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Electrically Heated Glass: Searching for Thermal Comfort and Addressing Discomfort

Electrically Heated Glass _IQ Radiant Glass
IQ Radiant Glass - Electrically Heated Glass

Understanding Thermal Comfort: The Role of UL-Approved Electrically Heated Glass

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55 (1992) defines thermal comfort as “the condition of mind that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment.” Essentially, it gauges whether an occupant feels too hot, too cold, or just right.

Factors Influencing Thermal Comfort

Six primary variables predict thermal comfort (Fanger, 1967):

1. Activity Level and Clothing Insulation:

• Dictated by room usage. For instance, an office implies sedentary activity with business attire, whereas an exercise room implies high activity with lighter clothing.

2. Humidity:

• Controlled by the building’s heating or cooling system, not at the room level.

3. Air Velocity:

• Maintained to avoid drafts while providing necessary fresh air.

4. Air Temperature:

• Measures the temperature of the air in the room.

5. Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT):

• Measures radiant energy exchange, indicating the average temperature of the surfaces relative to the occupant.

Analyzing Thermal Comfort

Consider a room with a uniform air temperature of 68 ℉ but a large cold window. An occupant near the window might feel chilly due to the lower MRT despite the constant air temperature. This discrepancy highlights the importance of radiant energy exchange in thermal comfort.

Operative Temperature

The operative temperature combines air temperature and MRT into a single numerical quantity, reflecting the body’s response to both convection and radiant energy exchange. Historically, heating and air-conditioning systems focused on achieving a specific indoor air temperature, often neglecting the radiant energy exchange, which can misrepresent the occupant’s thermal comfort.

Practical Example

On a sunny day with an air temperature of 50 ℉, an occupant feels comfortable due to the radiant energy from the sun. However, if a cloud covers the sun, the reduction in radiant energy causes the occupant to feel chilly despite the air temperature remaining the same. This example illustrates the significant impact of radiant energy on thermal comfort.

Causes of Discomfort

Asymmetrical Radiant Temperature:

• Non-uniform radiant temperatures, often due to cold windows or uninsulated walls, can lead to discomfort, particularly in cold seasons.

Findings from ASHRAE Handbook (1997)

• A ceiling 18 ℉ warmer than the room causes discomfort for 30% of people.

• A wall 18 ℉ colder than the room causes discomfort for 10% of people.

• A ceiling 18 ℉ colder than the room causes discomfort for 3% of people.

• A wall 18 ℉ warmer than the room causes discomfort for 1-2% of people.

These findings indicate that warm ceilings and cold walls have a significant negative effect on comfort, while warm walls positively influence comfort.


Ensuring thermal comfort involves managing both convective and radiant energy exchanges within a space. Understanding the interplay between air temperature and MRT is crucial for designing environments that maintain occupant comfort. Incorporating advanced heating solutions, such as UL-Approved IQ Radiant Heating Glass, can significantly enhance thermal comfort by addressing these factors effectively. IQ Radiant Heating Glass not only provides superior thermal comfort by evenly heating surfaces but also enhances energy efficiency and sustainability in modern architectural designs.

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