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The difficulties associated with the evaluation of advanced HVAC control strategies based on results of field testing prompted the construction of a laboratory facility that allows more carefully controlled experiments. The apparatus consists of a full size two-room house with code construction located within a much larger environmental chamber. Conventional and modified thermostats control electric baseboard heaters, and automated data acquisition equipment monitors energy use and interior comfort for various exterior temperatures. During preliminary tests, systematic dependence on exterior temperature of the inside temperature cycle frequency and stratification was noted but no effect on normalized energy use was found. Initial tests of a controller utilizing periodic power interruption demonstrated some potential for improving comfort with possibly a small energy savings. The facility will allow greatly accelerated testing schedules for future advanced controllers.

Citation: ASHRAE Transactions, 1984, vol. 90, pt. 2A, Kansas City, MO