Dual-mode cooling house in the warm-humid tropics

Tenorio, Rosangela M. S. (2002). Dual-mode cooling house in the warm-humid tropics PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland.

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Author Tenorio, Rosangela M. S.
Thesis Title Dual-mode cooling house in the warm-humid tropics
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Steven Szokolay
Dr Peter Skinner
Dr Z Bromberek
Total pages 263
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
310101 Architecture
680202 Commercial
Formatted abstract
Over the last years the high demand in the use of air-conditioning systems in the residential sector have caused an increase in energy consumption levels. This will result in an unavoidable impact on the natural environment if appropriate design solutions are not addressed to cope with the climatic stress of the tropics. Despite a great accumulation of empirical information on the passive performance of houses for either free-running or conditioned modes, very little has been discovered and demonstrated about the thermal performance of buildings that can operate with a mixed running strategy in the warm-humid climates. 

This thesis looks at the thermal performance of houses in the wet-tropics using both air conditioning and natural ventilation, with a dual-mode operation. Cooling techniques and design issues are analysed both for free-running and conditioned modes, to establish the similarities and differences for the various building parameters. Thermal simulation studies related to both free-running and conditioned modes in this climate type are reviewed as well as the available simulation programs used for this purpose.

The process to define comfort limits and energy requirements when simulating both conditioned and free running buildings is described. The climatic data and the sites used in this study for the thermal simulations are presented. The theory, limitations and the process of building modelling within ESP-r (ESRU, UK) are discussed.

All the simulation results are compared against a base case house. Detailed results of Simulations of free-running and conditioned variations in Darwin (Australia), using test cells are presented first. Extensive simulation runs using the test cells select and define the parameters to be simulated using the base case house. The base case optimisation determines the attributes of a house for dual mode operation. These simulations are then repeated for other climate types: Miami (USA), Sao Luis (Brazil), and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and the results are compared.

A profile of five cases of dual mode operation is presented and compared in terms of thermal comfort and energy efficiency. Comparisons of the thermal performance of these houses, for both modes, define the house suitable for both natural ventilation and air conditioned operation. This proves to be the most appropriate option for thermal comfort and energy efficiency in the tropics for houses. The differences in thermal design requirements of the 'dual-mode houses' are discussed for both locations and compared. An evaluation study of the simulation results against monitored data conducted at the Florida Solar Energy Center (USA) is also presented.

The conclusions drawn from the results prove the hypothesis of a feasible dual-mode operation for warm-humid climates. 
Keyword Dwellings -- Heating and ventilation -- Environmental aspects
Architecture, Domestic -- Tropics
Architecture and climate
Additional Notes The text of Appendix has poor quality.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2007, 18:05:30 EST