Solar Chimney Applications in Buildings
A solar chimney is a renewable energy system used to enhance the natural ventilation in a building based on solar and wind energy. It is one of the most representative solar-assisted passive ventilation systems attached to the building envelope. It performs exceptionally in enhancing natural ventilation and improving thermal comfort under certain climate conditions. The ventilation enhancement of solar chimneys has been widely studied numerically and experimentally. The assessment of solar chimney systems based on buoyancy ventilation relies heavily on the natural environment, experimental environment, and performance prediction methods, bringing great difficulties to quantitative analysis and parameterization research. With the increase in volume and complexity of modern building structures, current studies of solar chimneys have not yet obtained a unified design strategy and corresponding guidance. Meanwhile, combining a solar chimney with other passive ventilation systems has attracted much attention. The solar chimney-based integrated passive-assisted ventilation systems prolong the service life of an independent system and strengthen the ventilation ability for indoor cooling and heating. However, the progress is still slow regarding expanded applications and related research of solar chimneys in large volume and multi-layer buildings, and contradictory conclusions appear due to the inherent complexity of the system.
1. Introduction to Solar Chimneys
2. Current Research Methods of the Solar Chimney
3. Influencing Factors of Solar Chimney Performance
4. Works Have Been Done at RMIT University, Australia
5. Potential Trends and Challenges of the Solar Chimney
6. Discussion and Conclusions
|Performance||Air Temperature Adjustment (°C)||Volumetric/Mass Flow Rate (m3/s, m3/h, or kg/s)||Air Change per Hour (ACH)||Energy-Saving Percentage (%)||Indoor Relative Humidity (%)|
|Stand-alone Solar chimney||Drop 1.0–5 °C ; 16.7 °C ||50–374 m3/h ; 0.019–0.033 m3/s ; 0.55–44.44 kg/s ; 70.6 m3/h~1887.6 m3/h ;||0.16–15 ; 27.11 ; 30 ;||12–50% |
|Integrated systems based on solar chimneys||Drop: 2.0–14 °C with water spaying ; 6.7–11.5 °C with evaporative cooling ; 3.2–9 °C with EAHE ; 5.2 °C with windcatcher ; 10–13 °C with a windcatcher and EAHE ; 8 °C with a Trombe wall and water spraying system ; with ; Raises: 14 °C with Trombe wall and PV ; 6.4 °C with EAHE .||1.4 kg/s with wind tower ; 0.0184 m3/s with EAHE ; 0.038–0.144 m3/s or 130.5 m3/h or 414 m3/h with evaporative cooling ||35–73 with a wind tower ; 12 with PV ; 2.42–4.33 with evaporative cooling ; 9 with windcatcher ||50% with a windcatcher and EAHE ; 75–90% with windcatcher ||Increases 17% with Trombe wall and water spraying system ; increases 28–45% |
- Khanal, R.; Lei, C. Solar chimney—A passive strategy for natural ventilation. Energy Build. 2011, 43, 1811–1819.
- Geetha, N.; Velraj, R. Passive cooling methods for energy efficient buildings with and without thermal energy storage—A review. Energy Educ. Sci. Technol. Part A 2012, 29, 913–946.
- Santamouris, M.; Kolokotsa, D. Passive cooling dissipation techniques for buildings and other structures: The state of the art. Energy Build. 2013, 57, 74–94.
- Ascione, F. Energy conservation and renewable technologies for buildings to face the impact of the climate change and minimize the use of cooling. Sol. Energy 2017, 154, 34–100.
- Bhamare, D.K.; Rathod, M.K.; Banerjee, J. Passive cooling techniques for building and their applicability in different climatic zones-The state of art. Energy Build. 2019, 198, 467–490.
- Monghasemi, N.; Vadiee, A. A review of solar chimney integrated systems for space heating and cooling application. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2018, 81, 2714–2730.
- Sameti, M.; Kasaeian, A. Numerical simulation of combined solar passive heating and radiative cooling for a building. Build. Simul. 2015, 8, 239–253.
- Zhai, X.Q.; Wang, R.Z.; Dai, Y.J. Solar chimney combined with underground vent for natural ventilation in energy saving of buildings. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Heat Transfer Enhancement and Energy Conservation, Guangzhou, China, 16 January 2004; pp. 1117–1123.
- Hughes, B.R.; Chaudhry, H.N.; Ghani, S.A. A review of sustainable cooling technologies in buildings. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2011, 15, 3112–3120.
- Chartier, Y.; Pessoa-Silva, C. Natural Ventilation for Infection Control in Health-Care Settings; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2009.
- Awbi, H. Basic concepts for natural ventilation of buildings. In Proceedings of the CIBSE BSG Seminar: Natural and Mixed-Mode Ventilation Modelling, London, UK, 24 May 2010.
- Etheridge, D.W.; Sandberg, M. Building Ventilation: Theory and Measurement; John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, UK, 1996; Volume 50.
- Ahmed, T.; Kumar, P.; Mottet, L. Natural ventilation in warm climates: The challenges of thermal comfort, heatwave resilience and indoor air quality. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2021, 138, 110669.
- Cheng, X.; Shi, Z.; Nguyen, K.; Zhang, L.; Zhou, Y.; Zhang, G.; Wang, J.; Shi, L. Solar chimney in tunnel considering energy-saving and fire safety. Energy 2020, 210, 118601.
- Horan, J.M.; Finn, D.P. Sensitivity of air change rates in a naturally ventilated atrium space subject to variations in external wind speed and direction. Energy Build. 2008, 40, 1577–1585.
- Arce, J.; Jimenez, M.J.; Guzman, J.D.; Heras, M.R.; Alvarez, G.; Xaman, J. Experimental study for natural ventilation on a solar chimney. Renew. Energy 2009, 34, 2928–2934.
- Lee, K.H.; Strand, R.K. Enhancement of natural ventilation in buildings using a thermal chimney. Energy Build. 2009, 41, 615–621.
- Zhai, X.Q.; Song, Z.P.; Wang, R.Z. A review for the applications of solar chimneys in buildings. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2011, 15, 3757–3767.
- Shi, L.; Zhang, G.M.; Cheng, X.D.; Guo, Y.; Wang, J.H.; Chew, M.Y.L. Developing an empirical model for roof solar chimney based on experimental data from various test rig. Build. Environ. 2016, 110, 115–128.
- Quesada, G.; Rousse, D.; Dutil, Y.; Badache, M.; Halle, S. A comprehensive review of solar facades. Opaque solar facades. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2012, 16, 2820–2832.
- Quesada, G.; Rousse, D.; Dutil, Y.; Badache, M.; Hallé, S. A comprehensive review of solar facades. Transparent and translucent solar facades. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2012, 16, 2643–2651.
- Jiménez-Xamán, C.; Xamán, J.; Gijón-Rivera, M.; Zavala-Guillén, I.; Noh-Pat, F.; Simá, E. Assessing the thermal performance of a rooftop solar chimney attached to a single room. J. Build. Eng. 2020, 31, 101380.
- Asfour, O. Natural ventilation in buildings: An overview. In Natural Ventilation: Strategies, Health Implications and Impacts on the Environment; Nova Science Pub Inc.: New York, NY, USA, 2015; pp. 1–26.
- Chen, Q.; Lee, K.; Mazumdar, S.; Poussou, S.; Wang, L.; Wang, M.; Zhang, Z. Ventilation performance prediction for buildings: Model assessment. Build. Environ. 2010, 45, 295–303.
- Chen, Q.Y. Ventilation performance prediction for buildings: A method overview and recent applications. Build. Environ. 2009, 44, 848–858.
- Jiru, T.E.; Bitsuamlak, G.T. Application of CFD in Modelling Wind-Induced Natural Ventilation of Buildings—A Review. Int. J. Vent. 2010, 9, 131–147.
- Khanal, R.; Lei, C.W. Flow reversal effects on buoyancy induced air flow in a solar chimney. Sol. Energy 2012, 86, 2783–2794.
- Kong, J.; Niu, J.; Lei, C. A CFD based approach for determining the optimum inclination angle of a roof-top solar chimney for building ventilation. Sol. Energy 2020, 198, 555–569.
- Sundar, S.; Prakash, D.; Surya, V. Analysis and Optimization of Passive Wall Solar Chimney through Taguchi’s Technique. Appl. Sol. Energy 2020, 56, 397–403.
- Nguyen, Y.; Wells, J. A numerical study on induced flowrate and thermal efficiency of a solar chimney with horizontal absorber surface for ventilation of buildings. J. Build. Eng. 2020, 28, 101050.
- Salari, A.; Ashouri, M.; Hakkaki-Fard, A. On the performance of inclined rooftop solar chimney integrated with photovoltaic module and phase change material: A numerical study. Sol. Energy 2020, 211, 1159–1169.
- Shi, L.; Zhang, G.; Yang, W.; Huang, D.; Cheng, X.; Setunge, S. Determining the influencing factors on the performance of solar chimney in buildings. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2018, 88, 223–238.
- Menchaca-Brandan, M.A.; Espinosa, F.A.D.; Glicksman, L.R. The influence of radiation heat transfer on the prediction of air flows in rooms under natural ventilation. Energy Build. 2017, 138, 530–538.
- Chan, H.-Y.; Riffat, S.B.; Zhu, J. Review of passive solar heating and cooling technologies. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2010, 14, 781–789.
- Shi, L. Impacts of wind on solar chimney performance in a building. Energy 2019, 185, 55–67.
- Wang, Q.; Zhang, G.; Li, W.; Shi, L. External wind on the optimum designing parameters of a wall solar chimney in building. Sustain. Energy Technol. Assess. 2020, 42, 100842.
- Yang, D.; Guo, Y.H. Fluctuation of natural ventilation induced by nonlinear coupling between buoyancy and thermal mass. Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 2016, 96, 218–230.
- Kośny, J. PCM-eNhanced Building Components: An Application of Phase Change Materials in Building Envelopes and Internal Structures; Springer: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2015.
- Piselli, C.; Prabhakar, M.; de Gracia, A.; Saffari, M.; Pisello, A.L.; Cabeza, L.F. Optimal control of natural ventilation as passive cooling strategy for improving the energy performance of building envelope with PCM integration. Renew. Energy 2020, 162, 171–181.
- Prabhakar, M.; Saffari, M.; de Gracia, A.; Cabeza, L.F. Improving the energy efficiency of passive PCM system using controlled natural ventilation. Energy Build. 2020, 228, 110483.
- Vargas-López, R.; Xamán, J.; Hernández-Pérez, I.; Arce, J.; Zavala-Guillén, I.; Jiménez, M.J.; Heras, M.R. Mathematical models of solar chimneys with a phase change material for ventilation of buildings: A review using global energy balance. Energy 2019, 170, 683–708.
- Zhang, H.; Yang, D.; Tam, V.W.; Tao, Y.; Zhang, G.; Setunge, S.; Shi, L. A critical review of combined natural ventilation techniques in sustainable buildings. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2021, 141, 110795.
- Barbosa, S.; Ip, K. Perspectives of double skin facades for naturally ventilated buildings: A review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2014, 40, 1019–1029.
- Zhang, G.; Shi, L. Improving the performance of solar chimney by addressing the designing factors. In Proceedings of the IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, 26–27 September 2018; p. 012010.
- Sheikhnejad, Y.; Nassab, S.A.G. Enhancement of solar chimney performance by passive vortex generator. Renew. Energy 2021, 169, 437–450.
- Tiji, M.E.; Eisapour, M.; Yousefzadeh, R.; Azadian, M.; Talebizadehsardari, P. A numerical study of a PCM-based passive solar chimney with a finned absorber. J. Build. Eng. 2020, 32, 101516.
- Dordelly, J.C.F.; El Mankibi, M.; Roccamena, L.; Remiona, G.; Landa, J.A. Experimental analysis of a PCM integrated solar chimney under laboratory conditions. Sol. Energy 2019, 188, 1332–1348.
- Shi, L.; Zhang, G. An empirical model to predict the performance of typical solar chimneys considering both room and cavity configurations. Build. Environ. 2016, 103, 250–261.
- Shi, L.; Cheng, X.; Zhang, L.; Li, Z.; Zhang, G.; Huang, D.; Tu, J. Interaction effect of room opening and air inlet on solar chimney performance. Appl. Therm. Eng. 2019, 159, 113877.
- Shi, L.; Ziem, A.; Zhang, G.; Li, J.; Setunge, S. Solar chimney for a real building considering both energy-saving and fire safety—A case study. Energ Build. 2020, 221, 110016.
- Cheng, X.D.; Shi, L.; Dai, P.; Zhang, G.M.; Yang, H.; Li, J. Study on optimizing design of solar chimney for natural ventilation and smoke exhaustion. Energy Build. 2018, 170, 145–156.
- Shi, L. Optimization Design of Solar Chimney in GH Soppett Pavillion Mentone Reserve for Kingston City Council in Melbourne. 2018. Available online: (accessed on 25 May 2021).
- Shi, L. Theoretical models for wall solar chimney under cooling and heating modes considering room configuration. Energy 2018, 165, 925–938.
- Tao, Y.; Zhang, H.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, G.; Tu, J.; Shi, L. Ventilation performance of a naturally ventilated double-skin façade in buildings. Renew. Energy 2021, 167, 184–198.
- Tao, Y.; Zhang, H.; Huang, D.; Fan, C.; Tu, J.; Shi, L. Ventilation performance of a naturally ventilated double skin façade with low-e glazing. Energy 2021, 229, 120706.
- Punyasompun, S.; Hirunlabh, J.; Khedari, J.; Zeghmati, B. Investigation on the application of solar chimney for multi-storey buildings. Renew. Energy 2009, 34, 2545–2561.
- Yang, D.; Li, P. Natural ventilation of lower-level floors assisted by the mechanical ventilation of upper-level floors via a stack. Energy Build. 2015, 92, 296–305.
- Yang, D.; Li, P. Dimensionless design approach, applicability and energy performance of stack-based hybrid ventilation for multi-story buildings. Energy 2015, 93, 128–140.
- Pomponi, F.; Piroozfar, P.A.E.; Southall, R.; Ashton, P.; Farr, E.R.P. Energy performance of Double-Skin Façades in temperate climates: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2016, 54, 1525–1536.
- Al Assaad, D.; Ghali, K.; Ghaddar, N. Effect of flow disturbance induced by walking on the performance of personalized ventilation coupled with mixing ventilation. Build. Environ. 2019, 160, 106217.
- Fernandez-Aguera, J.; Dominguez-Amarillo, S.; Alonso, C.; Martin-Consuegra, F. Thermal comfort and indoor air quality in low-income housing in Spain: The influence of airtightness and occupant behaviour. Energy Build. 2019, 199, 102–114.
- Sivaram, P.; Premalatha, M.; Arunagiri, A. Computational studies on the airflow developed by the building-integrated passive solar energy system. J. Build. Eng. 2021, 39, 102250.
- Chandavar, A.U. Quantifying the performance advantage of using passive solar air heater with chimney for photovoltaic module cooling. Int. J. Energy Res. 2021, 45, 1576–1586.
- Sakhri, N.; Moussaoui, A.; Menni, Y.; Sadeghzadeh, M.; Ahmadi, M.H. New passive thermal comfort system using three renewable energies: Wind catcher, solar chimney and earth to air heat exchanger integrated to real-scale test room in arid region (Experimental study). Int. J. Energy Res. 2021, 45, 2177–2194.
- Bansal, N.; Mathur, R.; Bhandari, M.J.B. Solar chimney for enhanced stack ventilation. Build. Environ. 1993, 28, 373–377.
- Chungloo, S.; Limmeechokchai, B. Application of passive cooling systems in the hot and humid climate: The case study of solar chimney and wetted roof in Thailand. Build. Environ. 2007, 42, 3341–3351.
- Gan, G.H. Simulation of buoyancy-induced flow in open cavities for natural ventilation. Energy Build. 2006, 38, 410–420.
- Villar-Ramos, M.; Macias-Melo, E.; Aguilar-Castro, K.; Hernández-Pérez, I.; Arce, J.; Serrano-Arellano, J.; Díaz-Hernández, H.; López-Manrique, L. Parametric analysis of the thermal behavior of a single-channel solar chimney. Sol. Energy 2020, 209, 602–617.
- Khedari, J.; Mansirisub, W.; Chaima, S.; Pratinthong, N.; Hirunlabh, J. Field measurements of performance of roof solar collector. Energy Build. 2000, 31, 171–178.
- Saleem, A.A.; Bady, M.; Ookawara, S.; Abdel-Rahman, A.K. Achieving standard natural ventilation rate of dwellings in a hot-arid climate using solar chimney. Energy Build. 2016, 133, 360–370.
- Layeni, A.T.; Waheed, M.A.; Adewumi, B.A.; Bolaji, B.O.; Nwaokocha, C.N.; Giwa, S.O. Computational modelling and simulation of the feasibility of a novel dual purpose solar chimney for power generation and passive ventilation in buildings. Sci. Afr. 2020, 8, e00298.
- Zha, X.Y.; Zhang, J.; Qin, M.H. Experimental and Numerical Studies of Solar Chimney for Ventilation in Low Energy Buildings. In Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Ishvac2017, Jinan, China, 19–22 October 2017.
- Mathur, J.; Bansal, N.; Mathur, S.; Jain, M. Experimental investigations on solar chimney for room ventilation. Sol. Energy 2006, 80, 927–935.
- Khedari, J.; Boonsri, B.; Hirunlabh, J. Ventilation impact of a solar chimney on indoor temperature fluctuation and air change in a school building. Energy Build. 2000, 32, 89–93.
- Imran, A.A.; Jalil, J.M.; Ahmed, S.T. Induced flow for ventilation and cooling by a solar chimney. Renew. Energy 2015, 78, 236–244.
- Miyazaki, T.; Akisawa, A.; Kashiwagi, T.J. The effects of solar chimneys on thermal load mitigation of office buildings under the Japanese climate. Renew. Energy 2006, 31, 987–1010.
- Rabani, R.; Faghih, A.K.; Rabani, M.; Rabani, M. Numerical simulation of an innovated building cooling system with combination of solar chimney and water spraying system. Heat Mass Transf. 2014, 50, 1609–1625.
- Swiegers, J.J. Inlet and Outlet Shape Design of Natural Circulation Building Ventilation Systems. Master’s Thesis, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2015.
- Maerefat, M.; Haghighi, A.P. Natural cooling of stand-alone houses using solar chimney and evaporative cooling cavity. Renew. Energy 2010, 35, 2040–2052.
- Abdallah, A.S.H.; Yoshino, H.; Goto, T.; Enteria, N.; Radwan, M.M.; Eid, M.A. Integration of evaporative cooling technique with solar chimney to improve indoor thermal environment in the New Assiut City, Egypt. Int. J. Energy Environ. Eng. 2013, 4, 45.
- Abdallah, A.S.H.; Hiroshi, Y.; Goto, T.; Enteria, N.; Radwan, M.M.; Eid, M.A. Parametric investigation of solar chimney with new cooling tower integrated in a single room for New Assiut city, Egypt climate. Int. J. Energy Environ. Eng. 2014, 5, 92.
- Ramírez-Dávila, L.; Xamán, J.; Arce, J.; Álvarez, G.; Hernández-Pérez, I. Numerical study of earth-to-air heat exchanger for three different climates. Energy Build. 2014, 76, 238–248.
- Serageldin, A.A.; Abdeen, A.; Ahmed, M.M.; Radwan, A.; Shmroukh, A.N.; Ookawara, S. Solar chimney combined with earth to-air heat exchanger for passive cooling of residential buildings in hot areas. Sol. Energy 2020, 206, 145–162.
- Moosavi, L.; Zandi, M.; Bidi, M.; Behroozizade, E.; Kazemi, I. New design for solar chimney with integrated windcatcher for space cooling and ventilation. Build. Environ. 2020, 181, 106785.
- Rabani, M.; Kalantar, V.; Dehghan, A.A.; Faghih, A.K. Empirical investigation of the cooling performance of a new designed Trombe wall in combination with solar chimney and water spraying system. Energy Build. 2015, 102, 45–57.
- Elghamry, R.; Hassan, H. Experimental investigation of building heating and ventilation by using Trombe wall coupled with renewable energy system under semi-arid climate conditions. Sol. Energy 2020, 201, 63–74.
- Elghamry, R.; Hassan, H. Impact a combination of geothermal and solar energy systems on building ventilation, heating and output power: Experimental study. Renew. Energy 2020, 152, 1403–1413.
- Bansal, N.K.; Mathur, R.; Bhandari, M.S. A Study of Solar Chimney Assisted Wind Tower System for Natural Ventilation in Buildings. Build. Environ. 1994, 29, 495–500.
- Sivaram, P.; Mande, A.B.; Premalatha, M.; Arunagiri, A. Investigation on a building-integrated passive solar energy technology for air ventilation, clean water and power. Energy Convers. Manag. 2020, 211, 112739.
- Please check and comment entries here.