In applying radiant floor cooling, its control system must prevent the floor surface condensation in hot and humid weather conditions. With no additional dehumidification system, only the radiant floor cooling system prevents floor condensation. In this case, the effects of the control of the cooling system on the indoor conditions can be changed because of the thermal inertia of the systems. Also different types of control system can be composed according to the control methods, which can affect the construction cost in the design stage. Therefore, the control methods for the radiant cooling system with respect to floor surface condensation must be studied. Furthermore, because Korean people's lifestyle involves sitting on the floor, it is necessary to evaluate if a floor cooling system will influence the thermal comfort of the occupants. This study intends to clarify the control methods of the radiant floor cooling system and to analyze the control performance and applicability of each control method with regard to the floor surface condensation and comfort by computer simulations and experiments on the control methods of the radiant floor cooling system. The results of computer simulations and experiments show that water temperature control is better than water flow control with respect to temperature fluctuations in controlling room air temperature. To prevent floor surface condensation, the supply water temperature could be manipulated according to the dew point temperature in the most humid room, and in individual rooms, the water flow rate (on/off control) can be controlled. Also, the results of radiant cooling experiments show that the floor surface temperature remained above 21 °C, the temperature difference among surfaces remained below 6 °C, and the vertical air temperature difference remained below 1.9 °C, conforming well to comfort standards.
- Control methods
- Radiant floor cooling system (RFCS)
- Water flow control
- Water temperature control