Effect of Set-point Variation on Thermal Comfort and Energy Use in a Plus-energy Dwelling

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    When designing buildings and space conditioning systems, the occupant thermal comfort, health, and productivity are the main criteria to satisfy. However, this should be achieved with the most energy-efficient space conditioning systems (heating, cooling, and ventilation). Control strategy, set-points, and control dead-bands have a direct effect on the thermal environment in and the energy use of a building. The thermal environment in and the energy use of a building are associated with the thermal mass of the building and the control strategy, including set-points and control dead-bands. With thermally active building systems (TABS), temperatures are allowed to drift within the comfort zone, while in spaces with air-conditioning, temperatures in a narrower interval typically are aimed at. This behavior of radiant systems provides certain advantages regarding energy use, since the temperatures are allowed to drift, and it also allows the occupants to benefit from adaptive opportunities.This study presents the results of thermal environment measurements and energy use in a single-family dwelling during a one year period. A radiant floor heating and cooling system was used to condition the indoor space and the operative temperature set-points were varied during the heating and cooling seasons. The results show that a lower temperature set-point will result in a decreased energy use but it might require the occupants to adapt to slightly lower temperatures in the heating season, and vice versa in the cooling season. The terminal unit and the thermal mass of the building have significant effects on the applicability of lowered indoor temperature set-points.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 9th Windsor Conference: Making Comfort Relevant
    Number of pages13
    PublisherNetwork for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings
    Publication date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event9th Windsor Conference - Cumberland Lodge, Windsorun, United Kingdom
    Duration: 7 Apr 201610 Apr 2016


    Conference9th Windsor Conference
    LocationCumberland Lodge
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Adaptive opportunity
    • Temperature drift
    • Thermal indoor environment
    • Floor heating and cooling
    • Energy use


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