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Research Papers

Evaluation of Passive Cooling Systems for Residential Buildings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

[+] Author and Article Information
Alaa Alaidroos

Civil, Environmental, and Architectural
Engineering Department,
University of Colorado at Boulder,
Boulder, CO 80309
e-mail: alaa.alaidroos@colorado.edu

Moncef Krarti

Civil, Environmental, and Architectural
Engineering Department,
University of Colorado at Boulder,
Boulder, CO 80309
e-mail: moncef.krarti@colorado.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 August 25, 2015; final manuscript received March 18, 2016; published online April 5, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(3), 031011 (Apr 05, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1277; doi: 10.1115/1.4033112 History: Received August 25, 2015; Revised March 18, 2016

In this paper, passive cooling strategies have been investigated to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing cooling thermal loads and air conditioning energy consumption for residential buildings in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Specifically, three passive cooling techniques have been evaluated including natural ventilation, downdraft evaporative cooling, and earth tube cooling. These passive cooling systems are applied to a prototypical KSA residential villa model with an improved building envelope. The analysis has been carried using detailed simulation tool for several cities representing different climate conditions throughout KSA. The impact of the passive cooling systems is evaluated on both energy consumption and electrical peak demand for residential villas with and without improved building envelope for five cities, representatives of various climate conditions in KSA. It is found that both natural ventilation and evaporative cooling provide a significant reduction in cooling energy use and electrical peak demand for the prototypical villa located in dry KSA climates such as that of Riyadh and Tabuk. Natural ventilation alone has reduced the cooling energy end-use by 22%, while the evaporative cooling system has resulted in 64% savings in cooling energy end-use. Moreover, the natural ventilation is found to have a high potential in all KSA climates, while evaporative cooling can be suitable only in hot and dry climates such as Riyadh and Tabuk. Finally, the analysis showed that natural ventilation provided the lowest electrical peak demand when applied into the improved envelope residential buildings in all five cities in KSA.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Building energy model for the prototypical KSA villa

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Fig. 2

Annual variation of outdoor temperature and availability of natural ventilation for a villa located in Riyadh

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Fig. 3

Modulation of venting area according to inside–outside temperature difference [25]

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Fig. 4

Annual variation of cooling energy use with and without natural ventilation for a villa in Riyadh

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Fig. 5

Indoor temperatures for zones 1 and 2 when natural ventilation is applied to cool a villa located in Riyadh

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Fig. 6

The downdraught evaporative cooling system [16]

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Fig. 7

Hourly variation for inlet and outlet air temperatures of the PDEC system used to cool a villa during a representative summer day (July 21st) in Riyadh

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Fig. 8

Annual variation of the indoor temperature without mechanical cooling and with only PDEC cooling system for a villa in Riyadh

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Fig. 9

Annual variation of the cooling energy use associated with HVAC only and HVAC + PDEC systems for a villa located in Riyadh

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Fig. 10

Annual variation of the earth tube outlet air temperature, outdoor air temperature, and ground temperature in Riyadh

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Fig. 11

Annual cooling energy savings obtained by natural ventilation for five KSA climate zones

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Fig. 12

Annual cooling energy savings obtained by using passive evaporative cooling system to cool a villa located in five KSA climate zones

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Fig. 13

Comparison of energy consumption of the base case, enhanced building envelope and the building with passive cooling systems in Riyadh

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Fig. 14

Peak load for different designs of a villa located in Riyadh. NV: natural ventilation and ECT: evaporative cooling tower.

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Fig. 15

Hourly electrical energy use and outdoor temperature profiles for four design configurations for a villa in Riyadh: (a) the base case, (b) optimum building envelope design, (c) base case with passive cooling systems, and (d) optimum building envelope design with passive cooling systems

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