Building energy simulation of a Run-Around Membrane Energy Exchanger (RAMEE)
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The main objective of this thesis is to investigate the energetic, economic and environmental impact of utilizing a novel Run-Around Membrane Energy Exchanger (RAMEE) in building HVAC systems. The RAMEE is an energy recovery ventilator that transfers heat and moisture between the exhaust air and the fresh outdoor ventilation air to reduce the energy required to condition the ventilation air. The RAMEE consists of two exchangers made of water vapor permeable membranes coupled with an aqueous salt solution. In order to examine the energy savings with the RAMEE, two different buildings (an office building and a health-care facility) were simulated using TRNSYS computer program in four different climatic conditions, i.e., cold-dry, cool-humid, hot-humid and hot-dry represented by Saskatoon, Chicago, Miami and Phoenix, respectively. It was found that the RAMEE significantly reduces the heating energy consumption in cold climates (Saskatoon and Chicago), especially in the hospital where the required ventilation rate is much higher than in the office building. On the other hand, the results showed that the RAMEE must be carefully controlled in summer to minimize the cooling energy consumption. The application of the RAMEE in an office building reduces the annual heating energy by 30% to 40% in cold climates (Saskatoon and Chicago) and the annual cooling energy by 8% to 15% in hot climates (Miami and Phoenix). It also reduces the size of heating equipment by 25% in cold climates, and the size of cooling equipment by 5% to 10% in hot climates. The payback period of the RAMEE depends on the air pressure drop across the exchangers. For a practical pressure drop of 2 cm of water across each exchanger, the payback of the RAMEE is 2 years in cold climates and 4 to 5 years in hot climates. The total annual energy saved with the RAMEE (including heating, cooling and fan energy) is found to be 30%, 28%, 5% and 10% in Saskatoon, Chicago, Miami and Phoenix, respectively. In the hospital, the RAMEE reduces the annual heating energy by 58% to 66% in cold climates, and the annual cooling energy by 10% to 18% in hot climates. When a RAMEE is used, the heating system can be downsized by 45% in cold climates and the cooling system can be downsized by 25% in hot climates. For a practical range of air pressure drop across the exchangers, the payback of the RAMEE is immediate in cold climates and 1 to 3 years in hot climates. The payback period in the hospital is, on average, 2 years faster than in the office building). The total annual energy saved with RAMEE is found to be 48%, 45%, 8% and 17% in Saskatoon, Chicago, Miami and Phoenix, respectively. The emission of greenhouse gases (in terms of CO2-equivalent) can be reduced by 25% in cold climates and 11% in hot climates due to the lower energy use when employing a RAMEE.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorSimonson, Carey J.; Besant, Robert W.
CommitteeTorvi, David A.; Schoenau, Greg J.
Copyright DateDecember 2010
Energy Recovery Ventilator