Student Recaps from Winter Conference!

The Golden Gate Chapter provided travel grants to send students to the Winter Conference in Atlanta. Here are recaps from those students:

Megan Dawe

This was my second ASHRAE Conference, so I was equipped with a better handle on the event, and a more purposeful strategy to attend seminars and sessions. I attended events that pertain to my area of research: occupant comfort and radiant heating and cooling systems, including the following:

  • SSPC 55 meetings Saturday and Sunday, where presented some of my research on mean radiant temperature and suggest changes to the standard prescriptive path

  • Seminars and sessions on occupant-centric design: Seminar 15 Occupant-centric Control Technologies: Assessing Comfort, Energy Use and Cost Tradeoff; Conference Paper Session 6 Maximizing Thermal Comfort and International Design; and Conference Paper Session 10 Human Factors Design for Residential Buildings

  • Seminar 26 Load Calculations Considerations for Radiant Systems

  • The student tour of the Kendada Building at Georgia Tech

The conference showcased the importance and benefit for ASHRAE to evolve and keep pace with changes in industry. I observed this in two separate ways. First, from presentations and proposals on better aligning ASHRAE methods and definitions for radiant systems. Second, through presentations considering the use of personal comfort models and occupant-centric strategies rather than establishing an average condition for all occupants.

The objective of several presentations I attended was to use occupant data and sensing technology to improve satisfaction and avoid unnecessary energy consumption from lighting, plug loads, and HVAC systems. With currently available sensing technologies and IoT, we are able to collect substantial amounts of data that can be combined with subjective responses about comfort and satisfaction to test against models, such as PMV, and suggest improved models, such as personal comfort models using machine learning algorithms. Ultimately, research in this area combined with increasing data availability and understandings of thermal comfort can help meet the 80% thermal acceptability goals in ASHRAE.