Thermal comfort and IAQ analysis of a decentralized DOAS system coupled with radiant cooling for the tropics

Esmail M. Saber, Rupesh Iyengar, Matthias Mast, Forrest Meggers, Kwok Wai Tham, Hansjürg Leibundgut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The deployment of low exergy concepts in buildings, which promotes high temperature cooling HVAC systems introduces alternative solutions in the tropical climate. This study evaluates the performance of a decentralized dedicated outdoor air system combined with a radiant cooling system (decentralized DOAS-RCS) in terms of occupant thermal comfort and indoor air quality for the tropical context. Different sets of operational scenarios (experiments) have been conducted in the BubbleZERO laboratory to realize the impact of system related parameters like ventilation rate and supply chilled water temperature on thermal comfort and indoor air quality. The results show that supply chilled water temperature and space cooling load have strong impacts respectively on the capacity of decentralized units and cooling panel, which consequently influence indoor air condition. Indoor air was predicted to be in comfort range (-0.2 < PMV < 0.2) only at specific periods of the day and an automatic control was required to modulate the system under various indoor and outdoor conditions. Main challenges of implementing DDOAS coupled with radiant cooling in the tropics include the condensation risk on the radiant panels, non-uniformity of panel surface temperature and low air movement inside the space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


  • Decentralized dedicated outdoor air system
  • Indoor air quality
  • Low exergy
  • Radiant cooling system
  • Thermal comfort


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