Inverse design of the thermal environment in an airliner cabin by use of the CFD-based adjoint method

Wei Liu, Ran Duan, Chun Chen, Chao Hsin Lin, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The current thermal environments in airliner cabins may not provide satisfactory comfort levels, and the design of these environments should be improved. This study aimed to design a desirable thermal environment for a single-aisle airliner cabin and used the CFD-based adjoint method to find the optimal design variables of air supply locations, size, and parameters. The design variables are used as the boundary conditions for solving the Navier-Stokes equations. By setting the occupant region as the design domain with a minimal predicted mean vote for thermal comfort, this study aimed to determine the corresponding air supply conditions for mixing and displacement ventilation systems under summer and winter conditions. The results show that it is possible to find the optimal air supply conditions in fewer than 10 design cycles if the initial conditions for design variables are provided within a reasonable range. This design method has a high computing efficiency as it takes one hour for a design cycle using a 16-core cluster. In addition, the results show that a displacement ventilation system provides a better thermal comfort level than a mixing ventilation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2015


  • Adjoint method
  • Airliner cabin
  • Predicted mean vote
  • Thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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