Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, three different cooling systems used in contemporary office environments are modeled to compare energy consumption and thermal comfort levels. Incorporating convection and radiation technologies, full-scale models of an office room compare arrangements for (a) an all-air overhead system (mixing ventilation), (b) an all-air raised floor system (displacement ventilation), and (c) a combined air and hydronic radiant system (displacement ventilation with a chilled ceiling). The computational domain for each model consists of one isothermal wall (simulating an exterior wall of the room) and adiabatic conditions for the remaining walls, floor, and ceiling (simulating interior walls of the room). Two sets of computations were conducted. The first set of computations utilized a constant temperature isothermal exterior wall, while the second set utilized an isothermal wall that changed temperatures as a function of time simulating the temperature changes on the exterior wall of a building throughout a 24 hour period. Results show superior thermal comfort levels as well as substantial energy savings can be accrued using the displacement ventilation, especially the displacement ventilation with a chilled ceiling over the conventional mixing ventilation system.

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