History and Goals
LBNL’s SVACH research project, funded by the CEC, DOE, and Aerco S.A. aims to shepherd the concept of smart ventilation through the pre-commercial phase. Manufacturers can then create products consistent with regulatory or voluntary programs leading to ZNE homes in California.
The project team has invested heavily in the science behind the general concept of ZNE homes. Sherman and his colleagues first proposed an approach for intermittent ventilation in 2006. Then the team designed a pre-commercial controller (RIVEC) to demonstrate feasibility in 2009 of ventilation schemes that make ZNE homes possible. Sherman’s team then reviewed energy-savings potential from in 2011 as a precursor to the LBL’s current research on smart ventilation. The team’s previous research, shows energy savings from simple smart ventilation strategies in three California climates.
Theory of Equivalence
Smart ventilation uses the theory of equivalence to optimize ventilation systems. Equivalence means that building occupants are exposed to the same or lower air contaminant doses with the smart system as with a conventional ventilation system. Smart ventilation minimizes airflow and operating energy, while optimizing Time Dependent Valuation, peak power draw, and considering outdoor pollution conditions. This flexibility and responsiveness is necessary for California to cost effectively meet its zero energy targets without negatively impacting indoor air quality and human health.
The project will use data from other completed and ongoing projects to inform detailed simulations of occupant exposure to contaminants in new and existing homes. LBNL will evaluate the energy- and health-related performance of a series of known and potential smart ventilation solutions for advanced California homes. Project outputs will be the following.
- Technical papers for the archival literature,
- Technical background for energy credit for smart ventilation suitable for incorporation in Title 24, and
- Industry guidance for successfully using smart ventilation options in new and existing ZNE and other advanced homes.
The participation of a market player, Aerco S.A., indicates that SVACH will provide the technical basis for manufacturers to develop smart ventilation technologies. Those technologies justify energy reductions in state building codes and regulations. Such market participation is necessary to achieve ZNE homes.