Impact of Climate Change on the Design of Air Handling Units

Authors

  • Christian Fieberg Westphalian Energy Institute | Westphalian University of Applied Science Gelsenkirchen | Germany
  • Dominik Demmelhuber ZWP Ingenieur-AG | Germany

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34641/clima.2022.360

Keywords:

Air handling unit, climate change, urban heat island, future capacity needs

Abstract

Air Handling units (AHU) are designed to guarantee a high indoor air quality for any time and outdoor condition all over the year. To do so, the AHU removes particle matter like dust or pollen and adapts the thermophysical properties of air to the desired, seasonal indoor comfort conditions. AHU have a robust design and thus operate for more than fifteen years, sometimes even for decades. An AHU designed today must consider and anticipate the change of user needs as well as outdoor air conditions for the next twenty years. To anticipate the outdoor air condition of coming decades, scientific models exist, which allow the design of peak performance and capacities of the air treatment components. It is most likely, that the ongoing climate change will lead to higher temperatures as well as higher humidity, while the comfort zone of human beings will remain at today’s values. Next to the impact of global warming with average rise of mean air temperature local effects will influence the operation of AHU. On effect investigated here is the steep temperature increase in city centres called urban heat islands. Heating and cooling capacities as well as water consumption for humidification are investigated for a reference AHU for fifteen regional locations in Germany. These regions represent all climate zones within the country. Additionally, the urban heat island effect was investigated for Berlin Alexanderplatz compared a rural area close by. The AHU was chosen to operate in an intensive care unit of a hospital. The set-up leads to 24/7 operation with 8760 hours per year. The article presents the modelling of current and future weather data as well as the unit set up. The calculated hourly performance and capacity parameters for current (reference year 2012) and future weather data (reference year 2045) yield energy consumption and peak loads of the unit for heating, cooling and humidification. The results are displayed by relative comparisons of each performance value.

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Published

2022-05-21

How to Cite

Fieberg, C., & Demmelhuber, D. (2022). Impact of Climate Change on the Design of Air Handling Units. CLIMA 2022 Conference. https://doi.org/10.34641/clima.2022.360