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Urbana, IL, United States

Newell T.,Urbana University | Newell B.,Newell Instruments Inc.
ASHRAE Journal | Year: 2011

Significant amount of data has been collected from Equinox House to evaluate its actual performance. The data is used to examine the energy use in the house from December 2010 till April 2011 and compare the actual energy use to predicted energy requirements. The energy use is also divided into different categories for the same time period to examine the variability and trends. The researchers also monitor energy used for lights, cooking, dishwashing, clothes washing and drying and all other house loads. Their computerized circuit breaker panel allows them to monitor and control all circuits in the house and provides circuit protection. A wireless cell phone Internet connection provides the researchers with remote control and monitoring capability. An adjacent subpanel contains two sets of circuits that are ganged together and connected to two circuits in the computerized circuit panel. The subpanel circuits are primarily miscellaneous circuits such as bedroom, bathroom, hallway, garage and exterior electrical receptacles and lights.

Newell Instruments Inc. | Date: 2012-09-18

HVAC units.

Newell T.,Newell Instruments Inc. | Newell B.,Newell Instruments Inc. | Newell B.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
ASHRAE Journal | Year: 2011

Equinox House in Las Vegas has installed comfort conditioning system in order to achieve net zero energy. Two 1,500 W electric heaters are used for supplementing the air source heat pump during times with low ambient air temperatures. The air source heat pump consists of a variable speed compressor. The balanced ventilation system consists of two duct fans with a flow of 100 L/s (210 cfm) that provides fresh air to the house for one hour out of every three hours. The ventilation system is designed such that fresh air is supplied to the living areas of the house, and return air to be exhausted from the house is pulled from the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. During the winter, sensible heating capacity is significantly lower in Equinox House with the most extreme weather only requiring the equivalent of two hairdryers to maintain comfortable temperatures. The VOC sensor saturates above 2,000 ppm and has a base level of approximately 390 ppm, which represents a nominal outdoor air background level of VOCs.

Newell T.,Newell Instruments Inc. | Newell T.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Newell B.,Newell Instruments Inc.
ASHRAE Journal | Year: 2011

Thermal mass of a the Equinox House and the Washburne Trade School passive solar house, located in Chicago, is an important design consideration for energy and to maintain comfort. For Equinox House, with a UA value of approximately 100 W/K and the estimated window UA for the Washburne house was 197 W/K. The very high thermal time constant of Equinox House relies on additional mass to increase the time constant. Here, thermal mass also helps stabilize temperatures of a house, which creates a better feeling of comfort. The measurements in the Washburne house showed uncomfortable temperatures almost 30% of the time in December. With engineering analyses included in the architectural design process, an inherently massive house that results in comfort and excellent energy performance can be achieved.

Newell T.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Newell T.,Newell Instruments Inc. | Newell B.,Newell Instruments Inc.
ASHRAE Journal | Year: 2011

Equinox House is demonstrating that solar can meet residential living needs. The house is a good example of an economical, energy efficient and comfortable dwelling. Other construction techniques and system designs also can achieve similar levels of performance. Designers have used a life-cycle cost analysis to determine the thickness of structural insulated panels (SIPs) for walls and roof of the house. Their analysis has found that 200 mm to 400 mm insulation thickness for walls and roof will have similar economic performance. The lifetime used in the cost analysis is an important factor for the durability of the house and improving its living conditions. The window design analysis for Equinox House has examined the performance and cost of windows with transmission and loss characteristics typical of good and superior windows. The analysis has found that windows do not decrease the life-cycle cost of a residence. Solar photovoltaic system (PV) panels are more cost efficient than windows.

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