Simulation of the future performance of low-energy evaporative cooling systems using UKCP09 climate projections
Hanby, V.I. and Smith, S.T. (2012) Simulation of the future performance of low-energy evaporative cooling systems using UKCP09 climate projections. Building and Environment, 55 (1). 110 - 116. ISSN 0360-1323
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2011.12.018
Recent activity in the development of future weather data for building performance simulation follows recognition of the limitations of traditional methods, which have been based on a stationary (observed) climate. In the UK, such developments have followed on from the availability of regional climate models as delivered in UKCIP02 and recently the probabilistic projections released under UKCP09. One major area of concern is the future performance and adaptability of buildings which employ exclusively passive or low-energy cooling systems. One such method which can be employed in an integral or retrofit situation is direct or indirect evaporative cooling. The effectiveness of evaporative cooling is most strongly influenced by the wet-bulb depression of the ambient air, hence is generally regarded as most suited to hot, dry climates. However, this technology has been shown to be effective in the UK, primarily in mixed-mode buildings or as a retrofit to industrial/commercial applications. Climate projections for the UK generally indicate an increase in the summer wet-bulb depression, suggesting an enhanced potential for the application of evaporative cooling. The paper illustrates this potential by an analysis of the probabilistic scenarios released under UKCP09, together with a detailed building/plant simulation of case study building located in the South-East of England. The results indicate a high probability that evaporative cooling will still be a viable low-energy technique in the 2050s.