVs To Be Purchased
The NGVs at KSC were forecast to exceed 1,100 by the year 2000. To fuel the large number of anticipated NGVs a large fueling facility was planned. The facility would be built in three phases as the fleet grew.
CNG Station Concept
KSC began its NGV program with three Sierra pickup trucks. The permanent CNG station was in the concept stage when these first vehicles arrived. To gain experience fueling and operating NGVs a trailer-mounted portable fueling station was purchased. This was so early in the natural gas program that the natural gas pipeline was not even complete, so natural gas was supplied to the portable compressor from a tube bank. A diesel-fueled generator provided power for the compressor motor. Numerous problems were encountered with local fire officials, the design of the trailer, and the temporary compressors and storage tanks provided. A major improvement was made when a larger portable Hurricane brand gas-engine-driven compressor was obtained. The Hurricane was reliable, and was large enough (90 cfm) to give marginally acceptable fueling times without ground storage. Later a bank of eight DOT bottles was used for storage, and even this small amount of storage decreased fueling times substantially.
The pilot program with the Sierras and later NGVs was a learning opportunity, and yielded several lessons. Its success was due to the support of the drivers and mechanics who participated and the excellent feedback they provided. The Hurricane compressor demonstrated the reliability of a natural-gas-engine drive for CNG compressors. The pilot operation also demonstrated the need for adequate ground storage to shorten refueling times; a short refueling time is key to driver acceptance especially since NGVs have to be refueled more often than comparable gasoline vehicles.
The lessons from the pilot program were invaluable in conceiving and designing the permanent CNG station. The permanent CNG station
for KSC was conceived as an energy-independent facility that would use a natural-gas-fueled engine to drive the CNG compressor and photovoltaics to supply electrical power for lights and controls. The station as initially conceived would have needed no power outside itself to operate. This was a concept worth validating since CNG stations designed accordingly would then be able to operate during power outages, allowing NGVs to operate when conventional vehicles could not. Such a station could also be built at remote locations where power was not available.
The station was also designed to be expandable as the NGV fleet at KSC grew. The first phase was designed to serve a 400-vehicle fleet with the operating characteristics of KSC vehicles (generally low mileage and fueled at one station). Phase 2 and Phase 3 would each add capacity for 400 more vehicles. The completed station could serve a fleet of 1,200 vehicles. The site preparation work for Phase 1 of the station actually installed all the underground utilities needed in Phase 2 and Phase 3. No additional trenching or pavement patching would be required as the station expanded. The underground piping and electrical conduits were "stubbed up" and identified by concrete caps in the pavement.
The station was exclusively "fast fill" to mimic the drivers' expectation of gasoline-station-type filling times. The CNG station location was not convenient for overnight parking for any vehicles so the more cost-effective "slow fill" design could not be used.
Station Design and Construction
The KSC CNG station had funding problems similar to those of the natural gas pipeline itself. A unique approach was again used to build the station. A government/industry partnership between NASA, Dresser-Rand Industries and the Gas Research Institute (GRI) was formed to design and construct the station. Each member of the partnership contributed money and/or services to help make the station a reality.
The compressor for the station, a 200 cfm lubeless compressor, was under development by Dresser-Rand with a grant from GRI. Non-lubricated compressors are preferred for CNG stations because oil "carry-over" into the fuel system in the vehicles degrades engine performance. Dresser-Rand also designed the station's controls and provided the dispensers and credit card reader. NASA contributed the prepared site and the three-vessel ASME storage cascade. Funding was not available for
the photovoltaic power system, so that portion of the concept was abandoned. Site electrical power was used for controls and an air compressor was used to provide air-start capability for the natural-gas-engine driver. NASA provided the power and the air compressor.
Construction of the permanent station was started in late 1995. CNG for the existing fleet of vehicles (about 43 by this time) was provided by the Hurricane/DOT bottle arrangement with a tube bank trailer providing a natural gas supply. The station was operational on its permanent compressor by the end of 1995 although it had a leased tube bank for ground storage until the spring of 1996. The station ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in May 1996.
Natural Gas Vehicle Availability
KSC still has only 43 NGVs. The large numbers of NGVs that were expected have not been available from the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs): Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. GSA has not been willing to pursue after-market conversions because of warranty concerns, although this may change in the future.
OEMs cite low vehicle demand and lack of fueling facilities as the reasons for their low production. But oil companies that have installed publicly available CNG fueling stations are closing some of them due to low use by customers. Despite the federal government's attempt to "jump start" the industry by purchasing NGVs and other alternatively fueled vehicles, the OEMs are failing to supply vehicles for which purchase orders would exist.
FUTURE NATURAL GAS USES
The heating, kitchen and light-duty vehicle uses for natural gas at KSC have been fully planned and developed although implementation of the light-duty vehicle fleet is incomplete. Future uses for natural gas, however, could be as exciting and productive as the existing uses have proven to be. Possible future uses for natural gas at KSC include fuel cells, gas cooling, power generation and off-road vehicle fuel. Natural-gas-fueled off-road vehicles, including forklifts, cranes and other heavy equipment, are a natural outgrowth of the light-duty vehicle program. Since there are no federal mandates requiring off-road vehicles to be alternatively fueled, economics is the major consideration for pursuing
an off-road vehicle program. In addition, a mobile CNG "fuel tender" will need to be designed and built to serve vehicles that never return to a central fueling site. This area has possibilities that are being explored.
Fuel cells were developed by NASA for the space program, and it would be fitting to have a fuel cell project at KSC. In addition to considering natural gas as a fuel source, KSC also vents hydrogen to the atmosphere as part of its fueling operations. Capturing the hydrogen to power fuel cells is a possibility.
Gas cooling and power generation are certainly feasible projects at KSC; however, there is no overwhelming need driving their implementation at this time. The search for suitable projects continues.
Natural gas at KSC has been beneficial economically and environmentally. It has allowed KSC to comply with federal laws and mandates requiring reduced petroleum use. It has diversified the fuels available to the center in case of fuel shortage, thereby increasing the Center's energy security. Finally, it has shown the way for other government facilities to consider expanding or initiating natural gas use.
Chapter 16Field Monitoring and Evaluation of a Residential Gas-Engine-Driven Heat Pump
James D. Miller
The Fort Sam Houston (San Antonio, Texas) New Technology Demonstration Program (NTDP) project is a field evaluation of a 3-ton, gas-engine-driven residential heat pump. Comparative energy-performance results for the gas heat pump (GHP) and three other air-conditioner/furnace systems are presented from the San Antonio field testing. These energy results form the basis for a life-cycle cost comparison between the gas heat pump and other commercially available air-conditioner/furnace systems. A life-cycle cost analysis is presented for the GHP at Fort Sam Houston and is also projected to five other federal sites.
Through its Office of Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides technical and administrative support to federal agency programs directed at reducing energy consumption and cost in federal buildings and facilities. One such program is the NTDP.
In this context, NTDP is a demonstration of a U.S. energy-related technology at a federal site. Through a partnership with a federal site, the utility serving the site, a manufacturer of an energy-related technology and other organizations associated with these interests, DOE can evaluate new technologies. Through the results of the program, federal agency decision makers have more hands-on information with which to consider a new technology and validate any decision to utilize it in their facilities.
The purpose of the Fort Sam Houston demonstration is to evaluate the performance and cost-effectiveness of a GHP in the federal sector. This is done by monitoring the performance of the candidate unit and comparing it with that of the conventional HVAC systems currently in the residences at the base. The energy consumption, thermal measurements and maintenance records are primary elements in life-cycle cost analysis of potential savings from the candidate unit.
Participating in this effort under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) were York International, the heat pump manufacturer; Gas Research Institute (GRI), the technology developer; City Public Service of San Antonio, the local utility; American Gas Cooling Center (AGCC); Fort Sam Houston, the federal test site; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the project manager. PNNL, which is operated by Battelle, is one of four DOE national multiprogram laboratories that participate in the NTDP by providing technical expertise and equipment to evaluate new, energy-saving technologies being studied and evaluated under that program.
Gas Heat Pump
The GHP is a heat pump with a compressor driven by a natural-gas-fired engine. By contrast, an electric air conditioner has a compressor driven by an electric motor. The GHP single-cylinder, four-stroke, 5-hp engine was developed by Briggs & Stratton. Annual maintenance involves changing the oil, oil filter, air filter and spark plug. It has heavy-duty pistons, hydraulic valve lifters, water cooling and pressurized oil lubrication. Lean-burn combustion enhances efficiency and minimizes emissions. Endurance tests of the engine indicate a lifetime in excess of 40,000 h, or 10 to 15 years of typical heat-pump use. Engine noise is 65 db at 3 ft, approximately the same as that of the most advanced electric heat pump. The outdoor section of the GHP is shown in Figure 16-1.
The primary advantage of the GHP is lower operating cost resulting from high-efficiency operation and lower energy prices through use of natural gas fuel. A secondary advantage is improved occupant comfort from less variation of temperature and humidity in the house. This improvement results from the GHP's variable-speed operation and electronic controls. The heat pump can vary engine speed and blower fan
Figure 16-1. Side View, GHP Outdoor Unit, Showing Gas, Refrigerant, Glycol, Electric Power and Monitoring Instrumentation Lines
speed, thereby dynamically controlling capacity to balance with thermal loads. This balance reduces cycling and the associated thermal losses and equipment wear; it tends also to reduce summertime humidity levels in the house.
In the heating season, the GHP provides supply-air temperatures warmer than conventional heat pumps due to waste-heat recovery from the engine. The waste heat is delivered via a water-glycol loop to a separate radiator in the indoor unit. This feature eliminates the uncomfortably cool supply air produced by electric heat pumps during defrost cycles and periods of low outdoor ambient temperatures. The heat recovery also improves heating capacity. Compared with electric heat pumps, the gas heat pump has nearly twice the heating capacity at 0°F. Recovered heat can also be used for domestic hot water heating. On summer days, it can meet up to 100% of water heating needs.
When supplemental heat is required, the GHP meets the added load with a gas-fired auxiliary boiler (heating COP, 0.82; capacity, 65 kBtu/h). The boiler is contained in the outdoor unit and circulates hot fluid to the water-glycol radiator contained in the indoor unit. In extreme cold, the system controls shut down the heat pump, and the auxiliary boiler is the sole source of heating. Outdoor temperatures below –10°F trigger a heat-pump shutdown. As temperatures rise above –5°F, the heat pump is released from the shutdown mode.
Early field tests indicate an average coefficient of performance
(COP) of 1.3 for heating and 1.1 for cooling.* These results, on an energy cost basis, are as good as, or better than, the comparable figures for the most advanced electric equipment.
Table 16-1 lists the manufacturers' performance specification for the GHP and the three comparison AC/furnace systems. Units 1 and 2 were manufactured in 1991, have scroll compressors and condensing furnaces and are the same model. Unit 3 represents the oldest of the existing units at the base and uses a reciprocating compressor and a non-condensing furnace.
Table 16-1. Manufacturers' Rated Performance
The demonstration was done in the single-family residential area of the fort where many identical 1,500-ft2 homes are occupied by officers and their families. The three test houses are approximately 45 years old, stucco on masonry construction, one story in height with a partially below-grade basement and with the remainder of the house over a crawl space. The HVAC systems are installed in the unconditioned basements. All units have individual gas meters that are owned and read by City Public Service of San Antonio.
*Cost-equivalent SEER obtained through chamber measurements and calculations as outlined in ANSI Standard Z21.40.4 and using local San Antonio residential prices for natural gas and electricity.
ENERGY ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY
Cooling Test Comparison
Ideally, a performance comparison of two HVAC units is done side-by-side under identical operating conditions. While this can be achieved under steady-state testing in the laboratory, dynamic field conditions in houses with occupants are difficult to control so as to yield equivalent side-by-side conditions. A pre-/post-assessment approach offers some advantages in that the house and possibly the occupants remain the same during the two phases of the test. However, changes in weather and occupant behavior lead to changes in operating conditions and equipment loading that can be addressed only partially with weather normalization techniques.
To address these potential problems, a hybrid approach is taken in this demonstration. The approach includes:
•a weather-normalized pre-/post-comparison of energy usage
•performance mapping of the existing units followed by a projection of their maps onto the load records from the installed candidate unit.
A performance map is a form of empirical model that is used to predict a system's (unit and thermostat) response to a time series of load and operating conditions. The loads and conditions recorded from monitoring the candidate unit drive the performance maps of the existing unit. The result is a prediction of the existing unit's energy usage under the conditions and loads of the candidate unit. Performance mapping offers advantages over the pre-/post- and side-by-side comparisons in that changes in weather, loading and operating conditions are addressed. The key component of the map is a regression-based characterization of part-load performance.
Maps should be capable of projecting to a wide range of operating and loading conditions. With air conditioners, where capacity depends on ambient conditions, this capability can be achieved through mapping relative to manufacturers' steady-state performance data. Doing so minimizes the need for a broad range of baseline conditions. Essentially, the ratio of the measured total capacity to a fit of the manufacturer's steady-state total capacity data is correlated with the duty cycle. Duty cycle is
defined as the blower factional on-time during a cycle relative to the sum of the on-time and the prior off-time.
The maps are implemented through the use of a time-series record of load and conditions in which the candidate unit runs. For each time increment in the series, the load balance is solved to determine what run time is necessary to satisfy the load at the recorded conditions. The mapping technique can be tested by comparing the map against its own baseline load and energy record. Self-mapping results differ from actual measured energy consumption by less than 0.2%.2
To complement the performance mapping, a pre-/post- comparison is done on the house that received the GHP unit. A zero-load-out-door temperature is found for the monitoring periods before and after the installation of the unit. These temperatures serve as the basis for cooling-degree-day (CDD) calculations. The CDD number for the pre- and post-period then serves to form a correction factor that accounts for changes in weather and occupant behavior (e.g., thermostat setting).
Heating Test Comparison.
A simplified version of the cooling-mapping methodology is used in the comparative analysis of the GHP and three conventional furnaces during the 1994-1995 heating season. When calculating the projected energy use of the comparison units under the loads and operating conditions of the GHP, a test-period coefficient of performance (TP_COP) is used. This is equivalent to assuming the effect of part-load degradation on the comparison systems does not change if the units are operated under different levels of loading. As a result, the gas energy projections for the conventional systems are simply made by dividing the total recorded load of the GHP during the heating-season test by the TP_COP of the comparison unit. Similarly, fan energy of the comparison units is projected based on the measured ratio of total test-period fan electricity to total test-period gas consumption.
The Normal Weather Year
The final step in the comparative energy analysis is to estimate the energy use and corresponding energy savings that would be seen in a normal weather year. A projection to the normal weather year* accounts
*A normal year is defined as the Test Reference Year (TRY) for San Antonio during the period 1948 to 1975. This TRY year has 2,471 CDD relative to a base temperature of 67°F and 2,252 HDD relative to a base of 66.5°F.
for an unusually hot, cold, or short test period. This projection is done by calculating the ratio of the CDD or HDD during a normal year in San Antonio to those during the 1994-1995 test seasons. In calculating the CDD and HDD during the field test, a base temperature is used that reflects the outdoor temperature where the GHP test house balanced with no load during the 1994-1995 test seasons (67.0°F cooling, 66.5°F heating). All results from the 1994 test period at the GHP test house, including those projected to conditions there by the mapping or pre-/post-techniques, can then be converted to a normal weather year using these factors (1.39 for cooling energy, 1.43 for heating energy).
Three test houses at the fort were chosen to support the hybrid approach. The houses have identical structural design and solar exposure and are occupied by families with one or two children. Energy records were checked to see that the houses are typical of other similar houses at the fort and that the existing HVAC systems have capacities similar to that of the 3-ton GHP unit. Two of the houses currently have HVAC systems that represent the best available at the fort. This includes pulse-combustion furnaces and air conditioners with scroll compressors. A third house represents the worst case, with the oldest of the fort's conventional air conditioners and furnaces. These HVAC systems bracket the range of equipment performance currently at the fort.
Baseline data collection (begun in August 1993) continued until the GHP was installed in June 1994 at house 1. Data collection on the GHP and the two remaining comparison units then continued through June 1995. This allows pre-/post- comparison between the best case and the candidate in the installation house, and mapping from all three comparison units to the GHP load and conditions record.
Baseline monitoring in support of the hybrid assessment approach involved measurements of system outputs (capacity), system inputs (energy consumption) and operating conditions. All measurements in the airstream (return-air psychrometric and sensible capacity) are conditionally sampled to produce an average over periods of output (supply fan is on). Measurements of conditions outside the airstream, such as conditioned space, basement and outdoor condenser temperatures, are based on continuous sampling. Data loggers at the three test houses produced
a record of measurements at 15-minute intervals. All averages are based on 5-second sampling intervals. The records were downloaded daily to a computer at PNNL in Richland, Washington, for storage and analysis.
When Unit 1 was replaced by the GHP in June 1994, additional instrumentation was added to accommodate the GHP's variable airflow and to monitor critical internal components and systems. Records for the GHP were downloaded daily to a computer in Columbus, Ohio, and sent via the Internet to Richland, Washington, for analysis.
FIELD TEST RESULTS
The GHP began cooling operation on June 17, 1994 and continued with cooling cycles through November 30, 1994. There were no forced outages during the cooling test, giving the unit a 100% reliability record.
The GHP began heating operation on October 26, 1994, and continued with heating cycles through April 26, 1995. The availability of the unit was less than 100% during the heating test as a result of two outages: a discharge flange gasket leak and a failed starter motor. Both component failures were identified as well-known preproduction design deficiencies that have been corrected in all GHP production units.
The GHP demonstrated normal performance during the 1994-1995 cooling and heating seasons. Throughout this test, the unit operated within the bounds of normal behavior as determined by a computer simulation of the unit.3 The GHP demonstrated seasonal performance levels slightly above those established in previous field testing conducted by the GHP developers.1
During the 1994 cooling season test, the GHP consumed 30.5 MBtu of natural gas and 623 kWh of electricity, and provided 34.5 MBtu of cooling output. The GHP had a thermal coefficient of performance (COP) of 1.13 for the 1994 cooling season.
During the 1994-1995 heating season, the GHP consumed 19.8 MBtu of natural gas and 359 kWh of electricity, and provided 25.3 MBtu of heating output. The overall system gas TP_COP including the auxiliary heater operation was 1.28. During cycles without auxiliary heat, the TP_COP was 1.35.
Plots illustrating the effect of outdoor temperature (and associated loading) on COP are shown in Figures 16-2 through 16-5.
Figure 16-2. Daily Average COP
Figure 16-3. Daily Average Outdoor Temperature
Figures 16-4 and 16-5 show the significant performance degradation that results when loads are small and the unit must start cycling because it cannot further lower its speed. This is seen in Figure 16-4 as a general decline in heating COP with increasing outdoor temperature. Figure 16-4 also illustrates the fact the unit was forced to cycle throughout a majority of the heating test and would have demonstrated higher COPs in a more severe winter climate. Figure 16-5 shows cooling COPs increasing with decreasing temperatures until the unit starts to cycle at about 75°F. Throughout the variable speed range of the GHP, the increases in cooling COP resulting from decreases in temperatures can be associated with improvements in efficiency from decreasing speeds (and loads) and improvements in heat pump heat transfer from decreasing temperatures.
Additional performance indicators are shown in Tables 16-2 and 16-3. All cost estimates are based on internal (to the base) gas and electric
Figure 16-4. Daily Average Heating COP
Figure 16-5. Daily Average Cooling COP
prices at Fort Sam Houston (0.0488 $kWh; 4.3863 $/kcf). Additional cost analyses, under different pricing assumptions, are presented in the Life-Cycle Cost Analysis section.
Comparison Units' Performance
Unit 1 operated at expected efficiency levels and had the best performance of the three comparison units. Unit 2 had expected poor performance due to low airflow rates at the evaporator, lower than normal thermostat settings and the resulting coil icing. Table 16-4 summarizes the performance of these units starting from the time of commissioning up through the end of a test season or an earlier time if needed due to an HVAC equipment failure or an instrumentation outage.
Table 16-2. GHP 1994-1995 Test Conditions
Test Period Dates
Auxiliary heater cycles
Average outdoor operating temperature, °F
Minimum outdoor temperature, °F
Average indoor operating temperature, °F
Average return operating temperature, °F
Average return operating relative humidity, °F
Peak load day, kBtu
Engine time, h
Auxiliary heater time, h
Table 16-3. GHP 1994-1995 Performance
Electricity use, kWh
Water-glycol loop output, MBtu
Sensible heat pump output, MBtu
Latent heat pump output, MBtu
Total output, MBtu
Gas use, MBtu
Electricity use, $
Gas use, $
Table 16-4. Comparison Units' Performance in 1993 and 1994 Cooling Test Seasons
Range of days (233=8/22/93, 532=6/17/94)
Total cooling output, MBtu
Total electricity input, kWh
Run time, h
Sensible capacity, kBtu/h
Latent capacity, kBtu/h
Total capacity, kBtu/h
Mean room dry-bulb, °F
Mean return dry-bulb, °F
Mean return wet-bulb, °F
Mean return humidity, %
Mean outdoor dry-bulb, °F
The 1994-1995 heating-season performance of the comparison furnaces was consistent with the manufacturers' AFUE ratings. The Unit 2 (pulse combustion) had a TP_COP of 94.3%. Unit 3 had a TP_COP of 66.9%. Additional performance indicators are presented in Table 16-5.
Comparison Units, Projected Performance
Commissioned performance of the comparison units was projected onto the operating conditions and loads of the GHP in its test house. Both the mapping and the pre-/post-CDD correction techniques were used (see the Methodology and Analysis sections). These projections are
Table 16-5. Comparison Furnace Performance in the 1994-1995 Heating Test Season
Average indoor temperature, °F
summarized in Table 16-6. These projected energy numbers are the consumptions that would occur during the 1994 season if these units had been installed in the GHP test house in substitution for the GHP unit. The TP_EER shown here is the 1994 recorded total test-period load at the GHP test house divided by these energy consumption numbers and is an indicator of the projected performance at the GHP test house.
These projected TP_EER values can be compared with actual commissioned performance TP_EERs of the comparison units (see Table 16-4). Differences seen in such a comparison reflect the differences in the operating conditions of the GHP and those of the comparison unit. For example, Unit 2 had a commissioned test period efficiency of 7.76 kBtu/kWh while operating under average conditions of 68.6°F return dry-bulb and 82.6°F outdoor dry-bulb. Its efficiency improved to 8.28 kBtu/kWh when projected to the milder operating conditions at the GHP test house (74.1°F return dry-bulb, 80.7°F outdoor dry-bulb).
The measured performance of the comparison units was projected onto the operating loads seen by the GHP. The projection was based simply on the measured TP_COP of the comparison units (see Energy Analysis Methodology section). These projected energy numbers are the consumptions that would be seen during the 1994-1995 heating season if these units had been installed instead of the GHP. These projections are summarized in Table 16-7.
Table 16-6. Projected Cooling Performance
Energy Use, kWh
Unit 1 pre/post
Unit 1 Coil-map
Unit 2 Coil-map
Unit 3 Coil-map
Table 16-7. Projected Heating Performance
Performance in a Normal Weather Year
The 1994 GHP cooling-season energy consumption (Table 16-3) and the 1994 projected performance (Table 16-6) of the comparison units can be extended to normal weather year results using the CDD correction factor of 1.386 (see Energy Analysis Methodology section). Similarly, the 1994-1995 GHP heating season energy consumptions (Table 16-3) and the 1994-1995 projected performance (Table 16-7) of the comparison units can be corrected to normal weather year results using the HDD ratio of 1.435.
Cooling Energy Costs
Table 16-8 summarizes these normal year energy consumptions and the corresponding energy cost savings of the GHP relative to the comparison units. In a normal summer at the San Antonio test house, the GHP uses 41.5 kcf of gas and 864 kWh of electricity. This amount of fuel costs $224 and corresponds to a savings of $37 to $59 over the projected performance of the three comparison units. The best representative of savings relative to a conventional air conditioner is the $37 (14.2%) savings over Unit 1 (10.45 SEER).
Table 16-8. Normal Weather year Cooling-Season Consumption and Savings
Unit 1 (pre/post)
Energy cost, $
Heating Energy Costs
Table 16-9 summarizes these normal San Antonio heating-season energy consumptions and the corresponding savings of the GHP relative to the comparison units. The negative savings on electricity result because the GHP has an outdoor fan in addition to the indoor blower. Together they generally consume more electricity than the blower fan of a conventional furnace during a heating season due to longer runtime and higher power draw (at high speeds). The negative savings on electricity decrease the energy-cost savings of the GHP from 25.9% (relative to Units 1 and 2), if only gas consumption is considered, to 18.3%, when both gas and electricity are considered.
Table 16-9. Normal Weather Year Heating-Season Consumption and Savings
Units 1 & 2
Gas savings, kcf
Electricity savings, kWh
Total energy cost, $
Annual Operating Costs
Total annual operating costs include total normal year fuel costs for heating and cooling as well as the yearly maintenance costs. The comparison units were assumed to require $75 of annual maintenance; this represented roughly an hour of labor and no parts. The GHP yearly maintenance generally costs $175. This represents 1 hour of labor and engine parts such as oil, spark plug, oil filter and air filter.
Table 16-10 shows that when maintenance costs and the low electricity rates available to the Fort Sam Houston base (Super Large Power Service, SLP commercial rates) are taken into consideration, the GHP yields negative savings, on a total operating cost basis, relative to the conventional test Units 1 and 2. Operating costs at Fort Sam Houston calculated under other fuel pricing assumptions are presented in the Life-Cycle Cost section.
Table 16-10. Normal Year Annual Consumption and Annual Operating Cost Savings
Operating cost, $
*Calculated as the sum of the heating electricity and cooling electricity for Unit 1 where the cooling electricity has been estimated as the average of the Unit 1 pre/post and mapped results.
Occupant comfort is difficult to characterize by measurement; many parameters affect human comfort. However, an attempt is made in Figure 16-6 and Figure 16-7 with distribution plots of indoor relative humidity and indoor dry-bulb temperature. These room humidities are based on a measurement of room temperature and return-air humidity while the unit is cooling. These plots are similar to plotting an outline of
a histogram except they are normalized so that the area under each curve is equal to 1. The mean of each distribution is indicated with a vertical line.
Figure 16-6 shows a nearly identical humidity result of 47% for Units 1 and 3 and the GHP. Unit 2 shows lower humidity levels due to less evaporator-coil airflow and possibly due to the lower thermostat set point. Lower temperatures will increase the run times and the amount of dehumidification but also increase the moisture gains from infiltration. The lower airflow shifts the capacity of the unit from sensible to latent.
While humidity control is not an issue during the heating season, fluctuations in room temperature caused by cycling of the heating equipment can noticeably affect comfort. Figure 16-8 shows room temperatures (15-minute averages) during five-day periods of constant thermostat settings (no changes by the occupant) for each of the three test houses. The outdoor temperature during these time periods is shown in the "Weather" plot in Figure 16-8. The plots show that the GHP was able to maintain a temperature within a range of 0.3°F for a period of nearly 1 day. This is a significant improvement over the best 1-day spread of 0.7°F for Unit 2 and 2.5°F for Unit 3.
Interviews were conducted with the occupants of the house with the GHP. The occupants indicated that the unit had provided good comfort during the heating and cooling test periods. They observed that the house was drafty during the heating season but did not attribute this to the GHP. The startup and running sounds from the outdoor section of the GHP were the greatest concerns of the occupants. Although they said these sounds did not disturb them when they were inside the house,
Figure 16-6. Indoor Operating Relative Humidity
Figure 16-7. Indoor Operating Temperature
Figure 16-8. Temperature Control
they were concerned about disturbing their neighbors. They commented that the nature of the startup sounds reminded them of a lawn mower. They were pleased with the small amount of sound coming from the indoor fan (due to the variable-speed operation).
LCC COMPARISON METHODOLOGY
The goal of the life-cycle cost analysis is to take the thermal performance results established in the field study, project them to several commercially available AC/furnace systems (including a high-efficiency unit), and make an LCC comparison under different fuel pricing and climate situations. The analysis was conducted based on the monitored performance of the GHP and the existing conventional systems at the base. The methods presented here allow the GHP to be compared against any conventional AC/furnace system characterized by SEER and AFUE rating factors.* The comparisons can be made in any climate location characterized by CDD and HDD factors.
Calculations of LCC are done on a personal computer with the publicly available (from the FEMP World Wide Web [WWW] pages) NIST analysis program BLCC. The simplicity of this approach is intended to promote additional investigation of the GHP cost-effectiveness under fuel pricing and climate scenarios outside of those considered in this chapter.
A 15-year life was assumed for the GHP and all comparison units. The economic parameters used in the cost analysis were:
•analysis basis: Federal Analysis—Energy Conservation Projects
•study period: 15 years (1995-2009)
•discount rate: 3.0% real (exclusive of general inflation).
The LCC analysis of the GHP and of three conventional AC/furnace systems was conducted for six locations including Fort Sam Houston. The six locations were chosen to reflect the diversity of fuel pricing and climates at U.S. federal facilities. The first of the three conventional systems reflects a 1995 cost for a system very similar in specification to the monitored Units 1 and 2. The second represents the high-efficiency end of the market in AC/furnace systems. The third system has moder-
*Electric heat pumps (EHPs) were not available for monitoring at Fort Sam Houston. As a result, LCC could not be established in a way similar to that done for the AC/furnace systems. This precluded EHPs from consideration in this field-based LCC analysis. It is clear that in the locations where the GHP has the lowest LCC (due to high electric rates), EHPs would not be chosen over the GHP. However, in locations where the GHP does not have the lowest LCC (due to moderate to low electric rates), EHPs may be chosen over conventional AC/furnace systems.
ate efficiencies for both heating and cooling and represents the most common 3-ton unit sold in San Antonio. The installed price quotations for these three systems and the GHP were obtained from a San Antonio HVAC dealer (Table 16-11).
Table 16-11. Characteristics of Comparison Units
Cooling capacity, kBtu/h
Heating output capacity, kBtu/h
Annual maintenance, $
Installed cost, $
Projection to Current Market Systems.
Cooling-energy use in the LCC analysis of the three conventional units was calculated based on the cooling-test season results of field Unit 1 (Table 16-8). The average of the pre/post and the mapping results of Unit 1, for a normal cooling season, formed the basis for the energy calculations (5,507 kWh). For systems with SEERs different from the 10.45 SEER system that was monitored, a SEER ratio correction is applied to the measured energy use.
Similarly, the furnace gas and electricity use of Unit 2 during a normal San Antonio heating season (Table 16-9) is the basis for estimating the heating energy use for all conventional-system units in the LCC comparison (37.8 MBtu, 297.5 kWh). An AFUE ratio is used to scale the gas and electric energy use of furnace systems having efficiencies other than the 97% AFUE of Unit 2.
Projection to Other Locations
The energy use of all four units in the LCC analysis is then adjusted for climate. This approach projects the energy use at the GHP test house in San Antonio to other locations by assuming that energy use scales
linearly with thermal load as estimated by CDD and HDD factors. All HDD and CDD are calculated for base 67°F, which is approximately the floating point temperature seen during winter and summer at the GHP test house. The construction and insulation of the house are assumed constant throughout the analysis in that no adjustments are made to account for different construction practices in northern climates. Also, no adjustments are made to account for changes in system efficiency as affected by climate (outdoor temperature).*
Peak power draw was calculated for use in estimating electricity demand charges. Peak power draw for both the GHP and Unit 1 was estimated by plotting the daily peak power over most of the 1994 summer. Daily peak power is derived from a smoothed time series so as to remove cycling variations in the power time series. The time series of Unit 1 is a mapped series that represents the power usage of the Unit 1 as if it had been operating under the same conditions as the GHP. The resulting peak power for each day is shown in Figure 16-9. For comparison units with SEER values differing from Unit 1, the peak power draw is estimated by using a scaling factor composed of the ratio of SEER values.
These estimates of peak power are not intended to represent the maximum continuous power draw possible during the summer. Instead,
Figure 16-9. Peak Power (1994 Cooling Season)
*It is thought this assumption does not overstate the performance of the GHP in northern climates. The San Antonio performance is considered a reasonable representation of national GHP heating performance because although thermal conditions were mild in terms of outdoor temperature, they were quite severe in terms of part-load degradation losses.
they reflect the fact that HVAC systems are generally oversized and therefore, if cycling variations are averaged out, draw less than their rated power requirements.
In calculating demand changes, a modifying factor of 0.75 was used to reflect the fact that a group of houses generally does not hit peak load simultaneously. This diversity or spread in the time of peak load will be minimal in the hottest parts of the summer and increase as the summer loads decrease. The 0.75 is intended to approximately represent the average of this behavior over the cooling season.
For sites where the electricity billing is ratcheted, the demand rate is applied at 100% during the four summer-season months and at some fraction of the peak summer power during the other eight months. For example, at Fort Sam Houston, with an SLP service rate, the eight-month off-summer period is charged at 80% of the highest measured peak demand established during the previous summer-period months (June through September). For sites where the demand billing is not ratcheted, the demand rate is applied only to the four summer-season months.
Energy costs for Fort Sam Houston were calculated using three pricing assumptions: 1) the residential/retail rates2; 2) the internal rates established at the base; and 3) the raw commercial rate schedules established by City Public Service of San Antonio (see Table 16-12). The external rates for Fort Sam Houston were derived by applying a one-year average of the monthly adjustments (average adjustment March 1994 through April 1995 was –0.005427 $/kWh for electricity and –0.02567 $/kcf for gas) to the rates of 0.0240 $/kWh and 4.38 $/kcf. The external rates also included demand charges as described above with eight months of ratcheted demand charges at 80% of the summer peak. For the five sites other than Fort Sam Houston, energy costs were determined using existing federal and DOE reports. Specific energy price assumptions used are identified in Table 16-12.
To be cost-effective in comparison with conventional AC/furnace systems, the GHP must recover higher purchase costs and higher annual maintenance costs through energy cost savings. Five factors beyond energy efficiency promote GHP energy cost savings:
Table 16-12. Gas and Electric Prices
Fort Sam (Internal)
Fort Sam (External)
Fort Sam (Residential)
*The Fort Irwin heating fuel price is based on a propane price of 0.473 $/gal and a heating value of 95,000 Btu/gal.
1.ratio of electricity price to gas price
2.absolute gas and electricity prices
3.ratio of demand charges to base rate electricity charges
4.heating thermal loads
5.cooling thermal loads
These factors can serve as indicators for identifying locations with potential for high GHP energy cost savings. Although it is not necessary to have high values in all five, the two sites in this analysis where the GHP showed LCC savings over all three comparison systems had relatively high values in four of five indicators.
Fuel pricing indicators for the six locations considered in this analysis are illustrated in Figure 16-10. Effective electricity prices are plotted against gas prices. This is done for each of the four systems based on the cost and energy analysis described earlier. The lowest of the four points at each location represents the rate the GHP pays (low demand charges),
An effective electricity price is the total (heating and cooling) of all charges for electricity (including demand charges) divided by the total electric energy usage.
and the highest point represents the least efficient air-conditioner system (high demand charges). The vertical spread in the points for a given location reflects Indicator 3 and illustrates the difference in effective pricing caused by demand charges. The ratio of effective electricity price to gas price for the least efficient air conditioner, Indicator 1, is illustrated by the slopes of the dotted lines leading back to the origin. The national average gas and electricity prices charged commercial customers in October 1994 (Energy User News, 2/95) are shown with vertical and horizontal bars. Thermal load indicators, HDD and CDD, are illustrated in Figure 16-11.*
Figure 16-10. Effective Fuel Prices by Location for Four HVAC Systems
Figure 16-11. Degree Days by Location
*CDD and HDD for cities other than San Antonio were obtained from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data base of annual degree-days.
LIFE-CYCLE COST RESULTS
LCC is shown for the six sites in Table 16-13. To illustrate the relative contributions from the components of operating and life-cycle costs, bar charts are shown in Figures 16-12 and 16-13 for the GHP and the comparison Units A, B and C.
The analysis for Willow Grove NAS and Fort Irwin both indicate the GHP to have a lower LCC than the three comparison systems. Both sites had high energy-cost savings mainly due to relatively high values in all three fuel cost indicators coupled with significant heating and cooling loads.
Willow Grove NAS has an ideal combination of energy-cost saving indicators for yielding high GHP savings. Electricity rates are structured to have low base rates ($/kWh) with high demand charges ($/kW). This results in a large difference in the effective costs between gas and electric cooling. As a result, relatively low summer thermal loads yield high cooling energy savings for the GHP. Also, low base-rate electricity charges ($/kWh) reduce the performance penalty the GHP receives from having higher (than a furnace) parasitic energy usage (fan electricity) during the winter. Finally, a strong winter coupled with higher than average gas prices yields good heating-season savings.
The GHP at Fort Irwin also achieves high energy-cost savings with a somewhat different combination of fuel-price and thermal-load indicators in comparison with those at Willow Grove NAS. The ratio between effective electricity prices and gas prices is high for electric systems at Fort Irwin as they are also at Willow Grove NAS. However, the emphasis on demand charges is less. The result, when compared with Willow Grove NAS, is slightly higher cooling energy savings, but they are achieved because an increase in thermal cooling loads compensates for the reduction in price advantage. The lower winter thermal load, lower gas prices and higher base-rate electricity all cause a significant reduction in heating-energy-cost savings. The net result is that the GHP shows less LCC advantage over the high-efficiency AC/furnace system at Fort Irwin than at Willow Grove NAS.
Generally, as fuel pricing advantages diminish, the GHP depends more on its inherent thermal-efficiency advantage in the heating season. This must be coupled with relatively high HDDs and gas prices to achieve LCC savings. Fort Dix and Fort Drum both illustrate the difficulties for the GHP in competing strictly based on its COP advantage in a
heating-season-dominant climate. In both cases, the GHP is outperformed on an LCC basis by all three comparison systems. The low-cost AC/high-efficiency furnace system yields the LCC minimum.
Table 16-13. Life-Cycle Costs$
Willow Grove NAS
Fort Sam (Int)
Fort Sam (Comm)
Fort Sam (Res)
*The numeric column headings indicate the efficiency of the air conditioner and furnace(e.g., SEER = 10.2, AFUE = 97).Numbers in bold indicate lowest LCC system.
Fort Dix illustrates the impact of the electricity pricing on LCC. Willow Grove NAS and Fort Dix have similar climate indicators and gas prices but substantially different electricity rates. The result is a large reduction in demand charges and corresponding cooling-energy cost savings. Heating-energy cost savings are also reduced from those at Willow Grove NAS due to higher base-rate electricity costs and corresponding higher heating electricity costs (fan energy).
The LCC calculations for Fort Sam Houston indicate that a system with a moderately efficient air conditioner and a conventional (noncondensing) furnace is the most cost-effective of the four systems considered in the analysis. Fort Sam Houston has relatively low values in all fuel-price and thermal-load indicators except cooling loads. As shown in Figure 16-10, the Fort Sam Houston electricity rate is well below the national average and is also the lowest of the six sites considered in the
analysis. Also, Fort Sam Houston has a relatively low effective-electricity rate to gas rate ratio. Only Fort Drum's is slightly lower. Finally, the demand charge at Fort Sam Houston has a relatively small impact in lowering the effective electricity rates for the GHP.
Figure 16-12. Annual Operating Cost
Figure 16-13. Life-Cycle Cost
Pricing and System Options
All LCC calculations above have been based on the installed prices and annual maintenance costs in Table 16-11. These retail costs, quoted by an HVAC dealer in San Antonio, do not necessarily represent local retail costs at the other five locations, or potential discounts offered to a facility because of volume buying. Also, the retail costs do not account for future changes as influenced by a maturing market and manufacturing methods. To address these uncertainties in the LCC analysis, the results have been presented in Tables 16-14 and 16-15 in a form that is nearly independent of the installed prices and annual maintenance costs of Table 16-11.
Table 16-14. Cost-effective Price Differential for GHP
Table 16-15. Cost-Effective Prices for the GHP
Table 16-14 shows a cost-effective price* for the GHP relative to the price of each comparison unit (GHP maintenance costs at levels of $175 and $150). For example, at Willow Grove NAS, the GHP can be priced $5,700 higher than a system with a 10.2 SEER and 97 AFUE and still have a lower 15-year LCC.
*These price differentials are calculated as the amount the GHP present value of energy and maintenance costs is lower than the corresponding value for the comparison system.
Table 16-14 can be used to determine a price for the GHP such that it has an LCC lower than or equal to all three comparison systems. For example, using Table 16-14 ($175 annual maintenance) and the San Antonio prices (Table 16-11) for the comparison units, cost-effective prices for the GHP at Willow Grove NAS must be $9,718 (5,700 + 4,018), $8,985 (3,068 + 5,917) and $9,572 (6,072 + 3,500) to be competitive against Units A, B and C, respectively. The lowest of these, $8,985, is the price at which the GHP would be competitive against all three AC/furnace systems.
Table 16-15 shows the results of such calculations for each location, using the comparison-system prices of Table 16-11. The two columns illustrate the sensitivity of the results to changes in the assumed annual maintenance costs for the GHP. Column 1, $175; column 2, $150.
York International has indicated that typical single-unit prices for the GHP in the U.S. range from $6,000-$8,000. In Table 16-15, bothWillow Grove NAS and Fort Irwin are shown to be cost-effective locations for the GHP at prices above $8,000. At a $6,000 price, Fort Drum and Fort Dix are also shown to be cost-effective locations if the annual maintenance cost is assumed to be $150. However, both Fort Stewart and Fort Sam Houston require prices below $6,000 to have LCC lower than systems A, B and C.
Sites such as Fort Sam Houston and Fort Stewart can achieve installed prices below $6,000 using a less-efficient (in the heating season) two-pipe version of the GHP. This system is called a two-pipe version because it has no boiler (gas-fired auxiliary heat), no water-glycol loop and no secondary heat exchanger. The two-pipe system uses conventional electric-resistance backup heat and, thus, can cost as much as $1,000 less than the standard four-pipe GHP system (two refrigerant lines and two glycol lines). In southern locations such as Fort Sam Houston and Fort Stewart, the performance (and comfort) offered by the four-pipe system was not cost-effective within the $6,000 to $8,000 price range. However, if by use of the two-pipe version the $6,000 lower-price limit were reduced by $1,000, both Fort Sam Houston and Fort Stewart could potentially be cost-effective locations (see Table 16-15).
Findings from the summer-cooling test demonstrated the GHP to be a reliable system for Fort Sam Houston and the test house occupants.
There were no unexplained, forced outages during the field test and the occupants concluded that the GHP provided good comfort levels with acceptable levels of operating noise. Monitoring of indoor temperatures during heating operation showed the variable-speed GHP to provide better temperature control than the comparison systems.
Throughout the cooling and heating test seasons, the GHP operated at the manufacturer's anticipated performance levels. Yet, on a total operating cost basis, the GHP does not offer annual savings at Fort Sam Houston when compared with the most efficient of the systems in the field. Lower-than-national-average electricity prices, $100 higher maintenance costs and a mild winter climate all contribute to higher annual-operating costs for the GHP when compared with two of the three field comparison units.
A projection of San Antonio field results to other locations indicates the gas-heat pump is economically very competitive under the right combination of fuel prices and climate-related thermal loads. Over the range of single-unit prices typical for the GHP, the unit was shown to be the cost-effective choice on an LCC basis for four of the six sites considered in the analysis.
The author wishes to acknowledge the participation, review, comments and support provided by the CRADA participants and others associated with this project. Sincere thanks go to the following people who had key roles in the project:
•Mr. Steve Young, at Fort Sam Houston, our contact at the base who coordinated the base's activities related to the installation and monitoring.
•Mr. Bill Atterbury, at BMI under subcontract to GRI, who supervised the installation of instrumentation on the Triathlon and monitoring of the GHP.
•Mr. Barry Swartz, at York International, who coordinated the acquisition of the test unit at York and provided support throughout the installation.
•Mr. John Brogan, at GRI, who participated in the review of the final reports.
•Mr. John Freund, at Comfort Air Engineering, the local York dealer who coordinated the actual installation of the York GHP.
•Mr. John Schmelzer, at PNNL, who installed the monitoring instrumentation on the existing comparison units at the base.
1. York International and Battelle Columbus Laboratories. 1993. Field Test of the York Gas Heat Pump. GRI-92/0509, National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia.
2. Miller, J.D. 1995. Field Monitoring of a Residential Gas-Engine-Driven Heat Pump at Fort Sam Houston-Volume 1-Cooling Season, and Volume 2-Heating Season. PNL-10864 Vol. 1 & 2, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington.
3. Fischer, S.K., and C.K. Rice. 1986. The Oak Ridge Heat Pump Models: I. A Steady-State Computer Design Model for Air-to-Air Heat Pumps. ORNL/CON-90/R1 DE84 001577, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
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Section VGeothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
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Chapter 17Geothermal Heating and Cooling Markets
Lew W. Pratsch
Today, geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) are economical, energy-efficient, and available throughout the nation. Providing space heating and cooling plus water heating, GHPs typically reduce energy consumption and related emissions by 20-40%, lower maintenance costs, and shave utility peak demands for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. To increase current GHP market share from 40,000 to 400,000 units annually by the year 2000, a partnership between the private and public sectors has recently formed the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium. The Consortium has started a $100 million, six-year program funded one-third by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency and two-thirds by the electric power industry. This chapter discusses GHP energy and environmental benefits, market potential and a cross section of GHP applications installed over the past decade.
Over two-thirds of the nation's electricity is used in buildings. Space heating, cooling and water heating account for over 40% of the electric power used by residential and commercial buildings. Geothermal heat pumps have the potential to reduce electric energy consumption and the related emissions by 20% to 40%. In addition, GHPs offer utilities a major demand-side management tool projected to reduce summer and winter peak loads for the average residence by 1-2 kW and 4-8 kW, respectively.
Emissions from heating/cooling and water heating sectors represent approximately 24% of the national CO2 emissions—virtually tied with emissions from the transportation sector. An EPA study ranked residential GHPs as the best heating, cooling and water heating option. GHPs offer the nation a zero-emissions heating, cooling, and water heat-
ing system, potentially very important in highly urbanized markets with significant air pollution.
For the residential, commercial and institutional building owner, GHPs typically offer the lowest life-cycle-cost heating, cooling and water heating option with payback periods ranging up to 10 years. In some schools and larger commercial buildings, GHP systems can actually be the lowest first cost when compared with boilers and cooling towers.
Geothermal heat pumps are slowly gaining market share—accounting for about 1% of the annual sales of over 3,000,000 space conditioning units (including heat pumps and gas, oil and electric furnaces). Much of the sales growth has been achieved through the cooperative efforts of the GHP industry, International Ground Source Heat Pump Association and a limited number of utilities, primarily rural electric cooperatives. To develop a sustainable market for GHPs, the nation must greatly expand the number of utilities marketing GHPs. With the potential emergence of wholesale and retail wheeling, utilities may use this technology to assist in becoming the low-cost provider of heating, cooling and water heating.
There are no insurmountable market barriers to achieving these market penetration projections. These market projections do not depend on major technological breakthroughs. To capture this market potential a Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, supported by the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, the GHP industry, trade groups, environmental organizations and the electric utility industry has been established. It includes about 80 utilities serving over 50% of the nation's electric customers.
This industry-led, cost-shared program is designed to reduce air pollution, energy consumption, space conditioning costs and utility peaks. DOE's and EPA's roles are to provide leadership, resources and credibility to this unprecedented partnership. Prior to DOE and EPA leadership on GHPs, the electric power industry had yet to consider an operation of this type and scale. This voluntary program is part of DOE's Energy Partnerships for a Strong Economy.
By encouraging industry to voluntarily reduce energy consumption and resulting pollution through programs with a very good return on investment, our nation can defer the need for additional command and control activities. For example, at EPA's 1995 Green Lights Awards Program, Johnson & Johnson, one of the award recipients, indicated that replacing the older, less-efficient lights throughout the company was a
very good business decision. However, prior to EPA's Green Lights Program, Johnson & Johnson had no plans to invest in this very cost-effective and energy-saving technology.
To substantially increase market share of GHPs, the Consortium has proposed a six-year $100 million program to be funded two thirds by industry and one third by the Federal Government.1 By the year 2000 the GHP Consortium goals are to:
1.Increase the Geothermal Heat Pump unit sales from 40,000 to 400,000 annually.
2.Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 million metric tons of carbon equivalent annually.
3.Save over 300 trillion Btu's annually.
4.Create a sustainable market for GHPs—a market not dependent upon utility rebates or government incentives.
Independent DOE and EPA studies identified significant market potential for GHPs, assuming aggressive cost-effective, demand-side, management-type programs by the electric power utilities. In 1989 DOE conducted an analysis indicating substantial potential for the technology based on utility-sponsored programs. In 1990 DOE's Energy Information Administration predicted 2.7 quads of GHP use by the year 2030, representing significant market potential for this renewable energy option.2 For comparison, in 1992, the nation's entire energy consumption was 81 quads.
In EPA's April 1993 study on energy efficiency and emissions of all residential HVAC systems, GHPs typically ranked as the best heating, cooling and water heating option across the nation. Even after taking power-plant emissions into account, EPA found that under regional utility generating fuel mixes as projected for the year 2000, the advanced GHPs generally had lower CO2 emissions than all other equipment.3 Advanced GHPs have the highest source heating and cooling seasonal performance factors in all locations. While EPA evaluated HVAC systems in six regions, an example of this comparison is shown for Chicago. (See Table 17-1).
Table 17-1. Performance of Space Conditioning Equipment, Chicago, IL (including water heating)
Emerging Ground Source Heat Pump
Advanced Ground Source Heat Pump
Standard Ground Source Heat Pump
Advanced Air Source Heat Pump
High-Efficiency Air Source Heat Pump
Standard Air Source Heat Pump
Electric Resistance/Standard AC
Gas-Fired Heat Pump
Advanced Gas Furnace/High-Efficiency AC
Standard Gas Furnace/Standard AC
The emerging geothermal heat pump, or often-called ground source heat pump as listed in this table, reflects the operating performance of the Slinky or vertical system.
SPF = Seasonal Performance Factor (calculated by dividing the number of Btu's demanded in the location for space heating, cooling and water heating by the number of Btu's of energy input) refers to the equipment required to meet that demand.
Source: "Space Conditioning: The Next Frontier—The Potential of Advanced Residential Space Conditioning Technologies for Reducing Pollution and Saving Consumers Money," EPA, April 1993, Michael L'Ecuyer, Cathy Zoi, John Hoffman.
According to this report, GHPs are highly cost-effective in most U.S. regions as replacements for the air source heat pump (ASHP), gas furnace and central air-conditioner equipment. Depending on the location, GHPs can reduce emissions by 23-44% compared to advanced ASHPs. GHPs are estimated to use less than 50% of the refrigerant (HCFC-22) required by air source heat pumps or central air conditioners. The GHPs have a simpler design, are sealed at the factory like a refrigerator and seldom experience leaking problems since there are no field refrigerant connections or improper charges.
Most of the analysis to date has focused on residential GHPs because they are better known and easier to compare with alternative heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Most initial utility programs focused on residential applications. A number of these utility programs either achieved a 10% market penetration in new homes or now have GHPs in over 5% of all homes in their service area.
However, on a tonnage basis it is likely that more growth will occur in the commercial market over the next ten years. Increasingly GHPs are used for new and retrofit school HVAC systems—an example of where GHPs can be the lowest first cost and lowest life-cycle HVAC system for larger buildings. While the industry's current growth rate is estimated to be between 15% and 25% annually, which is impressive, it is measured on a small base. The goal is to maintain a very rapid growth rate through the end of the decade.
GHPs operate successfully in every state. Residential applications include: affordable/low-income homes, entire subdivisions, custom homes, retirement centers and apartment buildings. In residential applications, combining GHPs with an excellent building envelope results in average heating and cooling bills of $15 to $40/month for houses and apartments up to 3,000 square feet. GHPs provide excellent humidity control, operate quietly in apartment closets and will outlive traditional air conditioners since GHPs have no outdoor equipment. A key advantage of eliminating outdoor equipment is no noisy outside compressors on patios or next to your neighbor's house. This is especially important on smaller lots increasingly common in large urban areas. When included in the mortgage, it is easy to have a positive cash flow from the first month.
Commercial, institutional and industrial uses include: hotels, office
buildings, farming applications, churches, banks, gas stations, auto dealerships and government buildings. These range from small buildings to large hotels and office buildings up to 2,000 tons, although technically there are few limits to size. Industrial uses, although limited at this time, include manufacturing facilities air conditioned for the first time to improve employee productivity and eliminate recalibration of equipment sensitive to the extremes of winter and summer. Other benefits include: no roof penetration; elimination of boilers, chillers and cooling towers and related highly skilled personnel; reduced equipment room size; no visible outside equipment, which is important for historical buildings and certain architectural designs; reduced demand charges; and simultaneous or back-to-back heating and cooling in the spring and fall.
Some GHPs have operated over 30 years. The initial GHPs, some dating from the 1930s, utilize an "open loop" system where groundwater is pumped from wells, flows through the GHP into a stream, lake, another well or the same well. The growth in the last decade consists mostly of "closed-loop" systems which use a permanent closed-loop ground heat exchanger of horizontal or vertical high-density polyethylene plastic pipe. This pipe is essentially the same pipe used for natural gas distribution and is guaranteed by many manufacturers for 50 years. The closed-loop approach allows GHPs to be installed anyplace in the nation and eliminates the need for a continuous water source as in the open-loop systems. It is anticipated that the ground loop will last as long as the building.
Historically the biggest obstacle to installing residential GHP systems is the high first cost if a qualified contractor can be located. The GHP equipment is about the same price as typical air source heat pumps or gas furnaces and central air conditioning. Installing the ground loop can more than double the equipment cost in low-volume residential markets. However, in "mature" markets where competition exists between the contractors, the incremental cost drops to about $2,500 for a 3-ton residential unit. These "mature" markets exist in a number of states, including Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana. In these mass markets the utility typically offers about a $250/ton rebate. By subtracting the $750 ($250/ton for a three-ton house) from the $2,500 incremental cost, the homeowner can quickly see a 3- to 6-year payback on a new house or retrofit.
A few "Product Champions" scattered across the nation have successfully marketed GHPs, initially without utility design assistance or
financial support. This was followed by scattered utility support consisting primarily of dozens of rural electric cooperatives and a few investor-owned utilities. This utility backing often leads to a substantial increase in market share. Once volume exists to keep competing contractors busy throughout the year installing GHPs, the word-of-mouth sales soon become dominant. There are a number of contractors in Oklahoma installing at least one GHP system per day and they indicate that they receive more referrals from existing satisfied customers than from the utility.
A cross section of residential, commercial and industrial GHP projects is listed in Tables 17-2 and 17-3. Many of these projects were selected to represent a particular GHP application or provide geographical diversity. Through the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium a series of fact sheets and case studies, including greater detail on energy savings and other benefits, will be developed. A few of these projects are discussed in greater detail below.
During the first oil crisis in 1973 the Arkansas Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) experienced a surge in home mortgage defaults. After checking with the home owners it was determined that the combination of energy-inefficient homes and rapidly increasing fuel costs forced the home owners to default. To solve this problem the Arkansas FmHA state architect developed a very energy-efficient building envelope and GHP design for both existing and new low-income/affordable homes and apartments. Today there are over 5,000 homes and apartments in Arkansas with this building envelope and GHP design. The typical heating, cooling and water-heating bills range from $15 to $30 per month. The FmHA in Louisiana has similar programs in hundreds of housing units.
Home builders and developers have developed various approaches for GHPs. A home builder in Florida builds custom homes, utilizes a good building envelope and installs GHPs in 18 of 20 homes each year without any utility support. CINergy, formerly PSI Energy, was the first large utility to develop GHP subdivisions whereby the ground loops were installed en masse one house after the other. The incremental cost dropped to about $2,000 per house in the late 1980s. Today utilities are financing the ground loop initially and as each house is sold the utility is paid for the ground loop. This approach takes the burden off the developer and allows the loop costs to be included in the home owner's mortgage.
Table 17-2. Examples of Geothermal Heat Pump Applications
Site and Location
Size and Tons
Improve Building Envelope
Annual Energy Savings
White Horse Village Pennsylvania
390,000 s.f.1,118 tons
Initially purchased Btu's, but Whitehorse Village bought out 15-year contract to pocket savings.
Beaumont Retirement Center, Pennsylvania
420,000 s.f.840 tons
Apartments, hospital and single-family homes @ $8 per s.f. for HVAC under Btu purchase agreement.
Office Building Albany, New York
65,000 s.f.138 tons
Owner since built twin office building with GHPs & a Holiday Inn. Uses five 1,500-ft. standing column wells.
Thunderbird Products Indiana
Reduced structural steel load on roof. Use GHPs in boats they manufacture.
Phillips 66 Gas Station & Convenience Store, Texas
1,200 s.f.6 tons
Summer waste heat is used to heat car wash floor and ramps in winter. HVAC, ice maker, freezer and walk-in cooler are connected to ground heat exchanger.
Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma
500,000 s.f.600 tons
Freed up 10,000 s.f., reduced maintenance staff and preserved historic nature of the building. Project cost $4.5 million with annual benefits of $540,000.
Shields Tavern Williamsburg, Virginia
Use GHPs to maintain Colonial Williamsburg aesthetics by eliminating all signs of HVAC.
Science Center South Dakota
9,000 s.f.120 tons
Utilizing domestic water GHP system, formerly fuel oil, water boiler and no A/C. Historic building.
Stockton State College, New Jersey
357,000 s.f.1,350 tons
Atlantic Electric incentive provided.
YMCA Bixby, Oklahoma
They like flexibility of heating and cooling simultaneously, multiple zones and dehumidification strengths.
St. Anthony's Catholic Church, No. Dakota
5,400 s.f.21 tons
Dozens of churches, banks, small commercial and apartments use GHPs. Contractor is leader.
Whirlpool Corp. Office Building, Michigan
Corporate Headquarters addition, like individual zoning.
Table 17-2. Examples of Geothermal Heat Pump Applications (cont'd.)
Site and Location
Size and Tons
First Install Date
Improve Building Envelope
Annual Energy Savings
Austin Public Schools, Texas
50+ schools new and retrofit, teachers like individual room control, and simultaneously heating and cooling.
Father Michael McGivney School, Canada
182,000 s.f.410 tons
10,000+ tons installed in Canadian schools. GHP average energy cost/square foot 30% less than others.
HUD Apartment Complex Tulsa, Oklahoma
348 apts.630 tons
Bldg. envelope improvements = $250,000, saved $400,000 in GHP. Full occupancy since renovation.
Walden Pond Subdivision, Indiana
126 homes375 tons
8,000 kWh per house
Utility comfort guarantee will replace GHP in one year (only replaced 3 in 5 years) over 5,000 GHP homes.
Army Housing Fort Polk, Louisiana
4,003 homes8,000 tons
Initial test units installed in 1987. Financed by $18 million shared-energy-saving contract.
Russell Homebuilders Florida
Up to3,000 s.f.
Sells 18 of 20 custom homes with building envelope improvements and GHPs. No utility assistance.
Arkansas Farmers Home Administration
5,000 apts. &single family
Includes superior building envelope and GHP. Most houses and apartments under 1,000 square feet.
Galt House East Hotel Kentucky
700,000 s.f.1,700 tons
This 1985 hotel summer electric peak is down 47% vs. similar 1970 hotel. GHPs installed in three 15- to 25-story office buildings (960,000 s.f.).
Paragon Center Office Condo, PA
Office condos have individual heat pumps.
Waterfurnace Manufac. and office, Indiana
120,000 s.f.200 tons
Loops installed in stormwater runoff retention pond. Cost/ton is $1,650.
Ray McDonald Virginia
4,300 s.f.4 tons
House uses structural foam core panels, GHP and wood foundation, @ less per s.f. than normal home.
Ronning Apartment Building, South Dakota
57 units114 tons
Sump pump from underground parking provides water source. (Over 6,000 tons of GHPs installed in S.D.)
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Park Chase, a 348-unit apartment complex, was retrofitted with GHPs by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD wanted to shift from the 27-year-old, two-pipe, central electric chillers and gas boilers to individually controlled and metered units. The GHP contractor's bid included an offer to improve the building envelope by replacing the leaky aluminum windows and doors, reducing the window area by about 33%, improving the roof insulation, and adding caulking and weather stripping. The total cost for these thermal improvements was $250,000 but it saved $400,000 by reducing the total tonnage by about one quarter. This savings is greater for GHPs than conventional HVAC since the ground loop can be reduced by 25 percent. For example, the price difference for a 1.5- and 2.0-ton air conditioner or downsized gas furnace is minimal whereas reducing the GHP size by 25 percent saves hundreds of dollars on the ground loop. Also, the local utility provided a rebate of $640/ton. Today, there is a waiting list for the Park Chase Apartments as the typical utility bill is very reasonable and the residents appreciate the very comfortable apartments.
For larger buildings, GHPs can be the lowest first cost. This occurs when GHPs are competing against boilers and cooling towers, utilize a lake or retention pond for the ground loops or employ an open-loop system or standing-column design. Added savings can occur in a number of areas. The actual floor-to-floor height can be about one foot less than traditional systems as the ductwork needed to meet fresh air requirements and water pipe to move Btu's for the GHP throughout the building is considerably smaller than variable-air-volume systems. This saves about $1 per square foot in schools. The mechanical rooms can be downsized by over 50%. For example, the retrofit of the Oklahoma State Capitol to GHPs freed up 10,000 square feet of mechanical room space for office space.
The Austin Independent School District, in Austin, Texas, first installed GHPs in schools in 1984. The district found that not only was there a significant energy and maintenance savings, including no roof penetrations, but that the teachers highly favored individual room control. Likewise, heating and cooling only the auditorium or gym for evening events, not the entire school, was an additional benefit. School administrators from all over the country have since visited Austin to see
firsthand how the systems worked and the satisfaction of the principals, teachers and students. Today hundreds of schools nationwide have installed GHPs.
More than 10,000 tons of geothermal systems operate in Canadian schools. Because regulations require tracking energy consumption at schools, it is easier to compare schools built over the last 10 years for energy consumption. Forty geothermal schools (all meet the current 15 cfm/student), were compared to 20 schools, many with boilers and cooling towers (only a few met the 15 cfm/student). The average equivalent kWh/sq ft for geothermal was about 30% less than the competition. Father Michael McGivney Catholic High School, with a geothermal system, was compared with Holy Cross Catholic High School, with gas-fired boilers, chillers and cooling towers. Each school has about 180,000 square feet. The overall construction cost was $98 per square foot in 1991 for McGivney. The geothermal system cost $11 per square foot after factoring in savings for smaller mechanical rooms and one less concrete block in height per floor. The energy cost for the geothermal school was $.97 per square foot. After factoring in the reduced operation, maintenance and energy costs the geothermal school saves about $34,000 annually.
The largest GHP system currently operating in the nation is the Galt House East Hotel (700,000 square feet/1,700 tons) and Waterfront Office Building complex (1,000,000 square feet/3,000 tons) in Louisville, Kentucky. The hotel, completed in 1985, is projected to be saving an average of $25,000 per month, most of which is attributed to the GHP system. The engineer priced a central system for this complex and estimates that the GHP cost is about $500 less per ton than a central system, for a total capital savings of $2,350,000. Maintenance costs are lower as the GHP system does not require the skill and experience required by a centrifugal system with four pipe controls, VAV or other systems common in large complexes.4
Another large GHP system is currently being installed at Fort Polk Army Base in Louisiana. By retrofitting over 4,000 homes with GHPs and implementing other lighting and building envelope upgrades, the annual energy savings are projected at over 33,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. GHPs represent over two-thirds of the energy savings, including the use of a desuperheater which uses the waste heat from air conditioning to heat the hot water in the summer. Another major benefit for the military is shifting the maintenance to the shared-energy-savings contractor. The annual electric, natural gas and maintenance savings of over
$3 million will finance this $18 million project over 20 years.
The first GHP national account is the Phillips 66 gas stations and convenience stores. Phillips 66 first installed GHPs in a gas station and convenience store in 1993. In addition to space heating and cooling, Phillips connected the freezer, ice maker and refrigerator to the ground heat exchanger system. In the winter the floor and ramps to and from the car wash are heated with excess summer heat. Overall this system is saving about one-third of the total typical monthly utility bill even after adding the new feature of heating the car wash ramps/floors.
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium
Dozens of rural electric cooperatives and a handful of investor-owned utilities have successfully marketed GHPs. Utility involvement in developing the infrastructure, marketing and design assistance for larger buildings, incentives and financing serves as the key to this emerging technology. Some utilities have reached a 10% market penetration in new homes and a few have a 5% market penetration of all houses. Without utility involvement, it is unlikely that this industry will ever achieve its full potential due to the high first cost. Successful utility programs have reduced the incremental costs to about $2,500 for a single-family home by taking advantage of economies of scale resulting from larger markets, contractor competition, incentives, extended warranty programs and financing. These factors, combined with lower utility bills, often provide a positive cash flow for the customer.
Under the GHP Consortium, an initial evaluation or benchmarking will be conducted of successful utility-sponsored GHP programs with significant market share and affordable implementation costs. This will include financing and warranty programs, design techniques and assistance, marketing techniques, infrastructure development, targeting certain residential and commercial customers, and identifying and documenting customer satisfaction ratings and benefits. This benchmarking will ferret out the best practices, become the basis for the model marketing programs available to GHPC members and provide the guidelines for the expert advance team which will assist GHPC members in developing the demonstration programs and implementing the market transformation efforts.
Following are the three major milestones of the GHP Consortium program:
1.Startup. This includes benchmarking of successful GHP programs, development of supporting regional and national marketing, training centers, and design material, providing incremental improvements to installing the ground heat exchangers and providing "advance" expert teams to assist utilities in developing viable model programs and significant market share (1995-1996);
2.Demonstration. Conduct 12 regional market mobilization programs across the nation, designed to achieve significant market penetration (1996-97); and
3.National Rollout. Transfer successful GHP marketing to a broad base of utilities and assist manufacturers, design firms, investors and vendors nationwide to achieve 400,000 units annually (1996-2000).
Once annual sales of 400,000 GHPs have been achieved by the turn of the century, the need for utility support and incentives will have been eliminated and the GHP industry will be an established component of the heating, cooling and water-heating market.
"Geothermal" will become a household word in the 1990s, led by activities of the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium and the GHP industry. The Consortium represents a broad-based, industry-led, market-pull vehicle for the development and implementation of an aggressive demonstration and market transformation program on a national scale. The GHP Consortium will "jump start" the growth of the GHP industry, providing the nation with all the related customer savings and energy and air pollution benefits.
Although residential GHPs may have the highest first cost, GHPs are more efficient and require less maintenance, thereby offering home owners lower life-cycle costs. Commercial building GHP systems, in some instances, already have the lowest first cost. In addition to user benefits of GHPs, the utility benefits by better load balance, thereby reducing the need for new capacity, and the nation benefits by lower energy consumption, lower power costs for industry and fewer adverse environmental impacts.
1. "National Earth Comfort Program—Geothermal Heat Pump Market Mobilization and Technology Demonstration." Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, September 1994.
2. "Renewable Energy Excursion: Supporting Analysis for the National Energy Strategy." Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, December 1990.
3. Michael L'Ecuyer, Cathy Zoi and John Hoffman. "Space Conditioning: The Next Frontier—The Potential of Advanced Residential Space Conditioning Technologies for Reducing Pollution and Saving Consumers Money" Environmental Protection Agency. April 1993.
4. Marion E. Pinckley, "Galt House East Hotel and Waterfront Office Buildings." World Geothermal Congress. May 1995.
Chapter 18Case Study: Geothermal at Great Bridge Middle School
G.M. Nicholos and K.W. Ponton
In 1994, a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system based on geothermal technology was considered and implemented at Great Bridge Middle School South in Chesapeake, Virginia. The system was installed in conjunction with a general renovation project at the school.
The design and installation of a geothermal earth-coupled system included the projected lowest life-cycle cost when equipment life and replacement costs were considered. The geothermal system was seen as the most energy-efficient and sustainable system, and was expected to provide utility and maintenance cost savings throughout its life cycle. In contrast, the only advantage a conventional packaged terminal heat pump (PTHP) system would afford would be a lower initial construction cost. This initial cost advantage was anticipated, but is currently being outweighed by the energy savings and projected equipment life advantages of the geothermal HVAC system.
The system has been fully operational since November 1994. Although data collection for a complete heating and cooling season has not occurred, the system currently displays significant energy savings.
Great Bridge Middle School South (GBMSS) in Chesapeake, Virginia, was originally constructed as a high school, circa 1955. The original two-story structure was later expanded, with both two-story and one-story additions. The entire GBMSS complex is approximately 112,000 square feet, and includes classrooms, gymnasium, offices, auditorium, cafeteria/kitchen, band room and chorus room. Before its latest renovation, the building was heated by three oil/gas-fired steam boilers in a central mechanical room. Steam generated in the boilers was distrib-
uted throughout the building by piping located in the crawl space. Vacuum pumps returned the condensate to the main boiler room. Different-sized unit ventilators with steam coils, located throughout the school, were used to heat and ventilate classrooms, cafeteria, library, offices and auxiliary spaces. Larger air-handling units with steam coils and ducted air distributors were used to heat and ventilate larger spaces such as the auditorium, gymnasium, band room and shops. The school did not have a central mechanical cooling system, so only a few small areas were cooled with window air conditioners. Of a calculated building cooling load of 450 tons, only approximately 20 tons of cooling capacity was in place prior to the renovation.
During the design phase, representatives of Chesapeake Public Schools studied two types of heating and cooling systems: a conventional Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) system using through-wall packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHP), and an alternate HVAC system using a ground-coupled, closed-loop water source. The decision to use dual designs was made to investigate the potential savings associated with a geothermal installation. If the geothermal system were selected, it would serve as a pilot program for consideration in future construction projects. Both the conventional and geothermal system designs were developed to guard against budget cost overruns, which could have been expected with an apparently new technology and a proposed installation of a magnitude unequaled in the mid-Atlantic Region of the United States. The decision to proceed with the design of the ground-coupled heat pump system was made based on potential energy and maintenance savings.
As previously stated, the two HVAC systems were selected to quantify and compare project construction costs versus projected energy savings, operations and maintenance savings. A cost estimate comparison for the two systems showed that the geothermal earth-coupled system had a first cost of approximately $240,000 more than the conventional system. This price differential was due to the additional cost to supply the earth-coupled wells and piping. Water-source HVAC equipment was also found to be slightly more costly than similar air-source-type units.
A computerized system simulation program was used to estimate the annual projected energy consumption for both systems. Data in Table 18-1 indicate that the geothermal system is the most energy-conserving system, as it would require only 29,895 Btu/ft/year. The conventional
system, which requires 56,556 Btu/ft/year, uses almost twice the energy of the geothermal system. The potential utility cost savings are approximately $41,466 per year. The water-cooled equipment used in the geothermal system also would require less maintenance because it would run at a more constant temperature. In contrast, the conventional air-to-air heat pump must adjust to large temperature fluctuations. An estimated $5.00 per ton in savings was projected, which would result in approximately $2,250 in annual savings.
Table 18-1. Energy and Savings Performance
Estimated Construction Cost ($)
Estimated Annual Operations And Maintenance Cost ($)
Estimated Life-CycleCost ($)
Operation and maintenance equipment was also a factor in system selection. The estimated life for packaged-air-cooled equipment used in the conventional system is approximately 10 years (based on previous experience with PTHP equipment by Chesapeake Public Schools); water-cooled equipment generally has an expected life of approximately 20 years. The cost of equipment replacement for the conventional air-to-air heat pumps in System 1 is figured into the life-cycle cost and is estimated to be approximately $500,000 in 1994. (Allowing for inflation, this number would escalate to $653,600 in 10 years.) A computerized economic analysis calculates that the geothermal system would have a $412,000 lower life-cycle cost than the conventional system.
By dividing the construction cost difference between the conventional air-to-air and the water-source heat pumps by the annual operations and maintenance cost difference, the geothermal system could be expected to have a simple payback of 3.5 years at Great Bridge Middle School South.
The conventional system was designed to use through-wall packaged terminal heat pumps with pre-conditioned outside air ducted to spaces supplied by 100% outside rooftop HVAC units. Although its initial construction costs are less expensive, this type of system is less appealing in an educational setting due to inherently noisy operation, higher maintenance cost and shorter service life. The geothermal system uses earth-coupled hydronic heat pumps exclusively. Individual console units were located in each classroom or similar-size space and connected to vertical loop wells (see Figure 18-1). Preconditioned outside air, ducted to each classroom, is supplied by 100% outside air from rooftop ground-coupled heat pumps fitted with heat recovery apparatus. Large, packaged rooftop ground coupled heat pumps heat and cool large spaces such as the auditorium, gymnasium and cafeteria. The overall earth-coupled heat exchanges consist of 464 vertical boreholes encased in ben-
Figure 18-1. Typical Building Wall Section
tonite, at an average depth of 160 feet each (or approximately one ton of cooling per vertical well). Piping with heat-fused polybutylene joints was used in conjunction with a water/glycol solution.
Although many closed-loop geothermal systems are charged with a 100% water solution, it was decided to use a glycol antifreeze as an additional safety precaution, as several sections of the systems (such as at rooftop units) would be exposed to outside air temperatures. At GBMSS each heat pump has a separate water circulatory pump and pipe loop heat exchanger. This arrangement facilitates system installation in the existing structure and safeguards against an instance where a sizable portion of the system could be rendered out of service. Individual or groups of pipes pass through cored, drilled holes through the existing wall foundations, then turn vertically and pass through bored holes in
Figure 18-2. Heat Exchange and Well Field Design
both the first and second floors. Pipes in the interior of the school are located vertically against walls and horizontally against ceilings as required and are concealed with sheet metal raceways which are painted to coordinate with adjacent interior finishes (see Figure 18-1). The entire heat exchange and well field design (see Figure 18-2) were calculated using computer programs as recommended by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA).
Section VIThermal Energy Storage
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Chapter 19The Effect of Real-Time Pricing (RTP) on Thermal Energy Storage Systems (TES).
With the onset of deregulation of electrical utilities it is interesting to speculate what the future will bring and how it affects existing and potential thermal energy storage projects. Let us be realistic; there is no reason to implement TES if there is not a rate structure that allows us to reduce energy cost. TES systems save money by reducing demand cost and utilizing lower energy charges during off-peak periods.
Certain electric utility companies, in anticipation of what may be coming, have developed an experimental rate structure that charges energy in relation to what it actually costs the utility on an hourly basis. Many factors influence the cost of electricity during the day so that the cost per kWh can vary considerably on an hourly basis.
ELECTRIC RATE SCHEDULES
Time-of-Use Rate Schedule
Larger facilities usually purchase electricity from utilities under some form of time-of-use rate schedules. A time-of-use rate schedule basically divides the 24-hour workday into three periods for four to seven summer months: On-peak, partial-peak (mid-peak) and off-peak. Some rate schedules have winter on-peak periods, some have only partial-peak periods.
Different rates are charged for each time period. Also maximum demand charges are applied for the on-peak and partial-peak periods on a monthly basis.
Typical TOU Rates
TES takes advantage of reducing demand charges by shifting electrical load from on-peak periods to off-peak periods. The expensive on-peak demand charge is therefore reduced and the energy used to produce cooling is less expensive during the off-peak periods.
Real-Time Pricing (RTP)
RTP is a unique program which began in 1985 designed to investigate customer responses to changing prices. The program completed a three-year Demonstration Phase in 1990 which focused on rate design and customer equipment. Since then, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) has approved the continuation and expansion of the RTP Program.
Daily Price Schedules
The utility calculates and transmits the energy prices for 24 hourly periods to each participating customer, usually by 1:00 p.m. every weekday. The prices are in effect for the following calendar day(s), midnight to midnight. Saturday, Sunday and Monday prices are transmitted on the previous Friday. Holiday prices are transmitted on the last weekday
preceding the holiday.
RTP prices are developed from daily system cost information and vary depending on such system conditions as weather and demand. For example, electricity is less expensive to produce when hydroelectric power is plentiful, or during times of low demand, such as late at night or on weekends.
Temperature Threshold T&D Price Signals
When forecasted temperatures meet certain temperature-driven criteria, the RTP process will include a price component designed to collect for additional cost of Transmission and Distribution (T&D). These added costs will increase the daily prices by a significant amount. There can be 25 such weekdays each in summer and winter.
Load Management Price Signals
When forecasted total electrical generation reserves and afternoon temperatures meet certain predetermined conditions, PG&E will revise the prices for that day, giving at least one hour of notice to the customer. This is the Load Management Price Signal (LMPS), the dispatchable load management component of the RTP Program. The LMPS prices are the highest RTP prices during the year.
These prices can be revised for the 7-hour period lasting from noon to 7 p.m. in order to induce load shifting or curtailment when system conditions are constrained and energy production costs are very high. These revisions to the RTP can occur up to 10 times during the year and will occur during the summer season.
Graphs of Typical Days
In order to plan operational strategies for TES systems one must get an understanding of the charging patterns of the RTP rate schedule. Plotting graphs on a daily basis, and averaging monthly values and plotting them for workdays and weekends, shows the trends that drive the cost of electricity.
By plotting average values for the various months the effect of seasonal loads becomes evident. Figure 19-1 depicts the average workday daily cost profile for the six summer months. The influence of the
T&D days during June, July and August is clearly visible.
The graphs Figures 19-2A and 19-2B show the maximum and minimum charges for a peak day and for an average low-rate day for summer and winter. The bottom graph represents the same curves on a larger scale for the y-axis.
Figure 19-3 depicts the average workday daily cost profile for the six winter months. The influence of increased electrical usage for evening hours during workdays is observed. This effect explains why some utilities do apply a winter on-peak period during the hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Figure 19-4 depicts the average weekend daily cost profile for the six summer months and Figure 19-5 depicts the average weekend daily cost profile for the six winter months.
Figure 19-5 depicts a typical peak day electrical load profile for a hotel in the Bay Area. Superimposed are the corresponding peak day RTP charges for that day. It is by combining the available load with the cost profile in the most economical manner that yields the most savings. As both vary on a daily basis, it can be seen that calculations to estimate
Figure 19-1. Workday Average—Real-Time Rates
Figure 19-2A. RTP Rate Schedule. Peak and Normal Range for Summer/Winter
savings should be based on a daily basis. We have tried to simplify calculations by using the average monthly costs as depicted in the graphs to estimate savings. We found that when we compared the estimated savings with the savings calculated on a daily basis that values were somewhat overly optimistic.
It is our experience that for more accurate savings calculations it is necessary to calculate on an hour-by-hour basis. Actually the approach to calculating the savings is somehow reversed. Instead of using the storage capacity to bridge the on-peak window, we now use the available storage capacity to shift load during the most expensive hours. The use of large spreadsheets with every hour of the year represented is indicating 8,760 hours.
The same basic approach will also have to be applied to determine the control strategy for TES systems on RTP.
Figure 19-2B. RTP Rate Schedule. Peak and Normal Range for Summer/Winter
THE EFFECT ON TES
On-Peak Window Eliminated
One of the advantages that the RTP rate schedule provides for TES systems is the elimination of the window for the on-peak period. This changes the concept of TES design considerably. The governing concept for TES is now to shift load as much as possible during the hours when electricity costs are the highest. From the graphs shown in Figure 19-5, it can be seen that the three hours during summer afternoons are the most expensive.
Another advantage arises from the fact that if the demand is blown on a day, for some reason, the effect is limited to the lost opportunity to achieve savings for that particular day only. With the TOU rate schedule the demand savings are lost for that whole month.
Figure 19-3. Workday Average—Real-Time Rates
Figure 19-4. Weekend Average—Real-Time Rates
Figure 19-5. Typical Peak Facility Elec. Profile with Peak Summer and Winter RTP Rates
Generally the storage capacity is determined by the condition to satisfy full storage, full demand-period storage or partial storage of the peak cooling load for the facility. RTP allows more freedom in selecting the storage capacity. There is of course a minimum capacity which for practical purposes should allow for a full demand shift of three hours. But after that it is really a question of available funds, available space, chiller charging capacity and plain economics. Capacities can now also be made suitable for certain tank sizes as long as we shift in hourly chunks.
The heat transfer capability may now become the limiting factor of the TES system. For ice systems, it is the melting capacity of the ice and the size of the heat exchanger that governs the rate of cooling that can be supplied to the system. Generally for ice systems, a four-hour "melt-down" is about the best possible performance of standard ice TES sys-
tems and the eutectic salt TES systems.
The chilled-water storage system opens up a new potential advantage. The "melt-down" concept could be changed to a "pump-down" concept. The limitation is given by the pump capacity under the given system characteristics.
Theoretically the largest savings possible on a peak day would be to empty the tank during the most expensive hour, provided the load is as great. In practice it is going to be a three-hour discharge if the load is available and the pump capacity is sufficient to provide the increased flow during that period.
By the nature of the "beast" (utility rate schedules) it can be seen that control sequences cannot be placed in a straightjacket anymore. To achieve the largest savings the operational sequences have to take into account the hourly rates for the day and the actual cooling load for that day. Basically, the dominant rule is to "empty" the tank every day during the hours when energy costs the most.
Control sequences are now dependent on the two variables, the load and the hourly varying rates. The strategy therefore changes daily. It is highly likely that a facility applying for RTP rates is a larger consumer of electric power and some form of EMCS energy management system is in place.
As far as it is known there is only one facility so far on RTP rate schedule and a TES system in the PG&E territory. SDG&E is using one facility to experiment. The method of control sequence is done manually. In other words the operators decide when to use up the storage capacity. It remains to be seen whether it is worthwhile to develop an optimized computer program that actually controls the sequences. Predicting the cooling load profile is never an easy task and it is really dependent on actual experience gained at the facility. So it can be expected that initially the operators will develop their own method of controlling the TES system.
It may be feasible to develop a relatively easy program that calculates the most economical starting time based on standard cooling-load profiles that represent typical conditions for the facility. Inputting the daily RTP rates and then picking the expected cooling-load profile allows the program to determine the optimal starting time to operate on the tank. Once the temperatures rise due to an "empty" tank the normal chiller controls can start to take over cooling duty.
Know Your Options for Both RTP and Time-of-Use
When performing a TES feasibility study it is essential that the study also addresses the performance of the TES system under the normal TOU rate schedule as a partial storage system. The system may have to go back onto a TOU rate schedule at a later stage. Naturally it is prudent to know in advance how the system performs on the regular rate schedule just in case the future conditions change.
It is essential that the storage system developed under the RTP rate schedule conditions is analyzed for performance as a partial storage system under the regular time-of-use rate schedule. The option must always be left open to revert back to "normal" rate schedules.
Rate Comparison on Hourly Basis
To accurately compare the time-of-use rate schedule and the Real-Time Pricing rate schedule it is essential that the costs are calculated on an hourly basis just as the original bill is being calculated. A spreadsheet is required to calculate the costs on an hourly basis with the RTP costs per hour as given by the utility for the last 12 billing periods.
The electrical load profile of the facility determines if there is an advantage to change to RTP. Each facility is different and only a customized rate comparison can predict the advantages of Real-Time Pricing.
Shift from "Window" to "Melt-Down"
The critical factor influencing the design of TES systems changes from the on-peak period or "window" to the thermodynamic property of the melt-down capability of the system or the peak flow capacity in case of a chilled-water storage system.
Major savings can be achieved with the RTP rate schedule if some energy engineering is consciously applied with the rates on a daily basis. Some load-shedding plan must be developed to see where electrical load can be shed during those very expensive hours.
As with many things in our complicated world, I would like to adapt to our field the proverb used to describe happiness:
Energy Efficiency and Energy Cost Savings Are Not a Destination But a Way of Travelling!
absolute humidity 77
absorption chiller vs. a centrifugal unit 274
absorption chillers 272
the technology 261
absorption development 254
fabrication cost 265
absorption market 264
absorption system basics 254
market restrainers 265
in Japan 258
absorption technology developments
window of opportunity 268
absorption vs. electric cooling 271
administrative controls 156
adsorption 52, 57
air allocation 78
air change method 12
air changes per hour (AC/h) 5
air cleaning 55
air conveyance system 120
air filters 116
air filtration systems 55
air filtration technology 56
air flow rate 12
air intakes 109
Air Moving and Conditioning Association (AMCA) 118
air pressure relationship 123
air source heat pump (ASHP) 343
air stagnation 127
air temperature differentials 127
air ventilation rate 116
air-handling system 116
airborne contaminants 56
airborne particle contamination 135
all-desiccant systems 292
ambient (outdoor) environment contaminants 108
Ambient Air Quality Standards 55
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) 99
American Gas Cooling Center (AGCC) 306
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air 99
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 97
ammonia-based systems 254
analytical sampling-oriented assessments 159
anti-microbial protection 117
ASHRAE 13, 89, 100, 101, 105, 110, 116, 118, 122, 124, 130, 132, 136, 142, 145, 146, 147, 169, 171, 173, 174, 176, 178, 180, 192, 195, 211, 61, 68, 69, 72, 73,
85, 43, 45, 47
ASHRAE 55-1981 146
ASHRAE 62-1989 103, 156
ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook 123-124, 148
ASHRAE Guideline 3-1990 211
ASHRAE HVAC Systems and Applications Handbook 124
ASHRAE IAQ Standard 62-1989 94
ASHRAE Standard 43
ASHRAE Standard 15 215
ASHRAE Standard 52-1976 116
ASHRAE Standard 62 278, 290, 51, 52
ASHRAE Standard 62-1981 53, 54
ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 95, 102, 113, 116, 125, 130, 148, 53, 54, 73
ASHRAE's Standard 62-73 53
assumed indoor temperature 3
atmospheric pollutants 135
automatic temperature controls 121, 122
average outdoor temperature 3
biological contaminants 137
biological contamination 111
body heat 13
brake horsepower 21, 24
breach of contract 96
breathing zones 125
Buckley v. Kruger-Benson-Ziemer (1987) 95
building design 108
building dynamics 6
Building Officials and Code Administration (BOCA) 146
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) 93
building system issues 105
building-oriented assessments 158
Building-Related Illness (BRI) 52, 92
Call vs. Prudential, 94-95
carbon dioxide 129, 77
carbon monoxide 132
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 112
central chiller facility
water chillers 220
central plant optimization
measured diagnostics 219
central utility plant
cooling towers 240
centrifugal, airfoil blade 21
centrifugal, backward curved blade 21
centrifugal chillers 122, 212
centrifugal, forward curved blade 21
centrifugal pumps 26
centrifugal, radial blade 21
chemical adsorption 59
chemical impregnants 59
chemisorption 52, 57, 59
chilled water pumping 231
cost recommendations 233
chilled-water storage system 369, 370
chilled-water system 239
chilled-water system instrumentation 221
chiller addition alternatives 273
chiller efficiency progress 205
chillers 240, 224, 203, 208
10-20 years of age 217
cooling loads analysis 229
cost recommendations 229
multiple-chiller owners 216
"near zero" refrigerant emissions levels 211
performance profiles 227
performance summaries 225, 226
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 203
Clean Air Act 101
clean indoor air 97
clean-to-less-clean airflow 126
climate-related thermal loads 334
closed-loop geothermal systems 357
CNG station concept 301
natural gas vehicle availability 303
station design and construction 302
coefficient of performance (COP) 312
combined cycle systems 247
complaint diagnostics 149
compressed natural gas 296
condensate pan 117
condenser water pumping 233
cost recommendations 235
condenser water system instrumentation 222
conductance (u) 4
conductance value 8
conduction heat loss 6
conductivity (k) 4
constant volume system 33
construction materials 110
contaminants 54, 55, 63
control valves 244
cooling coil 117
cooling test comparison 309
cooling towers 122
cooling-energy use 324
cooling-mapping methodology 310
cost recommendations 236
Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) 306
cost-effective chiller plant 272
crack method 12
daily peak power 325
damper position limits 78
DCV-based controls 80
dead spots 126
degree days (DD) 3, 6, 328
degree of saturation 16
dehumidification 247, 248, 44, 45, 46, 48
demand calculations 325
demand changes 326
Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV) 85
density of air 5
desiccant air conditioning 48
desiccant system basics 255
desiccant system development 255
desiccant systems 292
desiccant technology 277
how desiccants work 278
desiccant wheel 48, 49
operating principle 279
dew point temperature 16, 83
difference in temperature 9
dilution ventilation 112
direct digital controls (DDC) 115
direct-fired absorption 264
direct-fired gas absorption 271, 273
directional control (±) 124
district heating and cooling 264
dry and fungus-free ductwork 290
dry-bulb economizer 37
dry-bulb temperature 17, 117
dry-scrubbing air filtration 66
dry-scrubbing media 52
DSM programs 268
dual-duct system 34
duration of operation 81
Dust Spot Efficiency Method 116
economizer cycle 37
electric chillers 272, 273
electric heat pumps 307
electric power plants 263
electric rate schedules time-of-use rate schedule 361
electric vapor compression 262, 263, 265, 266
electricity price 328
electricity vs. gas 264
electronic monitoring control system 244
electrostatic precipitation 56
employee-generated sources 106
energy analysis methodology 309
energy conservation 52
energy costs vs. the electric chiller 273
application design and modeling 249
Energy Policy Act (EPAct) 300
engineering controls 156
enthalpy 17, 20
control 37, 39
of an air-water vapor mixture 17
vs. desiccant wheels 280
emissions regulations 251
global warming 250
Ozone depletion 250
environmental mandates 203
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 98, 99
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) 143
EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) 101
EPA's Green Lights Program 341
system basics 252
system development 252
technology development 251
vapor compression basics 252
equipment, lighting and motor heat gains 13
evaluation methods 171
evaporative cooling 288
evaporative pad 288
evaporative post-cooling 284
Executive Order (EO) 12844 300
exhaust air recirculation 70
exhaust fan 121
exhaust recovery 280, 292
face-and-bypass reheating 46
factors in conduction 8
fan cycling 45
fan distribution systems 21
fan laws 23, 118
fan performance curves 24
Farmer's Lung Disease 138
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) 305
fibrous glass 137
fibrous glass duct 119
field evaluation 305
filtration 117, 127
gas absorption 117
floor-by-floor basis 115
fluid flow 26
fluid flow rate 117
friction loss 28
fuel prices 329, 334
fuel pricing indicators 327
future natural gas uses 303
gas cooling 266
energy efficiency 247
environmental impact 247
equipment development 247
gas cooling sales
market status 257
gas distribution system 263
gas heat pump 306, 307
comparison units 308
comparison units' performance 314
energy cost savings 326
field test results 312
gas heat pump (GHP) 305
gas infrastructure 266
gas price 328
Gas Research Institute (GRI) 306
gas-engine-driven residential heat pump 305
gas-fired auxiliary boiler 307
gas-heat pump 334
gas-phase air filtration 51, 52, 57, 59, 69
gaseous contaminant control 60
gaseous contaminants 56
general dilution ventilation 173
geothermal heat pump applications 346, 347
geothermal heat pumps (GHPs)
energy and environmental benefits 339
maintenance costs 339
utility peak demands 339
geothermal at Great Bridge Middle School 353
geothermal earth-coupled system 353
geothermal heat pump market potential 341
geothermal heat pump applications
commercial/institutional buildings 348
residential 343, 345
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium 339, 350
national rollout 351
geothermal heat pumps (GHPs)
energy consumption 339
glass considerations 15
glycol antifreeze 357
granular activated carbon (GAC) 52, 66
green architecture 85
ground-coupled, closed-loop water source 354
health care IAQ 90
health-care facilities 168
health-care systems 123
healthy building 163
heat conducted 6
heat exchange 145
heat exchangers 47
heat gain from occupants 13
heat pipe 47
heat transfer capability 368
heat transferred 9
heat wheels 280
heating capacity of air (hc) 5
heating coils 117
heating test comparison 310
HEPA filters 117, 136
high demand charges 328
high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters 123
HIV patient considerations 176
hood exhaust 124
hospital ventilation 126
hospitals 90, 123
humanistic assessments 157
humidification systems 86, 44
humidity control 290, 43, 45
humidity control levels 293
humidity ratio 16, 17, 20
HVAC analysis 114
HVAC system-oriented assessments 161
HVAC systems 29
dual duct systems 30
fan coil units 31
hot water converters 32
industion systems 31
multizone systems 30
perimeter radiation 32
variable air volume systems 31
single zone system 29
terminal reheat system 30
unit heater 32
hybrid desiccant systems 284
hybrid systems 288
IAQ problems 103
impeller vane 26
improved temperature control 292
inadequate ventilation 111, 113
indirect evaporative cooling 282
individual control 114
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Procedures 51
indoor air bill 98
indoor air contaminants 66
indoor air quality (IAQ) 54, 89, 52
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Procedure 54, 55
indoor air standards 100
indoor airborne pollutants 104, 128
indoor airborne pollution 107
indoor contaminants 107
indoor environment 114
indoor particles 129
induction system 33
inefficient filters 111
infectious diseases ward 167, 169
infiltration 11, 12, 112, 82
inorganic gases 129
installation cost 115
integrated economizer 37
internal sensible load 293
International Ground Source Heat Pump Association 358
interpersonal relations 147
Japanese Gas Heat Cooling System 252
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) 108, 143
Korean market 264
latent heat 17
latent heat gain 10, 12
latent performance 47
LCC comparison methodology 323
leakage of outdoor air 82
Legionella bacteria 139
length of time 9
liability 93, 95
life-cycle cost 330, 353
liquid contamination 56
load-shedding plan 370
local exhaust ventilation 176
mainstream absorption 263
makeup air 290
management deficiencies 106
government regulations 263
key applications 263
market potential 339
measured diagnostics 219
mechanical cooling 277
melt-down capability 370
microbial contaminants 108
microbial contamination 109
microbial growth 122
microbiological contamination 128
Middle East oil crisis 262
modernized chiller plant 241
Montreal Protocol 213
multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) 95, 110
multiple-effect systems 254
multipoint monitoring 77, 79
carbon dioxide concentrations 79
dew point temperature 79
multizone system 36
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 124
National Primary Ambient Air Quality Standards 60
natural gas cooling 247, 248
natural gas engine 251
natural gas technologies
benefits 295, 298
Kennedy Space Center 295
New Technology Demonstration Program (NTDP) 305
non-CFC or HCFC refrigerant 273
non-electric HVAC technologies 264
normal weather year 310, 318, 319
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 99, 141
occupied space 106
on-peak period 370
operating costs 115
organic contaminants 68
OSHA 93, 94, 101, 102, 103, 128, 132, 142, 143, 156, 181, 191, 192, 193, 197, 68
OSHA Proposed Rule 101
OSHA regulations 102
compliance planning 102
recordkeeping and notices 102
outdoor air 125, 47
outdoor ambient levels 101
outside air alternatives 290
outside air intake 116
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) 306
packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHP) 354
particle removal filtration 56
particulate contaminants 56
particulate filtration 56
peak power draw 325
performance map 309
peripheral velocity 27
pollution levels 108
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 144
post-cooling heat exchanger 292
potassium permanganate-impregnated alumina (PIA) 52, 66
pre-condition outdoor ventilation 49
pre-conditioned air 47
prevailing winds 109
pricing and system options 331
properties of air 16
psychosocial issues 148
psychrometric chart 16, 17, 18
psychrometric chart for mixture of air 19
public health standards 101
pulse-combustion furnaces 311
pump horsepower 28
pump laws 27
Q(heating season) 6
quantity of heat (Q) 6
R-Value = Thermal Resistance 4
radiant heat gain 14
rate assumptions 326
Real-Time Pricing (RTP) 361
daily price schedules 362
load management price signals 363
program history 362
temperature threshold T&D price signals 363
recirculated air 61
and filtration 62
reduced peak-power demand 292
refrigerant availability 212
energy efficiency 209
environmental factors 209
global warming potential 210
relative humidity 16, 17
removal control 60
resistance (R) 4
return air fan 120
return plenum 83
return-air psychrometric capacity 311
risk management 97
room air mixing 126
saprophytic bioaerosols 140
scroll compressors 311
sensible capacity 311
sensible heat 10, 17
sensible heat gain 12
sensible heat of an air-vapor mixture 16
sensible heat wheels 280
sensible load 293
sick building syndrome (SBS) 91, 52
single zone system 35
sling psychrometer 17
smoke control 124
solar energy 14, 15
solar radiation 14
source control 60
space conditioning equipment 342
static pressure 118
strict liability 96
sunlight considerations 15
supplemental cooling coils 293
supplemental heat 307
supply air duct system 118
supply air fan 118
supply fan 118
surface temperatures 14
system inputs (energy consumption) 311
system outputs (capacity) 311
temperature conditions 115
temperature distribution 10
temperature set point 122
terminal reheat system 36
test-period coefficient of performance (TP_COP) 310
thermal comfort 145
Thermal Energy Storage Systems (TES) 361
control sequences 369
on-peak window 366
peak capacity 368
storage capacity 368
thermal requirements 113
thermal transmission 4
thermal-load indicators 329
tight building syndrome 92
time-of-use rate schedule 370
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