Numerical simulations of thermal comfort in an atrium -The impact of thermal mass and atrium dimensions

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Hansson, Johanna
Energy is used in residential buildings to provide thermal comfort and lightning for occupants. By including a glazed space within a residential building, the building has an ability to capture solar heat, which reduces the energy demand for heating the building during certain parts of the year. In this way, glazed spaces can sometimes be used to save energy in residential buildings and improve the energy performance and to provide a space for social interaction. This study investigates how thermal comfort in atriums is affected by several design parameters and how these should be changed in order to improve thermal comfort without using mechanical heating, cooling or ventilation. A reference building, consisting of two residential buildings with a glazed space in between, is used to perform a parametric study of the impact of thermal mass of building material, glazing material, atrium type, atrium dimension, building orientation, solar shading and natural ventilation. The parametric study is performed by numerical simulations in the software IDA ICE. The results are mainly based on operative temperatures, which are evaluated according to the standard SS-EN 15251. The study shows that the glazed space in the reference building has low operative temperatures during the winter and high operative temperatures during the summer. The most upper floor level is the most critical floor level since it has the coldest operative temperature during the winter and the warmest operative temperature during the summer. A higher thermal mass inside the glazed space is beneficial when the outdoor temperature and solar radiation is high during the summer, and when the outdoor temperature and solar radiation is low during the winter. However, a higher thermal mass is not beneficial when the outdoor temperature and solar radiation is low during the summer and when the outdoor temperature and solar radiation is high during the winter. In terms of dimensions, an increased atrium length is not beneficial when the solar radiation is high during the summer, due to the increased window area on the roof. However, it was shown that the atrium dimension width (i.e. distance between the residential buildings) does not have a major impact of the operative temperature in the atrium.
thermal comfort, atrium, glazed space, solar energy, operative temperature, passive heating, passive cooling
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