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Thermo-economic optimization of rooftop unit’s evaporator coil for energy efficiency and thermal comfort

Abstract

In this paper, the optimization-simulation approach is proposed to investigate energy saving potential of an air-cooled direct expansion rooftop package air conditioning system by refining the model of the HVAC system components and deriving optimal configuration for evaporator coil subject to technical constraints. In this method the frontal area of the evaporator coil is maintained as constant and the variation of other geometrical parameters on the thermal and economical performance of the system is investigated. An actual air-cooled rooftop package of a real-world commercial building in hot and dry climate conditions is used for experimental data collection. Both inputs and outputs are measured from the field monitoring in two summer weeks. Based on the mathematical models and using collected data, modules incorporating the proposed optimal redesign procedure were embedded in a transient simulation tool. A mixed heuristic- deterministic optimization algorithm was implemented in the transient tool to determine the synthesis and design variables that influence the cost and energy efficiency of each configuration. Available experimental results were compared to predicted results to validate the model. Afterwards, the computer model was used to predict how changes in cooling coil geometry would affect the building thermal comfort, the cost and energy consumption of the system.

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Correspondence to Vahid Vakiloroaya.

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Vakiloroaya, V., Samali, B., Fakhar, A. et al. Thermo-economic optimization of rooftop unit’s evaporator coil for energy efficiency and thermal comfort. Build. Simul. 7, 345–359 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12273-013-0151-6

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Keywords

  • direct expansion evaporator coil
  • design optimization
  • HVAC
  • energy saving
  • thermo-economic analysis