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• Airflow, temperature distribution and thermal comfort in theaters served by UFAD system.
• Effects of supply air temperature and velocity, space height and number of supply diffusers on UFAD performance.
• Comparison between UFAD and OHAD systems for theaters applications.
A 3D-CFD investigation of airflow, temperature distribution and thermal comfort in high rise ceiling theaters air conditioned with underfloor air distribution (UFAD) system is presented for different operating and geometric conditions. Numerical simulations are implemented, using a commercial CFD package (Fluent 6.3), to understand the effects of supply air temperature, supply air velocity, space height and number of supply air diffusers on the performance of the air conditioning system and thermal comfort. For UFAD system evaluation, the traditional overhead mixing air distribution (OHAD) system are also modelled and compared with the UFAD system. The results showed that (i) the used numerical technique could accurately predict the airflow and temperature distribution in the high rise conditioned space, (ii) UFAD system is capable of creating smaller vertical variations of air temperature and a more comfortable environment and energy saving than OHAD system, (iii) the supply air velocity and temperature, number of diffusers and height of the space have a significant impact on thermal comfort, (iv) the optimum system performance and thermal comfort obtained at 18 °C supply air temperature, 0.8 m/s supply air velocity and proper numbers and distributions of supply diffusers, (v) the percentage of energy saving due to using UFAD system increases with increasing the theater height. The simulation results are validated with the available experimental data and good agreement are obtained.
Journal: Journal of Building Engineering - Volume 6, June 2016, Pages 274–300