A Field Study on Thermal Comfort and Cooling Load Demand Optimization in a Tropical Climate

Masoud Esfandiari, Suzaini Mohamed Zaid, Muhammad Azzam Ismail, Mohammad Reza Hafezi, Iman Asadi, S. Mohammadi

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Abstract

Energy consumption to cool an indoor environment is a substantial part of total energy end-use, particularly in a tropical climate with high energy demand for cooling. To improve energy efficiency, cooling systems can be optimized using a variety of neutral indoor temperatures to maintain a balance between an occupant’s thermal comfort and cooling energy demand. This explanatory study investigated the thermal quality and cooling energy demand of a Platinum-certified office building in the tropical climate of Malaysia. The investigation aimed to suggest a balance between occupant thermal comfort and cooling energy demand. The thermal investigation includes an objective field measurement that implements environmental equipment to monitor thermal quality and a subjective occupant’s thermal feedback using a questionnaire survey. To calculate cooling energy demand, the total equivalent temperature difference method (TETD) is applied. The results suggested an occupant’s cooling sensation of around 24 °C, with no significant difference concerning age and gender. Cooling load calculation indicated a 36% energy reduction by increasing air temperature to 26 °C, for occupants to feel thermally comfortable in a tropical climate. These findings contribute to improving sustainable energy policies, sustainable construction, and thermal comfort improvement for a tropical climate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12425
Number of pages26
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Cooling energy demand
  • Energy-efficient design
  • Green building index
  • Thermal quality
  • Tropical climate

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