BSUG March 24th

Presenter - Carlos Duarte

How High Can You Go?: Simulation study on high-temperature cooling for radiant systems

Target Audience:

Engineers, Architects, & Simulationists


Date and Time:

March 24th, 2021 – Noon to 1:00 p.m. MT




Zoom Webinar




WEBINAR Presentation Click Here


The need for cooling is a major driver of energy consumption in buildings and is mostly handled using systems based on the refrigeration cycle, an energy- and cost-intensive process. In this presentation, we will go over a simulation study where we investigated the potential of eliminating the refrigeration cycle from the primary cooling system design in various US climates including all 16 California climate zones. We created single zone EnergyPlus models that use a high thermal mass radiant system (HTMR) as the primary cooling system and meet the climate zones’ energy code requirements. We iteratively simulated each test case on its climate’s cooling design day to determine the highest supply water temperature (SWT) to the HTMR that maintains comfortable conditions in the zone. The results show that HTMR can use SWT of 17.5, 20.8, 23 °C (63.5, 69.4, 73.4 °F) for the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile, respectively, of test cases on the cooling design day, indicating a great potential of using HTMR coupled with low -energy and -cost cooling devices like evaporative cooling towers or fluid coolers.


Carlos Duarte

Carlos Duarte is a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at UC Berkeley. His research interest includes radiant heating and cooling, occupant behavior impact on building energy consumption, and the development of tools that help various building stakeholders. He is currently working on a project aimed to standardize semantic descriptions of equipment, control points, and locations along their relationships to make it easier to extract actionable information from the wealth of data that buildings’ systems produce. He will also contribute to a project aimed to reduce natural gas consumption in commercial building heating systems.

Carlos received his PhD in Architecture from the BSTS program at UC Berkeley in Summer 2020. He received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho in 2011 and 2013, respectively. During his MS studies, he worked for the Integrated Design Lab in Boise, Idaho, on projects that ranged from measurement and verification, development of calibrated whole-building energy models from existing buildings, and residential and commercial field studies.