Modelling Thermal Environmental Performance In Top-lit Malaysian Atrium Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) programs are powerful design tools that can predict detailed flow movement, temperature distribution, and contaminant dispersion. This paper reports the steady-state 3-D CFD modelling of air movement and temperature distribution due to thermal buoyancy within top-lit three-storey representative Malaysian atrium forms using the computer code PHOENICS. Details of temperature distribution, airflow patterns and other comfort parameters would provide a better picture of the resultant thermal performance within the atrium in response to the changes of design variables. The CFD modelling studies were to investigate quantitatively the effects of varying inlet to outlet opening area ratios and also the outlet’s arrangement on the atrium’s thermal environmental performance in relation to occupants’ thermal comfort. The simulation results have revealed that sufficiently higher inlet to outlet opening area ratio (i.e. n>1) can improve the thermal performance on the occupied levels; while with an equal inlet to outlet opening area ratio (i.e. n=1), changing the outlet’s arrangement (i.e. location and configuration) has not significantly affected the atrium’s thermal performance.
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