Role of Control Strategies for Minimum Diffuser Airflow in Commercial and Office Buildings


Building designs in Kuwait are usually based on architectural features and construction cost, with little concern about heat gain in summer or heat loss in winter (cooling or heating loads). In Kuwait, electrical energy consumed by Air Conditioning (AC) systems amounts to more than 70% of the electrical energy generated at peak load time. Hence, there is great energy-saving potential in the HVAC systems by reducing variable air volume (VAV) box minimum airflow set points to about 10% of maximum. Typical savings are about 10%–30% of total Heating Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) energy, remarkable for an inexpensive controls set-point change that properly maintains outside air ventilation. The purpose of this paper is to explain the role of control strategies in HVAC energy savings for commercial/office buildings that are operated under reduced minimum diffuser flow rates, while considering the occupants’ thermal comfort satisfaction responses. The diffuser mixing issue and impact on comfort will also addressed in this research along with occupants’ thermal comfort and air quality satisfaction evaluation in the field under reduced minimum VAV flow rate set points.

Presented By

Krishnan Sreekanth, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research

Dr. Sreekanth. K. J, Associate research Scientist at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) is specializing in Energy policy planning and energy efficiency studies. Presently he is working in the Energy efficiency technologies program under Energy and Building Research Center (EBRC) at KISR. After completing his post graduation, he joined in Ashok Leyland Ltd, Chennai, India, as a Senior Development Engineer in R & D Department in 1999. Later he joined in Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, University of Kerala, India as a lecturer and worked there until 2014. He held various positions under the University, including the Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering.  He has more than 50 international journal & conference publications. His PhD research was mainly concentrated on the estimation of CO2 emission reduction and development of a methodology for energy policy planning for the domestic energy sector in Kerala, a state of India. However, the methodology arises out of this work can be extended not only to any region of the country but also to any part of the world. Presently his research area is Energy Efficiency studies and Energy Policy Planning, which is, developing innovative solutions to reduce per capita energy consumption by applying energy-efficient technologies to different sectors such as buildings, road transportation and to develop advanced solutions for applications of renewable energy technologies such as biofuels, suitable for the climate. The major aim in these studies is to reduce per capita primary energy consumption without affecting the quality of life while adhering to environmental standards.