Solar chimney (thermal chimney) is a device which absorbs solar radiation to heat the air. The heated air, becoming buoyant, rises through the chimney’s passage and induces further air currents. When fitted to a building, solar chimney can thus induce fresh outside air to flow through the building for ventilation. Because only natural means (solar radiation here) are involved to cause the air flow, solar chimney is considered a natural-ventilation device. This work investigates computationally natural ventilation induced by a roof-mounted solar chimney through a real-sized 3-dimensional room, using a commercial CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software package which employs the Finite Volume Method. A LES (Large-Eddy Simulations) formulation with Smagorinsky SGS (Sub-Grid Scale) model is used. All fluid properties are assumed to be constant and corresponding to those of air at 300K (27°C, constant ambient temperature) and standard pressure at sea level (101.3kPa); but Boussinesq approximation (wherein temperature change affects only the fluid density pertaining to buoyancy force) is also assumed. Comparison is made with computational results obtained from a RANS (Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes) formulation. Agreement between LES and RANS results indicate the trustworthiness of CFD methods used.

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