Making an air handler smarter
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Peter Cooper, the manager of sustainable engineering and utility planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stands in front of a typical air handling unit. Giant fans pull in outside air, heat it or cool it, and pump it through campus buildings.
Using a combination of variable-speed drive motors and air quality sensors, which can test for room occupancy and humidity, MIT plans to significantly reduce its heating and cooling load. Rather than have the system pump at full force at all times, the building management system will modify the air circulation flow to fit weather conditions and occupancy. It's part of a $13 million, three-year investment to cut electricity by 15 percent, or enough to power 4,500 Massachusetts homes in a year.
May 26, 2010 12:51 PM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
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