Regional Difference and Related Cooling Electricity Savings of Air Pollutant Affected Natural Ventilation in Commercial Buildings Across the US: Article No. 106700

Jianli Chen, Godfried Augenbroe, Zhaoyun Zeng, Xinyi Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Maintaining indoor air pollutants under acceptable levels is significant to protect occupants from exposure to excessive air pollutants in natural ventilation. In this paper, using the representative air pollutant concentration data, we present the natural ventilation usability with associated cooling energy saving potentials in different location settings (urban and city center, suburban and rural) of the US under the influence of local weather conditions and major outdoor air pollutants, i.e. PM2.5, PM10 and ozone. It is found that the impacts of air pollutants on natural ventilation are usually higher in urban/suburban areas than rural areas (up to 25% difference) with the PM2.5 being the most significant outdoor air pollutant affecting natural ventilation usage. Ozone could become increasingly influential on natural ventilation as moving from urban to suburban/rural areas. As to the cooling energy saving considering the impacts of outdoor air pollutants, natural ventilation is estimated to save approximately 10%–40% cooling energy (800–2600 kWh per small commercial building) annually in different location settings of investigated areas across the US. The following economic analysis demonstrates that these electricity savings lead to approximately 80–540 dollars annual savings of building operation cost per building. If the time of use rate is adopted, these cost savings could further increase by approximately 20% (Los Angeles) to more than 50% (Albuquerque) depending on different rate structures, which further demonstrates the potential of adopting natural ventilation as a sustainability measurement with benefits for building owners without compromising occupants health.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume172
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-77335

Keywords

  • air pollutant
  • cooling energy saving
  • economic analysis
  • natural ventilation
  • regional difference

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