Montana State University

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PhD Dissertation Proposal Defense - Chantz Denowh

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:00am
Roberts Hall, 218

Fundamental Study of Earth-Air Heat Exchangers
Chantz M. Denowh

Earth-air heat exchangers (EAHXs) have the potential to reduce heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) loads by passively pre-conditioning supply air in underground pipes.  However, a lack of fundamental scientific analysis and understanding has not supported past installation.  This has created a lack of confidence and sometimes negative attitudes toward their installation.  A fundamental analysis of the heat transfer mechanisms of different EAHX configurations and installation conditions will facilitate design information development.  The field's confidence will increase with relationships describing the long term effects of heat rejection and extraction from the EAHX to surrounding soil.  Additionally, it is unknown if EAHXs can operate as low energy, passive dehumidification devices.  Active mechanical dehumidification is typically used for ventilation and consumes large amounts of energy; especially when reheat is required.  Quantifying relationships between EAHX design parameters and mass transfer will demonstrate their ability to fill a new role.  The following study details the approach for identifying these relationships and fundamentals to promote the use of EAHXs.

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