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Energy Performance of Awnings in Residential Buildings...

by Mahabir S Bhandari, Niraj Kunwar, Anthony C Gehl, John Gant
Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

Residential buildings consume approximately 20% of the total primary energy in the United States. More than 50% of this energy is spent in heating, cooling, and lighting these buildings. Solar heat gain is one of the largest and most variable sources of cooling load in these buildings, while it can also provide passive heating during the heating season. Shading devices can be used to control the amount of solar heat gain in buildings. Various studies have considered how different shading devices and their applications affect energy and occupant comfort in buildings. However, most of these studies were limited to planar shading devices such as roller shades, cellular shades, and blinds. Although some theoretical studies have been performed for awnings, the energy performance of awnings has rarely been studied via either energy simulation or field measurement. In this study, the authors evaluated the energy performance of typical operable awnings by using field data, aided by simulation. Awnings were installed on a real house, and measurements were performed to evaluate the thermal performance of the awning. The measured data were then used to develop a calibrated energy model and evaluate the awning’s energy performance. The annual simulation of the building model used showed that awnings left in the closed position from April to September can reduce annual HVAC energy consumption by 15% compared with a building without any shades. The validated model was used in US Department of Energy prototype buildings to evaluate awning energy performance in climate zones 1A through 4B via energy simulation. For these prototype buildings, energy savings of up to 1,034 kWh were achieved for a building with a conditioned floor area of 2,377 ft2.