, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 69-79

Effect of indoor buoyancy flow on wind-driven cross ventilation

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Abstract

Designing for wind-driven cross ventilation is challenging due to many factors. While studies have focused on the difficulty of predicting the total flow rate and measuring opening characteristics of cross ventilation, few have investigated the impacts on the distribution of indoor air. This paper provides insights on how local heat sources can generate significant buoyancy driven flow and affect indoor mixing during wind-driven cross ventilation scenarios. Measurements of air distribution were conducted by a tracer gas method for a multi-zone test building located in Austin, Texas, USA, along with cross ventilation flow at the openings. A computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model was also developed for this test building, which utilizes the measured flow properties at the openings as boundary conditions. Resulting air distribution patterns from the CFD model were then compared to the experimental data, validating the model. Further parametric analyses were also conducted to demonstrate the effect of interior heat loads in driving internal air mixing. Key findings of the investigation suggest a local heat source smaller than 35 W/m2 can increase the indoor mixing during cross ventilation from less than 1 air exchange to as high as 8 air exchanges per hour. This result also suggests a typical occupancy scenario (people and electronics) can generate enough heat loads to change the indoor air mixing and alter the effect of cross ventilation.