Thermally activated building systems, Glass fibre reinforced gypsum, Thermal comfort, Desiccant system.
According to International Energy Outlook 2017, the energy consumption of the building sector is expected to increase by 32% from 2015 to 2040. This is due to the accelerating demand for mechanical air conditioning system for maintaining the indoor comfort conditions and high embodied energy of the conventional building materials. Many solutions are proposed globally to address these problems. Thermally Activated Building System (TABS) is one such energy efficient alternative to the conventional mechanical air conditioning system for providing the desirable indoor comfort conditions. In TABS, copper pipes are embedded in its building structures namely ceiling, floor and walls. Chilled water circulated in the copper pipes cools the building structures which in turn cool the indoor environment by radiative and convective heat exchange methods. However, the TABS handles only the sensible load. Therefore, a solid desiccant system is used along with TABS for maintaining the desired indoor humidity. Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) is used as a building material which is made up of reinforced glass and gypsum. It is used in the present study due to its low embodied energy. The combination of TABS and GFRG building is named as Thermally Activated Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (TAGFRG) building. Ventilation rate of the proposed TAGFRG is maintained according to the standards prescribed by ASHRAE. To appreciate the energy saving potential and feasibility of TAGFRG building, its thermal performance is compared with that of the conventional concrete building. Both TAGFRG and conventional concrete building are constructed with the same dimensions (1m (L) x 1m (B) x 1m (H)) for such comparison. The present study analyses the influence of various operating parameters on the performance of the proposed TAGFRG. The operating parameters considered are cooling water temperature, cooling surfaces and air velocity. The performance parameters used to evaluate the indoor thermal comfort of the proposed TAGFRG are indoor temperature and humidity, Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied (PPD) and Predicted Mean Vote (PMV). The decrease in supply water temperature and increase in radiant surface area, increase the thermal comfort level of the indoor. The results of the present study will be useful for predicting the optimum design of proposed TAGFRG which has the potential to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emission of the building sector.