Research Papers

Impact of Above-Grade Walls on Three-Dimensional Building Foundation Heat Transfer From Slab-On Grade Floors

[+] Author and Article Information
Moncef Krarti

Civil, Environmental,
and Architectural Department,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, CO 80309

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 20, 2013; final manuscript received August 22, 2013; published online November 19, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Yogi Goswami.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(1), 010902 (Nov 19, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1064; doi: 10.1115/1.4025698 History: Received February 20, 2013; Revised August 22, 2013

This paper presents a new three-dimensional analytical solution for transient ground-coupled heat transfer associated with slab-on-grade floor building foundations. The impact of above-grade walls on ground-coupled heat transfer is accounted for in the presented solution. The interzone temperature profile estimation (ITPE) technique is utilized to obtain the 3D solution suitable to determine soil temperature distributions and to estimate foundation heat loss/gain from slab-on-grade floors. The ITPE results are validated against results obtained from a closed-form solution in the case of steady-state conditions. It is found that that the above-grade walls can significantly affect the foundation heat losses especially for uninsulated slabs. Moreover, a simplified approach is proposed to obtain three-dimensional foundation heat losses from a two-dimensional solution.

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Claridge, D. E., 1988, Foundation Heat Loss From Heated Concrete Slabon-Grade Floors (Advances in Solar Energy), ASES, Boulder, CO.
Krarti, M., 2000, “Ground-Coupled Heat Transfer,” Advances in Solar Energy, Y.Goswami, ed., ASES, Boulder, CO, p. 90.
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Chuangchid, P., and Krarti, M., 2004, “Steady-State Periodic 3-D Foundation Heat Transfer From Refrigerated Structures,” ASME J. Solar Energy Eng., 112, pp. 198–199.
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Fig. 1

A rectangular slab-on-grade floor foundation model with partial floor insulation: (a) slab-on-grade floor foundation for a typical building above soil medium; (b) section A of building shown the variations of the temperature and the H-value (ratio of U-value over the soil thermal conductivity) along the soil–slab surface; (c) section B of building shown the variations of the temperature and the U-value (ratio of U-value over the soil thermal conductivity) along the soil–slab surface

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Fig. 2

Soil temperature isotherms during summer (July 15th)

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Fig. 3

Soil temperature isotherms during winter (January 15th)

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Fig. 4

Effect of the insulation U-value on the annual total slab heat loss per unit area

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Fig. 5

The effect of the slab geometric characteristics on the total slab heat loss per unit area

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Fig. 6

The effect of the wall thickness on the total slab heat loss per unit area



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