A solar chimney is a natural ventilation technique that has potential to save energy consumption as well as to maintain the air quality in a building. However, studies of buildings are often challenging due to their large sizes. The objective of this study was to determine the relationships between small- and full-scale solar chimney system models. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was employed to model different building sizes with a wall-solar chimney utilizing a validated model. The window, which controls entrainment of ambient air for ventilation, was also studied to determine the effects of window position. A set of nondimensional parameters were identified to describe the important features of the chimney configuration, window configuration, temperature changes, and solar radiation. Regression analysis was employed to develop a mathematical model to predict velocity and air changes per hour, where the model agreed well with CFD results yielding a maximum relative error of 1.2% and with experiments for a maximum error of 3.1%. Additional wall-solar chimney data were tested using the mathematical model based on random conditions (e.g., geometry, solar intensity), and the overall relative error was less than 6%. The study demonstrated that the flow and thermal conditions in larger buildings can be predicted from the small-scale model, and that the newly developed mathematical equation can be used to predict ventilation conditions for a wall-solar chimney.

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