Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Nsofor, Emmanuel

Abstract

Insulation is a key aspect of the energy consumption of a building. Determining the best type of insulation to implement in a building can be difficult, especially with new technologies emerging. This paper summarizes a study of one emerging type of insulation, Vacuum Insulation Panels, and explores the applicability of Vacuum Insulation Panels as building insulation. Building energy simulations were performed using EnergyPlus (Department of Energy simulation and energy analysis program). Simulations were done to compare the absence of insulation to the use of traditional building insulation and to the use of Vacuum Insulation Panels in relevant areas of a building. The simulations showed that in moderate to cold climates Vacuum Insulation Panels can account for an overall building energy savings of up to 10%. In warmer months, especially in warmer climates, the savings are insignificant. In hot climates the study showed no savings. For winter months in colder climates savings are at least 10% and reach as high as 16%. VIPs certainly have the potential to save energy in moderate to cold climates, especially during the coldest months of the year.

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