Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Climate-Responsive Adaptive Controls for Natural Ventilation

EPA Grant Number: SU835073
Title: Climate-Responsive Adaptive Controls for Natural Ventilation
Investigators: Choi, Joon-Ho , Baur, Stuart W.
Current Investigators: Choi, Joon-Ho , Baur, Stuart W. , Holt, Dennis , Klover, Sean , Laughery, Lucas , Shen, Chou , Smith, Annelise
Institution: Missouri University of Science and Technology
EPA Project Officer: Lank, Gregory
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2012
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


With today’s growing emphasis on minimizing energy use in buildings, energy-efficient active mechanical systems and strategies have admittedly overlooked passive strategies. Critically needed passive cooling or heating can demonstrate that, by maximizing natural resources, quantifiable environmental benefits will be obtained and energy use will be minimized.


The objective of the proposed research is to develop a predictive environmental control for natural ventilation based on a real-time sensing of outdoor climate conditions, as well as the indoor thermal environment. In a pilot study, the project investigators carefully evaluated the availability of natural wind based on the weather data of Rolla, Missouri, and estimated that 40% of the energy required for cooling could be realized by adopting natural ventilation as a passive strategy.


The proposed research will investigate and determine how significant individual outdoor climatic variables, such as solar radiation, wind speed and direction, outdoor temperature, and humidity levels, contribute to indoor temperatures and humidity conditions, and what the time-lag of heat flow and infiltration would be from outdoor to indoor spaces. These examined parameters will be used in an adaptive control logic, and an appropriate control system for natural ventilation will be constructed, as a test bed, in a residential house located on the campus of the Missouri University of Science and Technology. A validation test and simulation study, adopting yearly weather data, will show quantified environmental benefits derived from the developed control. Successful project performance requires diverse technical skills and explicit knowledge of data acquisition, thermal dynamics, sensing and control, and energy simulations.

Expected Results:

The project outcome will demonstrate how natural ventilation strategies can significantly contribute to environmental sustainability by energy savings without over-cooling conditions, and which parametric options for adaptive controls can be used to maximize the savings potential.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 5 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Energy conservation, passive design, environmental control

Progress and Final Reports:
Final Report