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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Adaptable cooling coil performance during part loads in the tropics—A computational evaluation

  • Author(s): Sekhar, Chandra
  • Anand, Prashant
  • Schiavon, Stefano
  • Tham, Kwok Wai
  • Cheong, David
  • Saber, Esmail M
  • et al.

Air conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems may be oversized in commercial buildings in the Tropics. Oversized cooling coils may lead to reduced dehumidifying performance, indoor air quality and thermal comfort and increased energy consumption. In this paper, an adaptable cooling coil design is assessed with a general-purpose coil selection software tool, in which the number of active rows changes as a function of the load. For a 100% oversized coil, it is shown that the adaptable cooling coil is able to provide small but relevant improved humidity control down to 25% of the design load. This was obtained without affecting energy performance in typical variable air volume design and control. For specific applications, where variable air volume systems mainly control space humidity, there are also energy savings. The adaptable cooling coil could be seen as providing additional flexibility in the operation of HVAC systems, particularly in the tropics.

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