Our client asked us to carry out thermal simulations to investigate whether the air temperature in a shaft spanning 8 stories in height and having dimensions of 10.90 x 1.85 metres is less than the critical operating temperature of the outdoor units when the 40 air conditioning units located in the shaft are operating at full load at a summer outdoor temperature of 37oC.
From simulations carried out it was noted that if the shaft does not have sufficient openings to the outside, the hot air exhausted from the outdoor units keeps re-circulating within the shaft increasing the ambient temperature within the shaft.
As a solution, our team of expert engineers at Sammut & Associates conducted a thermal simulation analysis using a technique known as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). CFD is a computational tool used to simulate the flow of fluids (liquids or gases) providing information on fluid properties such as temperature and velocity at various time intervals.
Following a number of modifications to the configuration of the air conditioning units and the shaft intake openings, a solution was obtained that ensured that the air conditioning units can operate effectively even when the outside temperature reaches 37oC.
Thermal simulation analyses have a number of advantages. Using CFD, simulation analyses during the design process can provide insights to architects on how the architectural layout of common shafts containing multiple outdoor units may need to be modified in order to ensure that such shafts are adequately ventilated thereby ensuring that the air temperature within the shafts is less than the critical temperature.
Furthermore, such studies can assist designers in determining whether particular models of air conditions having a particular critical temperature are suitable and whether they can ensure that such outdoor units work effectively even at high outdoor air temperatures.
As such, ensuring that air conditioning units operate effectively during the peak summer temperatures will definitely result in greater customer comfort and satisfaction.