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Understanding Unregulated Energy (usage) in University Buildings

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Harper
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Rising energy costs and stretching national and local targets make the prediction and understanding of energy use (and therefore carbon emissions) essential. The quantification of energy usage associated with the operation of building systems (ie HVAC ), "regulated energy", at design stage is fairly straight forward . By contrast, the current understanding of the consumption of unregulated energy, (for example by IT equipment and supplementary heating and lighting) is relatively poor and hence design stage estimates are unreliable. Some unregulated energy sources may also impact on the reliability of "regulated energy" calculations. Definitions of regulated and unregulated energy that are central to accurate design stage predictions are rarely considered or accurately measured when buildings are in use, leading to a lack of data and benchmarks

University buildings present particular challenges due to the diversity of room types, functions, variable occupancy and equipment usage in research /teaching laboratories. For this reason, recent industry attempts to increase the accuracy of predictions for unregulated energy consumption (such as CIBSE TM54) are of limited value. Current design guidance is dated and the understanding of the rationale behind it is poor.

The main objectives of this project are:
1) To develop a detailed understanding of unregulated energy usage in university buildings and room types, based upon extensive evaluation of data gathered in case study room types and buildings.
2) To clarify the key parameters that affect unregulated energy use such as room function/type, equipment types and density, occupation profiles and energy control techniques
3) To provide predictions of unregulated energy use in response to key parameters

This is an area where research is urgently needed for several reasons.

Funding Notes

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Related Subjects

How good is research at The University of Manchester in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.86

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