Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Performance evaluation of damper control settings for operation of multiple-zone variable air volume reheat system in different building applications and climate types


damper control settings, variable air volume reheat, air terminal unit, minimum air flow fraction, building simulation, EnergyPlus


Choosing the right control strategies is an important task for effective operation of variable air volume reheat (VAVR) system in commercial buildings. In this design, dampers’ position inside air terminal units (ATUs) are modulated to adjust the amount of air supply volume based on thermal zones’ cooling or heating demand. A minimum air flow fraction (MAFF) is set for damper settings of ATUs to avoid under-ventilation problem in thermal zones. This study investigated the impact of MAFF value on various performance aspects of multiple-zone VAVR design in different building applications and climate types. A five-storey commercial building for three applications of school, office and retail in four climate types of tropical monsoon, hot desert, Mediterranean and humid continental have been simulated in EnergyPlus building simulation software. The results of simulations have shown that lowering MAFF value in ATUs would reduce the required reheat coil energy to maintain precise air supply temperature at part load cooling scenarios. Nonetheless, this reduction could have some implications on thermal comfort and indoor air quality level of thermal zones in a multiple-zone arrangement. It was concluded that in general it is an energy efficient control strategy to keep MAFF value to as low as 0.1 for high ventilation rate spaces like classrooms in school buildings (except for hot desert climate). On the other hand, it is advisable to not reduce MAFF value below 0.3 for low ventilation rate spaces like office areas to avoid any air quality issues in thermal zones.


Tsinghua University Press