The Influence of Insulation Styles on the Air Conditioning Load of Japanese Multi- Family Residences

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1 The Influence of Insulation Styles on the Air Conditioning Load of Japanese Multi- Family Residences Yupeng Wang 1, and Hiroatsu Fukuda 2 1 Department of BCEE, Concordia University, Canada, 2 Department of Architecture, The University of Kitakyushu, Japan ABSTR ACT HEADING The performance of building envelopes significantly affects the indoor energy consumption, thermal comfort, and durability of a building. Numerous studies have focused on the thickness of insulation materials and considerations for insulation placement (installing insulation inside or outside the wall), however most of the studies have discussed insulation placement in each building s components and form (wall, roof, floor), and very few of them have considered the insulation as an insulation system of the building. In 1999, the Japanese Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation issued the standards for residential energy efficiency that specified the standards of building envelope thermal transmittance and overall heat loss coefficients however; the insulation placement was not well explained. Additionally, it is common in Japan to use intermittent air-condition systems rather than having the air conditioning units continuously operating. It is necessary to investigate the performance of insulation taking into consideration the specific life styles of people living and working in Japan. In this research, we will (1) develop new interior insulation to conduct insulation on all of the interior surfaces of building units (walls, ceilings and floors) for environmental building design based on the calculation of heat loss; (2) discuss and demonstrate the effect of high heat capacity on each of the building components and thermal bridge by building environmental simulations; (3) carry out the simulation in different cities in Japan (Sapporo, Hachinohe, Sendai, Toyama, Tokyo, Miyazaki and Naha) and discuss the applicability in these different areas of Japan. Comparing the environmental qualities among three insulation styles (outside insulation on outside walls, inside insulation on outside walls, and interior insulation which is an innovative insulation style in Japan), the energy saving and thermal comfort advantages will be demonstrated. This research will provide an innovative insulation style that could contribute to new generations of energy-saving standards and formulations in Japan. INTRODUCTION In order to tackle global environmental issues in Japan, the Act of The Rational Use of Energy and the Energy-Saving Standards for Houses and Buildings were reformed in May 2008 and January 2009 respectively (IBEEC, 2009). These were aimed not to improve energy conservation performance at individual houses, but rather to focus on promoting and spreading energy savings throughout the whole housing industry, indicating that further discussion of housing energy savings will be anticipated. Therefore, we once again need to clarify the features of different insulations in common housing complexes, as well as how insulation affects indoor thermal environment and energetic load (Wang et al., 2010). Meanwhile, the building envelope thermal performance consideration shows building materials with high thermal insulation properties should be used in the outer walls, floors and other parts Yupeng Wang is a Postdoc Fellow in the Department of BCEE, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Hiroatsu Fukuda is a Professor at the University of Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, Japan. 1

2 of the building envelop (Evans et al., 2009). This guideline is not including a detailed indication about the difference of outside and inside insulation with a dynamic indoor and outdoor enviormant and the comparsion of the impacts of Heat Bridges. We need to coordinate indoor thermal environment that are looked around about thermal comfort as shown by (Kuma et al., 2008). This study aimed indoor thermal environment and comfort. Three insulation methods were compared from an indoor thermal environment perspective in which the room temperature, surface temperature, operative temperature at a model dwelling unit was adjusted by Thermal Load Calculation Software (THERB) to modify conditions such as location, climate and air conditioning. This research could contribute to the expansion of Japanese sustainable building standard development. METHODOLOGY Environmental Simulation Program For the environmental performance evaluation, simulation program THERB was used in this research. THERB for this analysis is dynamic simulation software which can estimate temperature, humidity, sensible temperature, and heating/cooling loads for multiple-zone buildings (Ozaki, 2004; Ozaki and Tsujimaru, 2006). THERB has the following features: 1) Successive transition method and a trapezoid hold function that can adjust itself to a timediscrete domain are used. 2) Dimensionless equations are used to calculate convective heat transfer coefficients for every part of the unit under study. 3) Longwave and shortwave absorption coefficients are taken into account in order to simulate the net absorption of radiant heat and transmitted solar radiation. 4) A multilayer window model, which defines the overall transmittance, absorptance, and reflectance of solar radiation, is used. (At present, the model cannot account for window curtains.) 5) A network airflow model is used to calculate ventilation quantities. Model The unit model that used in this simulation is a common dwelling in a residential complex in Tokyo; that mentioned in Journal of Architectural Knowledge (2004). We are going to analysis the unit which is on the middle floor, at the centre of the floor. Figure 1 shows floor plan, and figure 2 shows the details of three insulation types. Outside Insulation Inside Insulation Interior Insulation Figure 1. Unit Plan Plans Sections Sout h Balcony Sout h Sout h [ T y Balcony p Balcony Balcony e Figure 2. Details of the Three Heat-Insulation Styles, Dark Circles are Showing the Locations of Heat Bridge a q u o 2

3 Heat Insulation Styles In the 1980s, interior insulation used to be the common insulation style in Japan. However, dewing inside of the wall was observed in most of inside insulation buildings, because of the underdeveloped construction technique at that age. After that, outside insulation is becoming the common insulation style in Japan, but the performance on thermal comfort and energy consumption between these two insulation styles are still being argued in the academic world. A new insulation style as the promoted inside insulation is proposed and compared with the traditional outside insulation and inside insulation. In the interior insulation method, not only areas exposed to the air such as external wall and roof but also confining wall, flooring and ceiling were insulated aiming to insulate the whole building from the inner side. We complied with the Next Generation Energy-Saving Standards regarding what materials were used, how thick they were or where they were installed. Three kinds of Class A Extruded Polystyrene Form Heat Insulation were mainly used as insulation materials. High Grade Glass Wool 16K was used on the flooring only for the interior insulation4). Except for the external wall and roof for the interior insulation, the thicknesses of insulation materials were 30mm Class A Extruded Polystyrene Form Heat Insulation for walls and 50mm High Grade Glass Wool 16K insulation for flooring. Figure 2 and Table 2 show location and thickness of insulation materials. HEAT LOSS CALCULATION Currently, in Japan, standards and guidelines such like CASBEE and Explanation of the energysaving standards for houses are indicated the performance about inside insulation and outside insulation of exterior walls and floors. However, these discussions are not including the consideration about interior walls and ceiling, which also has a high heat capacity to affect the indoor thermal comfort and energy use. Meanwhile, heat loss through Heat Bridge is also a big issue of building thermal performance. In this section, thermal resistance and thermal transmittance are calculated following equation 1 and 2, and the results are showing in table 1. The total heat loss by thermal transmittance of the unit model is calculated according to equation 3 and the unit construction and volum, and the result is shown in figure 3. Thermal Resistance (m 2 K/W) = Thickness (m) / Thermal Conductivity (W/m K) (1) Thermal Transmittance (U) (W/m 2 K) = 1 / Thermal Resistance (m 2 K/W) (2) Heat Loss through Thermal Transmittance (W/K) = U A K (3) Where: U is Thermal Transmittance (W/m 2 K) A is Area (m 2 ) K is Temperature Difference Coefficient (K=1.0, for exterior walls) Extruded poly styrene foam blooks A-3 Concrete Plaster board Total thermal resistance (m 2 K/W) Thermal transmittance (W/m 2 K) Table 1. Thermal Transmittance Calculation Exterior Walls Heat Bridge Thickness Thermal Thermal Thermal Thermal Thickness conductivity resistance conductivity resistance (m) (W/m K) (m 2 K/W) (m) (W/m K) (m 2 K/W) Concrete Plaster board Total thermal resistance (m 2 K/W) Thermal transmittance (W/m 2 K)

4 Figure 3. Heat Loss by Thermal Transmittance with Three Insulation Styles As the result in the table 1, the thermal transmittance of Heat Bridge is over 7 times of that of exterior walls. Heat loss through Heat Bridge is obveriously higher than that through exterior walls. According to that pointed in figure 2, Heat Bridge in the units with exsting outside insulation and inside insulation style could be founded between the floor and the exterior walls, and between the pillers and interior walls. In the porposed interior insulation unit, Heat Bridge could be avoided by conducting insultion at all of the interior surfaces. Compare the total heat loss through unit envelop among three insulation types, the unit with inside insulation is slightly higher than outside insulation unit. This is because of the Heat Brigh between the pillers and the interior walls which is not exst in outside insulation units. The heat loss in units with interior insulation is about 40% lower than the other two units. This is because of the promotion in the respect of Heat Bridge. Heat loss through the exterior walls is also slightly changed by the different insulation thickness requirement by Explanation of the energysaving standards for houses in Japan, which is indicated in table 2. But the consideration of the whole unit and the comprehensive building envelop thermal performance, the consideration of the complete combination of the insulation performance in each building components is also an important issue for building thermal insulation. AC ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN VARIED JAPANESE CITIES Simulation Details In this simulation, we used reference data from Expanded AMeDAS Weather Data that in the period between 1981 and We compared the effects with different weather conditions. We chose seven target cities in six areas that assigned in Japanese Next Generation Energy-Saving Standards (Explanation of the energy-saving standards for houses) by different weather characters. Figure 4 shows the location of seven cities. The average temperature in north cities is lower than that in south cities. According to different areas, the recommended thicknesses of insulation materials are provided in the Explanation of the energy-saving standards for houses in Japan. The detail of varied insulation materials thickness is showing in table 2. Considering the different characters of seven cities, heating and cooling periods are varied. Heating period is that monthly average temperature is equal to or lower than 15 (setting temperature: 20, percentage humidity: 40%). Period of cooling is that which monthly average temperature is higher than 15 (setting temperature: 26, percentage humidity: 60%). Table 3 shows varied heating and cooling period in different cities. To observe how difference in life style affects heat load, we prepared four different air-conditioned rooms where residents with a different lifestyle were allocated to live with different AC usage patterns. Table 4 shows the AC details. These conditions were as follows: 1. No one is at home during the day, and the air-conditioner is not in use during sleeping hours. (A couple with dual income no kids DINK); 4

5 2. No one is at home during the day, and the air-conditioner is not in use during sleeping hours. (A family consisting of a husband, a full-time housewife and a primary school child.); 3. No one is at home during the day, and the air-conditioner is in use during sleeping hours. (An elderly couple); hour air-conditioning. Additionally, all rooms were continuously ventilated once every two hours, as well as automatically ventilated on an as-needed basis in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. Figure 4. Weather Areas and Target Cities Table 2. Thickness of Insulation Materials Area Thickness (mm) Outside Inside Interior 1 2 3, 4, 5 6 Ceiling Ceiling Ceiling Ceiling Exterior Wall Exterior Wall Exterior Wall Exterior Wall Table 3. Heating and Cooling Periods in Different Cities (Kuma et al., 2008) 1 Sapporo, 2 Hachinohe 3 Sendai, 4 Toyama 4 Tokyo 5 Miyazaki 6 Naha Heating Period Jan.-May, Oct.-Dec. Jan.-Apr., Nov.-Dec. Jan.-Mar., Nov.-Dec. Jan.-Mar., Dec. Cooling Period Jun.-Sep. May-Oct. Apr.-Oct. Apr.-Nov. Jan.-Dec. AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 Master Room Child's Room The Others Master Room Child's Room The Others Master Room Child's Room The Others Master Room Child's Room The Others Table 4. AC Operating Details Hours 2 Hours Hours 2 Hours 3 Hours Hours 11 Hours Hours 24 Hours 24 Hours 24 Hours AC on AC off 5

6 Effect Variation in Japanese Cities (Simulation Result 1) Figure 5. Heating Load in Seven Japanese Cites with all AC Usage Patterns Figure 6. Cooling Load in Seven Japanese Cites with all AC-usage Patterns Figure 7. Annual AC Load in Seven Japanese Cites with all AC Usage Patterns Figure 5 shows the comparison of heating load in seven Japanese cites with all AC usage patterns. Overall, heating load in warm city is lower than that in cold city. In the seven cities with four AC usage patterns, heating load of interior insulation unit is lower than that of outside insulation unit. The average 6

7 decreased ratio is 29.7%. The highest decreased ratio is 45.5% in Miyazaki with using AC 4. Heating load of inside insulation unit is slightly lower than that of outside insulation. The averagely decreased ratio is 0.9%. Figure 6 shows cooling load in summer in the units with varied conditions. Cooling load in north cities is lower than that in south cities. Cooling load in Sapporo is the lowest, and that in Naha is the highest. Cooling load of inside insulation unit is mostly higher than that of outside insulation unit, except using AC 1 in Naha. Cooling load in inside insulation unit is averagely 3.7% higher than that in outside insulation unit. In interior insulation unit, cooling load is mostly higher than that in outside insulation unit. The highest ratio of the difference is using AC 1 in Sapporo, cooling load of interior insulation unit is 56.3% higher than that of outside insulation unit. However, with using AC 4 in Tokyo, Miyazaki and using AC 3,4 in Naha, cooling load is lower in interior insulation unit than that in outside insulation unit. Generally, the differences between three insulation types are not as big as heating load in winter. Figure 7 shows AC load in seven Japanese cities. In warmer cities, annual AC load is lower than that in colder cities. This is because heating load consists mostly of annual AC load. Annually, with the same AC usage pattern in a same city, AC load of apartment unit with outside insulation is higher than that of inside insulation unit. AC load of interior insulation unit is the lowest in the units with three varied insulation styles. AC load of inside and outside insulation units is very small. In all of the cases, inside insulation unit is averagely 0.5% lower than that of outside insulation unit. For comparison, AC load of interior insulation unit is averagely 25.8% lower than that of outside insulation unit. The highest ratio of AC load decrease between these two insulation styles is 39.7%, in Hachinohe, using AC 4. In Sapporo, almost 100% of AC consumption is heating. And the heating load in Hachinohe and Sendai is over 90% of annual AC load. On another hand, in Naha, annual ratio of heating load is under 15%. How to reduce heating load in northern cities is an important mission. Effects of Heat Capacity on Indoor Thermal Environment (Simulation Result 2) Outside Insulation Interior Insulation Figure 8. Cooling Load and temperature change in two summer days with outside insulation and interior insulation from 15 th to 16 th, August, use AC 4, in Tokyo For demonstrating the effect from the high heat capacity walls, the comparsion of indoor air temperature and wall surface temperatures are carried out in the figure 8. The peak of outdoor air temperature is observed between 12am to 15pm. In outside insulation, the peak temperature of exterior and interior walls surface is observed around 18pm, about 3 to 6 hours later than the outside air temperature. This is because of the high heat capacity of interior building materials. In the interior insulation unit, the peaks of interior surfaces are the same of outside air temperature, and the temperature of interior wall surface temperature is about 1.5 lower than that in outside insulation unit. Therefore, low heat capacity of walls creats a controllable indoor thermal condition, and reduces cooling load in summer days. 7

8 CONCLUSION In this paper, an innovative insulation style of interior insulation is proposed and investigated. A calculation of heat loss in three types of insulated units demonstrated the mechanism of heat loss through Heat Bridge, and the advantage of interior insulation. Heat Bridge in outside and inside insulation units is distinctly effect to the building thermal performance, and the heat loss through Heat Bridge is avoided by interior insulation implement. Subsequently, AC load and thermal comfort of apartment unit with three insulation types are compared and discussed with numerical simulation. In both of heating and cooling seasons, indoor air temperature of outside insulation unit is the most stable. In cooling season, indoor temperature of the interior insulation unit is the lowest in three insulation type units when the cooling is not in use. Look at the AC load, it is various in different cities and seasons. Compare to outside and inside insulation units, annual AC load of interior insulation unit is the lowest in all of the conditions. In terms of indoor thermal environment, outside insulation is the best to stabilize room temperature. However, in winter, the temperature of indoor wall surfaces in outside insulation unit is much lower than that in interior insulated unit. This leads to an uncomfortable indoor environment and high heating energy comsumption. Finally, as we discussed about the features of the three insulation styles, the advantage of new proposed interior insulation is demonstrated, and the advantages and disadvantages of these three insulation styles are verified and expounded. Various factors should be considered such as regional characteristics, insulation efficiency levels and design conditions, before the building will be built. REFERENCES Architectural Institute of Japan (2005): Expanded AMeDAS Weather Data ( ). Evans M, Shui B, Takagi T. Country report on building energy codes in Japan[J]. Geriatrics, 2009: 2. Kuma Y., Ozaki A., OZASA (KAGAWA) H., Fukuda H. (2008) Influence of Moisture Sorption and Desorption of Walls on Space Conditioning Load, Journal of Environmental Engineering, AIJ. Vol. 73 No. 632, pp Ozaki A. (2004). Simulation Software of the Hygrothermal Environment of Buildings Based on Detailed Thermodynamic Models, esim 2004, The Canadian Conference on Building Energy Simulation, pp Ozaki A., Tsujimaru T. (2006): Prediction of Hygrothermal Environment of Buildings Based upon Combined Simulation of Heat and Moisture Transfer and Airflow, The Journal of the International Building Performance Simulation Association, Vol.16, No.2, pp The Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation (IBEEC) (2009): Explanation of the energy-saving standards for houses. Japan Wang Y, Fukuda H, Kuma Y, et al. (2010): Study of Air-Conditioning Load: Comparison of Steel and RC Residence Units[J]. Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, 9(2):

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