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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cooling load calculations for radiant systems: are they the same traditional methods?


Interest and growth in radiant cooling and heating systems have increased in recent years because they have been shown to be energy efficient in comparison to all-air distribution systems.1,2 Olesen and others have discussed the principles of designing radiant slab cooling systems, including load shifting, the use of operative temperature for comfort control, and cooling capacity.3,4 Several case study examples with design information have been reported for an airport,5 large retail store with floor cooling,6 and other thermally active floor systems.7 A database of representative buildings with radiant systems can be found at However, it is difficult to find detailed standardized guidelines for calculating cooling loads for radiant cooling systems, which is the subject of this article.

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