Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665 – 675
www.elsevier.com/locate/buildenv
Thermal performance of building roof elements
Sami A. AlSanea
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, King Saud University, P.O. Box800, Riyadh 11421, Saudi Arabia
Received 1 April 1999; received in revised form 10 May 2001; accepted 31 May 2001
Abstract
The study concerns the evaluation and comparison of the thermal performance of building roof elements subject to periodic changes in ambient temperature, solar radiation and nonlinear radiation exchange. A numerical model, based on the nitevolume method and using the implicit formulation, is developed and applied for six variants of a typical roof structure used in the construction of buildings in Saudi Arabia. The climatic conditions of the city of Riyadh are employed for representative days for July and January. The study gives the detailed temperature and heat ux variations with time and the relative importance of the various heattransfer components as well as the daily averaged roof heattransfer load, dynamic Rvalues and the radiative heattransfer coe cient. The results show that the inclusion of a 5cm thick molded polystyrene layer reduces the roof heattransfer load to onethird of its value in an identical roof section without insulation. Using a polyurethane layer instead, reduces the load to less than onequarter. A slightly better thermal performance is achieved by locating the insulation layer closer to the inside surface of the roof structure but this exposes the water proo ng membrane layer to larger temperature uctuations. c 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Thermal insulation; Building roofs; Heat transmission; Rvalue; Finitevolume method
1. Introduction
The use of thermal insulation and special types of build ing materials has increased signi cantly in recent years in both hot and cold climates. This was due to the increasing demand on the thermal comfort of people inside residential, commercial and governmental buildings besides the ever increasing cost of energy. The thermal design of buildings depends on the indoor conditions required, the outdoor prevailing climatic conditions, and the choice of building construction materials and insulation. Accurate methods of analysis to predict the thermal performance of a whole building envelope or an element are, therefore, sought. A whole building thermal analysis is quite involved since all mechanisms of heat transfer are present and the building components are composite of many layers of di erent mate rials. The analysis is often time dependent since the outside ambient temperature, wind speed and solar radiation vary with time. Also, the heat gains due to occupants, equipment, lighting, and solar radiation transmission through fenestra tion, besides the ventilation and in ltration of the outside air will have to be accounted for. Therefore, various meth ods withdi erent levels of simpli cation exist for building energy calculations such as the transfer function, the degree day and bin methods [1]. Computer codes are also available to perform complicated building load analysis. Mathews
et al. [2] compared the thermal load predictions of six such programs for a number of cases and found signi cant di er ences in the results of the various methods. Jensen [3] re ported procedures for validating complex simulation codes. Utilizing a prede ned computer program, based on the ther mal response factor method, Eben Saleh [4,5] investigated the e ects of using di erent insulation materials, thicknesses and arrangements on the thermal performance of buildings. The studies that deal with the thermal performance of speci c building components, and not the building as a whole, have their own merits. Indeed, computer codes for building energy simulation can bene t from improvement in the modeling of their components. The problem can thus be reduced, in general, to solving the Fourier heat con duction equation through a composite structure subject to timedependent boundary conditions. Ozisik [6] described various analytical methods for solution of onedimensional problems withtemperatureindependent properties; such methods include the separation of variables, orthogonal expansion technique, Green’s function, Laplace transform and integral method. By separating the thermal capacitance into discrete components, Letherman [7] determined the temperature response of a slab wall to a sinusoidal heat ux input wave. Han [8] described a numericanalytical approachusing complex algebra of analyzing linear pe riodic heatingcooling problems in laminates. Chen and
03601323/02/$  see front matter
c 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PII: S 03601323(01)000774
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S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
Nomenclature
A _{o}
amplitude of periodic temperature variation ( ^{◦} C)
Bi Biot number = h x=k
c speci c heat (J=kg K)
Fo Fourier number = t=( x) ^{2}
h
I _{s}
k thermal conductivity (W=m K)
L layer thickness (m)
N number of layers
q heat ux (W=m ^{2} )
Q
R _{e}
R
t time (s)
T
T _{f}_{;}_{i} T _{f}_{;} _{o} T _{f}_{;} _{o}_{;}_{m}_{e}_{a}_{n} T _{s}_{k}_{y}
heattransfer coe cient (W=m ^{2} K) solar radiation ux (W=m ^{2} )
daily total heat ux (MJ=m ^{2} day) e ective resistance (m ^{2} K=W ) nominal resistance (m ^{2} K=W )
temperature ( ^{◦} C or K) indoor air temperature ( ^{◦} C) outdoor air temperature ( ^{◦} C) mean outdoor air temperature ( ^{◦} C) sky temperature (K)
_{n}
v 
wind speed (m=s) 
x 
coordinate direction (m) 
Greek letters

thermal di usivity (m ^{2} =s) 

x 
internodal distance (m) 

t 
time step (s) 


surface emissivity 


solar absorptivity 


density (kg=m ^{3} ) 


Stefan–Boltzmann constant (W=m ^{2} K ^{4} ) 


phase shift angle (rad) 

! 
frequency (rad=s) 

Subscripts 

c 
convection 

conv 
_{i} 
inside convection 
conv 
_{o} 
outside convection 
i 
inside surface or nodal point 

o 
outside surface 

r 
radiation exchange 

s 
solar radiation 

st 
storage 

1; 2 
layer number or nodal point. 
Lin [9] extended the hybrid application of the Laplace transform technique and the niteelement method to in clude nonlinear radiation boundary conditions in composite layers. AlTurki and Zaki [10] predicted the thermal performance of building walls in which the general solution was obtained by superposition of the steadystate solution and harmonic terms. They studied the e ect of insulation and energy stor ing layers upon the cooling load; the analysis showed that dispersion of the insulation material within the building ma terial was less e ective than using a continuous equivalent insulation layer placed on the outdoor facade. Zedan and Mujahid [11] developed applications of the Fourier series technique to inverse Laplace transforms to solve the problem of heat conduction in composite plane walls. The tempera ture distribution was obtained in closed form in the Laplace sdomain and was transformed back to the time domain us ing a series formula. Using the concept of the sol–air tem perature, Threlkeld [12] studied the periodic heat transfer through walls and roofs based on the periodic solution of the heat conduction equation. This latter analysis was used by Kaushika et al. [13] to investigate the solar thermal gain of a honeycomb roofcover as a means for passive solar space heating and energy conservation. The same method of analysis was used by Bansal et al. [14] to study the ef fect of external surface color on the thermal behavior of a building. They, also, carried out measurements on a scaled model.
Yarbrough and Anderson [15] compared the solar heat gains for a at concrete roof deck withand without radiation control coating. Reductions in cooling loads ranging from 60% to 85% were calculated. Ozkan [16] investigated the performance of at roofs, water proo ng, and insulation under hot and dry climatic conditions. Insulation materials were tested and properties were compared under di erent aging conditions. Under the climatic conditions of Greece, Eumorfopoulou and Aravantinos [17] studied the thermal behavior of planted roofs and compared it with a bare roof. It was concluded that planted roofs contributed to the thermal resistance of buildings, but that was not enough to replace the thermal insulation layer. The nitedi erence method was utilized by Kuehn and Maldonado [18] to calculate the timedependent thermal response of a composite wall. The explicit formulation was used and the radiation boundary conditions were included. Using the nitedi erence method, Kosny and Christian [19] modeled various metal stud walls and calculated their Rvalues. For the climatic conditions of Riyadh, AlSanea [20] evaluated the thermal performance of di erent wall structures used in construction of buildings in Saudi Arabia. The study was conducted under onedimensional periodic conditions using a controlvolume nitedi erence method. The e ect of wall orientation was studied and the Rvalues under dynamic conditions were determined. The objective of the present study is to evaluate and compare the thermal performance of building roof elements
S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
667
subject to steady periodic changes in ambient temperature, solar radiation and nonlinear radiation exchange. An im plicit, control volume nitedi erence method is developed and applied for six variants of a typical roof structure used in the construction of buildings in Saudi Arabia. The dy namic Rvalues of the roofs are determined under the cli matic conditions of Riyadhfor representative days for July and January.
2. Mathematical formulation
The geometrical con guration is depicted in Fig. 1. The roof section consists of a number of layers withdi erent thicknesses and physical properties. The outside surface is exposed to solar radiation (I _{s} ), convection heat transfer (q _{c}_{;}_{o} ) and radiation exchange with the sky (q _{r}_{;}_{o} ). The inside surface is subject to combined convection and radiation heat transfer (q _{i} ) which relates directly to the airconditioning load required to maintain the inside design temperature (T _{f}_{;}_{i} ). The mathematical model is formulated using the following assumptions.
(i) There is no heat generation.
(ii) 
The layers are in good contact, hence the interface resistance is negligible. 
(iii) 
The variation of thermal properties is negligible. 
(iv) 
The thickness of the composite roof is small compared to the other dimensions. Hence, a onedimensional tem perature variation is assumed. 
(v) 
The convection coe cient is constant and is based on the direction of heat ow and daily average wind speed. 
Based on the above assumptions, the conduction equation governing the heat transfer through the composite roof is given by
@ ^{2} T j
= ^{1}
@T _{j}
@x ^{2}
j
@t
;
(1)
Fig. 1. Schematic showing a typical composite roof structure.
where is the thermal di usivity (k= c) and the subscript
j refers to the layer, i.e. j = 1; 2;:::;N , k is the thermal
conductivity, is the density and c is the speci c heat. The problem is principally concerned with the solution of Eq. (1), applied to all layers, to obtain the variations of temperature and heattransfer rates subject to prescribed initial and boundary conditions. The initial temperature is taken as uniform and equal to the daily mean of the outside ambient temperature, T _{f} _{;} _{o}_{;} _{m}_{e}_{a}_{n} .
Of course, any other value can be used in the model since the steady periodic solution is independent of the initial tem perature distribution. The boundary conditions are given as follows:
(i) Boundary conditions at the inside surface (x = 0):
−k _{1}
@T
@x
^{} x=0
=
h _{i} (T _{f}_{;}_{i} − T _{x}_{=}_{0} );
(2)
where h _{i} is the insidesurface combined heattransfer coef cient; from the ASHRAE handbook of fundamentals [1]:
h _{i} = 9:26 W=m ^{2} K for upward direction of heat ow;
and
h _{i} = 6:13 W=m ^{2} K for downward direction of heat ow:
(ii) Boundary conditions at the outside surface (x = L):
−k _{N}
@T
@x
^{} x=L
= h _{c}_{;}_{o} (T _{x}_{=}_{L} − T _{f}_{;}_{o} ) − I _{s} − q _{r}_{;}_{o} ;
(3)
where h _{c}_{;}_{o} is the outsidesurface convection coe cient, T _{f}_{;}_{o} is the outside ambient temperature and is the solar absorp tivity of the outside surface.
The coe cient (h _{c}_{;}_{o} ) is a function of wind speed (v). Empirical values are taken from Ito et al. [21] as
(4)
and,
h _{c}_{;}_{o} = 18:63 V ^{0}^{:}^{6}^{0}^{5} in W=m ^{2} K
V =
0:25 v 
if 
v ¿ 2 
m=s; 
0:50 v 
if 
v ¡ 2 
m=s: 
The temperature (T _{f}_{;}_{o} ) is tted by a sinusoidal function over a 24hperiod, with t = 0 corresponds to midnight, as
T _{f}_{;}_{o} = T _{f} _{;} _{o}_{;} _{m}_{e}_{a}_{n} + A _{o} sin(!t − ); (5)
where A _{o} is the amplitude, ! is the frequency, and is the phase shift angle; these parameters are given in Section 4. The solar radiation (I _{s} ) is calculated for horizontal roofs in Riyadhby using the ASHRAE clearsky model [1]. The nonlinear radiation exchange (q _{r}_{;}_{o} ) is given by
(6)
q _{r}_{;}_{o} = (T
4
sky ^{−} ^{T}
_{x}_{=}_{L} );
4
where is the surface emissivity, is the Stefan–Boltzmann constant, and T _{s}_{k}_{y} is the sky temperature and is taken equal to (T _{f}_{;}_{o} − 12); see for example, Garg [22].
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S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
Fig. 2. Composite roof of N layers showing node arrangements.
3. Numerical solution procedure
The solution of the present nonlinear problem is obtained by the nitevolume method. The composite roof of N layers is discretized into a number of nodes. Next, the nitevolume equations are derived by applying the energy balance. It is seen from Fig. 2 that there are four types of nodes which are:
(i) boundary node on the inside surface, node 1, (ii) interior nodes inside the layers,
(iii) 
interface nodes between the layers, and 
(iv) 
boundary node on the outside surface, node n. 
The resulting nitevolume equations, using the implicit for mulation, are summarized as follows:
(i) The boundary node on the inside surface:
T
t+ t
1
_{=}
_{2}_{F}_{o} _{i} _{(}_{T} t+ t
2
+ Bi _{i} T _{f}_{;}_{i} ) + T ^{t}
1
2Fo _{i} (Bi _{i} + 1) + 1
;
(7)
where 

Fo _{i} = _{1} t=( x _{1} ) ^{2} 
and 
Bi _{i} = h _{i} x _{1} =k _{1} : 
(ii) Interior node (i) in layer (j):
t+ t
T
i
=
_{F}_{o} _{j} _{(}_{T} t+ t
i−1
_{+} _{T} t+ t
i+1
) + T ^{t}
i
2Fo _{j} + 1
;
where
Fo _{j} = _{j} t=( x _{j} ) ^{2} :
(8)
(iii) Interface node (i) between layers (j) and (j + 1):
t+ t
T
i
=
(k _{j} = x _{j} )T ^{t}^{+} ^{} ^{t}
i−1
+
(k _{j}_{+}_{1} = x _{j}_{+}_{1} )T ^{t}^{+} ^{} ^{t}
i+1
+ BT ^{t}
i
k _{j} = x _{j} + k _{j}_{+}_{1} = x _{j}_{+}_{1}
+ B
^{;}
(9)
where
B = ( _{j} c _{j} x _{j} + _{j}_{+}_{1} c _{j}_{+}_{1} x _{j}_{+}_{1} )=2 t:
(iv) The boundary node on the outside surface:
t+ t
T
n
=
2Fo _{o} [T
t+ t
n−1
+Bi _{o} T
t+ t f;o
+ ( x _{N} =k _{N} )( I
t+ t
s
t
n
+q _{r}_{;}_{o} )]+T
2Fo _{o} (Bi _{o} +1)+1
^{;}
(10)
where
Fo _{o} = _{N} t=( x _{N} ) ^{2} ;
Bi _{o} = h _{c}_{;}_{o} x _{N} =k _{N} ;
and
) ^{4} ]:
The set of the nitevolume equations is solved itera tively by using the Gauss–Seidel method. The iterative pro cess within each time step continues until the di erences between the new and old nodal temperatures are within a predetermined small tolerance value. The solution is carried through a number of cycles until a steady periodic state is fully obtained. It is noted that the nonlinear radiation e ects are handled within the process of the iterative solution; the temperature at the outside roof surface, which appears on both the left and righthand sides of Eq. (10), is calculated using q _{r}_{;}_{o} evaluated from the temperature value at the pre vious iteration.
q _{r}_{;}_{o} = [(T
t+t
sky
) ^{4} − (T
n
t+ t
4. Roof structures, thermal properties and climatic data
The details of six roof structures; namely, R1–R6 are shown schematically in Figs. 3–5. Structures R1 and R2 represent uninsulated roofs withdi erent foam concrete types (I and II, respectively). Structures R3, R4 and R5 represent insulated roofs withdi erent insulation materials as follows: molded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and polyurethane, respectively. Structure R6 di ers from R3 only with respect to the location of the insulation layer. The
thicknesses of the various layers are: paving tiles = 25 mm,
Fig. 3. Schematic of roof structures R1 and R2; (1) tiles, (2) mortar bed, (3) sand ll, (4) membrane, (5) foam concrete, (6) reinforced concrete, and (7) cement plaster.
S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
669
Fig. 4. Schematic of roof structures R3, R4 and R5; (1) tiles, (2) mortar bed, (3) sand ll, (4) thermal insulation, (5) membrane, (6) foam concrete, (7) reinforced concrete, and (8) cement plaster.
Fig. 5. Schematic of roof structure R6; (1) tiles, (2) mortar bed, (3) sand ll, (4) membrane, (5) foam concrete, (6) reinforced concrete, (7) thermal insulation, and (8) cement plaster.
Table 1 

Thermal properties 

Material 
k (W=m K) 
(kg=m ^{3} ) 
c (J=kg K) 
Paving tile Mortar bed Sand ll Molded polystyrene Extruded polystyrene Polyurethane Water proo ng membrane Leveling foam concrete (I) Leveling foam concrete (II) Reinforced concrete Cement plaster 
1.73 
2243 
920 
0.72 
1858 
837 

0.33 
1515 
800 

0.036 
24 
1213 

0.029 
35 
1213 

0.022 
32 
1590 

0.19 
1121 
1675 

0.52 
1600 
837 

0.08 
300 
837 

1.73 
2243 
920 

0.72 
1858 
837 
mortar bed = 20 mm, sand ll = 50 mm, water proo ng membrane = 4 mm, foam concrete = 75 mm, reinforced concrete slab = 150 mm, cement plaster = 15 mm and insu lation layer = 50 mm. The thermal properties of the materials used are summa rized in Table 1; see for example, Croy and Dougherty [23]. With regard to the climatic data, the ambient tempera ture and wind speed values for Riyadhfor the year 1993 are used; these data were obtained from the Meteorological and Environmental Protection Agency [24] for the whole year. The temperatures are averaged for eachmonthon an hourly basis using the daily variations for that month. Then, the averaged representative daily variations are tted by a sinusoidal function as given by Eq. (5). The values of the
following parameters are calculated and used in the study:
T _{f} _{;} _{o}_{;} _{m}_{e}_{a}_{n} = 34:7 ^{◦} C;
T _{f} _{;} _{o}_{;} _{m}_{e}_{a}_{n} = 12:3 ^{◦} C;
= 0:833 :
A _{o} = 7:8 ^{◦} C 
for July; 
A _{o} = 4:5 ^{◦} C 
for January; 
and
The daily average wind speed is 4:1 m=s for July and 2:6 m=s for January. The solar radiation ux on horizontal roofs I _{s} is calculated from the direct and di use components based on the ASHRAE clearsky model [1]. The latitude, longitude and the standard meridian of the local time zone pertinent to the city of Riyadh are speci c input to the model.
5. Results and discussion
5.1. Introduction
The thermal performance of the six roof structures is de termined through the time of day; the day represents an av erage of all days in a month. The months of July and January are chosen to represent typical summer and winter condi tions. The indoor temperature (T _{f}_{;}_{i} ) is controlled at 25 ^{◦} C for July and 23 ^{◦} C for January. The radiative properties are set to = 0:9 and = 0:4 as appropriate to lightcolored surfaces. Steady periodic results are achieved after about three periods (cycles) of computation; the initial transient e ects, which diminish with time, have no major interest in the present study. All the results are checked for the e ect of numerical parameters and shown to be both grid and timestep inde pendent. The accuracy of the numerical model is validated by comparisons withexact analytical solutions for a simpli ed problem. Due to space limitation, this section concen trates on detailed selected results that highlight and compare the thermal performance of the roofs.
5.2. Roof structure R1
This represents a typical uninsulated roof using a foam concrete layer of type I. Fig. 6 displays the temperature dis tributions across the roof thickness at di erent times with an interval of 3 h for the representative day in July. The inside surface of the roof corresponds to the left of the gure and the di erent layers are shown by the dotted lines. At 3:00, the gure shows that the temperature is relatively high near the middle of the roof and decreases gradually towards both the inside and outside surfaces. Three hours later, at 6:00, the temperature level across the whole thickness un dergoes a further decrease as the stored heat continues to dissipate from both surfaces of the roof. Then a fast increase in outside surface temperature takes place due to sunrise and continues until about 15:00 during which the tempera ture gradient is reversed as heat is being gained. Thereafter, the surface temperature drops continuously after sunset and the whole process is repeated in a steady periodic fashion.
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S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
Fig. 6. Temperature variations across the roof thickness at di erent times for structure R1 in July.
The variation of temperature is smoothacross eachlayer withdiscontinuities in the gradient at interfaces because of
di erent conductivities on bothsides of eachinterface. Due
to the thermal storage e ect, it is noted that while the tem perature at the outside surface is decreasing, the temperature deep inside is still increasing. Also, the temperature uctu ations are reduced signi cantly withdistance from the out side surface. The minimum uctuations are calculated at the inside surface; however, these which amount to about 1:5 ^{◦} C
may still be considered large. The inside surface tempera tures are higher than the design room value (25 ^{◦} C) by about 3 ^{◦} C. The roof heattransfer load would be proportional to suchdi erences in temperature and is expected to be large as will be seen later. The corresponding results for the month of January give rise to similar remarks but withopposite
direction of heat ow. Fig. 7 shows the temperature variations with time of day at six distinct locations in the roof. In general, the temperature variation is approximately sinusoidal since it is driven by changes in ambient temperature and solar radiation. The inside roof surface temperature (curve 2) shows a maximum
di erence withthe space (room) temperature at about 24:00
and a minimum di erence at about 13:00; these correspond to the maximum and minimum rates of heat gain into the space during the day. The di erence in temperatures between curves 3 and 4 is relatively small as a result of the small thermal resistance across the membrane layer. The time lag between the maximum temperatures attained by the outside and inside surfaces (curves 5 and 2) is calculated to be about 10 h. Fig. 8 depicts the variations with time of day of the various heattransfer rate components for roof structure R1 in July. These are: the absorbed solar ux (solar _{a}_{b}_{s} ), outsidesurface
convective ux (conv _{o} ), outsidesurface radiation exchange ux (rad), and the net of these (net). The insidesurface heat ux (conv _{i} ) is also shown which relates to the cooling load
Fig. 7. Temperature variations withtime at di erent locations for structure R1 in July; (1) inside room, (2) inside roof surface, (3) inside interface of membrane, (4) outside interface of membrane, (5) outside roof surface, and (6) outside ambient.
Fig. 8. Components and net heattransfer rate variations with time for structure R1 in July.
required to maintain the controlled room temperature. While the absorbed solar radiation is either positive or zero, which is virtually the dominant source of heat gain, the radiation exchange (rad) is calculated to be negative throughout. Ac cordingly, radiation exchange contributes to heat loss only which is favorable in summer. The outsidesurface convec tive ux (conv _{o} ) shows a more complicated behavior since there are losses and gains at di erent times of day. This de pends on the roof outsidesurface temperature relative to the ambient air temperature. The results indicate that the losses by radiation exchange are greater than the losses by con vection. The daily averaged values of these components are given in Table 2 in which quantitative comparison can be made.
S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
Table 2 Summary of total and dailyaveraged thermal values
671
Code 
R _{n} (m ^{2} K=W) 
R _{e} (m ^{2} K=W) 
Q _{i} (MJ=m ^{2} day) 
Q _{c}_{;}_{o} 
Q _{s} (MJ=m ^{2} day) 
Q _{r} (MJ=m ^{2} day) 
h 
r 
number 
(MJ=m ^{2} day) 
(W=m ^{2} K) 

R1JUL 
0.670 
0.529 
1.584 
−3:031 
11.480 
−6:866 
5.67 

R2JUL 
1.463 
1.156 
0.725 
−3:677 
11.480 
−7:079 
5.68 

R3JUL 
2.059 
1.626 
0.515 
−3:831 
11.480 
−7:135 
5.68 

R4JUL 
2.394 
1.891 
0.443 
−3:886 
11.480 
−7:153 
5.68 

R5JUL 
2.943 
2.323 
0.361 
−3:948 
11.480 
−7:173 
5.69 

R6JUL 
2.059 
1.626 
0.515 
−3:841 
11.480 
−7:125 
5.68 

R1JAN 
0.628 
0.735 
−1:261 
−2:884 
7.260 
−5:638 
4.51 

R2JAN 
1.421 
1.664 
−0:557 
−2:355 
7.260 
−5:461 
4.50 

R3JAN 
2.017 
2.362 
−0:392 
−2:230 
7.260 
−5:423 
4.50 

R4JAN 
2.352 
2.755 
−0:336 
−2:188 
7.260 
−5:408 
4.50 

R5JAN 
2.900 
3.398 
−0:273 
−2:140 
7.260 
−5:392 
4.49 

R6JAN 
2.017 
2.359 
−0:393 
−2:233 
7.260 
−5:417 
4.50 
Fig. 9. Layer energystorage variations withtime for structure R1 in July; (1) cement plaster, (2) reinforced concrete, (3) foam concrete, (4) membrane, (5) sand ll, (6) mortar bed, and (7) tiles.
The sum of the above three components is the net heat transfer rate at the outside surface (q _{n}_{e}_{t} ). Fig. 8 shows a net heat loss starting in the late afternoon and continues until sunrise; at other times, there is a net heat gain which is attributed to solar radiation. The gure also reveals that much of the heat gained by the roof is stored inside the various layers of the structure and then dissipated to the outside. This has a great advantage in reducing the rate of heat transmission into the space as indicated by relatively small insidesurface heat ux (conv _{i} ). Further insight into the thermal behavior of the roof sec tion can be obtained by studying the daily variation of the rate of energy storage in eachlayer as shown in Fig. 9 for July. The rate of energy storage depends upon both the ther mal capacitance and temperature uctuation. Considering the reinforced concrete slab (curve 2), for example, it is noted that there is a net storage of heat between 11:30 and
Fig. 10. Temperature variations across the roof thickness at di erent times for structure R3 in July.
22:30 and a net heat dissipation outside this period. The to tal amount of heat storage must equal the total amount of heat dissipation over a complete cycle (one day). Similar behavior is obtained for other layers but with di erent rates and time lag.
5.3. Roof structure R3
This represents a typical insulated roof with a 5cm layer of molded polystyrene placed above the water proo ng membrane; except for the insulation layer, this structure is identical to R1. Fig. 10 shows the variations of temperature across the roof thickness for July and are to be compared with the results in Fig. 6. It is seen that the presence of the insulation has a marked e ect in which sharp changes in the temperature slopes are calculated across the interfaces with the insulation layer. Also, the bulk of the temperature drop through the roof takes place across the insulation leaving
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S.A. AlSanea / Building and Environment 37 (2002) 665–675
Fig. 11. Temperature variations across the roof thickness at di erent times for structure R6 in July.
Fig. 12. Insidesurface heat ux variations with time for all roof structures in July.
the layers on the inside having a relatively very small tem perature drop and also muchsmaller variations withtime. This has two advantages; rstly, the transmission load is reduced in magnitude and, secondly, the amplitude of load uctuation is reduced in size. It is noted that the variation of temperature on the inside surface amounts to less than 0:3 ^{◦} C during the whole day and is only 1 ^{◦} C higher than the inside room temperature of 25 ^{◦} C. These characteristics are supe rior when compared to those obtained for roof structure R1. With regard to the large temperature variations across the outer layers, a strong resemblance is seen withthose for R1.
5.4. Roof structure R6
This represents a typical insulated roof with the thermal insulation placed close to the inside surface; except for the location of the insulation layer, this structure is identical to R3. Fig. 11 displays the variations of temperature across the roof thickness for di erent times of day. It is seen that the results are similar to those in Fig. 10 for the three layers that lie close to the outside surface. Starting from the membrane layer and moving inwards, the results in Fig. 11 are distin guished by higher temperature levels and larger uctuations. The membrane layer is now exposed to a higher tempera ture and a greater temperature variation withtime whichare unfavorable since they can cause cracks and property dete rioration after a certain period of use. The insulation layer gives rise to a substantial temperature drop across its thick ness and acts to reduce the daily temperature uctuation sig ni cantly. It is seen that the e ect on the inside surface is quite similar to that for R3, i.e. an inside surface temperature of about 26 ^{◦} C (1 ^{◦} C higher than the inside room tempera ture) and with a very small variation throughout the day. It may be concluded, therefore, that the two structures, R3 and R6, behave similarly with respect to their e ect on the mean cooling load, further details are given in the next sec
tion. However, when interest lies beyond the steadyperiodic conditions, the two roof sections are expected to behave dif ferently during the transient periods of operation. This point is left for further researchas, indeed, withthe di erent ef fects the two arrangements would have on possible moisture condensation in wet climates.
5.5. Comparisons between all roofs
The insidesurface heat ux variations with time for all six roof structures (R1–R6) are presented in Fig. 12 for July. The gure reveals a relatively large heat ux uctuation for structure R1 and a muchgreater mean value as compared to the results of the other structures. Roof R2 shows a more moderate uctuation and a mean value that is about one half of that calculated for R1. The thermally insulated struc tures (R3–R6) show much smaller uctuations and mean values that are particularly low. The heat ux for structure R1 reaches a minimum value at about 13:00 and a max imum value at about midnight. For structures R3–R6, the heat ux reaches its minimum at about 14:30 and its maxi mum at about 2:30; this time lag is due to the added e ect of insulation. It is interesting to note that the heat ux vari ations withtime for roofs R3 and R6 are close but witha slight di erence in favor of R6. The calculations reveal that the daily average insidesurface heat uxes are the same for roofs R3 and R6; however, the peak load for R6 is about 3% smaller than that for R3. Fig. 13 presents the energy storage variations with time of day for the concrete slab for all roofs. The results show that the concrete slab stores heat at various rates from about 12:00 to 24:00. The maximum storage rate is calculated at about 17:00 for R1, R2 and R6 and at about 18:00 for R3, R4 and R5. The slab dissipates heat from about 24:00 to 12:00 witha maximum rate of dissipation calculated between 7:00 and 8:00. It is also noted that the energy storage behavior
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Fig. 13. Energy storage variations withtime of the reinforced concrete slab for all roof structures in July.
of the concrete slabs in R1 and R6 are very similar despite the di erences between the two roofs with regard to the general performance. This is because the concrete slab in R6 is located on the outside of the insulation layer and, hence, behaves similarly to the slab in R1 which has no insulation. The slab heat storage variations with time for R3, R4 and R5 are relatively very small due to the smaller temperature uctuations as a result of placing the insulation on the outside of the slab. The overall thermal performance of the roofs is presented in Fig. 14 in terms of the daily total heattransfer load per square meter of roof structure (Q in MJ=m ^{2} day). For July, structure R1 shows an extremely high heattransfer load (1:584 MJ=m ^{2} day) as compared to the other structures. Tak ing this value as a reference load for comparison, structure R2 gives about 46% of the reference load. This gives the
e ect of using the light weight leveling foam concrete with
a higher thermal resistance. With regard to the e ect of us ing thermal insulation, structures R3, R4 and R5 give the following percentages of the reference load: 33%, 28% and 23%, respectively. It is also noted that roof R6 reduces the heattransfer load by an equal amount to that achieved by R3. Similar remarks can be drawn for the heating loads of the roofs in January. Figs. 15 and 16 give the corresponding thermal resistances (Rvalues) of the various roof structures. A distinction is made between the nominal resistance (R _{n} ) and the e ec tive, or dynamic, resistance (R _{e} ). The R _{n} values, presented in Fig. 15, are calculated as the sum of the various conduc tive and convective resistance components in the structure. The R _{e} values, presented in Fig. 16, are calculated from the daily averaged di erence between the outside ambient and inside room temperatures divided by the daily averaged heattransfer rate at the inside surface. Therefore, the R _{e} val ues contain implicitly the e ect of the outsidesurface ra diation exchange and the e ect of the solar ux absorbed
Fig. 14. Daily total heattransfer loads per square meter for all roof structures in July and January.
Fig. 15. Total nominal thermal resistances for all roof structures in July and January.
by the roof within the framework of the total resistance. By all standards, the Rvalue for roof structure R1 is consid ered too small, and sucha roof would demand a consider ably large cooling or heating load as was seen in Fig. 14. It is interesting to note that while the July and January R _{n}
674
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Fig. 16. Total e ective thermal resistances for all roof structures in July and January.
values of a particular roof are very close (the di erences are due to the surface convective resistance), the R _{e} values for July are noticeably smaller than their counterparts for Jan uary. Therefore, the July values give more stringent condi tions on the allowed Rvalues for the roofs. The di erences, for any one structure, between R _{n} and R _{e} on the one hand and those due to the seasonal variations on the other, make the R _{e} values of a more general use since they represent the dynamic nature of the heattransfer process and also re ect the climatic conditions.
5.6. Outsidesurface radiative heattransfer coe cient (h r;o )
This is calculated by the model based on the outside surface temperature of the roof, which is unknown and is determined iteratively by the calculations, and T _{s}_{k}_{y} which is known from the climatic data as a function of time. A typical variation of h _{r}_{;}_{o} withtime of day is shown in Fig. 17 for roof structure R1 in July. This resembles to a good degree the outside roof surface temperature variation shown earlier as curve (5) in Fig. 7. The daily averaged value is calculated to be 5:67 W=m ^{2} K; the daily di erence between the minimum and maximum values amounts to about 20%. Similar trends of variations are calculated for all roofs with the daily averaged values for July are about 25% higher than those for January. These results are summarized in Table 2.
Fig. 17. Outsidesurface radiative heattransfer coe cient variation with time for structure R1 in July.
lation and comparison of the thermal characteristics of six variants of a typical roof structure used in building construc tions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The investigation was carried out under steady periodic state using the climatic conditions of Riyadh. The results showed that, as expected, the dominant source of energy gain by the roof was the ab sorbed solar radiation. While this acted adversely in sum mer and favorably in winter, the radiation exchange with the sky and the convection heat transfer acted in exactly the op posite manner. In general, the contribution of the radiation exchange was more than twice that of the heat convection. The results, when compared with a reference uninsulated roof section using a heavy weight concrete foam as a leveling layer, produced the following: 45% of the reference daily av erage heattransfer load when using a light weight concrete foam; 32%, 27% and 22% of the reference daily average heattransfer load when using a 5cm thick layer of insula tion made of molded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and polyurethane, respectively. Placing the thermal insulation layer closer to the inside surface of the roof section showed a little favorable e ect on the instantaneous heattransfer load; however, this had exposed the water proo ng mem brane layer to larger temperature uctuations. It is recommended that future studies should include, as well, the economic side of the problem, moisture transport and condensation in roof sections under certain climatic con ditions, interface and voids resistance between the layers, and the initial thermal transient e ects.
6. Conclusions
A numerical model based on an implicit nitevolume method was developed for calculating the timedependent temperature variation in composite layers under nonlinear boundary conditions. The model was applied for the simu
AppendixTabulated total and daily averaged thermal values
Table 2 gives a summary of the important total and daily averaged thermal values calculated for all roofs in July and January. The rst column in the table gives the identi ca
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tion code number, the second column gives the roof nominal thermal resistance (R _{n} ), while the third column gives the ef fective thermal resistance (R _{e} ). Columns four to seven give the daily total quantities of heattransfer per square meter of roof: Q _{i} for the insidesurface heat transfer (+ve relates to cooling load and −ve relates to heating load), Q _{c}_{;}_{o} for the outsidesurface heat convection (−ve means loss from roof to outside ambient), Q _{s} for the absorbed solar radiation (+ve means gain; the absorptivity is 0.4), and Q _{r} for the radiation exchange between outsidesurface and sky (−ve means loss from roof to sky; the emissivity is 0.9). Finally, the last column gives the daily mean outsidesurface radia tive heattransfer coe cient. From an overall energy bal ance for the roof section over 24 h, Q _{c}_{;}_{o} + Q _{s} + Q _{r} must equal to Q _{i} under steady periodic conditions. It is interesting to note that the largest daily total heattransfer component at the roof outside surface is the absorbed solar radiation which acts adversely in July and favorably in January. It is also noted that the daily contribution of the radiation ex change at the outside surface can be more than twice that of the convection. This is due to the relative magnitudes of the radiative and convective heattransfer coe cients and to partial cancellation of the convective ux when integrated over the whole day, as can be seen for example in Fig. 8.
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