Trinity College research project looks at reducing energy consumption of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems

Project Insights

  • €123,975

    Total Project Costs
  • 3 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems consume 20% to 70% of the total energy consumed by typical commercial buildings. In the EU HVAC systems are responsible for 11% of electricity consumption, 20% in the US. A considerable portion of this consumption is associated with the filtration of air for human health protection. Filters in HVAC systems create a barrier to the ingress of air pollution in indoor environments but also create a barrier to air flow, resulting in increased energy consumption from ventilation fans. This project aims to advance new technology aimed at reducing the energy consumption of HVAC systems up to 40% through the addition of new sustainable air pollution control technology reducing the loading of particulate matter on HVAC filters. The authors have recently proven the concept for an aspiration-efficiency-reducer (AER), a filter-less, maintenance free and energy efficient device that can prevent up to 34% of the total mass of particulate air pollution from entering HVAC systems. This AER pollution control device results in significantly less particle loading on HVAC filters which in turn results in less resistance to air flow and ventilation fan energy consumption. Preliminary experiments have demonstrated a reduction in energy consumption of 14%. This project aims to advance our understanding of this new energy-saving technology, improving its performance up to 40%. Reductions in energy consumption of this magnitude will have considerable benefits for national and international energy efficiency targets in the building energy sectors, as well as associated reductions in CO2 emissions.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €123,975

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: Trinity College Dublin

Collaborators: University of Surrey

Prof. Aonghus McNabola

Lead Researcher

Expertise: Energy efficiency; Air pollution control; Hydropower system; Waste heat recovery; Fluid dynamics;