Development of a Residential Integrated Ventilation Controller
The goal of this study was to develop a Residential Integrated Ventilation Controller (RIVEC) to reduce the energy impact of required mechanical ventilation by 20%, maintain or improve indoor air quality and provide demand response benefits. This represents potential energy savings of about 140 GWh of electricity and 83 million therms of natural gas as well as proportional peak savings in California. The RIVEC controller is intended to meet the 2008 Title 24 requirements for residential ventilation as well as taking into account the issues of outdoor conditions, other ventilation devices (including economizers), peak demand concerns and occupant preferences. The controller is designed to manage all the residential ventilation systems that are currently available. A key innovation in this controller is the ability to implement the concept of efficacy and intermittent ventilation which allows time shifting of ventilation. Using this approach ventilation can be shifted away from times of high cost or high outdoor pollution towards times when it is cheaper and more effective. Simulations, based on the ones used to develop the new residential ventilation requirements for the California Buildings Energy code, were used to further define the specific criteria and strategies needed for the controller. These simulations provide estimates of the energy, peak power and contaminant improvement possible for different California climates for the various ventilation systems. Results from a field test of the prototype controller corroborate the predicted performance.