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Method for the design of natural ventilation systems with focus on thermal comfort and energy consumption reduction for Brazilian residences

Grant number: 20/06691-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2021
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Architecture and Urbanism Technology
Principal researcher:Marcelo de Andrade Romero
Grantee:Luciano Caruggi de Faria
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Unprecedented growth in residential Air Conditioning (AC) in the World, whilst exacerbating carbon emissions and climate change. In Brazil this may pose a threat to future national energy supply. The use of Natural Ventilation (NV) and low energy Mixed-Mode (MM) ventilation strategies can deliver thermal comfort and offer an important and accessible opportunity to reduce the hours of AC use and curb energy demand. This research proposal seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of NV and low energy MM systems to provide thermal comfort for occupants of Brazilian residences. The objectives of this work are: to investigate the capacity of tailor-sized openings and ventilation systems to deliver ventilation rates and to provide thermal comfort under hot weather conditions for residential apartments located in the Brazilian climatic regions; to analyse the impact of air velocity with ceiling fans in the achievement of thermal comfort; and to quantify the potential increase of the number of hours for which NV is feasible and the consequent reduction of AC use. To answer these questions this work intends to introduce in the host Brazilian institution an innovative method of investigations in human thermal comfort. This method consists in the use of transient Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations coupled with a dynamic model of human thermal thermophysiology and thermal comfort prediction. This validated method provides results for airflow rates, air velocity, air temperature, surface temperature, and both Predicted Percentage of Dissatisfied (PPD) and Dynamic Thermal Sensation (DTS) of occupants. The coupled CFD simulations will be performed for three apartment layouts to be selected as case study. These simulations will be carried out in two steps: to evaluate the capacity of case studies to provide ventilation rates and thermal comfort with the sizes of openings required by building codes and energy performance legislation; and to propose NV and MM design systems which review the size, number and position of ventilation openings and operate with low energy mechanical devices to increase air renewal rates and extend hours of the year within thermal comfort range, and quantifies the energy consumption reduction with residential AC. Physical experiments with volunteers will be performed to produce real data for comparison with calculated results from the coupled CFD simulations for a sample of scenarios investigated, with the purpose of validate the 3D CFD models and some of the ventilation strategies. The contribution to the knowledge of this work will be to provide a guidebook and a tool to assist architects and engineers in the design of efficient NV and MM systems for residences located in the Brazilian climatic region. These deliverables will assist in the dissemination and application of results and in the achievement of real impact. (AU)

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