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A quantity-quality-based optimization method for indoor thermal environment design

He, Yueer, Liu, Meng, Kvan, Thomas, Yan, Lu
Energy 2019 v.170 pp. 1261-1278
air, air conditioning, energy efficiency, entransy, exergy, heat pumps, heat treatment, residential housing, system optimization, winter, China
This paper proposes a quantity-quality-based optimization method of indoor thermal environment design that emphasizes entransy and exergy analysis. We scrutinized the different focuses of entransy and exergy in examining an energy-related phenomenon or process, and pointed out the need for integrating entransy and exergy for the optimization of indoor thermal environment design. The proposed method contributes to identifying the most energy-efficient solution for attaining the same level of indoor thermal comfort for end users by quantifying the entransy and exergy efficiency of active technologies. With this method, a benchmark technical solution was properly determined and benchmarks for entransy dissipation and exergy loss during the process of thermal environment design were quantified. Entransy dissipation and exergy loss under common technologies were compared with the benchmark values. The concepts of relative entransy savings and relative exergy savings were defined as the evaluation indexes of technical energy efficiency. Referencing winter indoor thermal environment design for residential buildings in hot-summer and cold-winter (HSCW) regions in China, the proposed method was applied to assess the energy efficiency of different heating methods, including an inverter air conditioner, an “air source heat pump + floor radiation,” a “wall-hanging gas heater + floor radiation,” a “wall-hanging gas heater + radiator,” and an oil-filled radiator. This paper recommended that the “air source heat pump + floor radiation” be used for residential buildings in winter in HSCW regions to improve energy efficiency. In addition, the optimization results of the proposed method were compared with that of traditional energy and exergy analysis methods. The results showed that the new method more accurately analyzed the energy flow in indoor thermal environment design, and therefore can serve as an improved way of thinking about follow-up studies on the optimization of heat pump units and the operation strategies of floor radiant heating systems.