[Bldg-sim] emissivity of air

Chris Yates via Bldg-sim bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org
Tue Apr 4 04:05:03 PDT 2017

Thanks Chip

Isn't the sky in essence modelled as a 'superdome' in most models? I guess
there may be similar algorithms in climate processors.

This is a longstanding concern of mine. MRT models are very popular,
especially when considering 'less traditional' modes of cooling such as
chilled beams or night cooling thermally massive buildings. However, there
are issues the models. For example, my understanding is that the further a
zone departs from simple convex geometry, the less valid they become.
Modelling exact (i.e. non convex) geometries has become quite popular in
the UK, but engineers don't realise they could be invalidating MRT calcs.

I'm fairly certain that I experienced a marked difference in results
between IES with internal air emissivity on and off for a building that
wasn't a 'superdome'. It was in actual fact 'a dome' - three storey's
within a glazed barrel vault! I presented the more onerous set of results

Don't be surprised if I revive this post in the months to come after I've
had the opportunity to do some digging!

Many thanks


On Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Chip Barnaby via Bldg-sim <
bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org> wrote:

> Chris / all --
> IES is not alone -- CSE (California Simulation Engine) accounts for this
> effect.  CSE performs the simulations for CBECC-Res, the Title 24
> residential compliance tool.
> The CSE zone model is based on (underappreciated) work by Joe Carroll from
> the 1980s. See http://www.ibpsa.org/proceedings/BS2013/p_2487.pdf and
> papers referenced therein.  In particular,
> Carroll, J. A., 1980. An ‘MRT Method’ of Computing Radiant Energy Exchange
> in Rooms, Proc. Second Systems Simulation and Economic Analysis Conference,
> San Diego, CA.
> At thermal wavelengths, air (especially humid air) is hazy.  Depending on
> space size, some/most of the thermal radiant will be absorbed before it
> reaches other surfaces.  But it takes a big space (read "SuperDome") for
> the effect to be very significant.
> CSE creates a virtual surface that participates in the long-wave radiant
> network.  For an example 2850 ft2 zone with 24528 ft2 surface area
> (including partitions) exposed to the room air, the air "surface" area is
> 1784 ft2 or about 7%.   So the effect is modest but not entirely negligible.
> Common comfort assessment methods (PMV / PPD) use MRT that is generally
> calculated directly from surface temperatures (in other words, ignoring the
> shielding effect of intervening air).  That method introduces an error for
> large spaces but is generally a reasonable approximation.
> I don't think there would be much effect on small scales that would be
> seen within cooling equipment.
> AFAIK, EnergyPlus does not represent this effect, although I may be
> wrong.  It certainly could, given that it uses a first-principles heat
> balance zone model.
> Chip Barnaby
> --
> Charles S. "Chip" Barnaby, FIBPSA / FASHRAE
> chipbarnaby at gmail.com
> 879 Bean Rd, Moultonborough, NH 03254  USA
> (o) +1 603 253 4593 <(603)%20253-4593> or +1 603 253 4400
> <(603)%20253-4400>   (m) +1 781 883 4593 <(781)%20883-4593>
> ----- Original message -----
> From: "Chris Yates via Bldg-sim" <bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org>
> To: "bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org" <bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org>
> Subject: [Bldg-sim] emissivity of air
> Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2017 13:34:31 +0100
> Dear all,
> In IES apache 'simulation options' there is a setting called 'Internal air
> emissivity model'. This model has the effect of moist air dampening higher
> radiant temperatures. Apparently, this effect is more pronounced in large
> spaces - though I haven't tested this.
> IES seems to be quite unique in implementing the 'emissivity of air'.
> The concept seems a little unusual to me. So, I was wondering what
> experiences the simulation community has of this phenomenon? Where else it
> may be implemented in simulation tools? And, how does it feature for common
> comfort temperature assessments involving some combination of radiant
> temperatures (e.g. operative)?
> Also, might it also demonstate enhanced comfort for systems with direct
> adiabatic cooling in dry climates (e.g. spray bar in supply side of AHU)?
> Best regards
> Chris
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