Careful integration is the key to making radiant heating and cooling work for your facil- ity, according to a recent case study review by the Center for the Built Environment at
the University of California, Berkeley.
Radiant systems are found in 42% of verified net zero energy buildings and when oper-
ated correctly, they generally deliver high performance in both energy efficiency and
occupant satisfaction. The nine projects profiled in the report yielded several observations
about how to ensure success with a radiant heating and/or cooling project, including:
View the building and
systems holistically. This
applies not only to HVAC,
but to the building as
a whole. For example,
Colorado State University’s
Campus, a 65,000-square-
power plant converted into
a research and educational
building, couples radiant
systems with a high-performance envelope and underfloor air distribution. Solid-state lighting and active
daylight harvesting reduce
the lighting-related energy
demand, which in turn helps
reduce cooling loads.
Colorado State’s radiant
system is actually designed to function without a chiller and instead relies on a cooling
tower that provides evaporatively cooled water to the radiant system. A suite of advanced
controls forecasts the weather to predict heating and cooling needs and adjust setpoints
Consider supplemental ventilation. Several of the profiled projects paired radiant systems with a 100% dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) for ventilation rather than the
majority recycled ventilation air of a conventional VAV system. The radiant panels and
DOAS work together by “decoupling the space sensible load and utilizing the DOAS ventilation approach to address the outside air latent load,” the researchers explain. Heat
recovery technology in the DOAS can recover heat from sources like electrical room
exhaust and other building relief systems. At the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal
Building in Portland, OR, one of the profiled buildings, a heat recovery chiller is added to
the setup to cool the on-site data center and supply heat to the radiant heating panels
during colder months.
Seek feedback. Occupant thermal comfort surveys are crucial to understanding whether
your radiant systems are operating the way they should. One surprising result at a retrofitted Oregon Department of Transportation office saw 39% of occupants reporting that
they were satisfied and 41% reporting that they were dissatisfied. However, the facilities team at that building also received the fewest hot and cold calls from occupants
compared to other ODOT facilities. Radiant systems are slow to respond to changes in
temperature, which can be a tough adjustment for people who are used to the relatively
instant response of traditional forced-air systems.
Strategies for Success with Radiant
Heating and Cooling
HOW 9 BUILDINGS SLASHED ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND BOOSTED OCCUPANT
12 BUILDINGS 12.17
THE POWERHOUSE ENERGY CAMPUS at Colorado State
University pairs radiant heating and cooling with a high-performance envelope and underfloor air distribution.
THE GLOBAL SOLAR ENERGY MARKET
IS EXPECTED TO MORE THAN DOUBLE
ITS CURRENT SIZE BY 2023, ACCORDING TO A RECENT REPORT PUBLISHED
BY GLOBAL MARKET INSIGHTS. Valued
at over $65 billion in 2015, the market
is projected to exceed $140 billion by
2023. Over the length of the forecast
period, the installation of more than
600 GW of solar power is projected.
The report cites increasing environmental concerns as the impetus for
such growth, as efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions continue to drive
the green energy market in both commercial and residential settings.
Matching global trends, the U.S. solar
panel market size is also expected to
grow significantly from 2016 to 2023
due in large part to the reducing costs
of solar installation. Unsurprisingly,
California is expected to have the largest solar market of all 50 states, and
its market is expected to grow at an
especially fast rate, along with markets
in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Arizona.
Global Solar Energy
Market Expected to
GROWTH IN U.S. IS ESTIMATED DUE TO
LOWER SOLAR COSTS
MORE THAN 600 GW of new solar
power is expected by 2023, more than
doubling the market's current size.