Radiant cooling systems, such as chilled ceiling, have shown great advantages over conventional all-air systems when it comes to improving thermal comfort, energy efficiency and noise reduction. Nevertheless, wider adoption of this innovative technology has been held back significantly due to high initial cost of the installed panel. Furthermore, the current technology cannot address the issues of indoor environmental quality caused by gaseous pollutants, bacteria, etc. Thirdly, good relative humidity (RH) control is somewhat difficult to achieve.
This research aims to address aforementioned issues by developing a nanocomposite material based chilled ceiling panel (CCP) system for healthier indoor air, improved energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, thus promoting the wider adoption of this innovative technology among buildings in the tropics and beyond.
The overall goal for this research project is to develop such a CCP system via composite material design, chemical synthesis of novel nanocomposite photo catalyst, system integration and prototype experimental demonstration.
The objectives are as follows.
- Design porous cement based composite material for CCP with desirable bulk properties, especially high thermal conductivity;
- Develop novel visible light responsive photo catalysts;
- Embed CCP panel with smart functionalities, such as indoor air pollutants removal, CO2 and RH control;
- Investigate influence of CCP panel material/structure design parameters on energy efficiency and thermal comfort through thermal analysis.
The major application of the research outcome is an innovative yet low-cost CCP panel for chilled ceiling system, which can enhance energy efficiency, thermal comfortableness and air quality. With such a large drop in cost, the market penetration rate for highly energy efficient and air pollutants mitigable CCP technology will be greatly accelerated.