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Study of energy conservation between natural and mechanical ventilation in subtropical classroom

Meng-Chieh Lee
Dept. of Interior Design National Taichung Institute of Technology Taichung City, Taiwan

Chia-Feng Chang
Dept. of Interior Design National Taichung Institute of Technology Taichung City, Taiwan ASHRAE standard 55 [2], the range is between 23.0 to 26.0 while clothing value at 0.5clo. in summer. It might unsuitable in subtropical Taiwan, because of people property, behavior and metabolic. Chen shows the occupants accepted warmer environment in the classroom in Taiwan, and few occupants needed slightly cool [3]. Kwok in Hawaii shows that the students can stay in warmer environments longer, their acceptable temperature is 75% higher than it of ASHRAE standard 55 [4]. As climate difference, occupant performance factors include lifestyle, economic condition, and adaptive behavior in the indoor thermal environment [5]. The thermal comfort parameters are determined by physic parameters (air temperature, humidity, ventilation, operator temperature) and by personal parameters such as metabolic and clothing value [6]. The temperature is a key factor for selecting an appropriate air temperature set point for an indoor thermal environment [7]. In the college, students set as the same metabolic rate (sitting) in the classroom, and students adjust their clothing value for comfortable perception when they could not control other physic parameters. This study focuses on clothing value to estimate their thermal comfort range, as shown in Fig. 1.

AbstractEnergy consumption in subtropical classroom is different between natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation. Energy conservation is related with occupants thermal comfort in these two ventilation systems. This study proposed an electronic questionnaire and instruments to facilitate the continuous monitoring of the state of thermal comfort to investigate the satisfaction level of thermal comfort in the classroom. The investigated results show the clothing value (clo.) in 0.7 is the mean value. When the clo. is smaller than 0.7, the thermal comfort temperature range is between 22.0 to 28.4 in the natural ventilation and the range is between 24.8 to 27.4 in the mechanical ventilation (hot day). Besides, the thermal comfort temperature range is between 20.7 to 23.3 in the natural ventilation and the range is between 20.8 to 25.4 in the mechanical ventilation while the clo. is grater than 0.7 (cold day). The temperature range difference means the thermal comfort range of occupants in the hot day is widely and the temperature of natural ventilation is 1 higher than it in mechanical ventilaion. The analysis of the the maxima thermal comfort temperature in natural ventilation in 28.4 is higher than it in mechnical ventilation in 27.4 and it is also higher than ASHREA standar 55 2004 in 26 . It means the energy conservation in 6% (1 ) between natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation in the classroom of subtopical area and it also conservs 14.4% (2.4 ) with ASHREA standar 55. Based on this analysis, this study finds the best solution for energy conservation between natural and mechnical ventilation. Keywords: Thermal comfort; Clothing value; conservation; natueal ventilation; mechanical ventilation Energy

I. INTRODUCTION For high learning quality, colleges support comfort environment for students in hot and humidity area. Airconditions become the important equipment to control the warm indoor environment in summer. However, air-conditions consume much energy in the classroom, illumination equipment is the second consumer, and the ceiling fan consumes less energy [1]. Most colleges follow the recommend of government with 26 ambient temperature to turn on air-conditions for energy conservation. The setting temperature is related with thermal comfort, this study focuses on this temperature to discuss the energy conservation. Thermal comfort temperature has been recommended by

Fig.1 Thermal comfort parameters

Ceiling fans normally decrease indoor temperature in classrooms to reduce energy consumption while students have widely acceptable comfort temperature in natural ventilation. This study analyzes the performance at cold or hot conditions in different clothing value at different ventilation types

Taiwan national science council, NSC 97-2221-E-011-119, NSC 98-2221-E-025-010

978-1-61284-774-0/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE


between natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation in the classroom. II. METHODLOGY There is no standard protocol available to easily assess the IEQ and the feeling of occupants in the classroom. An IEQ survey instrument was designed with built in sensors for the measurements of these parameters, automatic data logger, and with tablet PC in electronic questionnaire of subjective responses A simple and compact instrument capable of simultaneously measuring essential thermal environmental parameters and subjective responses would be necessary for the non-specialist to ascertain the thermal perception. The instrument was accurate at each investigator finished their electronic questionnaire and environmental parameter measurement [8]. In addition, with such an instrument, researchers can conveniently perform more extensive IEQ measurements in order to further understand the human responses to IEQ and thereby can better integrate the IEQ components. An IEQ survey instrument would be useful for routine measurements in the same place that includes many people in different locations. With the above considerations, the specification of the sensors selected was based on specifications in relevant standards [9]. III. QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN The electronic questionnaire of subjective responses should be easy and intuitive. There are two zones to separate basic information (blue zone) and subject response (white zone). Basic information of occupants is the important parameter for analysis, such as gender, using air conditioning, opening windows, and age. Regarding the subject response, we use the concept of Predicted Mean Vote (PMV), scale of thermal comfort in 7 levels, to design the questionnaire, ranging from Cold (-3) to Hot (3), with a + sign representing the positive side and a - sign representing the negative one.

Besides, we also arrange an assessment item to understand the acceptability of occupants in every subject. The occupants can directly select the comfort scale to be the subjective responses and the responses can show up in the diagram sooner. Fig. 2 shows the electronic questionnaire on the tablet PC, The responses can be compared with the physical parameters at the same time or analyzed by researchers. The electronic questionnaire also provides a confirmation function to avoid lost filling that make sure the responses are complete. IV. FIELD SURVEY The field measurements were carried out during winter in 2010 to summer in 2011. The numbers of survey subjects were 411, with sample size of 149 in natural ventilation classroom and 260 in mechanical ventilation classroom. The size of collage classroom is normally at 8m x 10m (80 , 60 students). Case study (n=10) shows 70% classroom installed 3 airconditions and 6 ceiling fans, as shown in Fig. 3

Fig.3 The condition of classroom in college

The IEQ survey instrument was placed on a desk in the classroom that was close to the occupants head to measure the physical parameters, and the occupant based on the feeling, clicked the electronic questionnaire of subjective responses on the tablet PC panel. Fig. 4. Based on the site survey result, one occupant spent 2 minutes to finish one response on the average, and transferred the IEQ survey instrument to the next occupant to finish one sampling.

Fig. 2 Electronic questionnaire on the table PC

Fig. 4 The instrument placed on the survey site


After all occupants finished their responses and physical parameters, we can immediately analyze the results to feed back the responses to the occupants and indoor managers to improve the IEQ or keep the parameters it in the original conditions. The development in this study facilitates building managers in sustaining their target IEQ levels.


Acceptable Acceptable zone 1< 0 1> 0


This study separates clothing value by occupants respond analysis in subtropical classroom in Taiwan, the result shows that clothing value mean of students is about 0.7 (N=411, Mean=0.67, Std.=0.33), and it is the deviation of hot and cold feeling (clo. 0.7 and clo. 0.7). In order to the determined preferred temperature perception for the surveyed occupants, interpretations of the thermal sensation votes from the survey studies were made. According to the Equation (1) to analyze thermal comfort temperature [8]
~ 1; < 0 1 = (2 i ) + (2i 3) Top ( op,i , op,i ) dTop i =

Operation temperature
Fig. 7 Votes for thermal acceptance

2; > 0


(C) approximated by normal distributions with mean and standard deviation , cool side ( <0), warm side ( >0) A. Natural Ventilation classrooms The results shows a few subjects (N=34) in natural ventilation when clo. 0.7 (hot days), it means most people turn on air-conditions for cooling in hot days. The results show wilder thermal temperature acceptable range in natural ventilation in the subtropical classroom (Temperature range to 28.4 , neutral temperature at 25.2 , between 22.0 standard deviation at 3.2 ), as shown in Fig. 6.

~ Top

B. Mechanical Ventilation classrooms The survey subjects was 190 with votes of 43 in cold, 33 in hot and 114 in neutral when clo. 0.7 (hot day) in mechanical ventilation. Most people turn on air-conditions for thermal comfort (the range between 24.8 to 27.4 , neutral temperature at 26.1 , standard deviation at 1.3 ), as show in Fig. 8. The result shows the neutral temperature in natural ventilation (22.0 to 28.4 ) is higher than it in mechanical ventilation.

mean 1> 0 1< 0

Accept zone

mean 1> 0 1< 0 Accept zone

Operation temperature

Fig. 8 Votes for thermal acceptance

Operation temperature Fig. 6 Votes for thermal acceptance

Most subjects adjusted air-conditions temperature to accept temperature when clo. 0.7 (cold days). The neutral temperature accepted by occupants at 23.1 in mechanical ventilation, standard deviation at 2.2 and thermal comfort range is between 20.9 to 25.3 , as shown in Fig. 9. The thermal comfort vote results are listed on Table 1. C. Energy Efficiency Students accepted wilder rang temperature 1 in natural ventilation than it in mechanical ventilation classrooms (8m x 10m). According to the past experience, the cooling energy consumption of air-condition needs 500kcal/h per 3.24 m2 [10] and the ceiling fans consumes 40W/h in each unit. The results discover the energy consumption of air-condition raise 861W/h and the energy consumption of 6 ceiling fans is only

Students accept narrow comfort range when clo 0.7 (cold days), it is between 20.7 to 23.3 and neutral temperature at 22 , and standard deviation at 1.3 in natural ventilation classrooms, as shown in Fig. 7.


240W/h. The estimated equation shows as follows:

EC = ( AT / 3.24 k ) 0.00116


EC = Energy Consumption (kWh), AT = total areas (m2), k =500 kcal / pin, 1 pin = 3.24 m2 The natural ventilation system not only has wide temperature rang but also has higher energy conservation. This study estimates the temperature deviation between the AHRRAE standard 55(23 to 26 , 05clo. in summer) and thermal comfort temperature in mechanical ventilation classrooms. The result shows students accept 2.4 higher than it in AHRRAE standard 55 in the classroom, it means the energy conservation in subtropical classroom is 14.4 (2.4 ) higher than it in temperate classroom. Therefore, turn on the ceiling fans and adjust higher temperature in air-condition that can conserve 6% to 14.4% energy consumption in subtropical classroom.

2004 in 26 . It means the energy conservation with fans and air-condition can save 6% (1 ) between natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation in the subtropical classrooms and save 14.4% (2.4 ) between natural ventilation and ASHREA standard 55. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Taiwan national science council, NSC 97-2221-E-011-119, NSC 98-2221-E-025-010. REFERENCES
[1] [2]


mean Acceptable

[4] [5]
1> 0

1< 0



Operation temperature

Fig. 9 Votes for thermal acceptance Table 1 Thermal comfort votes Clothing value Clo. 0.7 Natural Ventilation N=34 Mean=25.5 Std=3.2 N=115 Mean=22 Std=1.3 Mechanical Ventilation N=190 Mean=26.1 Std=1.3 N=70 Mean=23.1 Std=2.2






C.C. Huang, 2005, A Field Study on Thermal Comfort in University Classrooms. ANSI/ASHRAE 55-2004, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, Atlanta: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, USA, 2004. M. H. Chen, 2005, the study of thermal comfort and energy saving in the classrooms, Department of Environment Engineering and Management, chaoyang University. A.G. Kwok,1989, Thermal comfort in classrooms in tropical, ASHRAE transactions 104 (1B) 1031-1047 H. Yoshino, Y. Yoshino, Q Zhang, A Mochida, N. Li, Z. Li, H. Miyasaka, 2006, Indoor thermal environment and energy saving for urban residential buildings in China, Energy and Buildings 38 (11), 1308-1319 Fanger, P.O., 1970, Thermal Comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering, McGrawHill, New York. Mui K.W., Wong L.T., 2007, Neutral temperature in subtropical climates a field survey in air-conditioned offices, Building and Environment, Vol. 42(2), pp.699706. M.C. Lee, L.T. Wong, K.W. Mui, 2009 Use of electronic questionnaire surveys for indoor environment quality assessment in classrooms, 10th Asia Pacific Conference on the Built Environment. NSI/ASHRAE 55 - 2004, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, Atlanta: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, USA, 2004 Y.M. CHU, Z. Lee, W.T. YU, Discuss the New Electricity Technology in the Environmental Protection: Take DC Frequency Conversion Air Conditioning as an Example, Taiwan.

VI. CONCLUSION This result shows clothing value is effective in thermal comfort estimation in college classroom. Students adjust their clothes for comfort temperature perception. When clothing value is smaller than 0.7 (hot days), the thermal comfort range is between 22.0 to 28.4 in natural ventilation and it is between 24.8 to 27.4 in mechanical ventilation. The comfort temperature of occupants in natural ventilation has large range than it in mechanical ventilation. The maxima thermal comfort temperature in natural ventilation in 28.4 is higher than it in mechanical ventilation in 27.4 and it is also higher than it in ASHREA standard 55