Volume 5: Innovative Solutions for Energy Transitions: Part IV

Numerical and Experimental Analysis of a Novel Passive Heat Recovery Windcatcher (PHRW) John Calautit, Dominic O’Connor, Conrad Pantua, Shuangyu Wei, Paige Tien, Ben Hughes



This work proposes a novel design incorporating a passive heat recovery device into a windcatcher and investigates its performance using numerical and experimental analysis. Numerical modelling and experimental testing were used to characterise the radial blade design of the heat recovery rotary wheel in terms of performance. Two configurations of the radial blades provide data that can be used to assess how air velocity is affected by the design, the pressure drop across the device and the heat transfer capabilities of the radial blades. To further assess the potential of the proposed devices, it was incorporated into a multi-directional windcatcher ventilating a small room. Despite the blockage of the rotary heat recovery wheel, it was able able to provide adequate ventilation. In addition to sufficient ventilation, the heat in the exhaust airstreams was captured and transferred to the incoming airstream, raising the temperature between 0.5-4K depending on the indoor/outdoor conditions, this passive recovery has the potential to reduce demand on space heating systems.

Keywords built environment, CFD, heat recovery, natural ventilation, windcatcher

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