Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) – CO2 sensor

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We hope you might enjoy this article. This is one of our many eco-snacks series. We will continue on the topic of the reducing energy consumption through Demand-Control-Ventilation (DCV).

Ventilation systems of a building distributes fresh air for the health and safety of occupants. Because of different reasons, during design and installation phases sometimes the air is at a constant flow according to the maximum occupancy. This is done even though occupancy might vary a lot.

What can be done? Demand Control Ventilation controls the amount of exterior air brought in according to zone occupancy. This means energy savings when occupancy decreases.

It is the same principle as driving a car. The driver presses the pedal only to speed up according to the situation. He is not always driving at maximum speed.

There are many Demand Control Ventilation technologies such as: CO2 sensor, people counter, occupancy schedules and occupancy sensor.

Let us talk about CO2 sensor technology. The required outside air depends on space total area and the amount of people within that space. As humans when we breathe we generate CO2. This depends on the amount of people and their activity.

So what we do is to monitor the CO2 level within the space which provides the level of occupancy. Once smart controls have this data, the system reduces the allowed amount fresh air accordingly. In areas with varying occupancy such lobby, gyms, theaters, classrooms, museums, etc. Even offices can be excellent candidates for such a technology. The ASHRAE journal of march 2016 mentions a study done by Von Neida and Maiccia that found that daytime occupancy between 6 a.m. and 6p.m. was 40% for break rooms, 26% for classrooms, 20% for conference rooms, 33% for single person offices and 33% for restrooms. This shows a great potential for energy savings.

According to NRCAN, Demand Control Ventilation can save up to 50 percent of fan energy and 10 percent of heating energy for a system during occupied hours.

Which other areas could energy professionals help you in reducing your energy bills? Our next article will look into other avenues of energy reduction. Stay tune for upcoming articles and feel free to give us a call or write us.

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