Building Energy Efficiency Lab

Dr. Rambod Rayegan
Tel: (936) 261-9964

Research Interest:
Solar Organic Rankine Cycles, Thermal Energy Storage, Net Zero Energy Buildings, Ground Source Heat Pumps

Research Activities:
1. Development of a Thermal Energy Storage Model for Building-Scale Solar Organic (Funded by Prairie View A&M University, Office of Research & Graduate Studies)
The working fluid, the working conditions of the cycle, the cycle configuration and the solar collector type, which are the influential parameters in the performance of a solar Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), have been studied (Rayegan and Tao, 2011). Eleven fluids have been suggested to be employed in solar ORCs that use low or medium temperature solar collectors. The system requirements needed to maintain the electricity demand of a commercial building with an ORC system has been compared for the 11 suggested fluids for two collector type and two temperature levels (Rayegan and Tao, 2012). The main objective of this project is to develop a latent Thermal Energy Storage (TES) model for a building-scale solar ORCsystem and analyze the effect of the added TES on the required collector area of the solar ORC system. TRNSYS 17 will be used to model the different components of the proposed system. TRNSYS is a transient systems simulation FORTRAN program with a modular structure for simulating energy systems.

2. Learning by practice: Introducing a new building energy efficiency elective course and laboratory into the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate curriculum (Funded by National Science Foundation)
Considering the high level of building energy consumption and the importance of building energy efficiency expertise to enhance environmental and economic sustainability, the proposed Engaged Student Learning project is focused on developing and implementing a new software-assisted, project-based elective course in the area of building energy efficiency and green building design. A building energy efficiency lab, which is under construction, will complement the course. The purpose of this project is to enhance engineering learning and the work-related skills of undergraduate students in Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) Mechanical Engineering program by engaging them in a practice-oriented energy-related course. The more specific objectives of the project are as follows: (a) developing and implementing a software-assisted, project-based elective course in building energy efficiency; (b) developing and utilizing a building energy efficiency lab; (c) improving students’ understanding of engineering concepts by applying their knowledge and skills in open-ended engineering projects; (d) enhancing students engagement through various activities in the course; (e) developing students’ work-related software and engineering skills; (f) enhancing students’ self-confidence to enter the job market; (g) familiarizing students with real-world engineering challenges through field trip to and invited lectures from industry; (h) raising students’ awareness of contemporary energy, environmental, and sustainability issues.

Selected Publications:
Book Chapters
1. Tao, Y. X., Rayegan, R., Hasib, A., Xiong, G.,Hasib, H., Talele, S., 2016, “A Review of International Research in Zero-Energy Buildings,” in Analytics for Building-Scale Sustainable Ecosystems (BSSE) – US-China Research Perspectives, Edited by: Y. X. Tao and Y. Jiang, Begell House, New York. Connecticut. USA, ISBN: 978-1-56700-279-9.
2. Tao, Y. X., Rayegan, R., 2011, “Solar Energy Applications and Comparisons,” in Energy and Power Generation Handbook: Established and Emerging Technologies, Edited by: K.R. Rao, ASME Press, New York, USA, ISBN: 9780791859551.

Journal Papers
1. Rayegan, R., Tao, Y. X., “Optimal Collector Type and Temperature in a Solar Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) System for Building-Scale Power Generation in Hot and Humid Climate,” ASME Transactions, Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 2012; 135(1): 011012(1-9).
2. Rayegan, R., Tao, Y. X., “A Procedure to Select Working Fluids for Solar Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs),” Renewable Energy, 2011; 36 (2): 659-670.
3. Zhu, Y., Rayegan, R.,Tao, Y. X., “Case Study of Ground-Source Heat Pump Applications in Hot and Humid Climates”, Journal of Architectural Engineering,2015, 21(1): 05014006.
4. Zhu, Y., Tao, Y. X., Rayegan, R., “A Comparison of Deterministic and Probabilistic Life Cycle Cost Analyses of Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Applications in Hot and Humid Climate,” Energy and Buildings, 2012; 55:312–321.
5. Ming, T., Chen,D.,NahangToudeshki, S.,Talele, S.,Checkettsm G.T., Hasib, N., Wicaksono C., Xiong, G., Qiu, Y. ,Peng, C, Mun, J., Rayegan, R., Tao, Y.X., “A Zero Energy Lab as a validation testbed: Concept, features, and performance”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2015; 40(37): 12854–12867

Research Facilities:
Solar800 Campbell Scientific Meteorological Station
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Sensors and Loggers/ Energy Monitoring Devices