Developing methods of measuring Mean Radiant Heat Transfer, Alexander Kim, UG '24 (3958734)
Modern temperature control systems heat and cool rooms and buildings via convection (i.e., air conditioning); these methods are inefficient and are responsible for 40% of US greenhouse gas emissions. As an alternative to these systems, radiant heat transfer is a method of heating and cooling the people within the rooms as opposed to the rooms themselves. My research has focused on the development of radiant temperature sensors to efficiently and accurately measure a radiant environment, or Mean Radiant Temperature. Such a task entails recording the temperatures and orientations of all surfaces around a point or person and calculating the exchange of energy between the person and their surroundings. These sensors are critical components of a radiant thermal comfort system because they will be used both to collect data that can be analyzed to measure the efficiency of systems and to control the systems to effectively regulate temperature on an individual level. The ultimate goal is the development and integration of radiant systems that can be controlled to regulate thermal comfort on a person-by-person basis. These systems could cut the energy use of buildings and allow for more efficient and more individualized temperature control. There are also important health implications. Since radiant systems do not rely on air to transfer heat, fresh air can be freely exchanged without compromising efficiency. It has been proven that adequate fresh air drastically decreases viral transmission and improves occupant health, so radiant systems are a gateway to healthier buildings.