Calibrated CFD simulation to evaluate thermal comfort in a highly-glazed naturally ventilated room
Keane, Marcus M.
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Hajdukiewicz, Magdalena, Geron, Marco, & Keane, Marcus M. (2013). Calibrated CFD simulation to evaluate thermal comfort in a highly-glazed naturally ventilated room. Building and Environment, 70, 73-89. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2013.08.020
Natural ventilation is a sustainable solution to maintaining healthy and comfortable environmental conditions in buildings. However, the effective design, construction and operation of naturally ventilated buildings require a good understanding of complex airflow patterns caused by the buoyancy and wind effects. The work presented in this article employed a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis in order to investigate environmental conditions and thermal comfort of the occupants of a highly-glazed naturally ventilated meeting room. This analysis was facilitated by the real-time field measurements performed in an operating building, and previously developed formal calibration methodology for reliable CFD models of indoor environments. Since, creating an accurate CFD model of an occupied space in a real-life scenario requires a high level of CFD expertise, trusted experimental data and an ability to interpret model input parameters; the calibration methodology guided towards a robust and reliable CFD model of the indoor environment. This calibrated CFD model was then used to investigate indoor environmental conditions and to evaluate thermal comfort indices for the occupants of the room. Thermal comfort expresses occupants' satisfaction with thermal environment in buildings by defining the range of indoor thermal environmental conditions acceptable to a majority of occupants. In this study, the thermal comfort analysis, supported by both field measurements and CFD simulation results, confirmed a satisfactory and optimal room operation in terms of thermal environment for the investigated real-life scenario.