Frequency domain modeling, room transfer functions, floor radiant heating, model predictive control
This paper presents a parametric study on the effect of a number of room design parameters for radiant and convective heating sources as well as solar gains. This study is performed using frequency domain modeling approach by means of which important room transfer functions are obtained and studied. Frequency domain modeling is a useful tool for analyzing building thermal dynamics as well as different design options. The phenomena affecting energy consumption inside a building such as solar gains, exterior temperature and heating/cooling sources are usually cyclic phenomena and can be modeled by means of frequency domain techniques assuming periodic conditions in the calculations. Using frequency domain techniques, the transient heat conduction inside the walls can be accurately modeled with no discretization for the thermal mass. However, there is difficulty modeling time-varying variables in the frequency domain. This is especially important in the case of convective and radiative heat transfer coefficients which are inherently non-linear elements. The coefficients are usually linearized in order to have a linear system of equation that can be presented by means of a linear thermal network. In frequency domain modeling approach usually a constant value for the convective and radiative heat transfer coefficients is assumed. However, this assumption can produce significant errors when there are large differences between surfaces temperatures for example in the case of floor heating or direct gain rooms with large windows. In this case, a sensitivity analysis on the magnitude of the important room transfer functions considering different values for convective and radiative heat transfer coefficients needs to be done. A room is considered with different types of heating (convective and radiative heating sources) and different levels of thermal mass on the floor. The effect of thermal mass and floor covering on the room thermal response considering different types of heating is investigated. Magnitude of the transfer functions between room air temperature and the convective heating source is a determining element in the room air temperature fluctuations considering thermal comfort aspects. Also, in the case of radiant heating, the transfer function between room air temperature and radiant heat source can be used to determine the room air temperature swings due to the floor radiant heating source. The sensitivity of the magnitude of the transfer functions versus different values of convective and radiative heat transfer coefficients is studied and compared. This study will guide future model predictive control (MPC) research by means of frequency domain techniques to make choices such as optimal thermal mass thickness for floor heating versus convective systems. It will contribute to linking design with MPC.  Athienitis, A.K. and O'Brien, W., Eds. (2015). Modelling, design and optimization of net-zero energy buildings, Solar heating and cooling, Berlin: Ernst, Wilhelm & Sohn 2015.  Saberi Derakhtenjani, Ali, Candanedo, Jos A., Chen, Yuxiang, Dehkordi, Vahid R., Athienitis, Andreas K. (2015), Modeling approaches for the characterization of building thermal dynamics and model-based control: a case study. ASHRAE STBE (Science and Technology for the Built Environment) Journal (21): 824-836.