Comparison of the Performance of a Forced-Air and a Radiant Floor Residential Heating System Connected to Solar Collectors

[+] Author and Article Information
Kamel Haddad, Julia Purdy

 CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0E4, Canada

Aziz Laouadi

 National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A0R6, Canada

J. Sol. Energy Eng 129(4), 465-472 (May 01, 2007) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2770754 History: Received February 09, 2006; Revised May 01, 2007

A detailed building energy analysis tool is used to model the performance of a forced-air system and a radiant floor system. These two systems use a low-temperature tank to store solar energy from a solar collector array. An electrically heated tank at a higher temperature is used to provide any additional heat needed to meet the space heating load. The simulation models developed are then used to compare the performance of the forced-air and radiant floor systems based on maintaining the same operative temperature inside the space. It is found that the portion of the heating load that comes from solar energy is higher in the case of the radiant system. This portion from solar energy increases even further when the operating temperature of the radiant floor is lowered. The results also show that the energy performance of the radiant floor relative to the forced-air system improves for houses with higher envelope R-values and infiltration rates. Given the many different interacting factors that influence the performance of the solar-assisted systems studied, it is very important to use detailed simulation models to help assess which system is more energy efficient for a particular application.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Test house geometry and orientation (6)

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Figure 2

Component layout of the reference system

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Figure 3

Radiant floor and solar collector system

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Figure 4

Comparison of low-temperature tank performance for the radiant and forced-air systems

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Figure 5

Dry bulb, mean radiant and operative temperatures for forced-air system with 23m2 collector area (Design week: January 25–31)

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Figure 6

Dry bulb, mean radiant and operative temperatures for radiant system with 23m2 collector area (design week: January 25–31)




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