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Definition of climatology

Climatology is the scientific study of climate. The Climate of a place can be defined as
the average weather conditions obtained through the synthesis of weather elements
prevailing there for over a period of 30-35 years. The weather, on the other hand, is
defined by the atmospheric condition of a place or a given location at a particular time.
The weather elements at a particular place and time are sunshine, temperature, pressure,
precipitation, humidity, evaporation, wind conditions etc Thus climatologists seeks the
understanding of how the world’s climate system works, how it varies from time to time
and space to space, and any use that can be made of resources provided by climate.
Weather and climate are explained by the same element in combination but weather and
climate are not one the same. The climate pertains to an area and a long period of time
while weather pertains to a place and at a particular time. In other words weather is an
instantaneous condition of the atmosphere and it keeps changing all the time but the
climate of an area is fairly constant over a period of time.
Macro and Micro Climate
· Macro-climate the climate of a larger area such as a region or a country
· Micro-climate the variations in localised climate around a building

The building site affects exposure to the prevailing wind, the solar radiation the building
receives, pollution levels, temperatures and rain penetration.
Site and macro climate
The orientation of the building affects solar gains and exposure to the prevailing wind
The location of neighbouring trees and buildings affects the solar gains (shading) and
wind patterns.
Neighbouring trees and buildings also protect the building from driving rain.
Macro Climate
The macro climate around a building cannot be affected by any design changes, however the
building design can be developed with a knowledge of the macro climate in which the
building is located. General climatic data give an idea of the local climatic severity:
· Seasonal accumulated temperature difference (degree day) are a measure of the outside air
temperature, though do not acount for available solar
· Typical wind speeds and direction
· Annual totals of Global Horizontal Solar Radiation
· The driving rain index (DRI) relates to the amount of moisture contained in exposed
surfaces and will affect thermal conductivity of external surfaces.
The site of a building may have a many micro climates caused by the presence of hills
valleys, slopes, streams and other buildings.
Micro Climate – Effect of Local Terrain
Surrounding slopes have important effects on air movement, especially at the bottom of a
hollow. In hollows air warmed by the rises upwards due to buoyancy effects (anabatic
flow), to be replaced by cooler air drifting down the slope (katabatic flow).
The result is that valey floors are significantly colder than locations part way up the slope.
Katabatic flows often result in frosts persisting for longer in low lying locations. The most
favourable location in a valley is known as the thermal belt, lying just above the level to
which pools of cold air build up, but below the height at which exposure to wind
The crests of hills and ridges have
unfavourable wind velocity profiles, the wind
flow is compressed (as happens with an
aerofoil) leading to high wind velocities.

Micro-Climate – Effects of Buildings

Buildings themselves create further micro-climates by shading the ground, changing wind
flow patterns.
One example of how buildings affect the local climate is the heat island effect in large cities
where the average temperature is higher than the surrounding area:
Solar energy absorbed and re-emitted from building surfaces, pavements roads etc. creates a
warming effect on the surrounding air. Also the large quantities of buildings break up the
wind flow, reducing wind speeds and causing the warm air to remain stagnant in the city.
This also causes increased pollution as well as temperatures.
The presence of local high rise buildings can degrade the local climate as wind speed at
ground level can be significantly increased, while extensive shadows block access to sunlight
for long periods, increasing space heating costs in surrounding buildings.
Solar geometry

Temperature, precipitation, wind and sunshine have a direct effect on buildings. A

deliberate choice of surroundings may permit us to take advantage of the elements that
make the environment more favorable.
Climatic conditions are measured and recorded, the data collected over a period of time
provides a statistical record which shows the mean, maximum, minimum and variation of
temperature, hours of sunshine, wind, etc. Precipitation records provide an indication of
the availability of water; temperature records provide a measure of space heating
requirements; rainfall records provide a basis for estimating run-off rates for sizing drains
and culverts; wind and snow records provide a basis for estimating winds and snow loads
on building structures.

Types of Solar Radiation

"Solar Azimuth” is the bearing of the sun from true south. At solar noon, the sun is at true
south and the solar azimuth angle is defined as 0. Morning angles are measured as negative.

Summer Solstice (around June 21) at solar noon:

Altitude = (90o - latitude) + 23.45o
Winter Solstice (around December 21) at solar noon:
Altitude = (90o - latitude) - 23.45o

Spring/Fall Equinox (around March 21 and September 21) at solar noon:

Altitude = (90o - latitude)

Benefits of Summer and Winter Sun Angles on a South Facing Elevation

Psychrometry is an impressive word which is defined as the measurement of the moisture
content of air. In broader terms it
is the science and practices associated with atmospheric air mixtures, their control, and the
effect on materials and human
comfort. This can be accomplished through use of psychrometric tables or a psychrometric
we start to explain the psychrometric chart, let us review a few of the principles on which
it is based.
atmospheric air is a mixture consisting of dry air and water vapor in varying relative
Dry air is itself a mixture of several gases, mainly nitrogen and oxygen
air consists of two separate gases, dry air and water vapor
water vapor is a very small part of air, as far as density and pressure are concerned

the ratio of the actual partial pressure of the water vapor at a given condition to its saturation
pressure at the same temperature

” to the amount of moisture by weight that is required to saturate one pound of dry air at
the given dew point temperature
v = Specific volume of the air,
t = Dry bulb temperature of the mixture,
= Partial pressure of the water vapor at the dew point of a mixture,
53.3 = R or Gas constant for air,
(460 + t) = Absolute temperature of Ai
The dry-bulb temperature (DBT) is the temperature of air measured by a thermometer freely
exposed to the air but shielded from radiation and moisture. DBT is the temperature that is
usually thought of as air temperature, and it is the true thermodynamic temperature.
Thermal comfort
condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment.', ie the
condition when someone is not feeling either too hot or too cold.
The human thermal environment is not straight forward and cannot be expressed in
degrees. Nor can it be satisfactorily defined by acceptable temperature ranges. It is a
personal experience dependent on a great number of criteria and can be different from
one person to another within the same space.
For example, a person walking up stairs in a cold environment whilst wearing a coat might
feel too hot, whilst someone sat still in a shirt in the same environment might feel too cold.
Factors influencing thermal comfort
Environmental factors
Air temperature
The temperature of the air that a person is in contact with, measured by the dry bulb
Air velocity
The velocity of the air that a person is in contact with (measured in m/s). The faster the air
is moving, the greater the exchange of heat between the person and the air (for example,
draughts generally make us feel colder).
Radiant temperature
The temperature of a persons surroundings (including surfaces, heat
generating equipment, the sun and the sky). This is generally expressed as mean radiant
temperature (MRT, a weighted average of the temperature of the surfaces surrounding a
person, which can be approximated byglobe thermometer) and any strong mono-
directional radiation such as radiation from the sun.
Relative humidity (RH)
The ratio between the actual amount of water vapour in the air and the maximum amount
of water vapour that the air can hold at that air temperature, expressed as a percentage.
The higher therelative humidity, the more difficult it is to lose heat through the
evaporation of sweat.
Physiologic factors:
•Weight and body height,
•Metabolism or heat production of the body, respectively.
The heat produced by the metabolism of the body is transported away by all available physical
mechanisms of heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation, evaporation). The equation of
the balance is:
H - Ediff - El - Es - Epe = R + C
The meaning of the variables are (all units in Watt):

•H: internal heat production of the body,
latent heat transfer through the skin by
•El: latent heat transfer by breathing,
•Es: sensible heat transfer by breathing,
latent heat transfer by perspiration
radiative heat transfer from the surface of
the clothing,
convective heat transfer through the
Heat can be transferred from one place to another by three methods: conduction in
solids, convection of fluids (liquids or gases), and radiation through anything that will
allow radiation to pass.
Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
Buildings lose sensible heat to the environment (or gain sensible heat from it) in three
principal ways:
1) Conduction: The transfer of heat between substances which are in direct contact with
each other. Conduction occurs when heat flows through a solid.
2) Convection: The movement of gasses and liquids caused by heat transfer. As a gas or
liquid is heated, it warms, expands and rises because it is less dense resulting in natural
3) Radiation: When electromagnetic waves travel through space, it is called radiation.
When these waves (from the sun, for example) hit an object, they transfer their heat to
that object.

Conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer take place almost everywhere we look.
In a building envelope, conduction primarily takes place through opaque envelope
assemblies, convection is usually the result of wind or pressure-driven air movement, and
radiant heat transfer is primarily from the sun through fenestrations.
Sol-Air Temperature

Sol-air temperature (Tsol) is the fictitious temperature of the outdoor air which, in the
absence of radiative exchanges on the outer surface of the roof or wall, would give the
same rate of heat transfer (Q) through the wall or roof as the actual combined heat
transfer mechanism between the sun, the surface of the roof or wall, the outdoor air and
the surroundings.

The heat gain due to the heat flow through the roof or wall is easily determined by using
sol-air temperature as the outdoor air temperature excitation.

heat is a form of energy transfer from a high temperature location to a low temperature
location. The three main methods of heat transfer - conduction, convection and radiation -
The effect of a material upon heat transfer rates is often expressed in terms of a
number known as thermal conductivity.
The higher that the value is for a particular material, the more rapidly that heat will be
transferred through that material.
Materials with relatively high thermal conductivities are referred to as thermal
Materials with relatively low thermal conductivity values are referred to as thermal
thermal conductivity values (k) for a variety of materials, in units of W/m/°C.
Specific Heat
The specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise the temperature by
one degree Celsius. The relationship between heat and temperature change is usually
expressed in the form shown below where c is the specific heat.

The specific heat of water is 1 calorie/gram °C = 4.186 joule/gram °C

the degree to which an object conducts electricity, calculated as the ratio of the current
which flows to the potential difference present. This is the reciprocal of the resistance, and
is measured in siemens or mhos.
The R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of
material. So the higher the R-value, the more thermal resistance the material has
and therefore the better its insulating properties.
The R-value is calculated by using the formula

l is the thickness of the material in metres and

λ is the thermal conductivity in W/mK.
The R-value is measured in metres squared Kelvin per Watt (m2K/W)

The U value of a building element is the inverse of the total thermal resistance of that
element. The U-value is a measure of how much heat is lost through a given thickness of a
particular material, but includes the three major ways in which heat loss occurs –
conduction, convection and radiation.
Ventilation Principles
Ventilation systems may be classified according their ability to supply and withdraw
air from the rooms ventilated. It is common to differentiate between the
•short cut principle
•mixed principle
•displacement principle
•piston principle

The Short Cut Principle

The ventilation system is "short cut" when the make up air is withdrawn from the room
before it has been in the people operating zones.

A "short cut" will reduce the efficiency of the ventilation system, has no mission, and is
in general avoided.
The Mixed Principle
With a ventilation system based on the mixed principle, make up air is
supplied to the room with high speed, and/or local fans are used to mix the
air in the room to an homogenous mass.

The mixed principle is suited for ventilation, cooling and heating systems
•where homogeneous temperatures in the room are required
•where homogeneous pollution concentrations in the room are required
The Displacement Principle
With the displacement principle heat and pollution is transferred from the residence zone
close to the floor - to the ceiling where it's evacuated through the outlet system.

displacement ventilation

Make up air is supplied with low velocity very close to the floor. The supply air is normally
colder than the average air in the residence zone. The evacuated air close to the ceiling is
warmer than the average air in the residence zone.

Activities in the room, people and machines, creates convective air flows from the floor to
the ceiling:
The Piston Principle
In a ventilation system based on the piston principle the supply air moves through the
rooms like a "piston".

piston ventilation

The piston principle can be regarded as an extreme variant of the displacement system
with a minimum of turbulence in the air flow passing through the room.

used in special applications - like clean rooms, operating theaters etc.

Periodic Heat Flow
In nature the variation of climatic conditions produces a non- steady state. Diurnal
variations produce an approximately repetitive 24-hour cycle of increasing and decreasing
temperatures. The effect of this on a building is that in the hot period heat flows from the
outdoors into the building, where some of it is stored, and at night during the cool period
the heat flow is reversed: from the building to the outside. As this cycle is repetitive, it is
described as periodic heat flow.

The diurnal variations of external and internal temperatures is a periodic cycle. In the
morning, as the outdoor temperature increases, heat starts entering the outer surface of
the wall. Each particle in the wall will absorb a certain amount of heat for every degree
rise in temperature, depending on the specific heat of the wall material. Heat to the next
particle will only be transmitted after the temperature of the first particle is increased.
Thus the corresponding increase in the internal temperature will be delayed.
The two quantities characteristic of this periodic change are the time lag (φ) and the
decrement factor (ù). Decrement factor