Evaluating the use heat pipe for dedicated ventilation of office buildings in Hong Kong

Lian Zhang, Wai Ling Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research studies advocates decoupling dehumidification from cooling to improve indoor air quality and reduce energy consumption. The feasible use of heat pipe at the air handler dedicated for outdoor air treatment (HPDV system) in accomplishing this objective is investigated in this study. To evaluate the performance and the energy saving potential of the proposed HPDV system, the design parameters of 75 Grade A office buildings in Hong Kong were collected. Ten representative buildings were subsequently identified for further study to achieve a confidence level of 95%. The annual cooling load profiles of the 10 representative buildings were simulated by the use of HTB2. Based on the realistic cooling load profiles and the heat pipes of effectiveness 0.35-0.6, the proposed HPDV system in achieving the intended objectives were evaluated. It was found that the savings for the 10 representative buildings were comparable. The reduction in cooling and reheating energy was between 23 and 44 kWh/m2, which corresponds to 1.2% and 7.9% saving in annual energy use for air-conditioning. The results indicate that HP of different effectiveness can be applied to save energy for over 70% of the air-conditioned hours; of which only 0.03-6.3% of the time the decoupling objective cannot be achieved (abbreviated as NHRS). Based on the results of the study, a simplified model relating NHRS with heat pipe effectiveness has been established. The model can help designers more quickly determine how NHRS can be weighted against other factors such as the additional plant room space and the financial implications. The results confirm the feasible use of the HPDV system in achieving the intended objectives for subtropical climate like Hong Kong where air-conditioning demand is highly variable, and is required year-round.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1983-1989
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Cooling
  • Dedicated ventilation
  • Dehumidification
  • Energy saving
  • Heat pipe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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