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The Effects of Barometric Relief Dampers on a Large-Scale Retail Building

Dr. Wei Guowei-guo
Research Associate in Industrial Energy Efficiency
Friday, September 16, 2016
2:20-3:20pm JDT 410



The effects of barometric relief dampers on internal static pressure, air quality, and energy consumption for a typical large-scale retail building.


In order to prevent building over-pressurization, many roof-top units on large-scale retail buildings are equipped with barometric relief dampers. In this study, the effects of barometric relief dampers on internal static pressure, indoor air quality, and heating and cooling energy consumption for a typical large-scale retail building were investigated. The airflow characteristics of barometric relief dampers (i.e., the relationship between pressure drop and airflow rate) were first determined and incorporated into a building simulation model, which consisted of several thermal zones. The integration of building thermal simulation, multi-zone network method, and computational fluid dynamics was employed to perform the analysis. From the simulation results, it was found that the barometric relief dampers reduced building internal excess pressure by up to 7%. The CO2 concentrations were decreased up to 3% in the heating season, and the decrements were much less during the cooling season. This was primarily due to the additional fresh air infiltration entering the front entrance doors, caused largely by the presence of barometric relief dampers. Finally, for ASHRAE Climate Zone 4A, annual heating energy consumption was increased by 2%; however, the effect on annual cooling energy consumption was negligible.


Dr. Wei Guo is a Research Associate in Industrial Energy Efficiency Team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His search area is mainly focused on improving energy and material efficiency for general and special manufacturing equipment and processes. He has been working on smart manufacturing and data analytics, combined heat and power, industrial water management, and recycling and waste management. From Jan 2006 to Feb 2011, he was a research assistant at the University of Arkansas, from which he received his PhD in May 2011. After getting his PhD degree, he worked as an Energy Engineer at an engineering consulting firm on healthcare facilities energy conservation projects. While pursuing his PhD degree, Dr. Guo spent every summer at Arkansas Industrial Assessment Center working on DOE and Arkansas State funded manufacturing plant energy assessment projects. He is an expert on Compressed Air System, Energy Modeling, Energy Performance M&V, chilled water system Hydraulic Modeling for manufacturing plants. He also has extensive field experience on complex air handing units and conventional and heat pump chiller plants. Dr. Guo has published over 15 energy conservation related technical papers and reports.