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Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Energy and Buildings journal

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Energy and Buildings

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/enbuild

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/enbuild Effect of furniture and partitions on the surface

Effect of furniture and partitions on the surface temperatures in an office under forced flow

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa , Leon R. Glicksman

flow F.A. Dominguez Espinosa ∗ , Leon R. Glicksman Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

a r t i c

l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 4 November 2016 Received in revised form 10 March 2017 Accepted 21 April 2017 Available online 3 May 2017

Keywords:

Room surface temperatures CFD Mean radiant temperature Operative temperature Thermal comfort

a b s t r a c t

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed to study the effects of surfaces typi- cally found in an office, such as partitions and desks, on the temperatures of the surfaces surrounding the occupants. An accurate estimation of these temperatures is needed to assess the thermal comfort conditions in a space, thus ensuring that the occupants are satisfied with their thermal environment. A parameter quantifying the area available to convect heat to the air was proposed to account for the effect of surfaces of different sizes and positions. A higher amount of available convective area was found to decrease the temperatures of the surfaces in the room, and vice versa. Although the air temperature also increased with additional available convective area, this change was found to be small (typically below 15%). Moreover, the shape of the air temperature profile far from the surfaces remained unchanged when changing the amount of available convective area. Therefore, the operative temperature that the occu- pants experience is lower in spaces with a large amount of available convective area. Expressions to estimate the temperatures of the surfaces, generally within ±10% of the air temperature rise in the space, were proposed. These expressions can be useful during the early stages of the design process, when CFD simulations are impractical and the exact location and type of furniture in a space are not well known. Together with a model to predict the air temperature profile, these correlations can improve the accuracy of thermal comfort assessment.

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

The thermal environment conditions that ensure that occupants are comfortable in a space refer not only to the air temperature or velocity near them, but also to the temperatures of the sur- faces that surround the occupants. These surfaces exchange heat with the occupants via radiation, so surfaces that are too hot or cold can result in unacceptable thermal conditions in the space, even if the air temperature is by itself acceptable [1]. Asymmetry in the temperatures of these surfaces can also result in thermal dissatisfaction [1]. The Graphical Comfort Zone Method for Typi- cal Indoor Environments and the Optional Method for Determining Acceptable Thermal Conditions in Naturally Ventilated Spaces – the adaptive comfort method – of the ASHRAE Standard 55-2010 take into account the radiation exchange between people and surfaces by means of the operative temperature [1]. Models commonly used to assess the thermal conditions in offices, including CFD and multi-zone models, can be used to com-

Corresponding author. E-mail address: alonso@mit.edu (F.A. Dominguez Espinosa).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.04.067

0378-7788/© 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

pute the operative temperature experienced by the occupants. However, the geometries of these models rarely include surfaces found in a real office such as partitions and desks (e.g. [2]). These surfaces can have an important effect on the temperature of all the surfaces in the room, including the ceiling, floor and walls, because they facilitate the transfer of heat from the sources (e.g. lighting, equipment and occupants) to the air. Ultimately, the temperatures of the surfaces in an office depend on several factors, including convective heat transfer coefficients associated with the surfaces and the view factors between them, among others. Taking into account all these parameters is time- consuming and might not be appropriate during the early stages of the design process, when the exact position of the furniture and partitions in an office is not well defined. Hence, this work presents a simple method to estimate the temperatures of the surfaces in a room that does not require exact knowledge of the position of the furniture or the partitions.

1.1. Heat transfer paths in an office

In a general sense the heat transfer processes in a space transport thermal energy from the source(s) to the heat sink(s). Heat is trans-

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F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

Nomenclature

ˇ

volumetric thermal expansion coefficient of air

T r

air temperature rise across room

dimensionless temperature

Roman symbols

A

A A Ar h w

A

A

A

B fitting constant

C

c p

D fitting constant

E fitting constant

F fitting constant

G fitting constant

H

h

h

h

h

h

fitting constant unheated area available for convection heat transfer

dimensionless unheated convective area

Archimedes number based on inlet height

conv

conv

dimensionless desk area

d

dimensionless partition area

p

dimensionless inlet area

w

fitting constant air heat capacity at constant pressure

room height convective heat transfer coefficient radiative heat transfer coefficient dimensionless height coordinate inlet height

dimensionless inlet height

c

r

*

w

w

I

fitting constant

J

fitting constant

K

fitting constant

L

room length

l *

dimensionless length coordinate

m˙

airflow rate

˙

Q

total heat gains

R

c

floor convective resistance

f

R

c

partition convective resistance

p

R

R

R

¯

T a

T air

T ceiling

T oor

T inlet

T o

T outlet

T partition

r

c,f

r

c,p

r

p,f

radiative resistance from the ceiling to the floor

radiative resistance from the ceiling to a partition

radiative resistance from the partition to the floor

mean air temperature air well-mixed temperature ceiling temperature floor temperature inlet/supply temperature operative temperature outlet temperature

partition temperature

¯

T rad

mean radiant

u

inlet velocity

x

x coordinate

y

y coordinate

z

z coordinate

ferred from active surfaces such as lights, equipment and people by convection to the air and by radiation to the walls, floor, parti- tions and furniture, which is then transferred to the surrounding air. In this work, it is assumed that lights, equipment and occu- pants are the only heat sources in the room, while the air in the space is the only heat sink in steady state. The temperature of the air in the space is not uniform, instead it is higher near the ceiling in spaces with either displacement or mixing ventilation systems [3]. However, multi-zone models cannot be used to compute the

. However, multi-zone models cannot be used to compute the Fig. 1. Thermal circuit representation of

Fig. 1. Thermal circuit representation of a space with heat gains generated at ceiling level (a) without partition and (b) with a partition.

air temperature profile, instead they rely on the assumption of per- fect mixing of the air, so the temperature in a zone is uniform and equal to the temperature of the outlet. This so-called “well-mixed” temperature, T air , can be obtained using the steady-state energy conservation equation:

T air = T outlet = T inlet +

˙

Q

mc˙

p

(1)

where T outlet is the outlet temperature, T inlet is the inlet tempera-

˙

ture, Q are the total heat gains in the room, m˙ is the mass flow rate of air through the space and c p is the heat capacity of air at constant pressure. The well-mixed temperature serves as a convenient ref-

erence for the present work because its value is independent of the amount of furniture or the distribution of heat gains in a room under forced flow (wind-driven natural ventilation or mechanical ventilation). Moreover, this temperature can be calculated using multi-zone models according to interior and, in the case of natural ventilation, exterior conditions. A thermal resistor network is a useful tool to represent the heat transfer paths in a room. As a simple example, consider a very long and wide space, where the view factors from the ceiling to the walls are small enough to be neglected. Assume also that the tempera- ture of the surfaces are uniform and that the only heat source is due to lighting (or solar heat gains), which is located at the ceiling level, while the other surfaces are adiabatic. In a real room, except for other heat sources, the ceiling is generally the warmest surface in the space because hot air that rises due to buoyancy stagnates under it. As a consequence, the convective heat transfer coefficient associated with the ceiling is significantly lower than that of the other surfaces in the room. The only effective mechanism available to transfer heat from the ceiling is via radiation. The same holds for the simple example considered here, therefore it is possible to assume that the convective heat transfer from the ceiling to the air is negligibly small. This is a common assumption in ventila- tion studies (e.g. [4]). Fig. 1a shows the thermal resistor network of this example. In this figure, R c,f is the radiation thermal resistance

c is the convective thermal

between the ceiling and the floor, and R

r

f

resistance from the floor to the air. T ceiling , T oor and T air are the temperatures of the ceiling, floor and the well-mixed temperature of the air, respectively. Fig. 1b shows the same space but with a thin partition in the room. In this figure, R c,p and R p,f are the radia-

tion thermal resistances between the ceiling and the partition, and

c is the convec-

between the partition and the floor, respectively. R

r

r

f

tive thermal resistance from the partition to the air and T partition is the temperature of the partition. The well-mixed temperature of the air does not change when adding the partition. Now some of the radiation from the ceiling is directed to the partition, reducing the direct radiation from the ceiling to the floor. The total surface area

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

157

Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 157 Fig. 2. A naturally ventilated office with

Fig. 2. A naturally ventilated office with partitions in between rows of occupants. The area of the partition is l p × h p , which in the example shown in this figure is equal to 60% of the office’s side walls area of L × H.

to 60% of the office’s side walls area of L × H . Fig. 3. A

Fig. 3. A naturally ventilated office with desks. The area of the desks, including the top and bottom surfaces, is measured with respect to the floor area, W × L. In this case, the tables cover 80% of this area.

in the room below the ceiling is increased. This area absorbs radia-

tion from the ceiling and transfers the heat by convection to the air. Since the total area is increased, the average surface temperatures

are reduced. Similar consequences are expected when adding horizontal sur- faces, for example desks. The desks reduce the view factor between the ceiling and the floor, but allow an indirect connection through them. A fraction of the heat gains radiated onto the top surfaces of the desks will be conducted to their bottom surfaces and then radi-

ated to the floor. The net result is an increase in the area available

to convect heat to the air. Increasing this area reduces the effective

thermal resistance between the heat sources and the heat sink. It is possible to reduce the effective thermal resistance by means other than adding partitions or furniture. For a given room height, length and heat gain intensity, a thinner room has surfaces with temperatures closer to the well-mixed temperature than wider rooms, because the walls have a greater participation in the radia- tion exchange with the heat sources. Adding convective area influences the local air temperature dis- tribution within the room. This, in turn, could alter the operative temperature experienced by the occupants, an effect that is not con-

sidered in zonal models. The following sections of this work present

a method to estimate the effect of additional convective area on the

temperature of the air and the surfaces of a space, thereby allowing

a more accurate assessment of thermal comfort when CFD is not practical.

2. CFD model

Different CFD domains were used to assess the effect of available convective area on the temperature of the surfaces surrounding the occupants to test the hypothesis proposed in the previous section. Fig. 2 shows a naturally ventilated office with partitions between rows of occupants, while Fig. 3 shows the same office with desks

or

tables instead of partitions. The geometry of the CFD simulations

is

based on an actual office building in Tokyo served by a hybrid

natural–mechanical ventilation system, but it is intended to be rep- resentative of open plan offices with few obstacles to the airflow between the inlets and the outlet. The domain is 15 m long and 3

m height, L and H, respectively, in these figures. The width of the

office, W, is large compared to its length and height, so Figs. 2 and 3 show only a fraction of the width of the office. The space has inlets

along one of the walls, each measuring 0.15 m × 0.5 m and with their centers located at 1 m from the floor. The distance between

the centers of two adjacent inlets is 2 m. The outlet is a 0.1 m height opening near the ceiling that extends the entire width of the room. The center of the outlet is located at 2.8 m from the floor. Each occupant in the space is represented by a rounded-top cylinder, a simple shape that was found to replicate the behavior of the convective flow generated by a sitting human and the radiation exchange between a sitting person and the surfaces of a room like the one considered here [3,5]. Each occupant is 0.31 m radius and 1.13 m high. The separation between occupants is 2 m (centerline to centerline); the first occupant is located at 2 m from the inlet wall. There are five occupants per row, located at 1 m from the partitions or, equivalently, exactly in the middle between inlets. Each desk between occupants is 75 cm long with a thickness of 7.5 cm, while the large desk at the end of the room is 3 m long and of the same width. The desks of contiguous rows touch each other, so their width is the same as the width of the office. The number of desks were varied so their surface area (including top and bottom surfaces) covers either 40% or 80% of the area of the floor (L × W). As an example, Fig. 3 shows an office where the desks cover 80% of the floor area. Desks of three materials with different thermal conductivities were used: wood (k t = 0.17 W/mK) and metal (k t = 17.3 W/mK), as well as a case with adiabatic desks (k t = 0 W/mK). Each simulation had desks of only one material. The size of the partitions was also varied. The area of each one, l p × h p , was changed so that it would be equal to 0% (no partitions), 20%, 40%, 60% and 100% of the office’s side wall area, L × H. The length of the partitions was varied while their height was kept con- stant at 2.25 m (except for the 0% and 100% cases). The location of the center of the partitions was kept at 7.5 m from the inlet. All these domains are representative of very wide spaces, so the L × H walls have no effect on the heat exchange of the room. To study the effect of these walls two additional domains were simulated. These domains were rooms with a width of 4 m (Fig. 4) and 6 m. Together with the cases with partitions covering 0% and 100% of the side wall area, the simulations cover a wide range of space widths, from very thin rooms to very wide open-plan offices. The boundary conditions of the CFD model were defined as fol- lowing:

1 Inlets A uniform air velocity was specified at each one of the inlets, the value of which was modified for different simula- tions. The air temperature at the inlets was defined to be 295 K (21.85 C).

2 Outlet The outlet was defined as a zero gauge pressure boundary.

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L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 Fig. 4. A naturally ventilated office with

Fig. 4. A naturally ventilated office with a width of 4 m.

4. A naturally ventilated office with a width of 4 m. Fig. 5. Mesh used in

Fig. 5. Mesh used in the study seen on a plane that extends along the length of the room through the occupants. The inset shows the fine “inflation layer” over the surfaces in the room (in this case over an occupant and the floor). This is a 2D section of a 3D mesh.

3 Ceiling and occupants These surfaces generated a uniform amount of heat flux to represent the heat gains due to lighting (in the ceiling) and due to the occupants and equipment. Approx- imately 25% of the total heat gains were defined to be evenly generated at the ceiling; the rest, by the occupants. The appro- priateness of this division has been demonstrated before [6]. The magnitude of the heat gains were also modified in different sim- ulations.

4 Tables At the surfaces of the tables an energy balance was enforced. Heat was allowed to be radiated to and from the sur- faces of the tables, convected to the air or conducted through the tables.

5 Other surfaces The rest of the surfaces, including the partitions, were defined as adiabatic with no-slip. An adiabatic, no-slip sur- face interacts with the flow of air, so heat can be transferred to and from the surface by convection and radiation. There is also non-zero shear stress at these surfaces.

Air was modeled using the Boussinesq approximation, with a reference density of 1.14 kg/m 3 . The viscosity and volumetric ther- mal coefficient of expansion of the air were set at 1.8 kg/ms and 3.3 × 10 3 1/K, respectively. All the cases were simulated using Fluent (part of the ANSYS 14.5 suite), solving the RANS equations for turbulent flow and the energy conservation equation. The turbulence model used is the RNG k– . This model has been shown to accurately simulate room airflow dynamics [7]. The near-wall regions were meshed using very fine elements (y + 5), as required by the “enhanced wall treatment” used in this study [8,9]. Fig. 5 shows an example of a mesh used in these simulations. Thermal radiation exchange was included using the surface- to-surface model. This radiation model treats the air as perfectly

transparent to radiation, which is a valid approximation for air with low humidity content [10,11]. The emissivity of all the surfaces was defined to be 1. This simplification is justified given that typical materials in an office, except for polished metals, have emissivities above 0.9 [12]. The radiative view factors between all the surfaces in the room were calculated using ray tracing. The cases were run as transient simulations and stopped once steady state was reached. Steady state was defined to be reached when both the airflow rate at the outlet and the air temperature rise across the space stopped changing significantly in value, and when the value of the temperature rise across the space was within 2% of the value calculated using the energy conservation equation with the selected airflow rate.

2.1. Validation of the CFD model

The CFD code used here was validated by the following studies:

1 Grid independence Results with four different grid sizes (107,364, 593,598, 726,882 and 2,332,858 elements) were com- pared against each other in terms of the shape and magnitude of the resulting vertical air thermal profile. The profile was not found to change significantly among the four grid sizes. In partic- ular, the average difference in temperature between the largest two meshes at every height was 3%, with a largest deviation of 6%. Additionally, the mean temperature of the surfaces in the room, the ceiling, floor and the walls, were compared. The difference in the temperature of the surfaces between the four grid sizes was less than 0.4 C, even though the grid size changes by more than 2000%. Finally, following the procedure in Ref. [13], the extrap- olated relative error and the fine-grid convergence index for the average temperature of the ceiling and the floor were computed for the three largest meshes, finding them all below 0.1%. The largest mesh size was used for the simulations presented in this work and is shown in Fig. 5.

2 Turbulent air jet development The same CFD code of this study was used to replicate experimental results of axisymmetric and 3D turbulent jets. Centerline velocity, volume flow rate and jet width were compared against axisymmetric jet theory and, when possible, experimental data [6]. For the specific case of a rectan- gular opening, the shape of the inlet used in this work, the error in the dimensionless centerline velocity of the CFD simulation is less than 10% when compared to theoretical models. Similar magnitude of errors (less than 10%) were found for the dimen- sionless flow rate and dimensionless jet radius at a distance of one diameter from the inlet [6].

3 Turbulent thermal plumes The CFD code was compared against theory and experiments of thermal plumes in terms of their cen- terline velocity, excess temperature, flow rate, and inertial and thermal plume width [6]. The difference between CFD and the- ory and experiments was also found to be below 10% in all the variables. Additionally, CFD simulations were compared against experimental measurements of centerline velocity of thermal plumes generated by a standing person finding a largest differ- ence of 7% between the simulations and the experiments [5].

4 Thermal stratification in water scale models and full-sized rooms The CFD code used here was compared against the exper- iments of Nansteel and Greif [14], Olson et al. [15] and Ray [16]. The CFD simulations replicated, both in shape and temperature magnitude, the experiments by Nansteel and Greif with an R 2 of 0.97 and by Olson et al. with an R 2 of 0.84 [17]. Airflow rates under buoyancy-driven ventilation were compared to the scale experiments by Ray [16], finding an average deviation of 13.5%. In addition, CFD simulations using a similar geometry than in this study were compared against experiments by Chen and Glicksman [18] using a climate chamber. The maximum devi-

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

159

ation between the simulation and the experiments far from the floor was approximately 13% [6].

A detailed description and complete set of results of the val- idation studies related to jet and plume development, as well as thermal stratification previously mentioned, can be found in Refs.

[5,6,17].

3. Dimensional analysis

The Buckingham theorem was used to determine a set of dimensionless numbers that determine the temperature of the sur- faces in the room according to the flow and heat load conditions in the space. The dimensionless numbers related to the flow dynam- ics in the room obtained by this method have also been obtained by nondimensionalizing the set of equations that govern room airflow [19]. These dimensionless groups are the Archimedes, Reynolds and Prandtl numbers, and the nondimensional temperature. The Archimedes number, Ar h w , is defined in this work according to the following equation:

3

w

Ar h w = T r h

u 2 A w

(2)

where g is the acceleration of gravity, ˇ is the volumetric ther- mal expansion coefficient of air, T r is the air temperature change across the room ( T r =T outlet T inlet ), h w is the height of the inlets, u is the inlet velocity, A w is the inlet area. The Buckingham theo- rem allows for the arbitrary selection of the normalizing factors (e.g. characteristic lengths, areas, velocities, etc.) when constructing a dimensionless number. In this work the form of the Archimedes number presented in Eq. (2) is used, instead of an alternative ver- sion presented before (e.g. [19]), because it has been shown that the expressions that correlate the temperature of the surfaces in the room, as well as its air thermal stratification profile, to its Archimedes number in this form are simple [3,6]. Conceptually, the Archimedes number compares the relative strengths of the buoyancy forces in the room and the momentum of the supply air. For this reason, the Archimedes number is related to the path that the supply air jet follows [3,20]. Moreover, it has been shown that the air stratification profile of the room depends on its Archimedes number. Rooms with high Archimedes number tend to develop a temperature profile of displacement ventilation. Low Archimedes numbers are related to more turbulent mixing in the lower part of the room, but less mixing in the upper part of the room than in displacement ventilation [3,6]. There is also more variation of the air temperature along the length of the room in a space with a low Archimedes number [3]. The Reynolds number, Re A w , compares the importance of iner- tial and viscous effects, while the Prandtl number, Pr, compares momentum and thermal diffusivities in a fluid [11]. The dimensionless temperature, , is given by:

=

T T inlet

T outlet T inlet

(3)

where T is the temperature to be normalized, T inlet is the tem- perature of the air at the inlet, and T outlet is the temperature of the air at the outlet. The well-mixed temperature in dimensionless form is a,wm = 1. All the temperatures in this work are expressed as dimensionless temperatures, including the air temperature and the temperatures of the surfaces in the room (ceiling, floor, walls, partitions, tables, etc.). The boundary conditions of the governing equations result in dimensionless groups related to the geometry and position of the inlets and outlets, the strength of the heat sources, the geometry and location of the tables and partitions and the geometry of the

room itself. Some simplifications are needed to make the daunting task of analyzing the effect of all these parameters manageable. The aspect ratios of the inlet and outlet were found to have a marginal effect on the air temperature profile, nevertheless their vertical positions are important [6]. In this work, the vertical posi- tion of the outlet is defined to be located near the ceiling, a common assumption in ventilation studies, as this is generally the case in real commercial buildings. The vertical position of the inlet was kept constant at 1 m from the floor. Although this height is not uncommon of windows in some naturally ventilated buildings, it is not representative of the full range of inlet heights in natu- rally ventilated buildings, nor of other ventilation systems, such as mechanically driven mixing ventilation where the air supply is located closer to the ceiling. The effect of the inlet height has only been studied qualitatively, so additional research to properly estab- lish the effect of this parameter on the temperature of the surfaces in a room is needed. The effects of the length of the room, its height, and the number, position and geometry of the heat sources have been studied in exploratory work before [3,6]. Although the effects of these parameters were found to be generally negligible, more exhaustive work is necessary to confirm this finding [3]. The air temperature profile far from the heat sources has been shown to be affected marginally by the exact division of the total heat gains between lighting (and/or solar gains) at the ceiling and occupancy [6]. The only exception is when the entire amount of heat gains in the room are due to lighting or solar gains at the ceil- ing [6]. In addition, further tests carried out for a different study showed that the way in which the lighting heat gains are modeled (as a uniform heat source in the ceiling, as a thin strip along the ceil- ing or as a separate body that represents suspended office lighting fixtures) does not have a significant impact on the temperature pro- file of the air far from these heat sources. In particular, for the same total amount of heat gains, the temperature profile of the air in the occupant zone changed by less than 5% (and commonly below 2%) of the room temperature change when changing either the way the heat sources are modeled, or when changing the percentage of the total heat gains that were generated by the occupants (with the rest generated by the lighting sources). Furthermore, it is not necessary to determine the explicit depen- dence of the stratification profile on the Reynolds and Prandtl numbers. Because the Prandtl number is a very weak function of temperature under typical room conditions (for room air this num- ber changes by less than 1% under a change in temperature of 25 C [11]), the only practical way to change the Prandtl number to analyze its effects is by changing the fluid that is being studied. Therefore, in the present study that deals only with air in room ven- tilation, the Prandtl number was considered to be constant and the dependence of the stratification on it was thus not studied. Nielsen [19] has shown experimentally the negligibly small effect of the Reynolds number on the airflow dynamics of rooms under displacement ventilation, due to similar flow structures at the very high Reynolds numbers expected in realistic spaces. Sev- eral other experimental works have shown the small effect of the Reynolds number on the flow dynamics in rooms, over a wide range of Reynolds numbers, particularly far from the walls [21] and when compared to the significant effect of the Archimedes number [22,23]. This negligible effect is expected as long as the Reynolds number is large enough to be in the fully turbulent regime, regard- less of the driving force of the flow. The Reynolds number based on inlet conditions, Re A w , used in this study always exceeded 3900, which is in the fully turbulent jet regime [24]. Additionally, the independence of the thermal profile with respect to the Reynolds number was tested and confirmed using the CFD model of this work

[3].

Finally, several dimensionless groups are related to the posi- tion, orientation and size of the partitions and tables, which include

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F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

the radiative view factors and convective heat transfer coefficient associated with these surfaces in their definition. However, the objective of this work is to provide a simple parameter that can be used to estimate the effect of these surfaces on the tempera- ture of all the surfaces in the room. Moreover, the exact position of the surfaces might not be known during the design process of the space. For these reasons, a simple dimensionless number that is intended to capture all these parameters is proposed in this work. This dimensionless number measures the amount of area available to convect heat to the air. For the simulations with tables, for exam- ple, the convective area of the entire room includes the floor, the walls and the surface area of the tables, including the top and bot- tom ones. The dimensionless available convective area is defined as:

A

conv = A conv

WL

(4)

where A conv is the unheated area that is in contact with air, and W and L are the width and the length of the room, respectively. In the case of a very wide space, it is still possible to use this parameter with a simple modification. In this case, W refers to the width of the repeating geometry. For example, W refers to the distance between partitions in Fig. 2, or between occupants in Fig. 3. Then, under the previous simplifications, the dimensionless temperature can be expressed as:

= f Ar h w ,h w ,A w ,A

conv

(5)

where h w is the dimensionless inlet height (normalized by the height of the room) and A w is the dimensionless inlet area (nor- malized by the area of the wall on which the inlets are located). This dimensionless temperature is given at a certain location in the room, described by two dimensionless coordinates:

h =

z

H

(6)

(7)

l = y

L

where z and y are the z (along the height) and y (along the length) coordinates at which the temperature is being measured. The x coordinate (across the room width) was not considered, as the air temperature was not found to vary significantly in this direction far from surfaces (by less than approximately 4%) [3].

4. Methodology

Simulations of the domains presented in Section 2 were per- formed. To explore the effect of a given dimensionless group, the value of this group was varied, while the rest of the dimensionless numbers was kept the same. The Archimedes number was varied by changing the inlet velocity and/or the internal heat gains. The dimensionless free convective area, A conv , was varied by changing

the number of tables or the size of the partitions as explained before. The dimensionless inlet area was also changed. The parameters of the simulations were chosen to be repre- sentative of naturally ventilated spaces. The Archimedes number considered ranged from a low value of 0.07, up to 7.91. Additional simulations were run with Archimedes numbers of 63 and 100. The dimensionless inlet areas used are 6.25 × 10 3 (0.0375 m 2 each

inlet), 1.25 × 10 2 , 5 × 10 2 and 6.25 × 10 2 , although

for some

cases additional area values of 2.5 × 10 2 and 3.75 × 10 2 were also simulated. These dimensionless areas are typical of openings in nat- urally ventilated buildings, although in natural ventilation there is more variability in size [25]. The heat gains were kept below 125 W/m 2 , four times the heat gains in a typical office in the United

States (approximately 30 W/m 2 ) [12]. The heat gains were divided between the occupants and the ceiling, to represent the heat load

occupants and the ceiling, to represent the heat load ∗ Fig. 6. A section of an

Fig. 6. A section of an office (includes only one row of occupants), showing the locations of the measurement planes. In all the different domains used in this work, the measurement planes extend along the entire width of the space.

due to occupancy and equipment, and due to lighting, respectively. The temperature rise across the room, T r , was kept between 2.5 C and 13 C. The inlet velocity was kept between 0.1 m/s and 6 m/s, with approximately 75% of the velocities used below the value of 2 m/s. The upper limit for the inlet velocity was chosen to be 6 m/s, because at this velocity the local air velocity near the occupants was at most 0.7 m/s, thus staying under the limit value of 0.8 m/s for sedentary activities of the Graphical Elevated Air Speed Method to determine comfort conditions of the ASHRAE 55-2010 standard [1]. Nevertheless, by working with dimensionless numbers, the exact numerical values used in the simulations are less important, as the results for a given set of dimensionless numbers is valid for all com- binations of parameters that result in the same dimensionless set, as long as there is not a significant change in the flow and ther- mal dynamics in the room (e.g. as long as the flow in the room is turbulent, et cetera) [26]. Air and surfaces temperatures are reported. Air temperatures were measured at the planes labeled “Measurement planes” in Fig. 6, which are located at a distance from the inlet of 5 m, 9 m, and 12 m, or equivalently at l * = 1/3, 3/5 and 4/5. Although Fig. 6 shows only one row of occupants with no desks or partitions, the air temperature was measured at these planes in simulations with partitions and tables, and in the wider offices. These planes were chosen to be located between occupants near the inlet, near the middle of the length of the room, and near the outlet. Additionally, average temperatures were obtained for the ceiling, the floor, the walls and the partitions. For all the cases, the resulting operative temperature expe- rienced by the occupants was also computed. The operative

temperature, T o , is defined as:

T o = h c

¯

T a + h r

¯

T

rad

h c + h c

(8)

where h c is the convective heat transfer coefficient associated with

¯

the occupants, h r is the radiative heat transfer coefficient, T a is the

¯

mean air temperature near the occupants and T rad is the mean radi-

ant temperature [1]. Mathematically, the operative temperature is the weighted average of the mean radiant temperature and the air temperature around the occupants with the radiative and con- vective heat transfer coefficients as the weights. The mean radiant temperature is a function of the view factors between the occupant and the surfaces surrounding said occupant [1]. Results are pre- sented as plots of dimensionless operative temperature (calculated using Eqs. (3) and (8)) against dimensionless available convective area.

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

161

Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 161 Fig. 7. Dimensionless air temperature, a ,

Fig. 7. Dimensionless air temperature, a , as a function of dimensionless height from the floor, h * , for spaces (a) with different widths, (b) with partitions, and (c) with desks, at the measurement plane located at 9m (l * = 3/5) from the inlet.

In this work, the air temperature surrounding the occupants was estimated using the measurement planes at 5 m and 9 m from the inlet because these planes are located between the occupants. The air temperature surrounding the occupants was approximated as the average air temperature at these measurement planes, from the floor up to a height of 1.35 m (l * = 0.45), i.e. approximately 20 cm above the head level of the occupants. The mean radiant tem- perature was calculated using the average temperature of all the surfaces (including partitions and tables, if applicable) and the view factors were computed using ray tracing software. The accuracy of the ray tracing software has been validated before [3]. The convec- tive and radiative heat transfer coefficients for the occupants where found to be similar with a value of approximately 5 W/m 2 K. Thus, they were assumed to be equal.

5. Results and discussion

5.1. Effect of convective area on the temperature of the air

Fig. 7 shows the vertical temperature stratification profile of the air at the measurement plane at 9 m from the inlet, for the spaces with different widths (Fig. 7a), with partitions (Fig. 7b) and with desks (Fig. 7c). The spaces with partitions and desks are very wide. Except for the change in the width, the addition of parti- tions or desks, the spaces are identical, including equal inlet areas and velocities, and heat gains. The vertical axis of the plots shows the nondimensional temperature of the air, a , as a function of the dimensionless vertical height from the floor, h * . Each plot has sev- eral curves identified by different colors. In Fig. 7a the different curves show the air temperature profile in spaces with different dimensionless widths, W * W/L. The plot in Fig. 7b shows the results for different partition areas, A p , in a wide office. The par- tition areas are normalized with respect to the room’s side area, i.e. A p (l p × h p )/(L × H). Finally, the different curves in Fig. 7c repre- sent different surface areas (including the top and bottom surfaces) and thermal conductivities of the desks in wide spaces. The dimen- sionless desk area, A d , is normalized with respect to the room floor area, W × L. Although as expected the air temperature increases with increasing convective area (higher air temperature in thinner spaces and with more partition and desk area), the temperature profile of all the spaces is similar in magnitude and shape. Similar results were found for the other measurement planes. The devia- tion in air temperature between the rooms with different widths is generally below 15%, corresponding to less than 1 C for the param- eters used to create Fig. 7, for the region between 0.1 h * 0.9 in

all the measurement planes. However, the deviation near the floor is as high as 40%, while near the ceiling is between 26% and 30%. The deviation in the air temperature between the cases with different partition areas is substantial (up to 40%) near the floor and the ceiling. However, the deviation due to the partition size in the temperature of the air between the dimensionless heights of 0.1 h * 0.9 is generally below 14%, corresponding to 0.7 C. The air temperature profile in the space with desks show an impor- tant difference near the tables (h * 0.2). The temperature of the air surrounding the tables is significantly higher than at other loca- tions near them, however the profile seems to be insensitive to the thermal conductivity of the desks. The high temperature of the desks is due to the radiation heat transfer they receive from the active sources, particularly from the ceiling. This heat is then trans- ferred to the surrounding air by convection, thereby resulting in the increased air temperatures seen. Nevertheless, the air temperature profile is similar in shape and the deviation of the dimensionless temperature of the air is generally below 15% far from the tables and far from the ceiling and the floor. This means that it is possible to use thermal stratification models for rooms with no additional convective area to estimate the air temperature profile (e.g. [3,6]) in rooms of different widths, with partitions and desks, as long as the results are used for the air region away from the ceiling and the floor (0.1 h * 0.9) as well as the desks. The error incurred by using these stratification models would be approximately 15%.

5.2. Surface temperatures

Determining the shape of the temperature of the surfaces as a function of the dimensionless length, l * , or dimensionless height,

h * , is of dubious usefulness due to the dependence of these tem- peratures on the exact location of the occupants, the stagnation point of the cool air jet from the inlet, and/or the furniture and partitions [3]. For this reason, the following discussion is limited to the average temperatures of the surfaces in the room. Average temperatures can still provide valuable information for the opera- tive temperature to the building designer to assess thermal comfort conditions. Fig. 8 shows the average dimensionless temperature of the ceiling, the floor and the walls as a function of the dimension- less convective area in the room, A conv . All these cases share the same Reynolds number, Re A w = 35, 379, dimensionless inlet area, A w = 1.25 × 10 2 , and inlet height, h w = 1/3. Different curves show the results for different values of the Archimedes number, as indi- cated in the figure.

162

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 Fig. 8. Average dimensionless temperature of the

Fig. 8. Average dimensionless temperature of the (a) ceiling, (b) floor, and (c) walls as a function of the convective area, A conv . Different Archimedes numbers, Ar h w , results in different curves. All simulations had an inlet area of A w = 1.25 × 10 2 .

Fig. 8 shows that the temperatures of all the surfaces decrease with increasing area available to convect heat to the air. For example, for an Archimedes number of Ar h w = 0.6 the temper- ature of the ceiling decreases from being twice the well-mixed temperature for the infinitely wide room, to being 1.5 times the well-mixed temperature for the 2 m wide space, a difference of 2.5 C and 5 C for typical room air temperature rises of 5 C and 10 C, respectively. The temperatures of the walls and the floor also decrease with increasing convective area. For Ar h w = 0.6, the reduction corresponds to 2 C for a room temperature rise of 5 C. When the dimensionless convective area in the room is A conv = 4.3, the temperatures of the walls and the ceiling are just 1 C above the well-mixed temperature each, for a room temperature rise of 5 C. This figure also shows that both horizontal and verti- cal surfaces (partitions and tables) approximately lie on a single temperature–convective area curve. The only substantial exception is seen in the ceiling temperature for the table that covers 40% of the floor area. The temperature of the ceiling for this case is above the trend of the rest of the cases, signaling that this horizontal sur- face is less efficient at convecting heat from the sources to the air. Vertical surfaces are more efficient at convecting heat to the air because they do not block the direct radiation from the ceiling to the floor. Moreover, the convective heat transfer coefficient associ- ated with the surface of the desk facing downwards is significantly lower than that of the vertical surfaces. This lower convective coef- ficient is due to the lower air velocities under a warm surface facing downwards, as the buoyant forces keep a layer of near stagnant warm air in contact with the surface. Fig. 8 also shows that the dimensionless temperatures of all the surfaces decrease with increasing Archimedes number. It was seen in the results of the CFD simulations that with a low Archimedes number, the supply air jet throw is longer, so the jet touches the floor farther from the inlet and continues moving along the floor towards the outlet wall [3,27]. The high supply momentum causes the air that reaches the outlet wall to rise before returning towards the inlet at a higher height [3,27]. This air is entrained by the sup- ply jet and, because its temperature is higher than the supply jet, it increases the temperature of the jet [3,27]. For example, the centerline dimensionless temperature of the jet when it reached the floor is jet,h =0 1.3 for an Archimedes number of Ar h w = 0.6.

With a higher Archimedes number, the cold air does not mix sig- nificantly with the warm air in the upper part of the room, as buoyant forces keep it at floor level. The centerline temperature of the jet at the stagnation point, for Ar h w = 100, was found to be only jet,h =0 0.6. In addition, air velocities were higher in the lower part of the room with higher Archimedes number, because the cold jet experiences a larger acceleration due to buoyant forces [3,27]. The centerline velocity of the supply jet at 5 mm from the stag- nation point over the floor was 2.3 times higher in the case with Ar h w = 100 than with Ar h w = 0.6, when the velocities were nor-

malized with respect to their value at the inlet. The same higher air velocities in the lower part of the room with high Archimedes number were found when comparing two simulations with the same inlet velocity. Similar findings have been reported in exper- imental work that measured the air velocity distribution from air diffusers and its dependence on Archimedes number [28]. Thus, lower jet temperatures and higher air velocities cause a decrease in the temperature of the floor when the Archimedes number is high. The ceiling and walls are also cold because they are connected via radiation to the cold floor. Fig. 8 demonstrates that as the Archimedes number increases, the effect of the convective area decreases and the dimensionless temperatures of all the surfaces tend to get closer to a value of 1, the well-mixed temperature. The effect of the inlet area can be seen by comparing Figs. 8 and 9. The former shows the results for a dimensionless inlet area of A w = 1.25 × 10 2 , while the latter is for A w = 5.00 × 10 2 . Sim- ulations for a dimensionless partition area of A p = 0.4 were not

performed for the dimensionless area of A w = 5.00 × 10 2 because, as seen in these figures, it is not needed to establish a trend. At a fixed Archimedes number, the dimensionless temperatures of all the surfaces increase with increasing inlet area. The dimensionless temperature of the ceiling increased the most when increasing the inlet area, with an increase between 13% and 70%. The floor had the lowest temperature change, between 0.5% and 32%, with respect to a change in the inlet area. The trend seen in Fig. 8a and 9a for the dimensionless tem- perature of the ceiling, for example, can be approximated as the

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

163

Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 163 Fig. 9. Average dimensionless temperature of the

Fig. 9. Average dimensionless temperature of the (a) ceiling, (b) floor, and (c) walls as a function of the convective area, A conv . Different Archimedes numbers results in different curves. All simulations had an inlet area of A w = 5.00 × 10 2 .

Table 1 Values of the fitting constants in Eq. (9).

A

B

C

D

E

F

0.33

0.61

0.39

1.63

0.52

 

2.25

Table 2 Values of the fitting constants in Eq. (10).

 

Parameter

Expression

r 2

G

9.73A w + 1.04

0.99

I

13.51A w + 0.61

0.94

multiplication of two exponential decays, one with respect to the

Archimedes number, Ar h w , and one for the convective area, A

¯

c = A exp BAr h w + C D exp EA conv + F

(9)

conv :

where A, B, C, D, E, F are fitting parameters that, in general, depend on the inlet area, A w . This equation captures the fact that the dimen- sionless temperature decreases both with increasing Archimedes number, Ar h w , and increasing convective area, A conv , and that these changes decay approximately exponentially. Table 1 shows the values for the fitting constants for the case with an inlet area of A w = 1.25 × 10 2 . This fit was obtained using the Curve Fitting Toolbox for MATLAB and has a correlation factor of r 2 = 0.97. To account for different inlet areas, a trend that relates the result in Eq. (9) with the dimensionless ceiling temperature of rooms with different inlet areas is given next:

¯

c (A w ) = G c (A w = 1.25 × 10 2 ) + I

(10)

¯

where G and I are fitting parameters obtained using the expressions

in Table 2, and c (A w = 1.25 × 10 2 ) is given by Eq. (9) and Table 1.

A similar expression as that in Eq. (9) can be constructed to esti- mate the dimensionless temperature of the floor and the walls. However, by taking advantage of the fact that the dimensionless temperatures of the floor and the walls are approximately equal, and that they were found to be linearly related to the ceiling tem- perature, regardless of surface type and/or Archimedes number, (Fig. 10a), a simpler expression that depends on a lower number of fitting constants can be used instead:

¯

(11)

f = w = J c + K

¯

¯

¯

where J and, K are fitting parameters that, in general, depend on the inlet area, A w . This line is compared to the data in Fig. 10a. The

Table 3 Values of the fitting constants in Eq. (11).

Parameter

Expression

r 2

J

2.43A w + 0.83

0.97

K

24.14A w 2 1.01A w + 0.07

0.92

dashed lines in this figure encompass a ±10% deviation from the fit. The largest deviation from this line is seen in the simulation with

the lowest Archimedes number. Table 3 shows the functional forms

to obtain J and K as a function of the inlet area. A simplified correlation for the temperature of the floor and the walls that also ignores the effect of the inlet area is shown schematically in Fig. 10b. In this figure, the data points show the

dimensionless temperature of the floor and walls, regardless of

Archimedes number, convective area and inlet area, as a function

of the ceiling dimensionless temperature. The dashed lines in this figure encompass an area with a deviation of ±10% from the fitting line. Because the effect of the inlet area has been ignored, more data points lie outside of the ±10% region, and the correlation factor of

the fit, at r 2 = 0.95, is lower than when using Eq. (11). Neverthe- less, most of the data points are still reasonably represented by the simplified fit. This simplified correlation is given by:

¯

(12)

f = w = 0.67 c + 0.21

¯

¯

5.3. Operative temperature

Fig. 11a shows a plot of dimensionless mean radiant tempera- ture against dimensionless available convective area, while Fig. 11b shows a plot of dimensionless air temperature. The mean air tem- perature was estimated using the average air temperature from the floor to a height of 1.35 m, 25 cm above the head of the occupants, at the 5 m and 9 m planes. These two quantities were then used to compute the operative temperature that the occupants experience. The results are shown in dimensionless form in Fig. 11c. These fig- ures are all for an inlet area of A w = 1.25 × 10 2 , however similar trends were seen for other values of the inlet area. Fig. 11a rein- forces the results of the previous sections by demonstrating that the mean radiant temperature of the occupants decreases with increas- ing convective area. Fig. 11b shows that the air temperature does not vary significantly with respect to the convective area, how- ever it is dependent on the Archimedes number. It is important to mention that the air temperature around the occupants is lower than the well-mixed temperature of the space at wm = 1. For the

164

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165 ¯ ¯ ¯ Fig. 10. Average dimensionless

¯

¯

¯

Fig. 10. Average dimensionless temperature of the floor, f , or walls, w , as a function of the average dimensionless temperature of the ceiling, c . The dashed lines encompass

a ±10% range from the line of Eq. (11). (a) Plot for spaces with different surfaces (marker shape and border color) and different Archimedes numbers (marker fill color) and with dimensionless inlet area of A w = 1.25 × 10 3 . (b) Plot that includes the results of all the inlet areas considered in this work.

results of all the inlet areas considered in this work. ∗ Fig. 11. Average dimensionless (a)

Fig. 11. Average dimensionless (a) mean radiant, (b) mean air, and (c) operative temperature against dimensionless convective area, A conv . The inlet area of the simulations in this plot was A w = 1.25 × 10 2 .

range of Archimedes numbers used in this study, the mean tem- perature decreased with increasing Archimedes number, being as low as 64% of the well-mixed temperature. Thus, approximating the air temperature as the well-mixed temperature might result in an inaccurate estimation of the operative temperature. Previ- ous research has called attention to this problem of the well-mixed assumption (e.g. [3,6,29]). Finally, Fig. 11c demonstrates that the decrease in mean radiant temperature is important, as it causes a reduction in the operative temperature, even if the air temperature does not follow a simple trend, as hypothesized in this work.

6. Conclusions

The addition of partitions and horizontal surfaces substantially reduces the average radiant temperature while only moderately changing the air temperature near the occupants. This results in

a decrease in the operative temperature between 10% and 21% of the overall temperature difference between the inlet and the outlet. This corresponds to a temperature difference of up to 2 C between the spaces with few and several additional surfaces in typical naturally ventilated spaces. Due to the small effect of the

convective surfaces on the shape of the air temperature profile, it is still possible to use thermal stratification models for rooms without additional surfaces to estimate this profile away from the surfaces

in the room with an error below approximately 15%.

The free convective area, a parameter that effectively captures the effect of the radiation view factors and convective heat trans-

fer coefficients of the surfaces typically found in an office, such as partitions and desks, was proposed. Correlations to determine the temperatures of the surfaces surrounding an occupant in a room (ceiling, floor, walls) as a function of the Archimedes number, the inlet area and the free convective area were developed. It was found that regardless of the orientation or position of these surfaces, the average temperatures of the surfaces in the room depend on this parameter. The temperatures of the room surfaces were found to decrease with increasing Archimedes number. A high Archimedes number was related to higher air velocities and lower supply jet temper- ature at the stagnation point. The high velocity is a consequence of the larger acceleration experienced by the supply air due to the higher buoyant forces. Cold floors and walls are related to cold ceil- ings and vice versa, as these surfaces are all connected via radiation exchange. Indeed, a simple linear relation was found between the floor and walls temperatures, and the ceiling temperature. In addi- tion, it was found that for a given Archimedes number, a larger supply area meant that the temperature of all the surfaces were higher than with smaller inlet areas. However, it is also possible to change the inlet height while keeping the same Archimedes num- ber. This option was not explored in this work. Future work can help expand this study by analyzing the effect of the inlet height on the temperatures of the surfaces in a space. The correlations proposed in this work, together with air strati- fication profiles, can help designers to assess comfort conditions in buildings more accurately than is currently possible using models

F.A. Dominguez Espinosa, L.R. Glicksman / Energy and Buildings 147 (2017) 155–165

165

that rely exclusively on the well-mixed temperature. The correla- tions presented here are simple enough to be used in multi-zone models, given that its inputs are all available in multi-zone models.

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Mexican Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), the U.S. – China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) and the Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustain- ability

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