Improving Air Leakage Prediction of Buildings using the Fan Pressurization Method with the Weighted Line of Organic Correlation
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.107157
In many countries, the fan pressurization method is the most frequently chosen approach for measuring the air leakage of houses. The measurements are usually performed at pressures that far exceed pressures to which buildings are exposed to under normal conditions. A fit of these tests to the power-law formulation allows an extrapolation to data points outside the measured pressure range. With the Ordinary Least Square (OLS) fitting method, the pressure exponent and flow coefficient can be determined. However, the measurement results are highly sensitive to uncertainties induced by external factors like changing wind conditions during the tests, which is neglected by OLS. This may lead to errors in the prediction of flows at lower pressures. The Weighted Line of Organic Correlation (WLOC) is an alternative approach and takes measurement uncertainty into account. In this paper, a statistical analysis of an extensive data set of pressurization measurements has been performed. Both regression techniques have been compared for almost 7500 fan pressurization measurements of six houses in 109 different house leak configurations. The variability in predicting pressure exponent and flow coefficient for both WLOC and OLS regression was analyzed using probability density functions. It was found that the Weighted Line of Organic Correlation significantly decreases the uncertainty in predicting pressure exponent, flow coefficient, and other low-pressure air leakage metrics compared to the Ordinary Least Square fitting. The authors highly recommend the implementation of WLOC in current measurement standards and test equipment.