Solar Heat Flow: A Simulation Model Validated through Test Cell Experiments

A. Tzachanis, P. Chassiotis, and K. Kitsakis (Greece)


Simulation, Solar heat flow, test cell.


We present a simulation model designed to describe the daily–seasonal variation of solar physical phenomena and tested with the aid of a building test cell. The energy and temperatures have been calculated by means of a physical modelling of various energy-conversion and transport mechanisms (solar radiation, heat gains, etc.). This is supplemented by a numerical modelling of the associated physical effects, e.g., finite- difference, finite-element or transfer-function methods. The dynamic heat flow in and out of the structure, resulting from solar irradiation, heat convection and conduction processes, is then calculated, the basis being provided by the finite-differences technique. This way, predictions for the dynamic behaviour of building elements can be derived, a prime example being the time-dependent energy balance of simultaneous solar heat gains incident on the external surfaces of a designed test cell. The validation of the approach has been established by measurements of the solar-radiation components and temperatures, carried out during hot summer days of the year 2004 using the south façade of the test cell. We show that the theoretical predictions and the experimental values are in mutual agreement, establishing this way the strength of the simulation model.

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