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For the Calculation of the Exergy Value of Indoor Air in Buildings

As an initial step of exergy application for building design, a reference environment of buildings needs to be properly defined. Since properties of (indoor) air play a vital role in indicating indoor thermal comfort, health and energy use, air seems to be the most important and appropriate medium for investigating some of the possible definitions of the reference environment to determine the exergy value of air in buildings. The most reasonable reference environment for calculating the exergy values of air in buildings is the actual environmental conditions of the air outside the buildings. However, building designers may find using the actual outdoor environmental condition too complex for exergy calculations. In the practice of building design, the exergy of air in a building should be estimated in an easy, less time-consuming way, and as precisely as possible. 

S everal authors (e.g. [1-4]) have used an exergy approach to evaluate thermodynamic processes in HVAC systems, but most of them used fixed or time-independent values of outdoor climate conditions (e.g. temperature at 273,15K and pressure at 1,01325bar) as a reference environment. The outdoor climate conditions vary in reality continuously, all over the year. The use of pre-defined standard conditions instead of this dynamic reference environment could lead to inaccurate results. Besides, the exergy calculation methods rely on several properties of the reference environment, like temperature, pressure and chemical composition. Most research into exergy and buildings only takes account of the thermal exergy of air [5-8]. From the work of [1 and 9] it appears however that these assumptions may lead to less accurate results.

Auteurs: dr. P. Sakulpipatsin, H.J. van der Kooi*, mevr. dr. L.C.M. Itard** en mevr. dr.eng. E.C. Boelman MBA

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