A study of a solar chimney to improve comfort inside shipping containers

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Malta F.P.
Gouveia J.L.F.
Albuquerque C.
27th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, ECOS 2014
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Shipping container is a cheap and easy way to build an internal environment. If occupied by people in warm climates, thermal discomfort usually occurs. The aim of this work is to investigate the use of solar chimney for natural ventilation inside containers. The cavity of the chimney, with trapezoidal cross section, is formed by placing a thermal insulating material against the lateral wall. The air enters the cavity from the internal environment through the bottom, flows to the top due to the heating of the metallic wall, and is dispersed in the external environment. An experimental apparatus was built with one cavity of a real container. The metallic wall was heated by electric heaters, in a range representative of solar incidence. Sensors of temperature and air velocity were positioned along the chimney. It was found that the chimney works even for low solar incidence. In the center between the metallic wall and the insulation, the air velocity is higher and the temperature is lower than near the walls. The effect of the radiative heat transfer from the metallic wall to the insulation significantly influences the temperature and the velocity profile.