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Fundamentals of indoor environmental quality / thermal comfort and air quality solutions using radiant based HVAC

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ASHRAE Research Project 1383: Develop a Radiant System Module for the Simulation and Analysis of Spaces and Systems


Executive Summary

ASHRAE Research Project 1383-RP, Develop a Radiant System Module for the Simulation and Analysis of spaces and Systems, produced analysis procedures that allow calculation and display of comfort conditions at any point within a room. These procedures are implemented in a PC-based application called Radiant Performance Explorer (RPE), an enhanced version of the ASHRAE Comfort Tool.
The project developed a method for calculating view factors from an arbitrarily-positioned occupant to all surfaces of an arbitrarily-shaped space. With this general ability and knowledge of room surface temperatures, mean radiant temperature (MRT) can be calculated for any occupant position. This in turn allows derivation of common comfort measures, such as PMV and PPD. Other radiant values, such as radiant temperature asymmetry, are also calculated. RPE displays these results in a computer-graphics based visualization screen.
RPE can import and display data generated by the 3D drawing tool SketchUp, the public domain building energy simulation application EnergyPlus, or other sources. Export of comfort results is available. The project also enhanced EnergyPlus to more flexibly model controlled-temperature panels. In addition, the ASHRAE Comfort Tool was improved in several ways.
 

Example: 10m x 5m (32.8ft x 16.4ft) room conditioned with a floor heating system operating at 28C (82.4F), inside wall surface temperatures calculated to 17C (62.6F), glass calculated to 15C (59F), ceiling surface temperature calculated to 18C (64.4F)
 

Figure 1. Thermal comfort input values for air temperature, humidity, air speed, metabolic rate and clo values with predicted mean vote (PMV) and predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD) output.
 

Figure 2. Room geometry and performance inputs for calculating mean radiant temperature (MRT).

 

Figure 3. Output screen showing mean radiant temperature (MRT) at various places in the room at a 1m (3.3 ft) elevation.

 

Related reading:
Thermal Comfort: A Condition of Mind

Thermal Comfort: Everyone Wants It but Few Know the ASHRAE Standard
Bodily maps of emotions
Do I need an engineer? A Guide to HVAC/Indoor Climate Design Service Providers
Where will your indoor climate system score?
How to "ball park" your budget for indoor climate control.
Indoor environments: Self assessment
Built to code: What does it mean for consumer thermal comfort?
The Total Comfort System - The "Un-minimum" System
Thermal Comfort: A 40 grit perspective for consumers

Do-It-Yourself HVAC - Should you do it?
The Cost of HVAC Systems - Are You Paying Too Much for Downgrades?
Radiant Installations - The Good, Bad and Ugly
Thermal Comfort Surveys - Post Occupancy, Part I
Thermal Comfort Surveys - Post Occupancy, Part II

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