Re ECF Project: 2013-14

Project Title: Study of the energy saving potential of integrating the Sustainable Building Environmental Model (SBEM) in Hong Kong

Applicant: Dr. MUI Kwok-wai, Department of Building Services Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Total Approved Grant: $366,680

Duration: 1/7/2014 to 31/12/2015

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

This project aims to enhance and promote the conventional operation of air-conditioning systems by document references with technical supports, temperature reset with adaptive comfort temperature control and the new demand control fresh air ventilation system of air-conditioned buildings in Hong Kong. The study will-

  • review and update the types, indoor design parameters and conditions of air-conditioned buildings in Hong Kong;
  • perform comprehensive simulations with the integration of SBEM in air-conditioned buildings of Hong Kong;
  • evaluate the potential of energy saving with the integration of SBEM of air-conditioned buildings in Hong Kong;
  • set up and promote the applications of the SBEM protocol to different sectors with the SBVEM calculator; and
  • document guidelines of designing, operating and maintaining air-conditioning systems with SBEM protocol for buildings.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
Selection of air-conditioning and ventilation strategy posed influences of energy consumption and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in office buildings. In order to enhance the integration of energy conservation and IEQ in offices, this study proposed a mathematical model for predicting both cooling load and IEQ acceptance levels in air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong. Four air-conditioning and ventilation strategies namely conventional constant air volume (CAV), demand-controlled ventilation (DCV), adaptive comfort temperature (ACT) set-point adjustment and DCV + ACT are included in the investigation. The findings revealed that DCV was a more energy efficient strategy than conventional CAV. When taking energy efficiency and IEQ acceptance level into account, strategies with ACT set-point adjustment (i.e. outdoor temperature-dependent) should be considered. For avoiding complex system operations, the office temperature set-point could be adjusted to maintain a decent thermal environment during both working and overtime hours. Results were presented in conferences and journals.