California Academy of Sciences Radiant Heating and Cooling Installation

Radiant Cooling

Radiant cooling has gained popularity in Europe and North America because it offers the potential to reduce cooling energy consumption and peak cooling loads. The system not only offers comfort with great energy efficiency, it also allows for downsizing chillers and eliminating individual air conditioning units. Uponor uses the energy-storage capacity of concrete floors to distribute radiant heating and radiant cooling energy throughout commercial buildings.

Much like an Uponor radiant heating system, a radiant cooling system maintains comfortable temperatures by circulating a water-and-glycol solution through crosslinked polyethylene (PEX-a) tubing that is installed under the floor. In a radiant heating application, the energy moves away from the heated surface toward the cooler area to warm objects and people in an area. A radiant cooling system is simply the opposite. The energy moves toward the cooled surface from the warmer area, surrounding people with a cooler, comfortable temperature.

Provide Comfort and Energy Efficiency

A radiant cooling system provides several options for offering ultimate comfort while also providing energy efficiency. For example, one radiant system can both heat and cool, and in some climates in North America, the system may do both throughout the day. Some designs can even transport heat from one side of the building to the other. And because radiant surfaces are often cooled only a few degrees below the desired indoor air temperature, there are many opportunities for innovative cooling sources such as night fluid cooling, ground-coupled hydronic loops and indirect evaporative cooling.

Radiant cooling systems offer several benefits such as eliminating the need for mechanical equipment within the conditioned room. This increases square-footage space which is especially valuable in hospital patent rooms and other applications where space is at a premium. And when using four-pipe systems, cooling and heating are simultaneous without a need for central zoning or seasonal changeover.

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Key Benefits

• Thermal energy storage in the panel structure
• No drafts or temperature swings
• Eliminates need for individual air-conditioning units
• Centrally located mechanical equipment
• Eliminates noisy fans and blowers
• Doesn’t circulate dust or other allergens
• Increases indoor air quality
• Aesthetically more pleasing

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