Some aspects of controlling radiant and convective cooling systems
Paper in proceedings, 2019
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 Designing appropriate control systems for radiant heating and cooling terminals entails an understanding of their dynamic behaviour. This study experimentally investigates the dynamic response of a room with convective and radiant cooling systems. The experiments were performed in a 12.6 m2 large test room outfitted as a single-office room. The main cooling system was radiant ceiling panels which covered 70% of the ceiling area. The thermal performance of the radiant system was compared to that of a fan-coil unit (FCU). The results from the step response test showed that the time constant of the room for the radiant system was shorter than for the convective one, indicating faster changes in room temperature by the radiant system. Furthermore, controlling the FCU with similar control system tuned for ceiling panels increased the hysteresis gap in the room air temperature from 0.4 K to 0.8 K. This indicates that control systems for low-mass radiant systems and convective systems might be applied to each other, but on-site tuning is required to omit the offset (persistent error). In this study, controlling room temperature with ceiling panels did not benefit from using an operative temperature sensor to provide feedback signal to the control system. However, the pump energy use was moderately decreased by 14%.