I'm sufficiently aware of whole house fans to know that there is probably a lot I don't know. My parent's house had one, and we used it to try to cool the house more by drawing air to the second floor where the AC didn't go as well. I don't think that's how it is intended to work though.
Try here, the buildingscience.com site seems to have very good reports based on scientific study:
This link would probably be useful if you want to get into examining the performance capability of different system configurations - perhaps it might be more depth than you're looking for, but your question was pretty open ended.
The first question is: what are you hoping to accomplish with a whole house fan?
One very important thing to recognize is that done wrong it can cause problems. For example, if you set up an exhaust only system to draw air out you could create negative pressure. If you have an older drafty house this might tend to be less of an issue, but a newer house of tighter construction will mean that when replacement air tries to come in, it comes in through places you don't want it to come in - such as gas appliance vents (where it will draw carbon monoxide into the house) or bathroom or kitchen vents that are intended to remove unwanted moisutre and fumes.