Theoretical Minimum Thermal Load in Buildings

Charles Booten, Prakash Rao, Vi Rapp, Roderick Jackson, Ravi Prasher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus Citations


This perspective offers a novel approach to calculate the theoretical minimum thermal load (TMTL) for minimizing energy consumption for thermal comfort in buildings. Analysis for buildings in the United States show that current thermal load is more than one order of magnitude higher than TMTL. To realize the TMTL, this perspective proposes technology needs in the near and long term, such as advanced zonal control, radiative heating, thermal textiles, and thermal energy storage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)24-46
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-77499


  • heating and cooling of buildings
  • human comfort in buildings
  • thermal load in buildings
  • thermal storage
  • thermal zoning in buildings
  • thermally active clothing
  • thermally active textiles


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