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Coupling building energy simulation and computational fluid dynamics: application to a semi enclosed urban street in a hot arid climate

Lookup NU author(s): Mohamed Elnabawy Mahgoub, Dr Neveen Hamza, Dr Steven Dudek


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The paper aims is to investigate the thermal performance underneath an existing shading design for an urban alleys in the hot arid context of Cairo in Egypt. CFD programs can accurately describe the air velocity and temperature distribution if all of the heat factors are set as dynamic boundary conditions and heat generators. However, this method is computationally very expensive and almost impossible to perform for a long-period energy simulation. Alternatively, an integration of building energy simulation (BES) and Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can eliminate many of these assumptions, as the two models exchange the appropriate boundary conditions. Therefore, Designbuilder as BES handles the external surface temperature for the main building surrounding the street or the semi- enclosed areas, while Fluent as CFD simulates the street air flow and air temperature. The paper describes an integration framework through the transfer of enclosure surface temperatures from BES to CFD, The numerical results were validated and compared to the experimental ones. The results from applying the framework show how building thermal performance interacts with specific outdoor microclimates. This study shows the importance of outdoor and indoor coupled assessment at microclimate level to deploy passive design features to changing climate and mitigate urban heat island.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elnabawy M, Hamza N, Dudek S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA), Architecture in (R)Evolution, At Bologna, Italy

Year of Conference: 2015

Online publication date: 11/03/2015

Acceptance date: 09/09/2015