Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) analysis of a low energy wind catcher with horizontally-arranged heat transfer devices

Calautit, John and Aquino, Angelo and O'Connor, Dominic and Cabaneros, Sheen and Shahzad, Sally and Wazed, Saeed and Garwood, Tom and Calautit, Katrina and Hughes, Ben (2017) Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) analysis of a low energy wind catcher with horizontally-arranged heat transfer devices. Energy Procedia, 142. pp. 2095-2101. ISSN 1876-6102 (

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Windcatchers are natural ventilation systems based on the design of traditional architecture, intended to provide ventilation by manipulating pressure differentials around buildings induced by wind movement and temperature difference. Though the movement of air caused by the wind catcher will lead to a cooling sensation for occupants, the high air temperature in hot climates will result in little cooling or thermal discomfort to occupants. In order to improve the cooling performance by wind catchers, heat transfer devices were incorporated into the design. This work will investigate the indoor environment quality performance of a roof-mounted cooling windcatcher integrated with horizontally-arranged heat transfer devices (HHTD) using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and field test analysis. The windcatcher model was incorporated to a 5mx5mx3m test room model. The study employed the CFD code FLUENT with the standard k-model to conduct the steady-state RANS simulation. For the indoor CO2 concentration analysis, a simplified exhalation model was used and the room was filled with 12 occupants. The CO2 concentration analysis showed that the system was capable of delivering fresh air inside the space and lowering the CO2 levels. Thermal comfort analysis using the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) was conducted whereby the measurements ranged from slightly-cool (-0.96) to slightly warm range (0.36 to 0.60). Field test measurements were carried out in the Ras-Al-Khaimah (RAK), UAE during the month of September. Numerical model was validated using experimental data and good agreement was observed between both methods of analysis.