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Parameter study on performance of building cooling by night-time ventilation

Publication Date
  • Passive Cooling
  • Night-Time Ventilation
  • Parameter Study
  • Thermal Mass
  • Heat Transfer
  • Climate
  • Engineering


Especially for commercial buildings in moderate climates, night-time ventilation seems to be a simple and energy-efficient approach to improve thermal comfort in summer. However, due to uncertainties in the prediction of thermal comfort in buildings with night-time ventilation, architects and engineers are still hesitant to apply this technique. In order to reduce the uncertainties, the most important parameters affecting night ventilation performance need to be identified. A typical office room was therefore modelled using a building energy simulation programme (HELIOS), and the effect of different parameters such as building construction, heat gains, air change rates, heat transfer coefficients and climatic conditions including annual variations on the number of overheating degree hours (operative room temperature >26 °C) was evaluated. Climatic conditions and air flow rate during night-time ventilation were found to have the largest effect. But thermal mass and internal heat gains also have a significant effect on cooling performance and the achievable level of thermal comfort. Using this modelling approach, significant sensitivity to heat transfer was found only for total heat transfer coefficients below about 4 W/m2 K.

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