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Title: Energy and exergy assessments for an enhanced use of energy in buildings
Authors: Gonçalves, Pedro 
Orientador: Silva, Manuel Gameiro
Gaspar, Adélio Manuel Rodrigues
Keywords: Performance assessments; Exergy analysis; Buildings; Exergy efficiency
Issue Date: 19-Nov-2013
Citation: GONÇALVES, Pedro Manuel Ferreira - Energy and exergy assessments for an enhanced use of energy in buildings. Coimbra : [s.n.], 2013. Tese de doutoramento. Disponível na WWW:
Place of publication or event: Coimbra
Abstract: Exergy analysis has been found to be a useful method for improving the conversion efficiency of energy resources, since it helps to identify locations, types and true magnitudes of wastes and losses. It has also been applied for other purposes, such as distinguishing high- from low-quality energy sources or defining the engineering technological limits in designing more energy-efficient systems. In this doctoral thesis, the exergy analysis is widely applied in order to highlight and demonstrate it as a significant method of performing energy assessments of buildings and related energy supply systems. It aims to make the concept more familiar and accessible for building professionals and to encourage its wider use in engineering practice. This thesis is divided into five main cases studies, which have different scopes and follow slightly different approaches but all with the same common objective. Case study I aims to show the importance of exergy analysis in the energy performance assessment of eight space heating building options evaluated under different outdoor environmental conditions. This study is concerned with the so-called “reference state”, which in this study is calculated using the average outdoor temperature for a given period of analysis. Primary energy and related exergy ratios are assessed and compared. Higher primary exergy ratios are obtained for low outdoor temperatures, while the primary energy ratios are assumed as constant for the same scenarios. The outcomes of this study demonstrate the significance of exergy analysis in comparison with energy analysis when different reference states are compared. Case study II and Case study III present two energy and exergy assessment studies applied to a hotel and a student accommodation building, respectively. Case study II compares the energy and exergy performance of the main end uses of a hotel building located in Coimbra in central Portugal, using data derived from an energy audit. The results show that the most energy-efficient hotel end use does not necessarily correspond to the most exergy-efficient one. A diagram including information related to primary energy demand and energy and exergy efficiencies is proposed, revealing to be a very useful tool for including in future legislation on energy performance of buildings. Case study III uses data collected from energy utilities bills to estimate the energy and exergy performance associated to each building end use. Furthermore, the building end uses are ranked by inefficiencies or exergy destruction levels, using the concept of “Exergy Destruction Ratio”. Additionally, a set of energy supply options are proposed and assessed as primary energy demand and exergy efficiency, showing it as a possible benchmarking method for future legislative frameworks regarding the energy performance assessment of buildings. Case study IV proposes a set of complementary indicators for comparing cogeneration and separate heat and electricity production systems. It aims to identify the advantages of exergy analysis relative to energy analysis, giving particular examples where these advantages are significant. The results demonstrate that exergy analysis can reveal meaningful information that might not be accessible using a conventional energy analysis approach, which is particularly evident when cogeneration and separated systems provide heat at very different temperatures. Case study V follows the exergy analysis method to evaluate the energy and exergy performance of a desiccant cooling system, aiming to assess and locate irreversibilities sources. The results reveal that natural gas boiler is the most inefficient component of the plant in question, followed by the chiller and heating coil. A set of alternative heating supply options for desiccant wheel regeneration is proposed, showing that, while some renewables may effectively reduce the primary energy demand of the plant, although this may not correspond to the optimum level of exergy efficiency. The thermal and chemical exergy components of moist air are also evaluated, as well as, the influence of outdoor environmental conditions on the energy/exergy performance of the plant. This research provides knowledge that is essential for the future development of complementary energy- and exergy-based indicators, helping to improve the current methodologies on performance assessments of buildings, cogeneration and desiccant cooling systems. The significance of exergy analysis is demonstrated for different types of buildings, which may be located in different climates (reference states) and be supplied by different types of energy sources.
Description: Tese de doutoramento em Sistemas Sustentáveis de Energia , apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Eng.Mecânica - Teses de Doutoramento

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