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Wind more effective than cold air at cooling rooms naturally

last modified Nov 26, 2019 01:53 PM

The effectiveness of non-mechanical, low-energy methods for moderating temperature and humidity has been evaluated in a series of experiments by researchers from the University of Cambridge.


Temperature difference between inside and outside has a remarkably small effect on how well a room is ventilated when ventilation is primarily driven by wind. In contrast, wind can increase ventilation rates by as much as 40% above that which is driven by a temperature difference between a room and the outdoors. The exact rate of ventilation will depend on the geometry of the room.


Research, led by Dr Megan Davies Wykes, could be used to help designers and urban planners incorporate natural ventilation principles into their designs so that buildings can be kept at a comfortable temperature while using less energy. Heating and cooling account for a significant proportion of energy use in buildings: in the US, this is as high as 50%. In addition, as global temperatures continue to rise, demand for air conditioning – which emits greenhouse gases – rises as well, creating a damaging feedback loop.

Natural ventilation, which controls indoor temperature without using any mechanical systems, is an alternative to traditional heating and cooling methods, which reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.


Read the full University of Cambridge article.

Click here for the Science Direct Publication - Building and Environment (2019).