Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Modeling coupled heat transfer and air flow in a partitioned building with a zonal model: Application to the winter thermal comfort


zonal modeling, open doorway, air flow, temperature distribution, thermal comfort


The assessment of building thermal comfort quality in the Mediterranean context necessitates detailed information concerning local air speed and temperature inside the space. We have extended the three-dimensional zonal model ZAER (Zonal AERial model) to enable predictions of air flow pattern and thermal distributions between and within rooms. Numerical simulations from the new program have been compared with data obtained from measurements on the experimental cell Minibat (CETHIL, INSA Lyon laboratory) and with the prediction of another zonal model as well as a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool. The comparison indicates that this new program is an effective model for predicting air flow and temperature distribution in a partitioned building. By coupling ZAER with a thermal comfort model, we study the influence of a passive solar component belonging to a south-oriented room upon the winter thermal comfort of an unconditioned Tunisian dwelling. The obtained results show that this simulation tool has the potential to describe realistically the thermal comfort within a dwelling, and that a Trombe wall can be a useful heating component to improve thermal winter comfort in the Tunisian context, even in another room.


Tsinghua University Press