2008 Task 1
Home Up




This team was given the generally broad task of identifying ways in which a commercial office building in downtown Phoenix could be retrofitted to be made more energy efficient.  The result was the wide variety of ideas seen at the contest from the different teams competing.  The Ohio University team described several ideas in their paper, and their bench-scale set-up consisted of a demonstration of an air-exchanger ("air wheel") to utilize about-to-be-exhausted building air to pre-cool incoming fresh air to reduce the load on the building's air-conditioning system.


The air wheel set-up with the outer metal cover removed and the demonstration inlet and outlet air stream ducts attached.  The heated air entered through the blue insulated duct on the upper right.  The "stale" building air entered through the duct on the upper left.  The cooled air exited through the duct at lower left, where it would presumably either enter the occupied areas directly or be further cooled by an air-conditioning system, and the warmed exhaust air exited the "building" at lower right.  A coil heater was inserted into the insulation-wrapped duct to raise the incoming air temperature to about 95F to simulate a hot summer day.   Here the foam cover has been removed, and the air wheel is partially visible.  The computer at left records the temperatures of the various air streams (and looks cool, too!).
Nick, be careful not to cut off Brian's arm!  Ha ha, just kidding.  They're just wrestling the saw into place, and it's not plugged in.   Some assembly required.
Attaching a thermocouple to the duct.   "Duct" tape is called that because you use it on ducts, right?
Completed bench-scale setup with poster.   The poster.
Making their presentation to the judges.  Some of the presentation rooms this year had windows to the outside hall, so why not snap a picture or two?  Apparently the judges did not approve of this possible distraction and later had blinds put on the windows.   The team right after their presentation.  They were the very first of the day, right at 8 a.m., and are now glad to have it over.
Leigh Ann and Kendra trying to get cricks out of their necks.