Design Of An Advanced Cooling Tower For A Solar Decathlon House In Southern Europe
Francesco Babich, Loughborough
To develop an advanced cooling tower for use in southern European homes based on the “home+” Solar Decathlon House design.
Cooling homes is important in order to maintain acceptable internal comfort, especially in southern European climatic zones. This research project examined one main hypothesis: that cooling towers are an important element of plus-energy houses in southern Europe. In particular, refinements to the design of the existing ventilation tower of a Solar Decathlon House developed by the Hochschule für Technik – Stuttgart are proposed and tested using dynamic thermal and computational fluid dynamics simulations in order to predict energy consumption, mean and peak CO2 levels, temperatures, ventilation rates, cooling potential, fresh air distribution and indoor air quality. Having analysed wet bulb temperature and wet bulb depression values, eight locations were selected in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain to investigate the likely performance of the tower integrated within the building.
Results show that the annual energy demand for space cooling can be halved without jeopardising the internal comfort. In particular, an annual reduction up to 2 MWh is possible, the CO2 levels never exceed the best practice thresholds, such as those set by CIBSE or ASHRAE, and the chosen control strategy set a limit for the moisture content as well, minimising the risk of having a too humid indoor air.