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Lecture 11: Air Movement

in Buildings

Material prepared by GARD Analytics, Inc. and University of Illinois


at Urbana-Champaign under contract to the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory. All material Copyright 2002-2003 U.S.D.O.E. - All rights
reserved

Importance of this Lecture to


the Simulation of Buildings
Air is critical to sustaining life and also to the

thermal environment inside a building (comfort)


While a zone is defined by a common air mass
at a particular temperature, air is not static
within a building

Unintended flow into/out of the building


Purposeful flow into/out of the building
Exchange between interior spaces

Air movement may result in energy transfer

from one area to another and thus has an


energy impact on the zone and/or building
Understanding the energy impact of air
movement is critical to our understanding of
how much energy is required to maintain
thermally comfortable conditions within a space

Purpose of this Lecture


Gain an understanding of how to:

Define air movement between interior


spaces

Approximate the effect of ventilating


a building (naturally or mechanically)

Perform detailed air movement


calculations using the EnergyPlus link
to COMIS
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Keywords Covered in this


Lecture
Mixing
Cross Mixing
Ventilation
COMIS Input Syntax

Mixing
Used to move air from one zone to another
Only has an impact on the receiving zone

user must account for energy impact on


source zone through Mixing, Infiltration, etc.
Can be used to set-up multiple air flow paths

or a circular path between more than two


zones
User must specify flow rates and schedule

Mixing (contd)
IDD Description:
MIXING,
A1 , \field
A2 , \field
N1 , \field
A3 , \field
N2 ; \field

Zone Name
SCHEDULE Name
Design Level of Air Flow in m3/s
Source Zone Name
Delta Temperature in degrees Celsius
Delta Temperature controls when mixing
air from the source zone is sent to receiving
zone; if positive, the temperature of zone
from which air is drawn must be T warmer
than receiving zone air or no mixing occurs; if
negative, the temperature of source zone
must be T cooler than receiving zone air or
no mixing occurs; if T is zero, mixing occurs
regardless of the relative zone temperatures

Cross Mixing
Used to exchange equal amount of air

between two zones


Has an (equal) energy impact on both
zones
Only needs to be defined once for one of
the two zones
Only one cross mixing statement per zone
If mixing occurs with more than one zone,
must use Mixing
User must specify flow rates and schedule
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Cross Mixing (contd)


IDD Description:
CROSS MIXING,
A1 , \field Zone Name
A2 , \field SCHEDULE Name
N1 , \field Design Level of Air Flow in m3/s
A3 , \field Source Zone Name
N2 ; \field Delta Temperature in degrees Celsius
Delta Temperature controls when mixing air from
the source zone is sent to the receiving zone.; if
positive, the temperature of zone from which air is
being drawn (source zone) must be T warmer
than the zone air or no mixing occurs; if zero,
mixing occurs regardless of the relative air
temperatures; negative values for Delta
Temperature are not permitted

OK
Zone 1

Zone 3

OK
Zone 1

OK
Zone 2

Zone 2

Zone 4

Zone 2

cross
mixing

Zone 4

mixing
Zone 3

Zone 1

mixing

mixing

mixing

mixing

Mixing and Cross Mixing


Examples

Zone 3

Zone 1
cross
mixing
Zone 3

cross
mixing
Zone 4

Zone 2

Illegal

Ventilation (Simple)
Intent is to allow simple mechanical

ventilation without specifying an HVAC


system or natural ventilation
Amount of ventilation determined by user
defined design flow rate, schedule, and
equation similar to infiltration (allows for
variation based on temperature difference
and wind speed)
Type and control of ventilation determined
by ventilation specific parameters
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Ventilation (Simple,
contd)
Control Parameters:
Minimum Temperature: indoor (zone) air temperature below
which ventilation is shut off
Delta Temperature: temperature differential between inside
(zone) and outside air below which ventilation is shut off
(negative values allowed)
Advantage: can take effect of natural or simple

forced ventilation into account without a lot of input


Disadvantage: user must define the air flow rate (will
not figure out how much air flow there will be)
Use COMIS for more serious studies of air movement
within the building and between inside and outside

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Ventilation (Simple,
contd)
Example from an IDF file:
VENTILATION,
!- Ventilation is specified as a design level which is modified
!- by a schedule fraction, temperature difference and wind speed:
!- Ventilation = Vdesign * Fschedule *
!(A + B*|Tzone-Todb| + C*WindSpd + D * WindSpd**2)
West Wing, !- Zone Name
CONSTANT, !- SCHEDULE Name (Fschedule in Equation)
0.12,
!- Design Volume Flow Rate in m3/s (Vdesign in Equation)
0.0,
!- Delta Temperature in degrees C
Natural,
!- Ventilation Type (Natural | Intake | Exhaust)
0.0,
!- Fan Pressure Rise in Pa
0.0,
!- Fan Total Efficiency
1.0,
!- Constant Term Coefficient (A in Equation)
0.0,
!- Temperature Term Coefficient (B in Equation)
0.03,
!- Velocity Term Coefficient (C in Equation)
0.0;
!- Velocity Squared Term Coefficient (D in Equation)

could be used
for stack

could be used
for cross

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Ventilation (Simple,
contd)
A few thoughts on how to get the design flow rate for

natural ventilation

ACH: consider how many air changes per hour you might
expect for natural ventilation (somewhere between
infiltration and fan driven flow, probably closer to infiltration)
Window area and velocity: area times velocity is volumetric
flow rate
Determine window opening area (not necessarily the same as

window areadepends on window type)


Multiply by some standard velocity (you will use the velocity
coefficients so consider 1.0m/s)
Reduce this number to account for the fact that the velocity of
air at the window will not be the same as the velocity of the air
at the weather station and the fact that the air must go through
the building

Adjust the temperature and wind speed parameters in the


ventilation input to account for potential variations due to
stack effect and/or wind effect on cross ventilation (can only
estimate this without more detailed simulations)

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COMIS Multizone Airflow


COMIS Conjunction Of Multizone

Infiltration Specialists
COMIS model incorporated into EnergyPlus
Multizone airflow driven by external wind
and stack effect
Does not model HVAC system impact
Computes infiltration and interzone flows
which are passed to the thermal simulation
See Input Output Reference - Airflow
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Overview of the
COMIS/EnergyPlus Link
COMIS was developed in 1994 as a stand-alone

multizone air flow program with its own input and


output processors. In the COMIS/EnergyPlus link, COMIS
is called each time step by the EnergyPlus program.
Using inside and outside temperatures and the wind
pressure distribution at the beginning of a time step,
COMIS calculates air flows through cracks and large
openings (such as open windows) between outside and
inside and from zone to zone. These are then used by
the EnergyPlus thermal calculation to determine surface
temperatures and zone air temperatures for that time
step (which are then used in the next time step to
calculate new air flow values, and so on)

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The COMIS Input Objects


Airflow Model
COMIS Simulation
COMIS Zone Data
COMIS Surface Data
COMIS Standard Conditions for Crack Data
COMIS Air Flow:Crack
COMIS Air Flow:Opening
COMIS Site Wind Conditions
COMIS External Node
COMIS CP Array
COMIS CP Values

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Input Object Description


COMIS Simulation defines basic run parameters for the air

flow calculation and specifies whether wind pressure


coefficients are input by the user or, for rectangular
buildings, calculated by the program (New Feature for
Version 1.1.1).
COMIS Zone Data object specifies the ventilation control
that applies to all of the openable exterior windows and
doors in the corresponding thermal zone.
COMIS Surface Data indicates whether a heat transfer
surface (wall, window, etc.) has a crack or opening and
references a COMIS Air Flow:Crack or COMIS Air
Flow:Opening object that gives the air flow characteristics
of that crack or opening. COMIS Surface Data can also be
used to specify individual ventilation control for openable
exterior windows and doors.

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Input Object Description


(Cont.)
COMIS Standard Conditions for Crack Data

is used to normalize crack information that is


based on measurements of crack air flow.
If wind pressure coefficients are input by the
user, COMIS Surface Data also has an
associated COMIS External Node, that, via the
COMIS Site Wind Conditions, COMIS CP
Array and COMIS CP Values objects, gives the
wind pressure distribution vs. wind direction for
that node and, implicitly, for the cracks and
openings in the exterior surfaces associated
with that node.

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Relationship Among
COMIS Objects
Regular EnergyPlus Objects

COMIS Objects
COMIS Simulation
COMIS Site Wind Conditions
COMIS Standard Conditions for Crack Data

Surface:HeatTransfer or
Surface:HeatTransfer:Sub

Zone

COMIS Surface Data

COMIS External Node

COMIS Air Flow:Crack or


COMIS Air Flow:Opening

COMIS CP Values

COMIS Zone Data

COMIS CP Array

Schedule
(of venting
temperatures)

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What COMIS/EnergyPlus
Can Do
Air flow through cracks in exterior or interzone surfaces
Air flow through cracks around windows and doors
Natural ventilation, i.e., air flow through open (or partially

open) exterior windows and doors


Control of natural ventilation based on inside/outside
temperature or enthalpy difference
Modulation of natural ventilation to prevent large temperature
swings
Interzone air flow, i.e., air flow through open interzone
windows and doors, and through cracks in interzone surfaces
Account for how air flow depends on buoyancy effects and
wind pressure
Account for how wind pressure depends on wind speed, wind
direction and surface orientation

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What COMIS/EnergyPlus
Cannot Do
Account for the effect of supply-air and/or return-air flows

in a zone when an HVAC air system is present and is


operating. This means that the COMIS air flow simulation
will give reliable answers only if there is no HVAC system,
the HVAC system is off, or the HVAC system is hydronic.
Air flow through cracks around windows and doors.

Air circulation and/or air temperature stratification within

a thermal zone. For example, you should not try to divide


a high space, such as an atrium, into subzones separated
by artificial horizontal surfaces that have cracks or
openings with the expectation that COMIS/EnergyPlus will
give you a realistic temperature in each subzone and/or a
realistic air flow between subzones.

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What COMIS/EnergyPlus
Cannot Do (Cont.)
Bi-directional flow through large horizontal

openings. See discussion below under COMIS


Air Flow:Opening.
Flow through ducts or other elements of an

HVAC air system.


Pollutant transport. There are some pollutant-

related inputs but they are not used.


Air-flow networks that are not connected. This

means you cannot model air flow in two or


more separate groups of zones.
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Simple COMIS Air Flow


Network
ExternalNode-1
Window-2

Window-1

Zone-1

Door-12

Zone-2
ExternalNode-2
Door-23
Window-3

Zone-3

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Illegal COMIS Air Flow


Network
ExternalNode-1
Window-1

Window-2

Zone-2

Zone-1
Door-23
Window-4

ExternalNode-2
Window-3

Zone-3

ExternalNode-3

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Correcting the Illegal


COMIS Air Flow Network
The previous slide shows an Air-flow network

that is illegal in COMIS because there are two


separate groups of zones with air flow (one
group is Zone-2 plus Zone-3 and the other is
Zone-1). To make this legal a link (a crack or
opening) between Zone-1 and Zone-2 would
have to be added or the zones in one of the
groups would have to be turned off as COMIS
zones.

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New COMIS Feature


Version 1.1.1 Release
For rectangular buildings EnergyPlus will

automatically calculate surface-averaged Cp


values for the walls and roof of the building if, in
COMIS Simulation, you specify Wind Pressure
Coefficients = SURFACE-AVERAGE
CALCULATION. In this case you do not have to
enter any COMIS CP Values objects.
If not calculated by program, Cp values can be

obtained from wind tunnel measurements, CFD


calculations, or from published values for
different building shapes.

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COMIS Input
AIRFLOW MODEL,
COMIS; !- AirFlowModelValue
COMIS SIMULATION,
VENT, !- Ventilation simulation control
NO POL, !- Pollution simulation control
NO CONC, !- Concentration simulation control
1.00, !- Under-relaxation factor {dimensionless}
1.0E-06, !- Absolute flow tolerance {kg/s}
1.0E-04, !- Relative flow tolerance {dimensionless}
1.0E-04, !- Error estimate for total flow per zone {kg/s}
1, !- Start number of iterations
1.0E-04, !- Limit for laminar flow approximation {Pa}
1, !- Flag for using old pressures
0, !- Flag for pressure initiation
500, !- Maximum number of iterations
10.0, !- Reference height for recorded wind data {m}
0.14, !- Wind velocity profile exponent {dimensionless}
Every 30 Degrees; !- COMIS CP ARRAY Name

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COMIS Input (Cont.)


COMIS SITE WIND CONDITIONS,
0.0, !- Wind direction {deg}
0.20, !- Plan area density {dimensionless}
0.18, !- Exponent of Wind velocity profile {dimensionless}
0.0; !- Surrounding building height {m}
COMIS SITE WIND CONDITIONS,
180.0, !- Wind direction {deg}
0.20, !- Plan area density {dimensionless}
0.32, !- Exponent of Wind velocity profile {dimensionless}
15.0; !- Surrounding building height {m}
COMIS EXTERNAL NODE,
NFacade, !- Name
1.0; !- Outside Pollutant Concentration Factor {dimensionless}
.
.
.
COMIS EXTERNAL NODE,
WFacade, !- Name
1.0; !- Outside Pollutant Concentration Factor {dimensionless}

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COMIS Input (Cont.)


COMIS STANDARD CONDITIONS FOR CRACK DATA,
20.0, !- Standard temperature for crack data {C}
101.32, !- Standard barometric pressure for crack data {kPa}
5.0; !- Standard humidity ratio for crack data {g/kg}
COMIS AIR FLOW:CRACK,
CR-1, !- Name
0.01, !- Air mass flow coefficient {kg/s}
0.667, !- Air mass flow exponent {dimensionless}
1.0, !- Crack length {m}
0.0, !- Pollutant #1 Filter Efficiency {dimensionless}
0.0, !- Pollutant #2 Filter Efficiency {dimensionless}
0.0; !- Pollutant #3 Filter Efficiency {dimensionless}

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COMIS Input (Cont.)


COMIS AIR FLOW:OPENING,
WiOpen1, !- Name
0.001, !- Air Mass Flow Coefficient When Window or Door Is Closed {kg/s-m}
0.667, !- Air Mass Flow Exponent When Window or Door Is Closed {dimensionless}
1, !- Type of large vertical opening (LVO)
0.0, !- Extra crack length for LVO type 1 with multiple openable pa {m}
2, !- Number of Opening Factor Values
0.0, !- Opening factor #1 {dimensionless}
0.5, !- Discharge coefficient for opening factor #1 {dimensionless}
0.0, !- Width factor for opening factor #1 {dimensionless}
1.0, !- Height factor for opening factor #1 {dimensionless}
0.0, !- Start height factor for opening factor #1 {dimensionless}
1.0, !- Opening factor #2 {dimensionless}
0.6, !- Discharge coefficient for Opening factor #2 {dimensionless}
1.0, !- Width factor for for Opening factor #2 {dimensionless}
1.0, !- Height factor for for Opening factor #2 {dimensionless}
0.0, !- Start height factor for for Opening factor #2 {dimensionless}
0, !- Opening factor #3 {dimensionless}
0, !- Discharge coefficient for for Opening factor #3 {dimensionless}
0, !- Width factor for for for Opening factor #3 {dimensionless}
0, !- Height factor for for for Opening factor #3 {dimensionless}
0, !- Start height factor for for for Opening factor #3 {dimensionless}
.
.
.

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COMIS Input (Cont.)


COMIS ZONE DATA,
WEST_ZONE, !- Name of Associated Thermal Zone
WindowVentSched, !- Vent Temperature Schedule
Temperature, !- Ventilation Control Mode
0.3, !- Limit Value on Multiplier for Modulating Venting Open Factor {dimensionless}
5.0, !- Lower Value on Inside/Outside Temperature Difference for Mo {deltaC}
10.0, !- Upper Value on Inside/Outside Temperature Difference for Mo {deltaC}
0.0, !- Lower Value on Inside/Outside Enthalpy Difference for Modul {J/kg}
300000.0, !- Upper Value on Inside/Outside Enthalpy Difference for Modul {J/kg}
Optional Venting Schedule;
COMIS SURFACE DATA,
Surface_1, !- Name of Associated EnergyPlus Surface
CR-1, !- Air Flow Crack or Opening Type
SFacade, !- External Node Name
1; !- Crack Actual Value or Window Open Factor for Ventilation {dimensionless}
COMIS SURFACE DATA,
Window1, !- Name of Associated EnergyPlus Surface
WiOpen1, !- Air Flow Crack or Opening Type
SFacade, !- External Node Name
0.5; !- Crack Actual Value or Window Open Factor for Ventilation {dimensionless}

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COMIS Input (Cont.)


COMIS Cp ARRAY,
Every 30 Degrees, !- Name
10.0, !- Reference height for CP data {m}
0, !- Wind direction #1 {deg}
30, !- Wind direction #2 {deg}
.
270, !- Wind direction #10 {deg}
300, !- Wind direction #11 {deg}
330; !- Wind direction #12 {deg}
COMIS Cp VALUES,
Every 30 Degrees, !- COMIS CP ARRAY Name
NFacade, !- External Node Name
0.60, !- Cp value #1 {dimensionless}
0.48, !- Cp value #2 {dimensionless}
0.04, !- Cp value #3 {dimensionless}
-0.56, !- Cp value #4 {dimensionless}
-0.56, !- Cp value #5 {dimensionless}
-0.42, !- Cp value #6 {dimensionless}
-0.37, !- Cp value #7 {dimensionless}
-0.42, !- Cp value #8 {dimensionless}
-0.56, !- Cp value #9 {dimensionless}
-0.56, !- Cp value #10 {dimensionless}
0.04, !- Cp value #11 {dimensionless}
0.48; !- Cp value #12 {dimensionless}

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Ventilation Control Mode


Ventilation Control Mode (4 types of natural ventilation control)

Tout = outside air temperature


Tzone = previous time steps zone air temperature
Tset = Vent Temperature Schedule value
Hzone = specific enthalpy of zone air
Hout = specific enthalpy of outside air
Temperature: The windows/doors are opened if Tzone > Tout and
Tzone > Tset and Venting Schedule allows venting.
Enthalpic: The windows/doors are opened if Hzone > Hout and
Tzone > Tset and Venting Schedule allows venting.
Constant: Whenever Venting Schedule allows venting, the
windows/doors are open, independent of indoor or outdoor
conditions.
NoVent: The windows/doors are closed at all times independent
of indoor or outdoor conditions. Venting Schedule is ignored in
this case.

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Ventilation Schedules

Field: Vent Temperature Schedule

The name of a schedule of zone-air temperature set points that


controls opening of a window/door to provide natural ventilation.
This schedule consists of weeks and days, with the days containing
the ventilation temperature setting in C for each hour of the day.
This ventilation temperature is the temperature above which the
window/door will be opened if the conditions described under the
following Ventilation Control Mode are met. [This opening control
logic does not exist in the original COMIS program.]

Field: Venting Schedule

The name of a schedule that specifies when venting through this


window/door is available. A zero schedule value means venting is
not allowed. A value greater than zero means venting can occur if
other venting control conditions (specified by Ventilation Control
Mode and Vent Temperature Schedule) are satisfied. This schedule
should not be confused with Vent Temperature Schedule.

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Summary
Air movement between spaces in

EnergyPlus can either rely on userdefined quantities or more detailed


calculations
Simple modeling statements:
mixing, cross mixing, and ventilation
COMIS link provides more detailed
analysis of interzone air flow as well
as more sophisticated calculation of
infiltration

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