Ductwork – Air-leakage, Energy Consumption & Running Costs
The implication of insulated ductwork specification on HVAC system energy consumption & running costs
Ductwork should be constructed to be sufficiently airtight since excessive ductwork air-leakage affects HVAC system performance. Leaky ducts can, amongst other things: increase operational energy usage and noise levels; decrease comfort levels; affect humidity, space temperature and ventilation controls; and create negative or positive room pressures that can affect leakage through the building fabric. Low ductwork air-leakage rates, however, can yield significant electrical consumption savings because of reduced heating and cooling loads, and reduced fan energy usage.
The Kingspan KoolDuct System produces pre-insulated ductwork, where the air-leakage can be reduced to a fraction of that typical of sheet metal ductwork.
Kingspan Insulation commissioned a review, by independent testing and research organization, BSRIA, of the implication of ductwork specification and different duct air-leakage rates on energy consumption and associated capital cost. The purpose of this exercise was to examine: insulated sheet steel ductwork and ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System; their relative performance with regards to energy consumption; and its implication of the capital cost of associated plant.
The findings show that the use of The Kingspan KoolDuct System:
- Can save over 30% of the energy required to run a fan in a HVAC system
- Can reduce the size of fan required in a HVAC system – this reduction in fan size can yield a 10% saving in its capital cost
It is clear that, as a result of the findings described above, The Kingspan KoolDuct System should be considered the product of choice for insulated HVAC ductwork systems where HVAC system energy consumption and running costs are key requirements.