HPAC Magazine

Research project to provide concrete numbers on radiant performance

February 27, 2015 | By HPAC Magazine

The Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the College of Environmental Design, Berkeley (CED) in California has been awarded three grants totaling $8 million to fund core research in radiant systems and task/ambient approaches to workplace comfort, and research and development in new technologies for monitoring and control of commercial buildings.

The $2.9 million project, which is expected to start this summer, will involve the development of tools for industry professionals to optimize the design and operation of buildings with radiant systems. Working in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s new FLEXLAB facility, and in Price Industries’ Hydronic Test Chamber in Winnipeg, MB, the research will include full-scale testing of energy and heat transfer fundamentals of radiant systems. Price Industries will conduct full-scale laboratory experiments to understand the behaviour of radiant slab systems, for example, to determine cooling loads, cooling capacity, and system sizing issues, and to investigate the impacts of acoustical ceiling systems.

This research will provide performance data to develop design and control guidelines. Viega and CBE are also collaborating to provide training sessions to leverage these research results to create innovative product advancements and design guidelines.

“We are honoured to be associated with CBE,” said Mark Parent, Viega director of product management. “There is a lack of industry knowledge when it comes to radiant heating and cooling. Our hope is to help educate the industry on newer and more efficient technologies when designing commercial integrated hydronics systems.”

An award of $2.6 million will support development of CBE’s low-energy personal comfort systems (wireless power transfer technology for personal comfort devices such as cooled and heated office chairs, keyboard wrist pads, and heated insoles). Another project will study low-cost MEMS-based ultrasonic airflow sensors for rooms and HVAC systems. The new sensors are expected to disruptively improve the accuracy of measuring and controlling airflow in buildings, leading to better control of the building’s air distribution system.



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