SIMULATION OF VENTILATION SYSTEMS IN A PROTECTED ENVIRONMENT USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS
ABSTRACT Computational simulations of mass and energy flow help in implementing alternative cooling systems in protected environments. The aim of this study was to model and simulate the interaction between external and internal environments of a protected environment by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques and validate micrometeorological variables for subsequent comparison between natural and indirect ventilation by ground heat exchangers. At the first phase, the micrometeorological variables global solar radiation (Qg), air temperature (Tair), and air relative humidity (RH) were monitored. The second phase consisted of the numerical modeling of finite volumes, with validation through recorded data, as well as simulation and comparison of two ventilation systems. The functional relationship between simulated and recorded meteorological elements presented a good linear association, with coefficients of determination of 0.97, 0.93, and 0.94 for Qg, Tair, and RH, respectively. Simulation of indirect ventilation system by ground heat exchangers presented a reduction of 4 °C in Tair and 15% in RH compared to that recorded inside the environment. The natural ventilation system allowed a reduction of 1 °C in Tair when compared to the protected environment.