Welsh School of Architecture staff

Dr Ian Knight

Professor
Research Project Summaries

Solar Thermal Absorption Chiller Systems (STACS) Project This project, supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, will examine the potential for domestic scale solar thermal air conditioning using absorption chillers. Currently no domestic scale solar thermal absorption chiller systems exist in Wales. This project will involve the design, installation and performance monitoring of such a system. Further to this the implications for building design will be assessed both in terms of new build and retrofit through a review of Welsh housing stock to determine the suitability of the system for use in existing dwellings. Aesthetic and planning considerations will also be examined and computer modelling will be employed with real data from the test system to assess performance for a range of dwelling types. Link to more information

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Measurement of the comfort conditions produced by traditional heating system solutions in low energy factory units. This 3 year project was funded by British Gas. The results were never disseminated because of the sensitive nature of the findings to the heating industry. The work involved detailed measurements of air velocities, air temperatures and radiant temperatures with time. The figure alongside shows some typical results from this work.

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Teaching Company Scheme with Energy Equipment Testing Services Ltd. This 3-year scheme was set up to allow EETS to access the Welsh School of Architecture's expertise in Architecture and experimental research. The purpose of the scheme was to derive a generic model for predicting the potential for renewable energy generation in urban microclimates. The scheme has met and exceeded most of its targets. Feedback from both the company and the TCS project manager has been very positive, and a new semi-empirical model for the initial prediction of likely wind speeds to be found in urban environments is expected to be produced.

Utility Monitoring and Targeting for Cardiff University. This consultancy has been undertaken for Cardiff University since September 1992. Initially it involved setting up the system, and since then has involved analysing the meter readings taken by the University to produce a monthly report on the energy and water consumption and costs at the University. The production of the report includes noting potential problems, suggesting specific conservation measures to the University and then helping assess their effects on utility use.

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An analysis of the Extended Energy Surveys for Schools. This research for the UK Government's Building Research Establishment Energy Conservation Support Unit (BRECSU) produced the fundamental data that BRECSU required to enable guidance to be written for the Schools sector on reducing their energy consumption. This material is still used to produce basic advice on energy conservation techniques in this sector.

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Energy consumption, energy costs and potential savings in UK Sports and Recreation centres. This research for BRECSU was similar to the Schools research in that it provided the fundamental data to underpin energy conservation advice to the sector. This research led on to 3 Government publications:

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Good Practice Case Study 76. Energy efficiency in sports and recreation buildings: swimming pool covers. This involved monitoring the effect that pool covers had on the energy use and internal conditions in a Cardiff Sports Centre Swimming Pool hall. This data had never been collected before and proved the efficacy of pool covers from both an energy and fabric viewpoint.

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Energy Consumption Guide 51, Energy efficiency in sports and recreation buildings: a guide for owners and energy managers. The definitive guide to energy consumption in Sports and Recreation Centres at the time of publication.

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General Information Leaflet 37. Sports and recreation centres: Specifying for energy efficiency in CCT documents - a client/owner's guide. A document aimed at allowing energy efficiency measures to be agreed between owner's and clients of sports facilities.

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Low energy cooling technologies and their application in the UK. A major review of the fundamentals for BRESEC to underpin advice to building designers in this area. The work examined the principles of design and operation of all the major low energy cooling options in use in buildings, and analysed them to establish which would be appropriate for use in UK buildings and climate.

New Practice Case Study 114. Inland Revenue Building, Nottingham. The Welsh School of Architecture undertook a year long monitoring exercise examining the energy consumption and operation of this cutting-edge building in conjunction with DeMontfort University and BRE.

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Daylight and occupancy linked control of individual luminaires at Cardiff University. This research was funded by both BRECSU and THORN., and shows the measured energy savings achieved through daylight linking the control of individual luminaries.

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Sizing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems for new and existing buildings. This study for the Government's Energy Technology Support Unit at Harwell proposed a new simplified approach to the preliminary sizing of CHP systems in buildings based on energy profiles from existing buildings. The results of this study were presented at a CIBSE National Conference, and subsequently published in the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Transactions.

As a result of this study the Welsh School of Architecture were commissioned to obtain energy profiles representative of the Hospital and Hotel sectors, and from these produce a computer programme (CHPSizer) that would enable this approach to be applied to the Hospital and Hotel sectors.

The success of this programme led to a further commission in 2001 to obtain further profiles for the Sports and Recreation sector and University Halls of Residences and update the original CHPSizer software to incorporate the new data, advances in CHP technology and new legislation aimed at encouraging the use of CHP. The latest version of the software (CHPSizer2) was launched in 2004.

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of Eland, Ashdown and Great Minster Houses. This 16 month monitoring project was commissioned by BRECSU to showcase the energy efficient technologies used at the then DETR's HQ buildings of Eland House (a brand new building) and Ashdown House (a refurbished building). The third DETR HQ building, Great Minster House, was monitored as a control.

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Good Practice Guide 257. Energy Efficient Mechanical Ventilation Systems. A review for BRE supported by CIBSE and various trade bodies, of the design and operation procedures required to produce energy efficiency mechanical ventilation systems.

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The potential for District/Community Heating in the UK - high density heat loads. A study for the UK Government commissioned by Merz Orchard (now PB Power) in which the high density heat loads around the UK potentially suitable for District or Community Heating were identified. This work subsequently led to commissions to produce heat density maps for the UK for the Energy Savings Trust. The original maps were updated in 2002 following the recent census, and a commission has recently been completed to map the potential for using minewater in DH schemes in Scotland.

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UK Office Air-Conditioning Energy Consumption Study. This ongoing research project has been funded by BRE, National Grid Transco and Toshiba-Carrier UK Ltd. The project has enabled definitive data to be collected for the actual energy consumption of AC systems in UK Offices. This data, coupled with the detailed information collected about the weather, fabric, occupancy and internal heat gains, is enabling the rewriting of the Professional and Governmental guidance for this sector to be undertaken - and should prove invaluable in reducing energy use by these systems in UK Offices. The data, in conjunction with predicted market growth data for AC systems, will also enable the National Grid to plan for future electricity capacity requirements.

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A sister project to the UK Office Air-Conditioning Energy Consumption Study looked at the actual efficiency of various chiller types in-use. The results from this are being used to provide further insights into the control and delivery of cooling to buildings in practice.

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Monitoring the in-use efficiency of 3 Nu-aire solar air and water heating systems installed in a doctor's surgery. This 18 month project was commissioned by the Carbon Trust Wales to assess the Carbon reductions achieved through the use of 3 different solar air heating systems. The results of this project enabled the South Wales based company to make some significant improvements to the operation and design of their systems. The systems are now being sold commercially.

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AUDITAC (Market Development For Field Benchmarking And Audit Methods In Air Conditioning Systems). AUDITAC is a research project that aims to improve the energy efficiency of existing air-conditioning systems across Europe by providing tools and information that will enable air-conditioning system owners and operators to confidently identify actions that will save them money, and reduce the emissions of green house gases. The two-year project is part-funded funded by the European Commission through its Intelligent Energy, Europe programme and has participants from France, UK, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Portugal and Italy. The Welsh School of Architecture is the main UK participant, supported by BRE and the Association of Building Engineers. The Welsh School of Architecture are providing a crucial element of this work through their research which enables the effects of various actions on the AC system energy consumption to be assessed. link for more information

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IEA Annex 42 - FC+COGEN-SIM, The Simulation of Building-Integrated Fuel Cells and Other Cogeneration Systems. The objectives of Annex 42 are to develop simulation models that advance the design, operation, and analysis of residential cogeneration systems, and to apply these models to assess the technical, environmental, and economic performance of the technologies. This will be accomplished by developing and incorporating models of cogeneration devices and associated plant components within existing whole-building simulation programs. Emphasis will be placed upon fuel cell cogeneration systems and the Annex will consider technologies suitable for use in new and existing single and low-rise-multi-family residential dwellings. The models will be developed at a time resolution that is appropriate for whole-building simulation. The Annex is due for completion in 2007. The Welsh School of Architecture has produced the Cogeneration system review to date, and will be producing the energy profiles necessary to model the systems operation correctly.

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