Thermal comfort investigation on a naturally ventilated twostorey residential house in Malaysia

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Malek N.A.
Khairuddin M.H.
Rosli M.F.
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Institute of Physics Publishing
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This paper presents a case study to investigate the human thermal comfort on a naturally ventilated two-storey residential house in Malaysia. Three parameters were investigated in this study, namely the air temperature, air velocity and air humidity. These parameters were measured using the appropriate measuring device to obtain the actual data and compared with simulation results. The level of thermal comfort in the house was found to be poor as the parameters measured are over the limits specified by ASHRAE standards. Simulation on the model of the house was performed using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) commercial code, FLUENT to visualize the temperature distribution and air flow pattern and velocity in the house. The error between these two sets of data was acceptable and thus the simulation used in this study was validated. Comparison was also made in the CFD simulation to see the effects of using a ceiling fan installed in the house and without ceiling fan. The level of thermal comfort was poor in both cases as it did not satisfy the standards set by ASHRAE but more uniform temperature distribution inside the house was found when the ceiling fan was turned on. The thermal comfort level became critical in the afternoon as during this period, the house receives direct sunlight which causes the temperature inside the house to increase. Although the mechanical ventilation devices did not help to improve the thermal comfort in the house being studied, the CFD simulation results can be used by building designers to further improve the level of thermal comfort in naturally ventilated residential houses.
Air; Ceilings; Computational fluid dynamics; Flow patterns; Houses; Housing; Temperature distribution; Thermal comfort; Ventilation; Airflow patterns; ASHRAE standards; Building designers; Commercial codes; Human thermal comfort; Mechanical ventilation; Residential house; Thermal comfort level; Heating