Three-dimensional Thermal and Airflow (3D-TAF) Model of a Dome-covered House in Canada

October 6, 2009 - 12:00pm

A dome-covered house is an example of sustainable design that draws from biological forms in nature. A three-dimensional thermal and air flow (3D-TAF) model was developed to estimate the energy needs of a dome-covered house. This model has two components: a thermal model to calculate the temperature; and an air flow model to find the velocities, which are needed to estimate the surface convection. The two models are solved iteratively at every time step until they converge. I will present the numerical methods for solving the mathematical models, and compared the results with other simulated and experimental results from similar structures. I will also present sensitivity analysis of the impact of optical properties of the dome glazing, natural infiltration, shape of the dome, and ground thermal properties. The model gives good prediction of the temperature and airflow patterns. The simulation predicts 60% reduction on the annual heating load of a house with a dome, compared with the case of an unprotected house in Montreal. For more information about this seminar, please contact: David Lorenzetti(510) 486-4562

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