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Performance Testing of Radiant Barriers
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TVA has conducted a study to determine the effects of radiant barriers (RBI (i.e., material with a low emissivity surface facing an air space), when used with fiberglass, on attic heat transfer during summer and winter. This study employed five small test cells exposed to ambient conditions and having attics with gable and soffit vents. Three different RB configurations were tested and compared to the non-RR configuration. Heat flux transducers determined the heat transfer between the attic and conditioned space. The results showed that all RB con figurations significantly reduced heat gain through the ceiling during the summer. Reductions in heat gain during daylight and peak electric load hours were especially attractive. Roof temperatures for the RB configurations were only slightly higher than for the non-RB case. Heat transfer reductions for the RB configurations in the winter were smaller than those for the summer but were still significant in many, but not all, situations. Savings during night and peak electric load hours were especially attractive.
Hall, J. A. (1986). Performance Testing of Radiant Barriers. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from