Parametric analysis of chiller plant energy consumption in a tropical climate

Esther Benedicta Kyere, Jen Tien-Chien, Lagouge Tartibu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The approach that could reduce the energy consumption of water-cooled chillers in office buildings was investigated through experimental and simulation methods. The chiller was modelled in TRNSYS and validated using physical measurements from an operational water-cooled water chiller and fan coil system. The validated model was used to analyse the energy consumption of the water chiller-fan coil system under a high chilled water temperature setpoint (CWTS) in a representative commercial office building. Subsequently, indoor thermal comfort was evaluated using the PMV-PPD model. Finally, the design of experiment (DOE) was employed using a statistical two-level non-randomized factorial design in Minitab to study the effects of high CWTS, number of rows, and tube diameter on the heat and mass transfer performance of the fan coil unit. The results showed that the CWTS can be increased by various degrees from 10 up to 18 °C for energy efficiency for a commercial office building in the tropics. This increase in CWTS would result in a daily energy saving potential of about 5% of the chiller as compared to the existing operational settings without any extra cost. Conversely, the daily energy consumption by the fan coil would increase by about 5.5% by this increment in the CWTS. It was determined that the chiller system can provide comfort even when the CWTS is increased to 14 °C. The DOE analysis showed that under the condition of high CWTS (14 °C), energy consumption that is less than the current energy consumption may be expected from the fan coil system when the number of rows increased from 3 to 6 and the tube diameter increased from 7 to 9 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalInternational Journal of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Chilled water temperature setpoint
  • DOE
  • Energy saving
  • Fan coil system
  • TRNSYS simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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