Research to provide updated energy calculation models for residential hvac equipment has been approved by ASHRAE. The society says it has approved five research projects, totaling $409,931, in the areas of indoor air quality (IAQ), environmentally safe materials, and design tools.

Among them is 1197-TRP, “Updated Energy Calculation Models for Residential Hvac Equipment.” The project will be overseen by Michael Brandemuehl at the University of Colorado. It is expected to take 19 months to complete at a cost of $78,500.

“Right now there is no “coherent set of models and associated standard equipment data that allow unbiased comparison of the entire spectrum of residential hvac equipment for a given design problem,” according to ASHRAE Technical Committee (TC) 4.7, Energy Calculations. “Individual designers, policymakers, manufacturers, and residence owners and occupants will benefit from the existence of such models.”

“Depending on accounting assumptions, residential space conditioning consumes 7% to 9% of the U.S. energy budget (per Department of Energy Information Administration),” said Chip Barnaby, chairman of the TC’s project monitoring subcommittee for this project. “It is crucial that up-to-date and complete models exist to provide accurate energy use prediction and optimal application of the equipment that moves this huge energy consumption segment.”

Other approved projects are: Environmentally safe materials —“Measurements and Model Development for R-400 Series Refrigerants,” 1215-TRP, conducted by Thermophysics Research Center, for 18 months, at a cost of $101,350; Design tools —“Development of Procedures to Utilize Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) Weather Data in Building Energy Calculations,” 1226-TRP, Cornell University, 12 months, $89,581; “Design Guide for Tall Commercial Buildings,” 1261-URP, Donald E. Ross P.E., 18 months, $30,500; and IAQ, comfort, and health —“Investigation of Mechanism and Operating Environments that Impact the Filtration Efficiency of Charged Air Filtration Media,” 1189-TRP, VTT Automation, 20 months, $110,000.