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As we strive to create high-performance buildings, industry professionals must seek innovative building practices and technologies that reduce energy consumption while maintaining ease of use for building owners and occupants. In recent years, innovative designs have reestablished air movement as an integral part of occupant comfort, building efficiency and energy conservation.
Circulator fans are not simply an alternative to traditional air conditioning. When designed as part of the HVAC system, air movement can offset HVAC capacity and ductwork requirements in a space. Elevated air speeds reduce energy consumption by allowing a building operator to increase the thermostat setpoint without sacrificing comfort. The inclusion of circulator fan technologies in building design and retrofits can also increase building ventilation effectiveness and air quality by ensuring fresh air introduced to the building reaches the occupant breathing zone. If fans are placed between the overhead supply and the return in a space, short circuiting in the heating mode can be avoided to increase Zone Air Distribution Effectiveness as defined by ASHRAE Standard 62.1, resulting in decreased outdoor air intake flow.
- Identify the factors that affect thermal comfort
- Explain the benefits of a design strategy that uses air movement in conjunction with traditional air conditioning
- Describe how circulator fans can improve building IAQ
- Understand how ASHRAE Standards 55 and 90.1 are applied in air conditioned spaces
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Greg Phipps - Greg Phipps is a Senior Test Engineer at the Big Ass Fan Company. Working in the world’s only Research and Development lab for large diameter fans, Phipps tests performance and comfort applications for the company’s portfolio of high volume, low speed fans. Phipps is a licensed Professional Engineer and a member of ASHRAE and ASME. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.