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Article

Keeping Cool in the Desert: Using Wind Catchers for Improved Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality at Half the Energy

1
Independent Researcher, Leicester LE1 4PF, UK
2
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media, De Montfort University, Leicester LEI 9BH, UK
3
Environmental Health Department, College of Health Sciences, The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), Shuwaikh, Kuwait
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sukumar Natarajan
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030100
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 26 February 2021 / Published: 6 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
In hot arid climates, air conditioning in the summer dominates energy use in buildings. In Kuwait, energy demand in buildings is dominated by cooling, which also determines the national peak electricity demand. Schools contribute significantly to cooling demand, but also suffer from poor ventilation. This paper presents analysis of a ventilation and cooling system for school classrooms using a wind catcher for natural ventilation and evaporative cooling. A school classroom in Kuwait with single-sided ventilation was modelled using the DesignBuilder V5.4/EnergyPlus V9.1 software and calibrated using field data. The model was used to analyse the performance of a wind catcher, with and without evaporative cooling, in terms of energy use, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. Compared to the baseline of using air-conditioning only, a wind catcher with evaporative cooling was found to reduce energy use by 52% during the summer months while increasing the comfortable hours from 76% to 100% without any supplementary air conditioning. While the time below the ASHRAE CO2 limit also improved from 11% to 24% with the wind catcher, the indoor air quality was still poor. These improvements came at the cost of a 14% increase in relative humidity. As the wind catcher solution appears to have potential with further development; several avenues for further research are proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy efficiency; thermal comfort; natural ventilation; cooling load; air-conditioning; school; wind catcher; carbon dioxide energy efficiency; thermal comfort; natural ventilation; cooling load; air-conditioning; school; wind catcher; carbon dioxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Saif, J.; Wright, A.; Khattak, S.; Elfadli, K. Keeping Cool in the Desert: Using Wind Catchers for Improved Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality at Half the Energy. Buildings 2021, 11, 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030100

AMA Style

Saif J, Wright A, Khattak S, Elfadli K. Keeping Cool in the Desert: Using Wind Catchers for Improved Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality at Half the Energy. Buildings. 2021; 11(3):100. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030100

Chicago/Turabian Style

Saif, Jamal, Andrew Wright, Sanober Khattak, and Kasem Elfadli. 2021. "Keeping Cool in the Desert: Using Wind Catchers for Improved Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality at Half the Energy" Buildings 11, no. 3: 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030100

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