This study examines the thermal and economic feasibility of using an earth-cooled air system of residential space cooling. A residential building located in Orlando, Florida was modeled to determine the sensible cooling load for various design factors. A parametric study was conducted to determine the effects of the following: inside set temperature, infiltration rate, and overall heat transfer coefficient of the walls and roof. The inside set temperature had the greatest impact on the cooling energy load, followed by the infiltration rate and the overall heat transfer coefficient of the walls and roof.
Two load conditions were examined to determine the feasibility of the earth-cooled air system based upon those factors having the greatest impact on cooling. They were: (1) set temperature, (2) air changes per hour , and (3) resistance values for the wall and roof. For a well-designed building, the sensible cooling requirement was approximately 17,000 Btu/hr. For a poorly-designed building, the sensible cooling requirement was about 47,000 Btu/hr. The cooling requirements account for the sensible heat gain. The earth-cooled air system takes air directly from the environment and cools it, so that the model does not account for latent effects. Since the purpose of the model was to determine feasibility, only sensible loads were considered. This is the best case for feasibility and further analysis of the earth-cooled air system is warranted only when this case is feasible.
The earth-cooled air system was concluded to be capable of providing all the sensible cooling needed for a single-family dwelling. Although this system could theoretically supply all required sensible cooling, it is not concluded to be economically feasible at this time.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering; Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic
Trinh, Nam Ky, "The feasibility analysis of cooling a residential space using an underground air pipe coupled with an air chimney" (1988). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4348.