Human subjective response to combined radiant and convective cooling by chilled ceiling combined with localized chilled beam

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik


The aim of the present research is to identify human subjective response (health and comfort) to the micro-thermal environment established by integration of individually controlled localized chilled beam and chilled ceiling (LCBCC) system and to compare its performance with the performance of mixing ventilation combined with chilled ceiling (CCMV).Experiments were carried out in mock-up of an office (4.1 m × 4.0 m × 3.1 m, L× W× H) with one person under two summer temperature conditions (26 °C and 28 °C). To mimic direct solar radiation in the room, five radiative panels on the wall together with electrical sheets on the half of the floor were used. The test room was set-up with two desks, as two workstations, and one laptop on each table. The main workstation (WS1) was located close to the simulated window. The second work station (WS2) was placed in the opposite side of the room. The room was equipped with two types of ventilating and cooling systems.  The first system consisted of a localized active chilled beam (LCB) unit together with chilled ceiling (CC) panels. The LCB was installed above the WS1 to create micro-environment around the occupant sitting at the desk. The supply flow rate from the LCB could be adjusted by the occupant within the range of 10 L/s to 13 L/s by means of a desk-mounted knob. The integration of mixing ventilation (MV) system and chilled ceiling panels was the second ventilating and cooling strategy. Twenty- four subjects (12 female and 12 male) were exposed to different indoor environment established by two cooling systems. Each experiment session lasted 120 min and consisted of 30 min acclimatization period and 90 min exposure period. The performance of the systems was identified and compared by physical measurements of the generated environment and the response of the human subjects.

The study showed that perceived air quality (PAQ), overall thermal sensation (OTS) acceptability and local thermal sensation (LTS) acceptability clearly improved inside the micro-environment by using LCBCC system. Moreover, at the main workstation, OTS and LTS votes were close to “neutral” thermal sensation (ASHRAE seven point scale) when LCBCC system was used. However, OTS and LTS votes increased to the “slightly warm” side of the scale by applying CCMV system which implied the better cooling performance of the LCBCC system. Acceptability of work environment apparently increased under the room condition generated by LCBCC system.

In agreement with human subjective study, the results from physical measurements and thermal manikin study showed that uniform thermal condition was generated all over the room. Air and operative temperature distribution was almost uniform with no difference higher than 1 °C between the measured locations in the room. Thus, both LCBCC and CCMV systems performed equally well outside of the micro-environment region. The use of the chilled ceiling had impact on the airflow interaction in the room and changed the airflow pattern. It can be concluded that the combination of convective and radiative systems can be considered as an efficient strategy to generate acceptable thermal condition in rooms.

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