Numerical analysis of local thermal comfort in a plan office under natural ventilation
The utilisation of automatic controlled natural wind in office buildings to maintain indoor thermal comfort has gained wide attention in recent years. Generally, it is not necessary to ensure that the whole internal volume of a building with large open spaces meets thermal comfort requirements. Primary focus should be on occupied areas. Accordingly, the local thermal comfort in an open-plan office with automatic controlled natural ventilation system was investigated numerically and experimentally. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based method was presented for indoor environment and thermal comfort prediction. Long-term in situ measurement was conducted during summer and transition seasons. The meteorological data were collected by a mini weather station located on the roof of the target building. Meanwhile, indoor air velocity, temperature, turbulence intensity and wall temperatures were recorded locally. Three thermal comfort indices, i.e. thermal stratification represented by percentage dissatisfied (PD), the extended predicted mean vote (PMVe) and draught rate were employed to evaluate the thermal comfort level of the interested areas during natural ventilation period. The numerical results revealed a risk of local thermal dissatisfaction under low outdoor temperature and strong windy conditions.