Practical correlations for the thermal resistance of vertical enclosed airspaces for building applications

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.09.003
AuthorSearch for:
TypeArticle
Journal titleBuilding and Environment
Volume59
Pages379396; # of pages: 18
SubjectReflective insulation; furred-airspace assembly; low emissivity material; thermal modelling; thermal resistance test method; R-value; heat flow meter; ASTM C-518; ASTM C-1363; airflow; heat transfer by convection; conduction and radiation
AbstractMany parts of the building envelope contain enclosed airspaces. The thermal resistance (R-value) of an enclosed airspace depends on the emissivity of all surfaces that bound the airspace, the size and orientation of the airspace, the direction of heat transfer through the airspace, and the respective temperatures of all surfaces that define the airspace. The 2009 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals (Chapter 26) provides a table that contains the R-values for an enclosed airspace. The ASHRAE table is extensively used by modelers, architects and building designers in the design of building enclosures. This table provides R-values for enclosed airspaces for different values of the thickness of the airspace, effective emittance, mean airspace temperature, and temperature differences across the airspace. The effect of the airspace aspect ratio (height/thickness of airspace) on the R-value is not included in the ASHRAE table. However, in a recent study on the R-value of reflective insulations using a numerical simulation model, it was shown that the aspect ratio of the airspace can affect the R-value of the enclosed airspace. The numerical simulation model used in this study had been benchmarked against experimental data obtained using two standard test methods: ASTM C-518 and ASTM C-1363. In this paper, a numerical simulation study was conducted, that was based on previous work focused on enclosed airspaces, to investigate the effect of the aspect ratio on the R-value of vertical enclosed airspaces of different thicknesses and having a wide range of values for effective emittance, mean temperature, and temperature differences across the airspace. The R-values predicted from numerical simulation are compared with those provided in the ASHRAE table. Considerations were also given to investigating the potential increase in R-values of enclosed airspaces when a thin sheet is placed vertically in the middle of the airspace and whose surfaces have different values of emissivity. Finally, practical correlations are developed for determining the R-values of an enclosed airspace for future use by modelers, architects and building designers. The simplicity of these correlations suggests that these could be included in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationConstruction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number55289
22322
NPARC number21242579
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Record identifier47acb711-21f6-416b-a3b9-3b4cd69a71b3
Record created2013-02-18
Record modified2016-05-09
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