Research Papers

Application of a Wall-Solar Chimney for Passive Ventilation of Dwellings

[+] Author and Article Information
David Park

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24060
e-mail: dpark89@vt.edu

Francine Battaglia

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24060
e-mail: fbattaglia@vt.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received May 12, 2015; final manuscript received August 19, 2015; published online September 29, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(6), 061006 (Sep 29, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1135; doi: 10.1115/1.4031537 History: Received May 12, 2015; Revised August 19, 2015

The solar chimney is a natural ventilation technique that has the potential to save energy use in buildings as well as maintain comfortable indoor quality. The objective of the current study was to examine the effects of the wall-solar chimney on airflow distribution and thermal conditions in a room. In the current work, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to model a solar chimney. The solar chimney was modeled three-dimensionally for a more realistic simulation of fluid and thermal conditions. Experimental and numerical data from literature were used to validate the current model, and the results agreed very well. The current study showed that the flow in the solar chimney system can be either laminar or turbulent depending on the parameters of the system, and that the effect of the chimney inlet was more significant than that of the chimney width (air gap between the glass and absorber) on the flow regime. This study also developed a new characteristic Rayleigh number (Ra*) relating the chimney inlet and width, which showed good consistency with the prediction of the flow regime. The investigations of Ra* and the flow regime indicated that the flow becomes turbulent for Ra* ∼ 0.8 × 108. Finally, the potential improvements of the designs were discussed by observing the flow and thermal conditions of the room.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Geometry of the wall-solar chimney and ambient conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Two-dimensional view of the wall-solar chimney

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

ACH with respect to solar intensity for Z = 0.3 m and (a) H = 0.1 m, (b) H = 0.2 m, and (c) H = 0.3 m

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

ACH with respect to solar intensity for Z = 0.1 m and H = 0.2 m

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Mean absorber temperature with respect to solar intensity

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Temperature contours with velocity vectors at 500 W/m2 with Z = 0.2 m: (a) H = 0.1 m (laminar), (b) H = 0.2 m (turbulent), and (c) H = 0.3 m (turbulent)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Temperature contours with velocity vectors for H = Z = 0.3 m: (a) I = 300 W/m2, (b) I = 500 W/m2, and (c) I = 700 W/m2



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