The use of simplified system models to reduce energy use in buildings has become common. But no general procedure exists that can be easily implemented by energy professionals. A step-by-step procedure to determine the annual cooling and heating energy use of buildings with multiple HVAC systems will be developed ASHRAE.

ASHRAE approved funding totaling $575,383 for seven research projects in the areas of design tool, operation and maintenance tools, IAQ, comfort and health, refrigeration, environmentally safe materials and energy conservation at its 2003 Winter Meeting.

Among them is 1092-TRP, Development of Procedures To Determine In-Situ Performance of Commonly Used HVAC Systems. The principal investigators are Mingsheng Liu, Ph.D. P.E., Energy Systems Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Neb., and D.E. Claridge, Ph.D., P.E., and Jeff Haberl, Ph.D., P.E., Energy Systems Laboratory, Texas A&M University. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete with ASHRAE contributing $89,841.

Recent studies have shown that HVAC system models, originally developed for design purposes, are equally useful for detecting and assessing the impact of operation and maintenance measures and for identifying energy retrofit savings when monitored data are available.

"However, the effectiveness of these models as fault detectors and savings meters is based on the ability to calibrate them satisfactorily against monitored data," Liu said. The research will focus on documenting known algorithms to calibrate data from existing buildings.