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Analysis of the Thermal Indoor Climate with Computational Fluid Dynamics for Buildings in Sub-arctic Regions
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Energy Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0225-711X
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Analys av termiska inomhusklimatet med CFD för byggnader in subarktiskt klimat (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to increase the knowledge of simulation of thermal indoor climate for nearly zero energy buildings in a sub-arctic climate. Air heating systems in cold climate generate temperature gradients, which negatively affects the thermal indoor climate. Stand-ard multi-zone modeling has problemswithpredicting these gradients.

In this work, Computerized Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are used to model the tem-perature gradients. The consequences of reducing the cell sizes for the simulation volume are estimated and case studies of different building and heating systems are presented. The CFD method is validated for a traditional underfloor heating system and also for an air heating system.

Furthermore, the effects of snow on heat losses for common building foundations are in-vestigated, and snow is shown to be an important boundary for CFD simulations of a build-ing. The snow and ground freezing areshown to reduce the annual heat losses between 7-10%.

The CFD method is shown to be a suitable method for predicting thermal indoor climate. The method can determine the temperature variations inside a building, for different rooms, floors and heating systems. The CFD method is most appropriate for local distributed sys-tems. For traditional hydronic systems the method may be overambitious,since a good indoor climate is usually achieved anyway.

Heat transfer coefficients are inaccurate when calculated using standard wall functions used in many turbulence models (like the k-ε model) for surfaces with a high heat transfer rate and natural convection. Automatic wall functions have shown better accuracy for this type of problem, but they require more cells. In order to still use the k-εmodel, a user defined wall function is investigated. This method gave good results and a significant re-duction in the number of necessary cells in the simulation volume. The validation of the indoor climate shows that the wall boundary conditions are important for predicting the indoor temperaturevariations for steady state simulations.

New buildings have a higher thermal inertia, which affects the heat losses. It is important to include this effect in the boundary condition calculations for a CFD model.

The CFD simulations show that air heatingand local distributed heating systems have dif-ficulties infulfillinga good thermal comfort inside all rooms. This is especially true for rooms with exhaustair and closed doors and multi-storybuildings. Results from a CFD simulation can be used to improve the thermal comfort in these cases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68067ISBN: 978-91-7790-086-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7790-087-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68067DiVA, id: diva2:1193482
Public defence
2018-05-24, E632, 971 87, Luleå Tekniska Universitet, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-04 Created: 2018-03-27 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Investigation of thermal indoor climate for a passive house in a sub-Arctic region using computational fluid dynamics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigation of thermal indoor climate for a passive house in a sub-Arctic region using computational fluid dynamics
2018 (English)In: Indoor + Built Environment, ISSN 1420-326X, E-ISSN 1423-0070Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

There is currently an increasing trend in Europe to build passive houses. In order to reduce the cost of installation, an air-heating system may be an interesting alternative. Heat supplied through ventilation ducts located at the ceiling was studied with computational fluid dynamics technique. The purpose was to illustrate the thermal indoor climate of the building. To validate the performed simulations, measurements were carried out in several rooms of the building. Furthermore, this study investigated if a designed passive house located above the Arctic Circle could fulfil heat requirements for a Swedish passive house standard. Our results show a heat loss factor of 18.8 W/m2 floor area and an annual specific energy use of 67.9 kWh/m2 floor area, would fulfils the criteria. Validation of simulations through measurements shows good agreement with simulations if the thermal inertia of the building was considered. Calculation of heat losses from a building with a backward weighted moving average outdoor temperature produced correct prediction of the heat losses. To describe the indoor thermal climate correctly, the entire volume needs to be considered, not only one point, which normally is obtained with building simulation software. The supply airflow must carefully be considered to fulfil a good indoor climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67697 (URN)10.1177/1420326X17753707 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-02-20 Created: 2018-02-20 Last updated: 2018-05-17
2. CFD modelling of radiators in buildings with user defined wall functions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>CFD modelling of radiators in buildings with user defined wall functions
2016 (English)In: Applied Thermal Engineering, ISSN 1359-4311, E-ISSN 1873-5606, Vol. 64, p. 266-273Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The most widely used turbulence model for indoor CFD simulations, the k-ε model, has exhibited problems with treating natural convective heat transfer, while other turbulence models have shown to be too computationally demanding. This paper studies how to deal with natural convective heat transfer for a radiator in order to simplify the simulations, reduce the numbers of cells and the simulation time. By adding user-defined wall functions the number of cells can be reduced considerably compared with the k-ω SST turbulence model. The user-defined wall function proposed can also be used with a correction factor for different radiator types without the need to resolve the radiator surface in detail. Compared to manufacturer data the error is less than 0.2% for the investigated radiator height and temperature.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-9742 (URN)10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2015.10.134 (DOI)000370770300028 ()2-s2.0-84947125521 (Scopus ID)868ebecd-4ce7-46ad-9b29-ded1785ffaeb (Local ID)868ebecd-4ce7-46ad-9b29-ded1785ffaeb (Archive number)868ebecd-4ce7-46ad-9b29-ded1785ffaeb (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 2; 20151105 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
3. CFD simulation and evaluation of different heating systems installed in low energy building located in sub-arctic climate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>CFD simulation and evaluation of different heating systems installed in low energy building located in sub-arctic climate
2015 (English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 89, p. 160-169Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were used to study the indoor climate in a low energy building in northern Sweden. The building’s low heat requirement raise the prospect of using a relatively simple and inexpensive heating system to maintain an acceptable indoor environment, even in the face of extremely low outdoor temperature. To explore the viability of this approach, the indoor climate in the building was studied considering three different heating systems: a floor heating system, air heating through the ventilation system and an air heat pump installation with one fan coil unit. The floor heating system provided the most uniform operative temperature distribution and was the only heating system that fully satisfied the recommendations to achieve tolerable indoor climate set by the Swedish authorities. On the contrary, air heating and the air heat pump created a relatively uneven distribution of air velocities and temperatures, and none of them fulfills the specified recommendations. From the economic point of view, the air heat pump system was cheaper to be installed but produced a less pleasant indoor environment than the other investigated heating systems.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-11144 (URN)10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.02.024 (DOI)000364440600014 ()2-s2.0-84924737867 (Scopus ID)a0dde22a-a36f-4f00-a108-d848722aa479 (Local ID)a0dde22a-a36f-4f00-a108-d848722aa479 (Archive number)a0dde22a-a36f-4f00-a108-d848722aa479 (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 2; 20150305 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
4. Computational fluid dynamics simulation of indoor climate in low energy buildings computational set up
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Computational fluid dynamics simulation of indoor climate in low energy buildings computational set up
2017 (English)In: Thermal Science, ISSN 0354-9836, E-ISSN 2334-7163, Vol. 21, no 5, p. 1985-1998Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper CFD was used for simulation of the indoor climate in a part of a low energy building. The focus of the work was on investigating the computational set up, such as grid size and boundary conditions in order to solve the indoor climate problems in an accurate way. Future work is to model a complete building, with reasonable calculation time and accuracy. A limited number of grid elements and knowledge of boundary settings are therefore essential. An accurate grid edge size of around 0.1 m was enough to predict the climate according to a grid independency study. Different turbulence models were compared with only small differences in the indoor air velocities and temperatures. The models show that radiation between building surfaces has a large impact on the temperature field inside the building, with the largest differences at the floor level. Simpling the simulations by modelling the radiator as a surface in the outer wall of the room is appropriate for the calculations. The overall indoor climate is finally compared between three different cases for the outdoor air temperature. The results show a good indoor climate for a low energy building all around the year.

National Category
Energy Engineering Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
Research subject
Energy Engineering; Fluid Mechanics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66606 (URN)10.2298/TSCI150604167R (DOI)000414237000010 ()2-s2.0-85032913950 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-11-17(inah)

Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-11-17 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved

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