Natural Ventilation in Atrium for Comfort

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Jarunee Rojsawadsuk


This research investigates the natural ventilation of an occupied glass atrium subjected to solar
radiation. The solar gain through a glass wall of the atrium serves as uniform vertical heating the occupants
and equipment distributed across the floor of the atrium serves as uniform horizontal heating. The atrium
vents to the exterior through two openings, one at the top and one at the base. Laboratory experiments
reveal that these conditions lead to vertical thermal stratification within the space. The atrium is warmer
than the outside air, with the lowest interior temperature at the floor level. A mathematical model is
developed to describe the inter-relationship between the vertical and horizontal heating and the consequential
thermal stratification and ventilation rate. Theoretical analysis shows that to achieve ventilation and thermal
comfort within the space, the amount of solar gain should be controlled in relation to the sizes and heights
of the vents. These findings are then applied to explore the control strategies for atria in range of climates.


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