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Passive solar house prototype design with a new bio-based material for a semi-arid climate

Passive solar house prototype design with a new bio-based material for a semi-arid climate In this study, a passive solar house prototype was built using Trombe wall and was tested in the semi-arid region of Batna, in eastern Algeria. Traditional local materials (stone and adobe) were used for the construction of the thermal storage wall. A new local bio-based material made from date palm trunks was used for the insulation of the passive house prototype. For a better understanding of passive house heating and for a comparative study, a numerical simulation, using Fluent, was carried out. The aim of this study was to supply recommendations for improving the passive systems and to participate to the energy consumption control in the building sector. The results show that the experimental and numerical simulation results are in good agreement. The optimal orientation of the solar passive house has been determined, which is at 160° southeast. The use of local and bio-based materials has proven its effectiveness in the construction of the passive house. The thermal behavior of date palm wood has been found to be close to those of insulation materials commonly used in buildings. That means it has the same thermal insulation ability (thermal conductivity). On the other hand, the results show that the thermal efficiency of the passive solar heating system, with an adobe wall is significantly higher (50%) than that with a stone wall (30.7%). Keywords Passive heating · Semi-arid region · Bio-based materials · Energy efficiency · Trombe wall · Adobe List of symbolsNu Nusselt number G Global solar radiation flux density (W/m )Pr Prandtl number A Surface (m ) X Independent variable of equations H Height (m) Greek letters T Temperature (°C) ρ Density (kg/m ) V Fluid velocity (m/s) μ Dynamic viscosity (kg/ms) m Air mass flow rate (kg/s) ν Kinematic viscosity (m /s) a Thermal diffusivity (m /s) −1 β Thermal expansion coefficient (°C ) Cp Specific heat (J/kg°C) λ Thermal conductivity (W/m °C) g Acceleration of gravity (m/s ) α Solar absorptivity t Time (s) ε Emissivity e Thickness (m) τ Transmissivity Q Heating capacity (W) −8 2 4 σ Stefan Boltzmann constant (5.67 × 10  W/m °K ) R Thermal resistance (m .°C/W) ϕ Heat flux (W) hc Convection coefficient (W/m °C) η Average thermal efficiency (%) hr Radiation coefficient (W/m °C) Ra Rayleigh number Subscripts Gr Grashof numberc Channel w Wall g Glazing * Ghazali Mebarki cond Conduction g.mebarki@univ-batna2.dz conv Convection amb Ambiance LESEI Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Department, i Interior Faculty of Technology, University of Batna 2, Avenue Chahid Boukhlouf Mohammed Elhadi 05001, Batna, Algeriae Exterior Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 2 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 f Fluid air conditioning. That aim can be reached by diminishing r Radiation the implementation costs of the Trombe wall to provide a tv Top vent comfortable indoor temperature. The Trombe wall is able bv Bottom vent to keep the room warm enough along with decreasing the out Outside implementation costs of the Trombe wall and occupying less exp Experimental space. The area of the Trombe wall is equal to 50% of that sim Simulation of the southern wall [10]. Three zones have been tested in Algerian climatic conditions by setting up of passive heating systems developed by Imessad [11]. Through this study, they Introduction found that the system reduces the annual heating needs by 60–70%. Additionally, they proved that optimization of solar Because of the increase in the energy requirements in build- system depending on the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) criterion by ings, solar energy becomes the most suitable solution due to S. Jaber et al. [12] can lead to develop an approach for opti- its free availability. The popularity of passive solar energy mum size designing the most economic residential building systems has increased massively and Trombe wall system in the mediterranean region. Their study provides also many becomes a very interesting heating technique in buildings. advantages such as the reduction of LCC by 2.4%, the area The passive solar heating is widely used in cold climates, ratio from thermal and economical point of view being 37%. especially by Trombe wall system also named thermal stor- Furthermore, about 445 kg of C O are reduced annually. age wall [1]. It is a massive wall which is painted with a Abbassi et al.[13] carried out a study of energy performance dark color to absorb the maximum amount of heat from inci- of a Trombe wall prototype system on the Mediterranean dent solar radiation. The storage wall is covered with glass coast. They showed that high thermal inertia walls and ther- from outside and an insulating air-gap between them. The mal insulated walls can greatly decrease the heating needs. Trombe wall is a passive solar building design strategy that They show that a Trombe wall with 4 m area can save up adopts the concept of indirect-gain, where the solar radiation to 50% of auxiliary heating energy per year and 77% can absorbed by the wall is converted to heat and then trans- be saved with a Trombe wall with an area of 8 m . A 63% ferred into the internal space of the building by radiation, energy reduction can be achieved by a Trombe wall with 3 conduction and natural convection through vents (orifices) at m area if the building walls are insulated. A fair agreement the bottom and top of the wall [2, 3]. Many studies have been between analytical and numerical results was obtained by conducted on the passive heating by the Trombe wall system the model proposed by Abdeen et al. [14] combined with [4]. An experimental and numerical study was conducted by experimental validation of optimal design model Trombe Liu et al.[5] on a passive house prototype. Analysis of ther- wall. The thermal comfort was improved by 38.19% under mal performance parameters of the Trombe wall provided typical winter week. A Trombe wall performance for a room the optimal opening and closing modes in the management located in Yazd (Iran) was studied numerically by Rabani of air vents. The results provided a reference base for opti- et al. [15]. The results showed that the Trombe wall made of mizing the design of a passive solar house with Trombe wall. paraffin wax can keep the room warmer in comparison with Briga-Sá et al. [6], experimentally, analyzed a test cell with a other materials for about 9 h. A new Trombe wall design classical Trombe wall submitted to real climatic conditions which guarantees the maximum hourly stored energy (about in a Portuguese city. They found that ventilation openings 1600 kJ/h more than a normal system) was realized under and shading affect the temperatures fluctuation and, there - Yazd (Iran) desert climate by Rabani et al. [16]. The new fore, the system ability to store and release heat. The paper designed Trombe wall improves the average daily heating of Bajc et al. [7] deals with a comprehensive numerical CFD efficiency by about 27%. Mohamad et al. [17] proposed a analysis of temperature fields in Trombe wall for a moder - novel design for heating and ventilating rooms using solar ate continental climate using different types of glassing on energy in the winter season and for reducing the cooling the outside of the wall. Depending on these results, analysis load in the summer season. The system utilizes a water tank, of energy savings potential is performed. Experiments of which is part of the building's wall, for storage and hot water Dong et al. [8], using a novel designed Trombe wall, proved supply. The results showed that the proposed system is more that daily thermal efficiency on the heating performance is thermally efficient as compared to the conventional Trombe able to heat the indoor space effectively and rapidly and walls. Hassanain et al. [18] investigated the following three is higher than 50% during the daytime. A numerical and different greenhouse prototype designs: gable, flat and experimental results, by comparing heating performances semi-circle roof shapes at Suez-Canal University (Egypt). of several new designed systems during winter period which The effect of using the adobe wall, as solar heat storage, are provided by K. Hami et al. [9], showed that it is able to was studied. A range of inexpensive and available materi- keep the room warm sufficiently and meets the standards of als were used to form the adobe wall. It is found that, the 1 3 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 3 flat shape greenhouse surface gives higher air temperatures the requirements of the appropriate thermo-physical proper- when the direction of the greenhouse was north–south. An ties [27]. In order to achieve perfect insulation and introduce innovative Trombe wall with an extra window in the mas- the concept of “sustainability” to contribute significantly to sive wall is suggested by Bellos et al. [19] and compared the energy efficiency, investigators are currently seeking to with the conventional Trombe wall and the usual insulated develop thermal and acoustic insulation materials, using nat- wall. The examined building is located in Athens, Greece. ural or recycled materials for their application because their According to the results, the new Trombe wall is the most performance is similar to others synthetic materials [28, 29]. appropriate technology, creating warmer indoor profile than Algeria is a large country with more than 18.6 million the other cases. Bevilacqua et al. [20] proposed the use of date palms cultivated on an area of 169,380 hectares [30]. proper ventilation strategies to reduce cooling needs. The However, significant residues of palm trees or dry palm effectiveness verified in warm climates, where the Trombe trunks are generated and then lead to a pollution of the wall reduced the heating needs by 71.7% and the demand environment when burned. Plant waste, like palm wood, has for cooling energy by 36.1%. However, in a cold climate, been used for the production of multi-layered wood panels heating savings were 18.2% with a cooling energy reduc- by several searches [28, 29]. Many innovative techniques tion of 42.4%. A numerical study proposed by Błotny et al. use the different parts of the date palm mixed with differ - [21] considered passive solar heating and cooling system in ent basic building materials to produce bio-based materials Poland. In order to examine the temperature distribution and [31–35]. air circulation in a room for two representative days during In this study, a sustainable building approach was adopted heating and cooling periods. A temperature increase of 1.11 in semi-arid climatic conditions of Batna (Algeria), in order ◦C and a temperature decrease in the morning and afternoon to use efficiently the solar energy. For that purpose, this of 2.27 °C were obtained. Furthermore, the results obtained study contributes to the control of energy consumption and by changing the wall material from concrete to brick showed thermal comfort in the housing sector. The thermal behavior a temperature increase of 0.40 °C near the storage layer. of passive solar heating is examined through a passive solar An innovative Trombe wall configuration designed for cold house prototype during typical winter days. The thermal climates, named a thermo-diode Trombe wall, was used by storage wall of the Trombe wall was built with traditional Szyszka et al. [22], to improve the energy efficiency by pro- local materials, Adobe and stones which are widely used in viding a proper level of insulation for the building envelope. old buildings. A new local bio-based (bio-sourced) material The results showed that in presence of solar radiation, the was used, that is made of trunks of date palms, for the insu- thermo-diode Trombe wall was able to generate significant lation of the sidewalls of the passive house. Solar thermal heat transfer by natural convection inside the air cavity, with efficiency was calculated for different facade materials and temperatures higher than 35 °C in the upper section. The different orientations in order to identify the optimal orienta- efficiency, relative to the incident solar radiation, reached tion and best material to use for best passive solar heating. 15.3% during a well-sunny winter day. In addition, numerical simulation was carried out in order Using the Trombe wall in the building can reduce energy to further illustrate the parameters of flow and heat transfer consumption and heating demand, in addition to being in the passive solar heating system. environmentally friendly. It is clear that the Trombe wall improves the energy efficiency and sustainability of build- ings by using bio-based insulation materials. Indeed, an important development of thermal insulation over the years Experimental set up and procedure is observed, particularly during the second half of the twen- tieth century and the beginning of this century [23, 24]. The Passive house design implementation of the Algerian National Energy Efficiency Program 2030 [25] through a variety of actions and pro- A passive house prototype was designed and tested at the jects promotes the emergence of a sustainable energy effi- University of Batna 2 located at the city center of Batna in ciency market in Algeria [26]. The objective of this program the east of Algeria (Fig. 1), which is a semi-arid climates was to encourage innovative practices and technologies for region. In winter, temperatures can drop below freezing at improving the interior comfort of the dwellings, and using night and reach 45 °C in the shade during summer. To pro- less energy, also preserving the environment. This can be vide thermal comfort and energy saving, Trombe wall (also done from the concept of sustainable development and  bio- named thermal storage wall) is used. evolution based on the building blocks made of materials Solar radiation is absorbed by the storage wall and thus from renewable biological resources. Many in-depth studies converted into thermal energy and transferred into the inter- have been devoted to new materials derived from biological nal space of the house (Fig. 2). sources or traditional composite materials in order to meet 1 3 4 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 The passive house has a parallelepiped shape with an interior volume of 1 m (Fig. 3a). For better thermal insula- tion, the roof and the floor are made of two layers, a layer of wood and a layer of expanded polystyrene. To be moved freely and easily during experimental tests, the prototype is equipped with wheels at its base as shown in Fig. 3b. The passive house prototype walls (except the storage wall) are made of multilayer materials with an intermediate layer of insulating material having a thickness of 4.6 cm (Fig. 3c). For the thermal insulation of the prototype, a locally pro- duced bio-based material was used for the two sidewalls while for the back side, expanded polystyrene was chosen. The bio-based material was made from date palm wood (Fig.  4). In Algeria, thousands of date palms are burned every year inducing pollution. Such date palms can be recy- cled and used as materials for insulating buildings. The thermal storage wall is removable to allow testing of Fig. 1 Passive house prototype experimental site several types of materials. For that purpose, two different materials were used: natural stones from the Aurès Moun- tains (east of Algeria) (Fig. 5a) and Adobe (sun-dried bricks made from a mixture of 70% clay, 20% straw and 10% water) (Fig. 5b). Experimental measurements The measurements were carried out on the prototype of the passive house for typical winter days in the city of Batna. The following three orientations of the passive house were examined: 160° South-east, 180° South and 200° South-west (Fig. 6a). Surface and ambient tempera- tures were measured every 15 min from 10:00 to 17:00. Internal surface temperatures (T ) were measured using K thermocouples located on the four interior surfaces centres. These thermocouples are connected to a 176 T4 data logger (Fig. 6b) which exports the measurement results to a computer by means of an USB connection. Other thermocouples are used to measure indoor air tem- peratures (T ), outdoor air temperatures (T ) and air in ex Fig. 2 Thermal storage wall gap temperatures (T ) between the glazing and thermal storage wall. Measured values are displayed on a digital screen (Fig. 6c). The temperatures of the exterior surface Fig. 3 a Basic structure of the prototype, b Floor insulation, c Multilayer insulating walls 1 3 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 5 Fig. 4 Preparation of bio-based material Fig. 5 Thermal storage wall materials a Stones facade, b Adobe facade Fig. 6 Experimental measuring devices of the house (T ) are measured using an infrared sensor fixed on the facade of the passive house (Fig. 6e). Finally, (Testo 830-T1) (Fig.  6d). The solar radiation flux den- wind speed and relative humidity data are obtained using sity is measured by Kipp & Zonen CM 5/6 Pyranometer a weather station. 1 3 6 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 Modelling and numerical simulation 2gH ⋅ (T − T ) c i V = , (8) air procedure (C (A ∕A ) + C ) ⋅ T 1 c v 2 c where T is the mean air temperature in the canal, T is the Mathematical modelling c i inside (room) air temperature, H is the wall height, A is the vent area and g is the gravitational acceleration. In this study, a heat transfer analysis of the different parts C = 8 and C = 2 are empirical constants determined by of the passive solar house prototype was performed. In this 1 2 Utzinger [13]. passive solar-heating system, solar radiation is absorbed by The energy transmitted to the inside of the passive house the external face of the thermal storage wall; then heat is via the top vent is given by [39] as follows: transferred inside the passive house by conduction through the storage wall, by radiation and natural convection. mC ̇ p (T − T ) tv bv The solar radiation that goes through the glass and then Q = , (9) conv absorbed by the thermal storage wall, is given as follows: where T is the top vent temperature, T is the bottom vent tv bv Φ=   G, g w (1) temperature, Cp is the specific heat of air and A is the wall area (m ). where  is the glass transmittance,  is the wall absorptiv- g w The Nusselt number in the air-gap is determined accord- ity and G is the solar radiation. ing to the correlations proposed by Curchill and Chu [36] Combined heat flux density between the outer face of as follows: the glass and the ambient outside air by convection and For laminar free convection ( Ra < 10 ): radiation [36] as follows: 1∕4 Φ = h (T − T )+ h (T − T ), 0.67 (Ra ) out ce amb g re sky g (2) Nu = 0.68 + (10) 4∕9 9∕16 1 + (0.492∕Pr) where T and T are the ambient and glass temperatures, amb g respectively. For turbulent free convection ( Ra > 10 2): Convective heat transfer coefficient h is given as fol- ce lows [37]: ⎡ ⎤ 1∕6 0.387 (Ra ) ⎢ ⎥ Nu = 0.825 + (11) h = 5.7 + 3.8V (3) � � ce wind 8∕27 ⎢ 9∕16 ⎥ 1 + (0.492 Pr) ⎣ ⎦ Radiation heat transfer coefficient h is given as follows [37]: The total heat flux density transferred by convection and radiation between the inner wall surface and the interior of 2 2 h =  (T + T )(T + T ), (4) re g sky g sky g the passive house is given by [37] as follows: Φ = h (T − T ) where  is the emissivity of glass and σ is Stefan–Boltz- i i wi i (12) −8 2 4 mann constant ( = 5.67 × 10 W/m K ). Sky temperature T is given by Swinbank [14] as follows: h = h + h , sky (13) i ri ci 1.5 T = 0.0552 T (5) where h and h are the radiation heat transfer and convec- sky amb ri ci tive heat transfer coefficients, respectively, on the inside sur - Average convective heat transfer coefficient in the air- face of the wall. These coefficients are calculated as follows: gap between the thermal storage wall and the glass is given 2 2 by [38]: h =  (T + T )(T + T ) (14) ri w wi i wi i h = 5.68 + 4.1V (6) cc air Nu air h = (15) ci The mass flow rate in the air-gap is calculated by: m ̇ = 𝜌V A , (7) air c In order to calculate the Nusselt number, we use the fol- lowing vertical plate correlations [36]: where ρ is the air density and A is the air-gap area. 1∕4 V is the mean air velocity in the air-gap, determined 4 9 air Nu = 0.516 Ra for 10 < Ra < 10 (16) H H by [13] as follows: 1 3 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 7 1∕3 9 13 Table 1 Characteristics materials used in the CFD study Nu = 0.117 Ra for 10 < Ra < 10 (17) H H Material Density  Specific heat Cp Conduc- where Ra is the Rayleigh number given by the following: kg/m j/kg k tivity W/m °C g (T − T ) H wi i Ra = (18) Glazing 2500 800 0.8 Adobe 1700 1700 0.6 In this study, the solar thermal efficiency of the passive house system is defined as the ratio of the energy absorbed by the air cavity to the total solar energy input [40]: = 1.1614 − 0.00353 (T − 300) (20) air conv = (19) 3 Cp = [1.007 + 0.00004 (T − 300)] × 10 (21) air −5 = [1.846 + 0.00472 (T − 300)] × 10 (22) air Numerical simulation procedure = 0.0263 + 0.000074 (T − 300) A numerical simulation of flow and heat transfer in the pas- air (23) sive house has been performed using the CFD Fluent code. A The relative error between simulation and experimental two-dimensional steady-state model was used to solve the con- results is calculated by [41] as follows: tinuity, momentum and energy equations of air in the domain using the finite volume method. The boundary conditions are X − X exp sim Er =   × 100%, specified using the experimental data of a semi-arid typical (24) exp winter day, for the gap inlet. All walls are considered adiabatic, except the thermal storage wall. The glazing is set as a con- where X is the experimental value and X is the simula- exp sim vective wall boundary, the convective heat transfer coefficient tion value. is given by the McAdams expression [37]. The gravitational acceleration was imposed on the air flow. The buoyancy effect was considered using the Boussinesq model. The SIMPLE algorithm was used for the resolution of the velocity–pressure coupling. The characteristics materials constituting the CFD study of passive heating system are summarized in Table 1. The temperature-dependent physical properties of air are given by [39] as follows: Fig. 7 Test set-up used to obtain the thermal performances of the bio-based material 1 3 8 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 and thermal insulation capabilities as polystyrene and glass Results and discussions wool. Consequently, the physical properties of date palm wood are close to those of insulation materials commonly Experimental results used in buildings. The new local bio-based material made from date palm trunks is then used for the insulation of In order to evaluate the thermal performances of the bio- the passive house prototype. The following results were based material used for thermal insulation of the passive obtained for this passive house prototype. Figures 9 and 10 house prototype, test set-up was carried out, in a previous show indoor air temperature, outdoor air temperature, air study, to compare this material to glass wool and expanded gap temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind polystyrene which are commonly used in building insula- speed. These data are given for different orientations and for tion. In the test set-up (Fig. 7), a multilayer wall, formed of typical winter days, for adobe and stone walls, respectively. the material to be tested between two layers of plasterboard, The average temperatures in the house and the air gap for has been exposed to a constant heat flux. Temperatures are different orientations corresponding to the adobe and stone recorded until thermal equilibrium is reached. The physical facades are also displayed in Table  3. The maximum tem- properties of the tested materials are summarized in Table  2. perature difference between the air gap and the interior of For temperature measurements, K type thermocouples the house is obtained for the ‘160° southeast’ orientation. were used and connected to a “Testo 176 T4” data logger Therefore, ‘160° southeast’ is the optimal orientation for the which transforms the results to a computer for storage and semi-arid region of Batna. processing. Thermocouples’ calibration was performed by On the other hand, the large temperature difference is an infrared measuring device (Testo 830 type) ensuring obtained for the adobe storage wall. Consequently, the rapid and non-contact measurements of the surface tem- amount of heat transferred to the house is better for the perature. The experiments were carried out under the same adobe wall (Table 3). conditions and the temperatures are recorded for a period The air flow rate in the gap during the studied periods is of 1 hour after application of the heat flux, which allows presented in Fig. 11. It can be seen that the largest value of thermal equilibrium to be reached. the air flow rate is obtained for the adobe wall corresponding The temperature variations of multilayer walls with dif- to the optimum orientation (ie. 160° southeast). Heat transfer ferent insulating materials are shown in Fig. 8. The same in the air gap is assumed to be by natural convection between tendency is observed for the three materials. We can notice two parallel vertical plates (i.e. the massive wall and the that the bio-based material has the same thermal behavior glazing). Average heat transfer coefficients in the air-gap (h ) and between the outer face of the glass and the ambi- cc ent outside air (h ) are shown in Fig. 12. The heat transfer ce coefficient between the glazing and the outside is due to the wind speed. However, (h ) is always much higher than (h ). Expanded polystyrene ce cc Glass wool It can be noticed that the adobe wall is more sensitive to the Date Palm wood variation of solar radiation than the stone wall. On the other hand, the average heat transfer coefficient for the stone wall is more important than that of the adobe wall. 38 Solar heat flux absorbed by the glazing and the Trombe wall at 160° Southeast orientation, for the adobe and stone walls, is presented in Fig. 13. The difference between the 34 two curves represents the losses of the absorbed heat flux between the glazing and the Trombe wall. We can observe the same daily evolution of heat losses between the glazing and the massive wall for both materials (Adobe and stone), except at the end of the day where thermal losses reach the minimum values for Adobe wall compared to the stone wall. This shows that the stone facade has a greater capacity and more time to store heat than the adobe facade. Solar thermal efficiency is related to the Trombe wall 0.00 0.40 0.80 1.20 1.60 2.00 2.402.803.203.604.004.404.80 material as illustrated in Fig. 14a. Indeed, the thermal effi- Position (cm) ciency of the prototype of the passive solar house with an adobe wall is significantly higher than that with a stone Fig. 8 Temperature variations in multilayer walls for different materi- wall. Solar thermal efficiency reaches a maximum of 50% als 1 3 Temperature (°C) Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 9 60 1000 54 14 01-01-2020 160° Southeast 01-01-2020 160° Southeast 700 11 35 46 30 500 20 7 300 40 200 38 100 36 0 0 10:3011:15 12:0012:45 13:30 14:15 15:00 10:30 11:15 12:00 12:45 13:3014:15 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind Speed Km/h T T T Solarradiation in ex c 41 13 02-01-2020 180° South 55 02-01-2020 180° South 38 11 40 37 35 600 36 35 9 400 8 32 7 200 31 29 5 0 0 10:3011:15 12:0012:45 13:30 14:1515:00 10:30 11:15 12:00 12:45 13:30 14:15 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind SpeedKm/h T T T Solar radiation in ex c 60 1000 60 16 04-01-2020 200°southwest 04-01-2020200° southwest 700 13 30 500 100 6 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:4514:45 15:4516:45 10:4511:45 12:45 13:45 14:45 15:4516:45 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind Speed Km/h T T T Solar radiation in ex c Fig. 9 Temperatures, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind speed for various orientations and for the adobe facade wall for the adobe wall while it reaches a maximum of 30.7% Numerical results for the stone wall that is caused by the temperature gradient between the air gap channel and the interior of the house for A CFD simulation was performed to validate the experimen- the adobe wall which is larger than that for the stone wall tal results. For that purpose, a numerical study on a two- (Fig. 14b). dimensional configuration of the prototype of the passive solar house was carried out using fluid code. The objec- tive of validation is necessary for more reliability and for a better understanding of the air natural convection as well 1 3 Temperature (°C) Temperature(°C) Temperature(°C) 2 2 2 Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Wind Speed(Km/h) Wind Speed (Km/h) Wind Speed (Km/h) 10 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 35 34,0 55 ° 16-01-2020 160 Southeast 16-01-2020 160 Southeast 50 33,5 33,0 40 700 32,5 32,0 31,5 31,0 30,5 24 30,0 0 0 10:4511:45 12:4513:45 14:45 15:45 16:45 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:45 14:4515:45 16:45 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind Speed Km/h T T T Solar radiation in ex c 58 14 01-02-2020 180°South 01-02-2020 180° South 50 800 45 52 700 10 30 7 400 46 5 0 10:4511:45 12:4513:45 14:4515:45 16:45 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:45 14:4515:45 16:45 Time (h) Time (h) T T T Solarradiation Relative Humidity % Wind SpeedKm/h in ex c 35 16 08-02-2020 200° Southwest 08-02-2020 200° Southwest 36 15 30 33 27 13 18 11 15 30 9 9 28 8 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:4514:45 15:4516:45 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:4514:45 15:4516:45 Time (h) Time (h) T T T Solarradiation in ex c Relative Humidity % Wind SpeedKm/h Fig. 10 Temperatures, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind speed for various orientations and for the stone facade wall as the heat transfer by conduction in the house. Numerical house and validate the model at these times. After an hour temperature and velocity fields are shown in Figs.  15 and and half of passive heating, at 11:30 the temperature gradi- 16, respectively. Two different times of this winter day were ent reached the minimum. So the storage wall temperature chosen to highlight the heat transfer and air velocity of the is at the same temperature as the indoor space. Which means passive solar heating process, in the morning (at the begin- that there will be no reverse air flow in the channel between ning of the heating process) and in the afternoon (peak or the outside and the air canal. As a result, the storage wall saturation phase) to show the thermal behavior of the passive begins to heat the indoor ambient air. The warm air enters 1 3 Temperature (°C) Temperature(°C) Temperature (°C) 2 2 Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Wind Speed (Km/h) Wind Speed (Km/h) Wind Speed(Km/h) Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 11 Table 2 Physical properties of the tested materials the room via the top vent driven by the buoyancy force. The air closer to the roof heats up earlier than the lower Density Thermal conductivity Specific heat (J/ 3 2 part, which gradually increases the interior temperature, (kg/m ) (W/m °C) kg °C) as shown in Fig. 15a. In the afternoon, at 14:00, the mean Plasterboard 875 0.21 936 air flow velocity in the channel reaches 0.2 m/s (Fig.  16b). Expanded 20 0.042 1404 Natural convection becomes the dominant heating mode for polystyrene this period (Fig. 15b). The results are obtained for the adobe Glass wool 17 0.035 1030 wall. A sufficient thermal comfort conditions, with minimal Table 3 Average internal and air gap temperatures for different orientations Orientation 160° Southeast 180° South 200° Southwest Solar radia- T [°C] T [°C] ΔT = T −  T T [°C] T [°C] ΔT = T  − T T [°C] T [°C] ΔT = T  − T i c c i i c c i i c c i tion W/m Adobe facade  650–720 12.6 39.7 27.1 11.3 36.2 24.9 10.6 32.4 21.8  720–800 25.8 55.2 29.4 25.3 51.6 26.3 23.4 52.3 28.9 Stones facade  650–720 14.2 36.8 22.6 17.4 30.5 13.1 13.4 22.8 9.4  720–800 26.4 51.4 25 39.6 55.4 15.8 22.2 49.7 27.5 0,035 temperature and velocity change in the house are obtained Adobe facade at 14H00. Stone facade 0,030 The experimental and numerical simulation results are 0,025 in a fair agreement. Indeed, for the internal temperature a relative error of 2.11% and 6.49% was obtained at 11:30 and 0,020 14:00, respectively. For solar thermal efficiency, the relative error reaches a maximum of 2.23% and 1.20% at 11:30 and 0,015 14:00, respectively (Table 4). 0,010 10:00 11:00 12:0013:00 14:00 15:00 Conclusion Time (h) In this work, a passive solar house prototype using Trombe Fig. 11 Air mass flow rate in the air gap channel at 160° Southeast wall system was built and tested in the semi-arid region of orientation for stone and adobe walls Batna, in eastern Algeria. The use of new local bio-insulator hce hcc hce hcc 10:0011:00 12:00 13:00 14:0015:00 10:0011:00 12:00 13:0014:00 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Fig. 12 Average convective heat transfer coefficients at 160° Southeast orientation for a adobe wall, b stone wall 1 3 Mass flow rate (kg/s) h(W/m C°) h(W/m °C) 12 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 Glazing Glazing Wall 300 Wall 100 100 10:0011:00 12:0013:00 14:00 15:00 10:0011:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Fig. 13 Solar flux heat absorbed by the glazing and the Trombe wall at 160° Southeast for a adobe facade, b stone facade Adobe facade Stone facade 10:0011:00 12:0013:00 14:0015:00 Time (h) Fig. 14 a Solar thermal efficiency for adobe and stone wall at 160° Southeast, b Temperature difference between the air gap channel and the interior of the house Fig. 15 Temperature contours in the passive house prototype at a 11:30, b 14:00 1 3 Solar flux absorbed (W/m ) Thermal efficiency (%) Solar flux absorbed (W/m ) Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 13 Fig. 16 Velocity contours in the passive house prototype at a 11:30, b 14:00 Table 4 Relative errors between experimental and numerical simula- On the other hand, the adobe wall is more sensitive to tion results the variation of solar radiation than the stone wall. 3- The same thermal losses were observed between the Time (h) glazing and the Trombe wall except at the end of the 11:30 14:00 day, for which the thermal losses are minimal for the Internal temperature (°C) adobe wall.  Experimental temperature 14.2 27.7 4- The daily heat gain from solar energy through the  Numerical simulation temperature 13.9 25.9 Trombe wall was found to be between 11 and 31% for  Relative error % 2.11 6.49 the stone facade, and between 30 and 50% for the adobe Solar thermal efficiency (%) facade.  Experimental efficiency 22.4 49.7 5- Two-dimensional CFD of passive solar heating system  Numerical simulation efficiency 21.9 49.1 using fluent software has provided a perfect understand-  Relative error % 2.23 1.20 ing of air circulation by natural convection as well as heat transfer by conduction. The numerical results are in a fair agreement with the experimental data. and bio-based construction materials were discussed. The Generally, the passive heating system of Trombe wall experimental results show that the Trombe wall thermal behavior is influenced by the nature of the building mate- has been found to be efficient in providing sufficient ther - mal comfort, in the real semi-arid conditions However, the rials. Indeed, the thermal efficiency of the passive solar house prototype with an adobe wall was found higher than passive solar house prototype must be tested the rest of the year and adapted according to the needs and requirements that with a stone wall. A bio-based material made from the trunks of date palms has been used for thermal insulation of thermal comfort conditions. of the passive house. The physical properties of this bio- based material was found close to those of insulation mate- Declarations rials commonly used in buildings. The main results of this research are summarized as follows: Conflict of interest On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. 1- The maximum temperature difference between the air gap and the interior of the house is obtained for the Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri- ‘160° southeast’ orientation. Therefore, ‘160° southeast’ bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta- tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long is the optimal orientation for the semi-arid region of as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, Batna. provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes 2- The amount of heat transferred to the house and the larg- were made. 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Passive solar house prototype design with a new bio-based material for a semi-arid climate

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Abstract

In this study, a passive solar house prototype was built using Trombe wall and was tested in the semi-arid region of Batna, in eastern Algeria. Traditional local materials (stone and adobe) were used for the construction of the thermal storage wall. A new local bio-based material made from date palm trunks was used for the insulation of the passive house prototype. For a better understanding of passive house heating and for a comparative study, a numerical simulation, using Fluent, was carried out. The aim of this study was to supply recommendations for improving the passive systems and to participate to the energy consumption control in the building sector. The results show that the experimental and numerical simulation results are in good agreement. The optimal orientation of the solar passive house has been determined, which is at 160° southeast. The use of local and bio-based materials has proven its effectiveness in the construction of the passive house. The thermal behavior of date palm wood has been found to be close to those of insulation materials commonly used in buildings. That means it has the same thermal insulation ability (thermal conductivity). On the other hand, the results show that the thermal efficiency of the passive solar heating system, with an adobe wall is significantly higher (50%) than that with a stone wall (30.7%). Keywords Passive heating · Semi-arid region · Bio-based materials · Energy efficiency · Trombe wall · Adobe List of symbolsNu Nusselt number G Global solar radiation flux density (W/m )Pr Prandtl number A Surface (m ) X Independent variable of equations H Height (m) Greek letters T Temperature (°C) ρ Density (kg/m ) V Fluid velocity (m/s) μ Dynamic viscosity (kg/ms) m Air mass flow rate (kg/s) ν Kinematic viscosity (m /s) a Thermal diffusivity (m /s) −1 β Thermal expansion coefficient (°C ) Cp Specific heat (J/kg°C) λ Thermal conductivity (W/m °C) g Acceleration of gravity (m/s ) α Solar absorptivity t Time (s) ε Emissivity e Thickness (m) τ Transmissivity Q Heating capacity (W) −8 2 4 σ Stefan Boltzmann constant (5.67 × 10  W/m °K ) R Thermal resistance (m .°C/W) ϕ Heat flux (W) hc Convection coefficient (W/m °C) η Average thermal efficiency (%) hr Radiation coefficient (W/m °C) Ra Rayleigh number Subscripts Gr Grashof numberc Channel w Wall g Glazing * Ghazali Mebarki cond Conduction g.mebarki@univ-batna2.dz conv Convection amb Ambiance LESEI Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Department, i Interior Faculty of Technology, University of Batna 2, Avenue Chahid Boukhlouf Mohammed Elhadi 05001, Batna, Algeriae Exterior Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 2 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 f Fluid air conditioning. That aim can be reached by diminishing r Radiation the implementation costs of the Trombe wall to provide a tv Top vent comfortable indoor temperature. The Trombe wall is able bv Bottom vent to keep the room warm enough along with decreasing the out Outside implementation costs of the Trombe wall and occupying less exp Experimental space. The area of the Trombe wall is equal to 50% of that sim Simulation of the southern wall [10]. Three zones have been tested in Algerian climatic conditions by setting up of passive heating systems developed by Imessad [11]. Through this study, they Introduction found that the system reduces the annual heating needs by 60–70%. Additionally, they proved that optimization of solar Because of the increase in the energy requirements in build- system depending on the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) criterion by ings, solar energy becomes the most suitable solution due to S. Jaber et al. [12] can lead to develop an approach for opti- its free availability. The popularity of passive solar energy mum size designing the most economic residential building systems has increased massively and Trombe wall system in the mediterranean region. Their study provides also many becomes a very interesting heating technique in buildings. advantages such as the reduction of LCC by 2.4%, the area The passive solar heating is widely used in cold climates, ratio from thermal and economical point of view being 37%. especially by Trombe wall system also named thermal stor- Furthermore, about 445 kg of C O are reduced annually. age wall [1]. It is a massive wall which is painted with a Abbassi et al.[13] carried out a study of energy performance dark color to absorb the maximum amount of heat from inci- of a Trombe wall prototype system on the Mediterranean dent solar radiation. The storage wall is covered with glass coast. They showed that high thermal inertia walls and ther- from outside and an insulating air-gap between them. The mal insulated walls can greatly decrease the heating needs. Trombe wall is a passive solar building design strategy that They show that a Trombe wall with 4 m area can save up adopts the concept of indirect-gain, where the solar radiation to 50% of auxiliary heating energy per year and 77% can absorbed by the wall is converted to heat and then trans- be saved with a Trombe wall with an area of 8 m . A 63% ferred into the internal space of the building by radiation, energy reduction can be achieved by a Trombe wall with 3 conduction and natural convection through vents (orifices) at m area if the building walls are insulated. A fair agreement the bottom and top of the wall [2, 3]. Many studies have been between analytical and numerical results was obtained by conducted on the passive heating by the Trombe wall system the model proposed by Abdeen et al. [14] combined with [4]. An experimental and numerical study was conducted by experimental validation of optimal design model Trombe Liu et al.[5] on a passive house prototype. Analysis of ther- wall. The thermal comfort was improved by 38.19% under mal performance parameters of the Trombe wall provided typical winter week. A Trombe wall performance for a room the optimal opening and closing modes in the management located in Yazd (Iran) was studied numerically by Rabani of air vents. The results provided a reference base for opti- et al. [15]. The results showed that the Trombe wall made of mizing the design of a passive solar house with Trombe wall. paraffin wax can keep the room warmer in comparison with Briga-Sá et al. [6], experimentally, analyzed a test cell with a other materials for about 9 h. A new Trombe wall design classical Trombe wall submitted to real climatic conditions which guarantees the maximum hourly stored energy (about in a Portuguese city. They found that ventilation openings 1600 kJ/h more than a normal system) was realized under and shading affect the temperatures fluctuation and, there - Yazd (Iran) desert climate by Rabani et al. [16]. The new fore, the system ability to store and release heat. The paper designed Trombe wall improves the average daily heating of Bajc et al. [7] deals with a comprehensive numerical CFD efficiency by about 27%. Mohamad et al. [17] proposed a analysis of temperature fields in Trombe wall for a moder - novel design for heating and ventilating rooms using solar ate continental climate using different types of glassing on energy in the winter season and for reducing the cooling the outside of the wall. Depending on these results, analysis load in the summer season. The system utilizes a water tank, of energy savings potential is performed. Experiments of which is part of the building's wall, for storage and hot water Dong et al. [8], using a novel designed Trombe wall, proved supply. The results showed that the proposed system is more that daily thermal efficiency on the heating performance is thermally efficient as compared to the conventional Trombe able to heat the indoor space effectively and rapidly and walls. Hassanain et al. [18] investigated the following three is higher than 50% during the daytime. A numerical and different greenhouse prototype designs: gable, flat and experimental results, by comparing heating performances semi-circle roof shapes at Suez-Canal University (Egypt). of several new designed systems during winter period which The effect of using the adobe wall, as solar heat storage, are provided by K. Hami et al. [9], showed that it is able to was studied. A range of inexpensive and available materi- keep the room warm sufficiently and meets the standards of als were used to form the adobe wall. It is found that, the 1 3 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 3 flat shape greenhouse surface gives higher air temperatures the requirements of the appropriate thermo-physical proper- when the direction of the greenhouse was north–south. An ties [27]. In order to achieve perfect insulation and introduce innovative Trombe wall with an extra window in the mas- the concept of “sustainability” to contribute significantly to sive wall is suggested by Bellos et al. [19] and compared the energy efficiency, investigators are currently seeking to with the conventional Trombe wall and the usual insulated develop thermal and acoustic insulation materials, using nat- wall. The examined building is located in Athens, Greece. ural or recycled materials for their application because their According to the results, the new Trombe wall is the most performance is similar to others synthetic materials [28, 29]. appropriate technology, creating warmer indoor profile than Algeria is a large country with more than 18.6 million the other cases. Bevilacqua et al. [20] proposed the use of date palms cultivated on an area of 169,380 hectares [30]. proper ventilation strategies to reduce cooling needs. The However, significant residues of palm trees or dry palm effectiveness verified in warm climates, where the Trombe trunks are generated and then lead to a pollution of the wall reduced the heating needs by 71.7% and the demand environment when burned. Plant waste, like palm wood, has for cooling energy by 36.1%. However, in a cold climate, been used for the production of multi-layered wood panels heating savings were 18.2% with a cooling energy reduc- by several searches [28, 29]. Many innovative techniques tion of 42.4%. A numerical study proposed by Błotny et al. use the different parts of the date palm mixed with differ - [21] considered passive solar heating and cooling system in ent basic building materials to produce bio-based materials Poland. In order to examine the temperature distribution and [31–35]. air circulation in a room for two representative days during In this study, a sustainable building approach was adopted heating and cooling periods. A temperature increase of 1.11 in semi-arid climatic conditions of Batna (Algeria), in order ◦C and a temperature decrease in the morning and afternoon to use efficiently the solar energy. For that purpose, this of 2.27 °C were obtained. Furthermore, the results obtained study contributes to the control of energy consumption and by changing the wall material from concrete to brick showed thermal comfort in the housing sector. The thermal behavior a temperature increase of 0.40 °C near the storage layer. of passive solar heating is examined through a passive solar An innovative Trombe wall configuration designed for cold house prototype during typical winter days. The thermal climates, named a thermo-diode Trombe wall, was used by storage wall of the Trombe wall was built with traditional Szyszka et al. [22], to improve the energy efficiency by pro- local materials, Adobe and stones which are widely used in viding a proper level of insulation for the building envelope. old buildings. A new local bio-based (bio-sourced) material The results showed that in presence of solar radiation, the was used, that is made of trunks of date palms, for the insu- thermo-diode Trombe wall was able to generate significant lation of the sidewalls of the passive house. Solar thermal heat transfer by natural convection inside the air cavity, with efficiency was calculated for different facade materials and temperatures higher than 35 °C in the upper section. The different orientations in order to identify the optimal orienta- efficiency, relative to the incident solar radiation, reached tion and best material to use for best passive solar heating. 15.3% during a well-sunny winter day. In addition, numerical simulation was carried out in order Using the Trombe wall in the building can reduce energy to further illustrate the parameters of flow and heat transfer consumption and heating demand, in addition to being in the passive solar heating system. environmentally friendly. It is clear that the Trombe wall improves the energy efficiency and sustainability of build- ings by using bio-based insulation materials. Indeed, an important development of thermal insulation over the years Experimental set up and procedure is observed, particularly during the second half of the twen- tieth century and the beginning of this century [23, 24]. The Passive house design implementation of the Algerian National Energy Efficiency Program 2030 [25] through a variety of actions and pro- A passive house prototype was designed and tested at the jects promotes the emergence of a sustainable energy effi- University of Batna 2 located at the city center of Batna in ciency market in Algeria [26]. The objective of this program the east of Algeria (Fig. 1), which is a semi-arid climates was to encourage innovative practices and technologies for region. In winter, temperatures can drop below freezing at improving the interior comfort of the dwellings, and using night and reach 45 °C in the shade during summer. To pro- less energy, also preserving the environment. This can be vide thermal comfort and energy saving, Trombe wall (also done from the concept of sustainable development and  bio- named thermal storage wall) is used. evolution based on the building blocks made of materials Solar radiation is absorbed by the storage wall and thus from renewable biological resources. Many in-depth studies converted into thermal energy and transferred into the inter- have been devoted to new materials derived from biological nal space of the house (Fig. 2). sources or traditional composite materials in order to meet 1 3 4 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 The passive house has a parallelepiped shape with an interior volume of 1 m (Fig. 3a). For better thermal insula- tion, the roof and the floor are made of two layers, a layer of wood and a layer of expanded polystyrene. To be moved freely and easily during experimental tests, the prototype is equipped with wheels at its base as shown in Fig. 3b. The passive house prototype walls (except the storage wall) are made of multilayer materials with an intermediate layer of insulating material having a thickness of 4.6 cm (Fig. 3c). For the thermal insulation of the prototype, a locally pro- duced bio-based material was used for the two sidewalls while for the back side, expanded polystyrene was chosen. The bio-based material was made from date palm wood (Fig.  4). In Algeria, thousands of date palms are burned every year inducing pollution. Such date palms can be recy- cled and used as materials for insulating buildings. The thermal storage wall is removable to allow testing of Fig. 1 Passive house prototype experimental site several types of materials. For that purpose, two different materials were used: natural stones from the Aurès Moun- tains (east of Algeria) (Fig. 5a) and Adobe (sun-dried bricks made from a mixture of 70% clay, 20% straw and 10% water) (Fig. 5b). Experimental measurements The measurements were carried out on the prototype of the passive house for typical winter days in the city of Batna. The following three orientations of the passive house were examined: 160° South-east, 180° South and 200° South-west (Fig. 6a). Surface and ambient tempera- tures were measured every 15 min from 10:00 to 17:00. Internal surface temperatures (T ) were measured using K thermocouples located on the four interior surfaces centres. These thermocouples are connected to a 176 T4 data logger (Fig. 6b) which exports the measurement results to a computer by means of an USB connection. Other thermocouples are used to measure indoor air tem- peratures (T ), outdoor air temperatures (T ) and air in ex Fig. 2 Thermal storage wall gap temperatures (T ) between the glazing and thermal storage wall. Measured values are displayed on a digital screen (Fig. 6c). The temperatures of the exterior surface Fig. 3 a Basic structure of the prototype, b Floor insulation, c Multilayer insulating walls 1 3 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 5 Fig. 4 Preparation of bio-based material Fig. 5 Thermal storage wall materials a Stones facade, b Adobe facade Fig. 6 Experimental measuring devices of the house (T ) are measured using an infrared sensor fixed on the facade of the passive house (Fig. 6e). Finally, (Testo 830-T1) (Fig.  6d). The solar radiation flux den- wind speed and relative humidity data are obtained using sity is measured by Kipp & Zonen CM 5/6 Pyranometer a weather station. 1 3 6 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 Modelling and numerical simulation 2gH ⋅ (T − T ) c i V = , (8) air procedure (C (A ∕A ) + C ) ⋅ T 1 c v 2 c where T is the mean air temperature in the canal, T is the Mathematical modelling c i inside (room) air temperature, H is the wall height, A is the vent area and g is the gravitational acceleration. In this study, a heat transfer analysis of the different parts C = 8 and C = 2 are empirical constants determined by of the passive solar house prototype was performed. In this 1 2 Utzinger [13]. passive solar-heating system, solar radiation is absorbed by The energy transmitted to the inside of the passive house the external face of the thermal storage wall; then heat is via the top vent is given by [39] as follows: transferred inside the passive house by conduction through the storage wall, by radiation and natural convection. mC ̇ p (T − T ) tv bv The solar radiation that goes through the glass and then Q = , (9) conv absorbed by the thermal storage wall, is given as follows: where T is the top vent temperature, T is the bottom vent tv bv Φ=   G, g w (1) temperature, Cp is the specific heat of air and A is the wall area (m ). where  is the glass transmittance,  is the wall absorptiv- g w The Nusselt number in the air-gap is determined accord- ity and G is the solar radiation. ing to the correlations proposed by Curchill and Chu [36] Combined heat flux density between the outer face of as follows: the glass and the ambient outside air by convection and For laminar free convection ( Ra < 10 ): radiation [36] as follows: 1∕4 Φ = h (T − T )+ h (T − T ), 0.67 (Ra ) out ce amb g re sky g (2) Nu = 0.68 + (10) 4∕9 9∕16 1 + (0.492∕Pr) where T and T are the ambient and glass temperatures, amb g respectively. For turbulent free convection ( Ra > 10 2): Convective heat transfer coefficient h is given as fol- ce lows [37]: ⎡ ⎤ 1∕6 0.387 (Ra ) ⎢ ⎥ Nu = 0.825 + (11) h = 5.7 + 3.8V (3) � � ce wind 8∕27 ⎢ 9∕16 ⎥ 1 + (0.492 Pr) ⎣ ⎦ Radiation heat transfer coefficient h is given as follows [37]: The total heat flux density transferred by convection and radiation between the inner wall surface and the interior of 2 2 h =  (T + T )(T + T ), (4) re g sky g sky g the passive house is given by [37] as follows: Φ = h (T − T ) where  is the emissivity of glass and σ is Stefan–Boltz- i i wi i (12) −8 2 4 mann constant ( = 5.67 × 10 W/m K ). Sky temperature T is given by Swinbank [14] as follows: h = h + h , sky (13) i ri ci 1.5 T = 0.0552 T (5) where h and h are the radiation heat transfer and convec- sky amb ri ci tive heat transfer coefficients, respectively, on the inside sur - Average convective heat transfer coefficient in the air- face of the wall. These coefficients are calculated as follows: gap between the thermal storage wall and the glass is given 2 2 by [38]: h =  (T + T )(T + T ) (14) ri w wi i wi i h = 5.68 + 4.1V (6) cc air Nu air h = (15) ci The mass flow rate in the air-gap is calculated by: m ̇ = 𝜌V A , (7) air c In order to calculate the Nusselt number, we use the fol- lowing vertical plate correlations [36]: where ρ is the air density and A is the air-gap area. 1∕4 V is the mean air velocity in the air-gap, determined 4 9 air Nu = 0.516 Ra for 10 < Ra < 10 (16) H H by [13] as follows: 1 3 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 7 1∕3 9 13 Table 1 Characteristics materials used in the CFD study Nu = 0.117 Ra for 10 < Ra < 10 (17) H H Material Density  Specific heat Cp Conduc- where Ra is the Rayleigh number given by the following: kg/m j/kg k tivity W/m °C g (T − T ) H wi i Ra = (18) Glazing 2500 800 0.8 Adobe 1700 1700 0.6 In this study, the solar thermal efficiency of the passive house system is defined as the ratio of the energy absorbed by the air cavity to the total solar energy input [40]: = 1.1614 − 0.00353 (T − 300) (20) air conv = (19) 3 Cp = [1.007 + 0.00004 (T − 300)] × 10 (21) air −5 = [1.846 + 0.00472 (T − 300)] × 10 (22) air Numerical simulation procedure = 0.0263 + 0.000074 (T − 300) A numerical simulation of flow and heat transfer in the pas- air (23) sive house has been performed using the CFD Fluent code. A The relative error between simulation and experimental two-dimensional steady-state model was used to solve the con- results is calculated by [41] as follows: tinuity, momentum and energy equations of air in the domain using the finite volume method. The boundary conditions are X − X exp sim Er =   × 100%, specified using the experimental data of a semi-arid typical (24) exp winter day, for the gap inlet. All walls are considered adiabatic, except the thermal storage wall. The glazing is set as a con- where X is the experimental value and X is the simula- exp sim vective wall boundary, the convective heat transfer coefficient tion value. is given by the McAdams expression [37]. The gravitational acceleration was imposed on the air flow. The buoyancy effect was considered using the Boussinesq model. The SIMPLE algorithm was used for the resolution of the velocity–pressure coupling. The characteristics materials constituting the CFD study of passive heating system are summarized in Table 1. The temperature-dependent physical properties of air are given by [39] as follows: Fig. 7 Test set-up used to obtain the thermal performances of the bio-based material 1 3 8 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 and thermal insulation capabilities as polystyrene and glass Results and discussions wool. Consequently, the physical properties of date palm wood are close to those of insulation materials commonly Experimental results used in buildings. The new local bio-based material made from date palm trunks is then used for the insulation of In order to evaluate the thermal performances of the bio- the passive house prototype. The following results were based material used for thermal insulation of the passive obtained for this passive house prototype. Figures 9 and 10 house prototype, test set-up was carried out, in a previous show indoor air temperature, outdoor air temperature, air study, to compare this material to glass wool and expanded gap temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind polystyrene which are commonly used in building insula- speed. These data are given for different orientations and for tion. In the test set-up (Fig. 7), a multilayer wall, formed of typical winter days, for adobe and stone walls, respectively. the material to be tested between two layers of plasterboard, The average temperatures in the house and the air gap for has been exposed to a constant heat flux. Temperatures are different orientations corresponding to the adobe and stone recorded until thermal equilibrium is reached. The physical facades are also displayed in Table  3. The maximum tem- properties of the tested materials are summarized in Table  2. perature difference between the air gap and the interior of For temperature measurements, K type thermocouples the house is obtained for the ‘160° southeast’ orientation. were used and connected to a “Testo 176 T4” data logger Therefore, ‘160° southeast’ is the optimal orientation for the which transforms the results to a computer for storage and semi-arid region of Batna. processing. Thermocouples’ calibration was performed by On the other hand, the large temperature difference is an infrared measuring device (Testo 830 type) ensuring obtained for the adobe storage wall. Consequently, the rapid and non-contact measurements of the surface tem- amount of heat transferred to the house is better for the perature. The experiments were carried out under the same adobe wall (Table 3). conditions and the temperatures are recorded for a period The air flow rate in the gap during the studied periods is of 1 hour after application of the heat flux, which allows presented in Fig. 11. It can be seen that the largest value of thermal equilibrium to be reached. the air flow rate is obtained for the adobe wall corresponding The temperature variations of multilayer walls with dif- to the optimum orientation (ie. 160° southeast). Heat transfer ferent insulating materials are shown in Fig. 8. The same in the air gap is assumed to be by natural convection between tendency is observed for the three materials. We can notice two parallel vertical plates (i.e. the massive wall and the that the bio-based material has the same thermal behavior glazing). Average heat transfer coefficients in the air-gap (h ) and between the outer face of the glass and the ambi- cc ent outside air (h ) are shown in Fig. 12. The heat transfer ce coefficient between the glazing and the outside is due to the wind speed. However, (h ) is always much higher than (h ). Expanded polystyrene ce cc Glass wool It can be noticed that the adobe wall is more sensitive to the Date Palm wood variation of solar radiation than the stone wall. On the other hand, the average heat transfer coefficient for the stone wall is more important than that of the adobe wall. 38 Solar heat flux absorbed by the glazing and the Trombe wall at 160° Southeast orientation, for the adobe and stone walls, is presented in Fig. 13. The difference between the 34 two curves represents the losses of the absorbed heat flux between the glazing and the Trombe wall. We can observe the same daily evolution of heat losses between the glazing and the massive wall for both materials (Adobe and stone), except at the end of the day where thermal losses reach the minimum values for Adobe wall compared to the stone wall. This shows that the stone facade has a greater capacity and more time to store heat than the adobe facade. Solar thermal efficiency is related to the Trombe wall 0.00 0.40 0.80 1.20 1.60 2.00 2.402.803.203.604.004.404.80 material as illustrated in Fig. 14a. Indeed, the thermal effi- Position (cm) ciency of the prototype of the passive solar house with an adobe wall is significantly higher than that with a stone Fig. 8 Temperature variations in multilayer walls for different materi- wall. Solar thermal efficiency reaches a maximum of 50% als 1 3 Temperature (°C) Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 9 60 1000 54 14 01-01-2020 160° Southeast 01-01-2020 160° Southeast 700 11 35 46 30 500 20 7 300 40 200 38 100 36 0 0 10:3011:15 12:0012:45 13:30 14:15 15:00 10:30 11:15 12:00 12:45 13:3014:15 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind Speed Km/h T T T Solarradiation in ex c 41 13 02-01-2020 180° South 55 02-01-2020 180° South 38 11 40 37 35 600 36 35 9 400 8 32 7 200 31 29 5 0 0 10:3011:15 12:0012:45 13:30 14:1515:00 10:30 11:15 12:00 12:45 13:30 14:15 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind SpeedKm/h T T T Solar radiation in ex c 60 1000 60 16 04-01-2020 200°southwest 04-01-2020200° southwest 700 13 30 500 100 6 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:4514:45 15:4516:45 10:4511:45 12:45 13:45 14:45 15:4516:45 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind Speed Km/h T T T Solar radiation in ex c Fig. 9 Temperatures, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind speed for various orientations and for the adobe facade wall for the adobe wall while it reaches a maximum of 30.7% Numerical results for the stone wall that is caused by the temperature gradient between the air gap channel and the interior of the house for A CFD simulation was performed to validate the experimen- the adobe wall which is larger than that for the stone wall tal results. For that purpose, a numerical study on a two- (Fig. 14b). dimensional configuration of the prototype of the passive solar house was carried out using fluid code. The objec- tive of validation is necessary for more reliability and for a better understanding of the air natural convection as well 1 3 Temperature (°C) Temperature(°C) Temperature(°C) 2 2 2 Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Wind Speed(Km/h) Wind Speed (Km/h) Wind Speed (Km/h) 10 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 35 34,0 55 ° 16-01-2020 160 Southeast 16-01-2020 160 Southeast 50 33,5 33,0 40 700 32,5 32,0 31,5 31,0 30,5 24 30,0 0 0 10:4511:45 12:4513:45 14:45 15:45 16:45 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:45 14:4515:45 16:45 Time (h) Time (h) Relative Humidity % Wind Speed Km/h T T T Solar radiation in ex c 58 14 01-02-2020 180°South 01-02-2020 180° South 50 800 45 52 700 10 30 7 400 46 5 0 10:4511:45 12:4513:45 14:4515:45 16:45 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:45 14:4515:45 16:45 Time (h) Time (h) T T T Solarradiation Relative Humidity % Wind SpeedKm/h in ex c 35 16 08-02-2020 200° Southwest 08-02-2020 200° Southwest 36 15 30 33 27 13 18 11 15 30 9 9 28 8 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:4514:45 15:4516:45 10:45 11:45 12:45 13:4514:45 15:4516:45 Time (h) Time (h) T T T Solarradiation in ex c Relative Humidity % Wind SpeedKm/h Fig. 10 Temperatures, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind speed for various orientations and for the stone facade wall as the heat transfer by conduction in the house. Numerical house and validate the model at these times. After an hour temperature and velocity fields are shown in Figs.  15 and and half of passive heating, at 11:30 the temperature gradi- 16, respectively. Two different times of this winter day were ent reached the minimum. So the storage wall temperature chosen to highlight the heat transfer and air velocity of the is at the same temperature as the indoor space. Which means passive solar heating process, in the morning (at the begin- that there will be no reverse air flow in the channel between ning of the heating process) and in the afternoon (peak or the outside and the air canal. As a result, the storage wall saturation phase) to show the thermal behavior of the passive begins to heat the indoor ambient air. The warm air enters 1 3 Temperature (°C) Temperature(°C) Temperature (°C) 2 2 Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Solarradiation W/m Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Relative Humidity % Wind Speed (Km/h) Wind Speed (Km/h) Wind Speed(Km/h) Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 11 Table 2 Physical properties of the tested materials the room via the top vent driven by the buoyancy force. The air closer to the roof heats up earlier than the lower Density Thermal conductivity Specific heat (J/ 3 2 part, which gradually increases the interior temperature, (kg/m ) (W/m °C) kg °C) as shown in Fig. 15a. In the afternoon, at 14:00, the mean Plasterboard 875 0.21 936 air flow velocity in the channel reaches 0.2 m/s (Fig.  16b). Expanded 20 0.042 1404 Natural convection becomes the dominant heating mode for polystyrene this period (Fig. 15b). The results are obtained for the adobe Glass wool 17 0.035 1030 wall. A sufficient thermal comfort conditions, with minimal Table 3 Average internal and air gap temperatures for different orientations Orientation 160° Southeast 180° South 200° Southwest Solar radia- T [°C] T [°C] ΔT = T −  T T [°C] T [°C] ΔT = T  − T T [°C] T [°C] ΔT = T  − T i c c i i c c i i c c i tion W/m Adobe facade  650–720 12.6 39.7 27.1 11.3 36.2 24.9 10.6 32.4 21.8  720–800 25.8 55.2 29.4 25.3 51.6 26.3 23.4 52.3 28.9 Stones facade  650–720 14.2 36.8 22.6 17.4 30.5 13.1 13.4 22.8 9.4  720–800 26.4 51.4 25 39.6 55.4 15.8 22.2 49.7 27.5 0,035 temperature and velocity change in the house are obtained Adobe facade at 14H00. Stone facade 0,030 The experimental and numerical simulation results are 0,025 in a fair agreement. Indeed, for the internal temperature a relative error of 2.11% and 6.49% was obtained at 11:30 and 0,020 14:00, respectively. For solar thermal efficiency, the relative error reaches a maximum of 2.23% and 1.20% at 11:30 and 0,015 14:00, respectively (Table 4). 0,010 10:00 11:00 12:0013:00 14:00 15:00 Conclusion Time (h) In this work, a passive solar house prototype using Trombe Fig. 11 Air mass flow rate in the air gap channel at 160° Southeast wall system was built and tested in the semi-arid region of orientation for stone and adobe walls Batna, in eastern Algeria. The use of new local bio-insulator hce hcc hce hcc 10:0011:00 12:00 13:00 14:0015:00 10:0011:00 12:00 13:0014:00 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Fig. 12 Average convective heat transfer coefficients at 160° Southeast orientation for a adobe wall, b stone wall 1 3 Mass flow rate (kg/s) h(W/m C°) h(W/m °C) 12 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 Glazing Glazing Wall 300 Wall 100 100 10:0011:00 12:0013:00 14:00 15:00 10:0011:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 Time (h) Time (h) Fig. 13 Solar flux heat absorbed by the glazing and the Trombe wall at 160° Southeast for a adobe facade, b stone facade Adobe facade Stone facade 10:0011:00 12:0013:00 14:0015:00 Time (h) Fig. 14 a Solar thermal efficiency for adobe and stone wall at 160° Southeast, b Temperature difference between the air gap channel and the interior of the house Fig. 15 Temperature contours in the passive house prototype at a 11:30, b 14:00 1 3 Solar flux absorbed (W/m ) Thermal efficiency (%) Solar flux absorbed (W/m ) Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 13 Fig. 16 Velocity contours in the passive house prototype at a 11:30, b 14:00 Table 4 Relative errors between experimental and numerical simula- On the other hand, the adobe wall is more sensitive to tion results the variation of solar radiation than the stone wall. 3- The same thermal losses were observed between the Time (h) glazing and the Trombe wall except at the end of the 11:30 14:00 day, for which the thermal losses are minimal for the Internal temperature (°C) adobe wall.  Experimental temperature 14.2 27.7 4- The daily heat gain from solar energy through the  Numerical simulation temperature 13.9 25.9 Trombe wall was found to be between 11 and 31% for  Relative error % 2.11 6.49 the stone facade, and between 30 and 50% for the adobe Solar thermal efficiency (%) facade.  Experimental efficiency 22.4 49.7 5- Two-dimensional CFD of passive solar heating system  Numerical simulation efficiency 21.9 49.1 using fluent software has provided a perfect understand-  Relative error % 2.23 1.20 ing of air circulation by natural convection as well as heat transfer by conduction. The numerical results are in a fair agreement with the experimental data. and bio-based construction materials were discussed. The Generally, the passive heating system of Trombe wall experimental results show that the Trombe wall thermal behavior is influenced by the nature of the building mate- has been found to be efficient in providing sufficient ther - mal comfort, in the real semi-arid conditions However, the rials. Indeed, the thermal efficiency of the passive solar house prototype with an adobe wall was found higher than passive solar house prototype must be tested the rest of the year and adapted according to the needs and requirements that with a stone wall. A bio-based material made from the trunks of date palms has been used for thermal insulation of thermal comfort conditions. of the passive house. The physical properties of this bio- based material was found close to those of insulation mate- Declarations rials commonly used in buildings. The main results of this research are summarized as follows: Conflict of interest On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. 1- The maximum temperature difference between the air gap and the interior of the house is obtained for the Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri- ‘160° southeast’ orientation. Therefore, ‘160° southeast’ bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta- tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long is the optimal orientation for the semi-arid region of as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, Batna. provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes 2- The amount of heat transferred to the house and the larg- were made. The images or other third party material in this article are est value of the air flow rate are better for the adobe wall. 1 3 14 Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2022) 11:1–15 included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated non-sunny periods. Heat Mass Transfer 49, 1395–1404 (2013). otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in https:// doi. org/ 10. 1007/ s00231- 013- 1175-2 the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not 16. Rabani, M., Kalantar, V.: Numerical investigation of the heating permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will performance of normal and new designed Trombe wall. Heat need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. 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Journal

Materials for Renewable and Sustainable EnergySpringer Journals

Published: Apr 1, 2022

Keywords: Passive heating; Semi-arid region; Bio-based materials; Energy efficiency; Trombe wall; Adobe

References