Improving comfort levels in Darwin houses through passive design
Kane, A., Fuller, R. J., Luther, M. B. and Boldys, R. 2009, Improving comfort levels in Darwin houses through passive design, in ANZSES 2009 : Proceedings of the Solar 2009 the 47th ANZSES Annual Conference, ANZSES, Townsville, Queensland, pp. 1-10.
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Darwin`s climate is hot and humid and as a result the use of residential air-conditioners is high. Although this technology allows the occupant to achieve thermal comfort, its use contributes directly to an increase in the emission of greenhouse gases. More environmentally-friendly ways of achieving residential thermal comfort in this climate need to be investigated. One method is to improve the home`s passive design. The aim of this research was to increase the thermal comfort of typical Darwin homes without the use of air conditioning. Temperature data from two houses (lightweight elevated and concrete) was recorded over a nine-day period and used to validate a TRNSYS simulation model of each house. Simulations were run using these validated models and three months of climatic data (January—March) to evaluate various passive design strategies. The success of three strategies was analysed using PMV and PPD indicators. As a single strategy, it was found that ventilation and air velocity by far increased the level of thermal comfort for occupants of both houses. Although the passive design strategies of increased shading and insulation were beneficial, Darwin`s ovemight low temperature and humidity are still too high to reduce these levels within the house significantly without air conditioning.
Deakin University gratefully acknowledges permission of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society to publish these papers
Field of Research
120101 Architectural Design
Socio Economic Objective
850799 Energy Conservation and Efficiency not elsewhere classified
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