ITB conducts study on optimal cooling conditions

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A TEAM of local researchers from the Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) conducted a study on how to optimise the use of air-conditioning in office buildings.

Professor Dr Nawaf H Saeid from Faculty of Engineering, who led the team of four, selected the ITB’s library as a case study to determine the mechanism of control for the amount of carbon dioxide in air-conditioned areas to make the air temperature cooler.

He said that the objective of the research was to identify the unsteady optimum setting of the air conditioning system for cooling a building at ITB.

“The research was to find out the effect of using the conventional air conditioning through the changes of the variable temperature set point,” he said.

Factors that contribute to the optimisation of air-conditioning are the dimensions of the room, the number of people, indoor and outdoor air temperatures and air velocity, he added.

Through the measurements of the factors in the library, Professor Dr Nawaf said that the amount of carbon dioxide can be controlled as well as the amount of air which can be added from the outside air to balance the carbon dioxide level in the library.

He suggested that the control strategy of balancing the air temperature and the air supply from the outside increases the cooling load in the conditioned room.

Instead of having a fixed supply of air temperature, air supply from the outside has to be taken into account to achieve the comfort temperature in the air-conditioned room, he added.

By maintaining a fixed temperature inside an air-conditioned area, the amount of air flow varies to ensure the maximum optimisation of the air-conditioning.

“The proposed control strategy allows the supply air temperature to vary instead of fixing it to a constant temperature,” he said.

“The control strategy was based on the cost of energy consumption under the same cooling load in a typical day,” he added

He found out that varying the supply of air temperature and supply of air flow rate would result in a decrease of seven per cent in the total operational energy.

Meanwhile, ITB Principal Lecturer of Mechanical Department, Dr Naseem Udin told The Brunei Times that the same type of methodology can be approached in other buildings.

“This is because the world is moving towards sustainability and control means. Therefore you need to control everything,” he added.

The Brunei Times