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ASHRAE Student Design Competition

Winning Projects Focus On Environmental Impact, Comfort, Health

Release Date: 08/11/2003

Contact:  Jodi Dunlop

Phone: 404-636-8400

ATLANTA -- Faced with limited natural resources and rising pollution issues, student designers of an HVAC system for an educational facility on a Singapore college campus chose an environmentally friendly system.

Their choice earned them first place in the HVAC system design category in the ASHRAE 2003 Student Design Competition.

Undergraduate students were challenged to design a two-story educational building to be constructed on a medium size college campus in Singapore.

Winners were announced in two categories -- HVAC system design and selection. Projects are evaluated on anticipated operating costs, environmental impact, comfort, health, creativity and communication of results.

The competition attracted 26 final entries, an increase of 42 percent over last year's competition and the highest number of entries since 1995.

First place in the HVAC system design category was awarded to Jesse Bigelow, Andy Geem, Gerard Harris, Bob Krieg, Nathon Klein and Mike Sweeney of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. Their advisors are Mike Feutz and Eric Quilitzch.

The team focused on the environmental challenges facing Singapore. Students designed a thermal energy storage system, maintaining it would be most advantageous due to reduced off-peak utility rates. It consists of thermal energy storage using screw chiller with ammonia (R-717) refrigerant. Condenser side heat would be rejected to the ground using a geothermal loop.

Supply air would be distributed throughout the building using seven constant air volume fan coil units, one located in each of the seven building zones. Ventilation air requirements along with dehumidification would be handled with two rooftop mounted energy recovery ventilators with pre-cooling coils.

"The system we have designed is economical to operate, offering a 30 percent savings over a traditional chiller package," the team noted. "It's environmentally friendly, has low maintenance issues and provides excellent thermal comfort to the building tenants."

First place in the HVAC system selection category was awarded to Larry Good, Scott Huber and Rebecca Mittel of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa. Their advisor is William Bahnfleth, Ph.D., P.E.

This entry will serve as the design build project for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America's 2003 student competition.

The team selected a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) with ice storage due to its low annual operating cost savings, annual energy consumption and life cycle cost. The payback period compared to the DOAS system with a conventional chilled water system is only 5.2 years. The system also was chosen because of the benefits in air quality and higher operational control.

The mechanical system meets the requirements of ASHRAE Standards 15, 55, 62 and 90. The standards control the environmental impact and the ability of the DOAS system to provide a comfortable and healthy environment.

First-place teams in each category will receive $1,500 and transportation and lodging costs for a representative to attend ASHRAE's 2004 Winter Meeting Jan. 24-28 in Anaheim, Calif., to receive their awards. Each of the projects will be represented in a poster session during the meeting.

The 2004 ASHRAE Student Design Project Competition will focus on the design of an educational dramatic arts studio in Denver, Colo. The design and drawings will soon be available to students and faculty advisors in the Student Zone section of the ASHRAE Web site.

The purpose of the competition is to recognize outstanding student design projects, to encourage undergraduate students to become involved in the profession, to apply their knowledge of practical design and to promote teamwork.

Further Information

Related Resources
    Standard 90.1-2001 User's Manual
    Principles of HVAC
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