Dynamic Control of Lab Air Change Rates using Multiplexed IEQ Monitoring

October 14, 2005 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

Many aspects of a lab are monitored today in real time such as HVAC equipment operation and lab airflow quantities. However, the quality of lab room airflow or more specifically, the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) performance of a lab, beyond just temperature or perhaps humidity, is rarely monitored due to sensor cost and calibration issues. This is unfortunate, since detailed IEQ monitoring data can be used to substantially reduce lab energy consumption, increase lab safety and with some additional analysis, this data can be used to perform effective continuous commissioning. This presentation discusses a new type of real time, multiplexed facility monitoring technology. Packets of air and data are routed through a unique, hollow structured cable to enable the use of only one set of high quality environmental sensors to cost effectively sense 20 to 30 lab rooms and support spaces.  Typical sensed parameters are T, RH/dewpoint, CO2, particles, TVOC's, and CO with future capabilities for differential static pressure, acid gas, ammonia, etc.  One application of this technology is to dynamically control lab room air change rates in what could be termed Lab Demand Control Ventilation (Lab DCV). This approach can significantly cut lab energy consumption by safely reducing a lab's minimum air change per hour (ACH) requirements from 6 to 12 ACH to as low as 2 ACH when the lab room air is sensed to be "clean". Additionally, lab safety can also be enhanced by increasing lab room air change rates to higher than normal levels to rapidly evacuate a lab in an emergency. Finally, the presentation will also discuss how the system can uncover poor/unsafe lab practices and poorly operating lab fume hood or control equipment as well as scientifically validate the effectiveness of any revised procedures or changes in operation/equipment.

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