Ventilating aged-care center based on solar chimney: Design and theoretical analysis

Energy Build. 2022 Jul 1;266:112145. doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2022.112145. Epub 2022 Apr 29.

ABSTRACT

Natural ventilation is considered the first suggestion for COVID-19 prevention in buildings by the World Health Organization (WHO). Solar chimney’s viability in aged care centers or similar facilities was analyzed numerically and theoretically. A new solar chimney design was proposed to reduce the cross-infection risk of COVID-19 based on an airflow path through window, ceiling vent, attic, and then chimney cavity. Solar chimney performance, quantified by the natural ventilation rate, presented power function with window area, ceiling vent area, cavity height, and solar radiation. The ceiling vent is suggested to be closer to the corridor to enhance the performance and ventilation coverage of the room. A cavity gap of 1.0 m is recommended to balance the ventilation performance and construction cost. A theoretical model was also developed for aged care centers with multiple rooms and a joint attic. Its predictions obey reasonably well with the numerical results. Solar chimney’s viability in aged care center is confirmed as a 7.22 air change per hour (ACH) ventilation can be achieved even under a low solar radiation intensity of 200 W/m2, where its performance fulfills the minimal ventilation requirement (i.e., 6 ACH) suggested by the WHO for airborne infection isolation rooms. This study offers a new design and a guideline for the future implementation of solar chimney in aged care centers or similar facilities.

PMID:35529072 | PMC:PMC9052812 | DOI:10.1016/j.enbuild.2022.112145

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