Harvesting the Otherwise Wasted Heat of LED Lights in Green Buildings

EPA Grant Number: SU836134
Title: Harvesting the Otherwise Wasted Heat of LED Lights in Green Buildings
Investigators: Cai, Hongyi
Institution: University of Kansas
EPA Project Officer: Sergeant, Anne
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016
Project Amount: $14,949
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment

Objective:

Light-emitting diodes (LED) lights will be predominant in future green buildings. This project aims to design and develop new types of LED luminaires integrated with the building HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system for an overall reduction in building energy uses for space heating, cooling, and lighting. The goal is to validate the design of the new LED luminaires for implementation in future green buildings.

Approach:

The new LED luminaires will be developed based on two innovations (“Heated Lens Lighting Arrangement” and “Heated Air Diffusers with LEDs”) to harvest both the light and the heat generated by the same LEDs for the interior conditioned space use. The LED luminaires will be ceiling recessed or surface mounted or integrated with the supply air diffusers of the building HVAC system. In a heating season (winter), the LED luminaires will help reduce the heating load of the building HVAC system. In a cooling season (summer), the LED luminaires will assist the reheat coils of the HVAC system in re-heating the cooled air (e.g., 50° F to condense and remove moisture) back to, e.g., 67° F, which can reduce the cooling load. The beneficial interactions between the integrative illumination and HVAC systems can improve the efficiency of both systems. The research & development will be conducted in the University of Kansas Lighting Research Laboratory with available expertise and laboratory technologies and also with the help of industrial partners. Computer modeling and simulation will be used to validate the energy saving potentials of the integrative LED illumination and HVAC system in typical green buildings, where the new LED luminaires will replace their conventional counterparts.

Expected Results:

Research outcomes of this project include the two innovative LED technologies (“Heated Lens Lighting Arrangement” and “Heated Air Diffusers with LEDs”) and two working prototypes of the new LED luminaires, whose performance in green buildings for an overall reduction in building energy uses for space heating, cooling, and lighting will be validated in computer simulations (with a focus on classroom and office settings). If successful, the project could see widespread adoption in new and existing buildings. Moreover, this project will be incorporated in class teaching and the Engineering Expo on the University of Kansas campus to enrich the educational benefit to students and the general public.

Supplemental Keywords:

HVAC system, sustainability, integration, energy saving, computer simulation