Thermal Comfort: Radiant Systems - A Review of Experimental-based thermal comfort research in Radiation systems
Buildings use 40% of the global energy consumption and emit 30% of CO2 emissions. Of the total building energy, 30-40% is for building heating and cooling systems, which regulate the indoor thermal environment and provide thermal comfort to occupants. Most buildings use forced air technology in the United States to deliver heating/cooling to the targeted thermal zones. Researchers have suggested using radiant heating and cooling systems as a better alternative to all-air systems. Radiant systems supply heating or cooling directly to the building space using radiation released by the heated or cooled building enclosure via the embedded heating or cooling tubes. It is unsure whether the radiant heating and cooling system can provide better thermal comfort to occupants. Moreover, the evaluation method for thermal comfort in the current standard is only suitable for forced air systems. A new plan shall be developed to evaluate the radiation system’s thermal comfort. This paper reviews the experiment-based studies on the thermal comfort of radiant systems. According to the experimental studies regarding thermal comfort and radiant systems, the key findings are concluded to help guide the evaluation of thermal comfort for radiant systems.