Modeling of convective heat transfer at building surfaces

October 24, 2023

Samy Iousef defended his PhD thesis at the Department of Built Environment on October 23rd.

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Photo: iStockphoto

During the design phase of a building, a considerable number of criteria need to be optimized, such as the minimization of the energy demand which requires accurate analysis of the convective heat transfer from building facades. For his PhD thesis, Samy Iousef used computational methods to study convective heat transfer in buildings.

Effective building design is a complex process where several criteria must be optimized. Among those criteria, minimization of the energy demand is a critical factor in the achievement of high performance buildings.

In this case, determination of the energy demand strictly requires accurate analysis of the convective heat transfer (CHT) from the building surfaces and facades. CHT can be caused by exposure to wind, as well as by temperature differences. An important parameter influencing the CHT analysis is the convective heat transfer coefficient (CHTC).

Computer models

Among the methods used in CHTC analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has gained increasing acceptance as an efficient tool. In particular, CFD with Large Eddy Simulation (LES) has been reported to accurately simulate the near-facade airflow that dominates the convective surface resistance.

The overall objective of the PhD research of Samy Iousef was the development, validation and application of high-resolution computational models for the assessment of the influence of CHT on building energy performance. In addition, Iousef also investigated the flow and thermal field at exterior building facades and analyzed the associated CHT and CHTC.

Title of PhD thesis: Computational modeling of convective heat transfer at building surfaces. Supervisors: Pieter van Wesemael, Bert Blocken, and Hamid Montazeri.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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