Thermal & IAQ

Thermal IAQ Project for banner wp1c
Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality Improvement

Maintaining and optimizing operation of air conditioning and mechanical ventilation system (ACMV) in buildings in superior condition is essential to reduce energy consumption, provide higher equipment availability and improve thermal comfort of occupants. ACMV systems are complex interconnected systems (e.g., compressor, condenser, evaporator, cooling tower, and air handling unit (AHU), variable air volume systems (VAVs), and fan coil units (FCU)) and early detection and diagnosis of initial faults in such systems using robust methodologies and tools is important for achieving thermal comfort. The proposed project incorporates the emerging technologies, such as Hybrid Modelling, real-time monitoring, optimized operation, artificial intelligence, remote diagnosis and augmented reality (AR) technologies, for efficient fault diagnosis and troubleshooting and act on that information proactively to prevent or minimize the system down time. The proposal also incorporates innovative solution of biological air cleaning (VOCs) using a smart system of indoor plants to improve the indoor air quality and cognitive performance of occupants.

The objectives, methodology and value propositions of each Work Package are described in detail below.
  • Work Package 1 (WP1): FDD, Optimization through Machine Learning and AR based virtual troubleshooting.
  • Work Package 2 (WP2): Biological air cleaning using special plants to improve indoor air quality
Work Package 1 (WP1): FDD, optimization and AR based virtual troubleshooting

The research work in this project will focus on the following four aspects. 
  • To develop mathematical models for the components of chiller plant;
  • To develop and integrate real-time optimization technologies such that an ACMV system will always be running under most efficient operating conditions regardless of the changes in cooling demand and outside environment;
  • To develop and integrate dynamic control technologies. For every set-point change determined by the optimization technology, each device can reach their new set-point smoothly and promptly;
  • To develop and integrated FDD technologies which contain general maintenance tools to detect health conditions of mechanical devices timely and decide if any action is needed; and
  • Augmented Reality based virtual troubleshooting.

Work Package 2 (WP2): Biological air cleaning using special plants to improve indoor air quality

The proposed solution is an intelligent and natural air purification system that can improve the mechanical air filtration systems in existing and new buildings.

Value Proposition:
Replacing the existing chiller plant automation systems with the developed system will provide several advantages:
  • Improvement on ACMV system reliability;
  • Reduction on running cost;
  • Improvement on thermal comfort, indoor air quality and productivity of tenants​

 Demand-Based Active Biological Air Filtration System Prototype

Thermal IAQ project
Thermal IAQ project side