TIAX Report Finds New Technologies Substantially Decrease Energy Consumption for Commercial HVAC Systems

Report completes three-part study for the Department of Energy confirming energy reductions in new technologies for HVAC systems.

A recent report authored by TIAX confirms that new technologies developed for HVAC systems can significantly decrease peak energy draw and reduce the energy consumed by commercial buildings.

The report is the final phase of a three-part study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Building Technologies on energy consumption in commercial building HVAC systems in the U.S. TIAX works with clients in a wide cross-section of industries on the development and implementation of new technologies and products.

“The continuous exploration of new energy innovations is a key element in reducing the energy consumed by HVAC systems,” said Bruce Hunn, Director of Technology, American Society of┬áHeating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). “This study represents an important phase in the ongoing effort to identify technologies that could have a positive impact on the way we expend our energy resources.”

The final study is a detailed analysis of technologies that have the potential to reduce energy consumption by commercial building HVAC systems. Specifically, the report examines technology options and their energy savings potential, reviews current and future economic sustainability, and identifies the barriers preventing widespread deployment of each technology in commercial building HVAC systems and points out potential developmental next steps to realize its commercial potential.

Initially, 170 technology options were chosen for preliminary study by TIAX’s HVAC experts and of these, 55 were selected for further investigation. The TIAX project team then developed energy savings estimates and analyzed the technologies’ current and future economic status and barriers to commercialization. Subsequently, 15 of the 55 technologies received more refined evaluation. The study found that among the 55 technologies, many shared significant energy consumption reduction characteristics including:

  • Separate treatment of ventilation and internal loads
  • Enhanced diagnosis and resolution of common HVAC problems
  • Improved delivery of conditioning where needed
  • Improved part-load performance

In addition, the report found that many of the technologies also provided several non-energy benefits such as:

  • Down-sizing of HVAC equipment
  • Enhanced indoor air quality
  • Improved humidity control
  • Notable peak demand reduction

“As we look toward the future it is important that these technologies are further investigated and developed for both conservation purposes and for the additional benefits that enhance the working environment, such as improved air quality and superior temperature and humidity control,” said Dr. Kurt Roth, Project Leader at TIAX. “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work closely with the Department of Energy on such an extensive and noteworthy project.”