THE EFFECTS OF CALORIMETER TILT ON THE INWARD-FLOWING FRACTION OF ABSORBED SOLAR RADIATION IN A VENETIAN BLIND

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1 Collins, M.R., and Harrison, S.J., "The Effects of Calorimeter Tilt on the Inward-Flowing Fraction of Absorbed Solar Radiation in a Venetian Blind", ASHRAE Transactions, Vol. 107 (1), pp , Copyright 2001, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. ( Reprinted by permission from ASHRAE Transactions 2001, Volume 107, Part 1. This material may not be copied nor distributed in either paper or digital form without ASHRAE s permission.

2 THE EFFECTS OF CALORIMETER TILT ON THE INWARD-FLOWING FRACTION OF ABSORBED SOLAR RADIATION IN A VENETIAN BLIND ABSTRACT To validate modeling tools used for the determination of solar heat gain in complex fenestration (i.e., windows incorporating shade attachments), tests will be required on a number of fenestration and shade combinations. One concern in this process, however, relates to tracking the sun, using the test calorimeter, in both azimuth and altitude. It is possible that the measured solar heat gain will change significantly with calorimeter tilt angle, because convective flows are tilt dependent. While the calorimeter tilt angle will have no effect on the system optical properties, the inward-flowing fraction, which is dependent on convective flow around the shade, may change significantly. As such, a series of tests were conducted which examined changes in the inward-flowing fraction as a function of blind geometry and calorimeter tilt. Tests were performed indoors in a simulated wind field, using a calibration transfer standard as a mock window, and with electrically heated blind slats. Tilt angles of 0 (vertical) to 75 o were examined at 15 o intervals, with an extra test at 85 o. Slat angles of -45, 0, 45, or 70 o were also investigated. It was found that tilt angles greater than 60 o affect the inward-flowing fraction. Previous results concerning slat angle were also confirmed. INTRODUCTION The determination of the Solar Heat Gain (SHG) through fenestrations is required for the evaluation of fenestration energy performance, estimating building energy loads, and assessing occupant comfort levels. SHG is the product of the solar heat gain coefficient (F) and the incident solar irradiance (I), i.e., SHG = F I (1) F is defined for a single layer as F = τ + N α (2) where τ and α are the transmitted and absorbed fractions of solar radiation, respectively, and N is the inward-flowing fraction of the absorbed solar radiation. The inward-flowing fraction (IFF) can be described as follows: When solar radiation passes through a glass window and a shading material is interposed between the room and the glass, a portion of this energy is transmitted through the shade directly, unless opaque, a part is reflected from the shade back to the glass and part is absorbed by the shade itself. That portion of the energy absorbed by the shading material warms the shade to a temperature above that of the surrounding air. This, in turn, results in the transmission of heat from the shade, both to the interior of the room and in most cases back to and through the glass. (Jordan and Threlkeld 1959) The fraction of heat absorbed in the shade that enters the room is the IFF.

3 Recently, studies have been undertaken to investigate the number and the magnitude of the variables affecting the inwardflowing fraction. Klems and Kelley (1996) performed outdoor calorimetric tests on a limited number of shade and glazing combinations in a vertical orientation. In their experiment, the blind was electrically heated to simulate an increase in solar absorption. The increase in metered energy was then attributed to Q = N P (3) where Q was the increase in metered energy, P was the input power to the blind and is equivalent to an absorbed irradiance, I α A f, and N s is the IFF of the shade layer. s Based on the experiment by Klems and Kelly, a subsequent series of tests were initiated at the Solar Calorimetry Laboratory to investigate the effects of environmental variables on the IFF of an internal shade (Collins and Harrison 1999). In that experiment, an electrically heated blind was placed within an indoor calorimeter cell, and a calibration transfer standard (CTS) was substituted for a test sealed-glazing unit (SGU). The reasons for these experimental modifications will be discussed in a later section. The total metered energy in the cell could then be applied to Eqn. 3. The initial investigations were limited to tests aimed at gauging the effects of irradiation, exterior wind speed and interior/exterior temperature gradient, and blind slat angle, and other variables such as nominal blind spacing, and calorimeter tilt were not examined. To better understand heat transfer in complex fenestration, SHG tests will need to be performed on as-installed window and shade systems. However, current calorimetric test practices often attempt to maximize irradiation (and therefore accuracy) by tracking the sun in both azimuth and altitude. While the calorimeter tilt angle will have no effect on the exchange of thermal radiation, the IFF, which is also dependent on convective flow around the shade, may change significantly. Both of the previous studies were conducted with the window and shade in a vertical orientation, and offer no information on the effects of tilt angle. As such, the degree to which calorimeter tilt affects the IFF for an interior shade should be investigated. EXPERIMENT A test program was initiated at Queen s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which focused on the effects of calorimeter tilt and blind slat angle on the measured values of inward-flowing fraction. Testing was performed using Queen s Solar Calorimeter (Harrison and Collins 1999), located at Queen s University (Fig. 1). We define the energy input to the calorimeter through the fenestration as follows, from an energy balance on the system. Energy removed by the flow loop (Q flow ), added through internal mechanisms, i.e., the internal fan (Q fan ) and pump (Q pump ), and lost through the walls (Q walls ) and mask (Q mask ) may be determined, allowing the energy input through the fenestration, Q input, to be expressed as Qinput = Qflow Qfan Qpump + Qwalls + Qmask (4)

4 Experimental Procedure The test method used for this study was similar to that employed in a similar experiment by Collins and Harrison (1999). The calorimeter test cell, with a CTS installed in place of a window, was used to perform steady-state indoor tests in simulated a wind field. An electrically heated venetian blind was used to simulate solar absorption in the blind itself. Testing indoors provided many advantages over outdoor testing. Primarily, it eliminated solar absorption in the SGU, and consequently removed potential variations in the IFF of the SGU as tilt angle increased. Removing the effects of solar absorption in the SGU allowed the results to be focused on variations of IFF in the shade layer alone. In addition, indoor testing allowed steady-state conditions to be reached without concern for the effects of changing external temperature and irradiation. As previously stated, rather than using a commercial SGU, a CTS was installed in the mask wall. A CTS is a mock window in which the air cavity has been replaced with a foam core, across which thermocouples have been placed. This allows the determination of the heat flux flowing through the CTS (Bowen 1985). The ability to determine heat flux was key to this experiment, and provided a redundant outward-flowing fraction measurement. From a heat transfer perspective, the interior glass surface would be identical to a normal SGU when considering long-wave radiative properties, and the CTS had a thermal resistance similar to a double-glazed SGU (R=0.397 m 2 K/W, 2.25 h ft 2 F/Btu). It should be noted that the thermal resistance of the CTS will prevent the extension of these results to glazing systems with thermal resistances that are different from that of most typical double glazings. For example, a venetian blind placed indoors behind a single glazing will have a smaller IFF then one placed behind a double glazing, because there is less thermal resistance to the exterior. For the same reason, the combined effects of calorimeter tilt and window thermal resistance on IFF cannot be determined from the present analysis. Finally, the affects of convection in the glazing cavity are also removed by this substitution, thereby removing the influence of changing flow in the glazing cavity with calorimeter tilt, which again allow the results to be isolated to changes in IFF from the blind. The CTS (61 mm x 61 mm, 2 ft x 2 ft) was installed in the mask wall as shown in Fig. 2, to be representative of an actual window installation (Harrison and Van Wonderen 1996). A mahogany casing was put around the specimen, both to protect the mask wall and to simulate the frame. The entire unit was inserted into the mask wall, and shimmed to a tight fit. Any spaces were then filled with insulation, and the inner and outer seams were taped. An aluminum blind, with a typical slat geometry and white enamel surface, was then mounted at a nominal distance of 20 mm (0.79 in) from the window. The slats (2.54 cm wide, cm long, and spaced 2.40 cm apart) consisted of two slats, epoxied together with a heater strip sandwiched between them. The extra thickness was assumed to be acceptable, as the tests were conducted in steady state. An adjustable DC power supply was then used to provide the desired power to the blind. Thermocouples attached to the blind surface were used to determine its temperature.

5 The calorimeter operated in the manner normally used for SHG testing. The data acquisition system was set to record all interior and exterior thermocouples, meter the power input to the pump and fans, meter the temperature difference and flow rate into the calorimeter, and monitor and control the active thermal guard. Power dissipated in the blind was set using a voltage controller and monitored by the data acquisition system. The conditioning loop temperature was adjusted to control the interior/exterior temperature difference. Finally, two axial fans were situated 4 meters (13.1 ft) in front of the mask wall, and provided wind parallel to the floor in the direction of the CTS. This configuration avoided the problem of trying to provide wind perpendicular to the CTS while the calorimeter was tilting, at the expense of maintaining a constant wind angle. It was intended that the wind speed would be maintained at a sufficient rate as to make the external air-film coefficient of the CTS consistently large, thereby making changes in the external air-film resistance small in relation to the thermal resistance of the system. The average external thermal resistance as measured using the CTS has been presented in Table 1. These measurements confirm that the potential effects of this variable have been minimized. Table 1. Average external air-film resistance as determined using the CTS. R m 2 K/W (ft 2 hf/btu) Standard Deviation Calorimeter Tilt 0 o 15 o 30 o 45 o 60 o 75 o 85 o Overall (0.292) (0.274) (0.307) (0.288) (0.282) (0.286) (0.290) (0.288) (0.050) (0.031) (0.054) (0.016) (0.032) (0.051) (0.030) (0.039) Once the system was given time to respond to a new set of test conditions, steady-state conditions were determined based on accepted calorimetric procedures (SCL 1993). In order to achieve steady-state conditions, the heat transfer fluid was circulated through the absorber plate until it remained constant within ± 0.3 o C (0.17 F) and ± 1 W/ o C (6.14 Btu/h F), for 15 minutes prior to each period in which the data were taken, and for the 15 minutes in which data were collected. For an inward-flowing fraction test, the energy flows into and out of the calorimeter are shown in Fig 3. The electrical energy input to the blind may be shown to equal P = Q Q Q + Q + Q + ( Q + Q ) (5) flow fan pump walls mask CTS OFF It is important to note that the total energy loss through the CTS, the terms contained in parenthesis in Eq. 5, is considered to be the combination of losses driven by the air-to-air temperature difference (Q CTS ), and the outward-flowing fraction of the power dissipated in the blind (Q OFF ). Losses through the specimen were measured by the CTS in a separate test, using an equivalent air to air temperature difference, when no power was dissipated in the blind. Thus letting P = N P + (1-N) P, and (1-N) P = Q OFF, the inward-flowing fraction can be determined from N s ( Q Q Q + Q + Q + Q ) flow fan pump P walls mask = (6) CTS Test Series

6 The main objective of the test sequence was to measure the inward-flowing fraction of a venetian blind with respect to slat angle (θ), and calorimeter tilt (φ). Tilt angles of 0 (vertical) to 75 o were examined at 15 o intervals, with an extra test at 85 o. Slat angles of -45, 0, 45, or 70 o were also investigated. A photo of the system during testing is shown in Fig. 4. What we call environmental effects were not investigated during this study. As such, the external air speed, and the internal and external air temperatures, remained constant throughout the test series. The temperature difference across the mask wall was maintained near to 0 o C, while the exterior air-film coefficient, determined using the CTS, remained at about 20 W/m 2 K (3.53 Btu/h ft 2 F) despite the fact that the wind angle was not consistent through the entire test series. The power to the blind was maintained at 150 W (511.8 Btu/h) for all tests. RESULTS Table 2 and Figs. 5 and 6 show the results of each test series as a function of calorimeter tilt. The error associated with each result was calculated using the method presented by Kline and McClintock (1953). A regression analysis was performed on each data set. The resultant regression was taken to be of the form N s b o b ( cosφ ) 1 = (7) where b o and b 1 are fit coefficients and are given in Table 3. This form of equation was selected after a log-log plot of the data, using the cosine of the calorimeter tilt angle, produced excellent linearity in the results. The results of this regression, shown in Fig. 5, prove to have an acceptable correlation with this data. Although a statistically strong fit could not be achieved (as determined by the standard correlation coefficient), it should be noted that due to the low level of energy measured by the calorimeter, the magnitude of uncertainty in the data is not insignificant when compared to the magnitude of change due to tilt angle. While this does not prevent any correlation from being applied, it does restrict the statistical strength of any fit. Table 2. Inward-flowing fraction results for differing calorimeter tilt angles and blind slat angle. Tilt angle Slat Angle -45 o 0 o 45 o 70 o ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± 0.02

7 ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± 0.02 Table 3. Fit coefficients for Eqn. 7. Fit Coefficients Slat Angle -45 o 0 o 45 o 70 o b o b DISCUSSION In general, the results indicate that there is very little difference in the inward-flowing fraction between closed and partially closed blinds. Measured values of N remained relatively constant for slat angles of -45 o, 45 o, and 70 o. Based on the data fit equations, the IFF calculated at 0 o tilt varies only from 94.6% to 96.9%. In the context of inward-flowing fraction, there may only be a small difference between -45 o or 70 o slat angles. This is consistent with the findings from a previous analysis (Collins and Harrison 1999). The effects of slat angle as tilt is increased are also evident. The results indicate that the IFF drops more significantly with increasing tilt for closed blind slat angles (i.e., 70 o ). The IFF for a 0 o slat angle dropped by 5% between tilt angles of 0 o and 85 o, while for 70 o, it dropped by 10% under the same conditions. It is speculated that this is due to the trapping of a hot air layer next to the CTS surface, and a subsequent increase in conduction losses through the window. Although the nominal spacing of the blind was not investigated in this study, there was a noticeable effect on measured IFF values obtained from these tests, at a nominal spacing of 20 mm (0.79 in), and those previously obtained at a nominal spacing of 17 mm (0.67 in) (Collins and Harrison 1999). The results from the increased nominal spacing are up to 15% greater then results obtained in the previous experiments. This is consistent with numerical results from Ye and Harrison (1998). That research indicates that the heat transfer rates from the interior glass surface can increase significantly as an interior venetian blind is moved from a nominal distance of 15 to 25 mm. The potential for more air movement between the

8 leading edge of the slat and the glass surface, as the nominal distance is increased, would result in improved convection heat transfer from the shade to the room. The effects of tilt did follow the fit described in Eqn. 7 for all blind slat angles. More importantly however, is the fact that an insignificant drop in IFF occurs between tilt angles of 0 and 60 o. For all cases, the measured IFF dropped by less then 2% between those two angles. Between 60 and 85 o, however, a much more significant drop was experienced. CONCLUSIONS An experiment to determine the effects of calorimeter tilt on IFF was successfully conducted. Using the methodology previously set forward by Collins and Harrison (1999), it was possible to look at the change in IFF as the calorimeter angle was changed from 0 to 85 o. The following conclusions were produced from this endeavor: 1) The effects of changing slat angle were consistent with previously obtained results. Values were similar for all slat angle settings when the tilt angle was 0 o. 2) Measured IFF data were found to be higher than results obtained from previous experiments. It is expected that the increased nominal distance is responsible for this increase. 3) The measured value of IFF dropped more significantly for more fully closed blinds. This effect was thought to be due to the trapping of heated air between the blind and the CTS. 4) It was shown that the effects of tilt are small (2% drop) from 0 o (or vertical) to 60 o tilt angles. The effects became much more significant as the tilt angle increased. RECOMMENDATIONS Based on these tests, it can be seen that tilt angles greater then 60 o may have a significant effect on the inward-flowing fraction for venetian blinds, and therefore on the solar heat gain coefficient. As such, it is suggested that tilt angles in excess of 60 o be avoided during calorimetric tests. For this same reason, the data also shows that it is not necessary to test in a vertical orientation. Small calorimeter tilt angles should have minor effects on the inward-flowing fraction. It was also suggested that the nominal spacing of the shade has an effect on the inward-flowing fraction. An investigation into this area is warranted. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Funding for this project was provided by CANMET/NRCan, and the National Science and Engineering Research Council. NOMENCLATURE

9 A f Area of fenestration, (m 2, ft 2 ) b o,1 F fit coefficients Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, dimensionless h i,o Inside/outside film coefficient, (W/m 2 K, Btu/h ft 2 F) I Solar Irradiance, (W/m 2, Btu/h ft 2 ) N s P Q CTS Q fan Q flow Q IFF Q input Q mask Q OFF Q pump Q walls R Inward-flowing fraction of the shade, dimensionless Blind Power, (W, Btu/h) CTS heat loss, (W, Btu/h) Fan input power, (W, Btu/h) Metered energy in flow loop, (W, Btu/h) Inward-flowing fraction of absorbed solar energy, (W, Btu/h) Thermal input to calorimeter through window specimen, (W, Btu/h) Calorimeter mask losses, (W, Btu/h) Outward-flowing fraction of absorbed solar energy, (W, Btu/h) Pump input power, (W, Btu/h) Calorimeter wall losses, (W, Btu/h) Thermal resistance, (m 2 K/W, h ft 2 F/Btu) SHG Solar Heat Gain, (W/m 2, Btu/h ft 2 ) T i,o Inside/outside temperature, ( o C, F) τ Transmissivity, dimensionless α Absorptivity, dimensionless φ Calorimeter tilt angle, ( o ) θ Blind slat angle, ( o ) REFERENCES Bowen, R. P. (1985). DBR s Approach for Determining the Heat Transmission Characteristics of Windows. Division of Building Research, National Research Council Canada. Collins, M. R., and Harrison, S. J., (1999). Calorimetric Measurement of the Inward-Flowing Fraction of Absorbed Solar Radiation in Venetian Blinds. ASHRAE Trans. Vol. 105 (2), Harrison, S. J., and Collins, M. R. (1999). Queen s Solar Calorimeter Design, Calibration, and Operating Procedure. Presented at NORSUN 99, Solar Energy Society of Canada, Edmonton, Canada. Harrison, S. J., and Van Wonderen, S. J. (1996). Solar Heat Gain Performance Evaluation of Commercial Solar-Control Glazings and Shading Devices. Buildings Group, CANMET. Ottawa. Jordan, R. C. and Threlkeld, J. L. (1959). Determination of the Effectiveness of Window Shading Materials on the Reduction of Solar Radiation Heat Gain. ASHRAE Trans. 65, Klems, J. H. and Kelley, G. O. (1996). Calorimetric Measurements of Inward-Flowing Fraction for Complex Glazing and Shading Systems. ASHRAE Trans. 102 (1),

10 Kline, S. J., and McClintock, F. A. (1953). Describing Uncertainties in Single-Sample Experiments. Mechanical Engineering. Solar Calorimetry Laboratory (1993). The Determination of Fenestration Thermal Performance Using Simulated Solar Irradiance. Natural Resources Canada, Report DSS No Ye, P., Harrison, S. J., Oostuizen, P. H., and Naylor, D. (1998). Modelling of Convective Heat Transfer from a Window Glass Adjacent to a Venetian Blind. Presented at the 11 th Annual Heat Transfer Conference, Kyongju, Korea. a) Mask Wall Solar Absorber Panel Test Specimen Active Thermal Guard Insulation Liquid to Air Heat Exchanger Circulating Fans Supply Water Return Water Baffle b) Figure 1: Queen s Solar Calorimeter. a) Photo of the calorimeter and b) cross-sectional schematic (not to scale).

11 Exterior Glass Interior Blind θ Nominal Distance Mahogany Foam Core a) Mask Wall b) Figure 2: Blind installation details. a) Detail of installation (Harrison and Van Wonderen 1997) and b) photo of CTS and blind assembly.

12 Control Volume Q mask Q CTS Q flow P Q OFF Q IFF Q walls Q pump Q fan Figure 3: Calorimeter energy balance for inward-flowing fraction testing. Figure 4: Calorimeter during tilt testing.

13 100% -45 o slat angle 95% N s 90% 85% Tilt Angle (φ) 100% 0 o slat angle 95% N s 90% 85% Tilt Angle (φ) 100% 45 o slat angle 95% N s 90% 85% Tilt Angle (φ) 100% 70 o slat angle 95% N s 90% 85% Tilt Angle (φ) Figure 5: Inward-flowing fraction results plotted verses tilt angle for each slat angle.

14 100% 95% N s 90% 85% Tilt Angle (f) Figure 6: Inward-flowing fraction results plotted verses tilt angle for all slat angles.

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