Cooling without Air Conditioning: Membrane-Assisted Radiant Cooling for Expanding Thermal Comfort Zones Globally

In this paper, we present results from a world-first radiant cooling pavilion, demonstrating a method of cooling people without cooling the air. Instead, surfaces are chilled and thermal radiation is used to keep people cool. A thermally-transparent membrane is used to prevent unwanted air cooling and condensation, a required precursor to deploying radiant cooling panels without humidity control in tropical environments. The results from this thermal comfort study demonstrate the ability to keep people comfortable with radiation in warm air, a paradigm shifting approach to thermal comfort that may help curb global cooling demand projections.