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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Critical review of water based radiant cooling system design methods

  • Author(s): Feng, Jingjuan (Dove)
  • Bauman, Fred
  • Schiavon, Stefano
  • et al.

Interests in radiant cooling systems have increased in recent years. There is, however, no standardized method for radiant system design that is broadly accepted by the building industry. Through literature review, twelve surveys and eight interviews with leading practitioners, this paper summarizes the design methods documented in the guidelines, assesses the state of the industry, and identifies potential gaps and limitations in current design practice. The findings include: 1) design guidelines provide a wide range of approaches for cooling load calculation and system sizing; 2) most practitioners calculate cooling load for radiant systems the same way as for air systems, with only 23% of the respondents reported using dynamic simulation tools that have the capability to model radiant systems for cooling load estimation; 3) 46% of the respondents reported that steady state analysis methods/tools were used for radiant system sizing. 

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