A semi-dynamic model of active pipe-embedded building envelope for thermal performance evaluation

Qiuyuan Zhu, Xinhua Xu, Jiajia Gao, Fu Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Active pipe-embedded building envelope is a new kind of pipe-embedded building external wall/roofs. Usually, pipes are embedded in the wall slab or roof slab to allow water circulating in these pipes for heat transfer. Low-grade energy sources can be used for this structure since the enlarged heat transfer surface between the slab mass and water in the pipe allowing for substantial heat flow for relatively small temperature difference. This structure may reduce building cooling/heating load and improve indoor thermal comfort by intercepting the heat/coolth from the ambient air to indoor space. This paper presents a semi-dynamic model of this structure for thermal performance evaluation for system design or indoor environment control etc. This semi-dynamic model is a coupled model. The first part is a simplified dynamic RC model (i.e., resistance and capacitance model). The heat transfer along the width of this structure can be predicted easily by the RC model. The second part is a classical NTU model for evaluating the heat transfer along the pipe and total heat transfer on both surfaces of this structure. A CFD model is developed to act as a virtual experimental test rig to simulate the thermal characteristics of this structure. The simulated results are used to validate this semi-dynamic model and its performance prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Thermal Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Active pipe-embedded building envelope Low temperature difference heat transfer RC model NTU model Performance evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Engineering


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