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Economic Optimal HVAC Design for Hybrid GEOTABS Buildings and CO2 Emissions Analysis

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Celestijnenlaan 300-box 2421, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
EnergyVille, Thor Park 8310, 3600 Genk, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(2), 314;
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Heating and Cooling)
PDF [1646 KB, uploaded 1 February 2018]


In the early design phase of a building, the task of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) engineer is to propose an appropriate HVAC system for a given building. This system should provide thermal comfort to the building occupants at all time, meet the building owner’s specific requirements, and have minimal investment, running, maintenance and replacement costs (i.e., the total cost) and energy use or environmental impact. Calculating these different aspects is highly time-consuming and the HVAC engineer will therefore only be able to compare a (very) limited number of alternatives leading to suboptimal designs. This study presents therefore a Python tool that automates the generation of all possible scenarios for given thermal power profiles and energy load and a given database of HVAC components. The tool sizes each scenario properly, computes its present total cost (PC) and the total CO 2 emissions associated with the building energy use. Finally, the different scenarios can be searched and classified to pick the most appropriate scenario. The tool uses static calculations based on standards, manufacturer data and basic assumptions similar to those made by engineers in the early design phase. The current version of the tool is further focused on hybrid GEOTABS building, which combines a GEOthermal heat pump with a Thermally Activated System (TABS). It should further be noted that the tool optimizes the HVAC system but not the building envelope, while, ideally, both should be simultaneously optimized. View Full-Text
Keywords: optimal design; HVAC; environment; building; GEOTABS; ground source heat pump optimal design; HVAC; environment; building; GEOTABS; ground source heat pump

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Picard, D.; Helsen, L. Economic Optimal HVAC Design for Hybrid GEOTABS Buildings and CO2 Emissions Analysis. Energies 2018, 11, 314.

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