The Vascularization of Buildings: Micro- to Milli-Scale Flow Systems for Heating and Cooling in the Built Environment
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AbstractThings are getting smaller. Energy use is getting bigger. These statements roughly summarize the current state of the material sciences and climate control in buildings, respectively. This thesis presents a novel opportunity to translate micro-scale technologies into environmental building design. This work looks to the fabrication, design, and thermodynamic principles of micro- and milli-scale flow systems from a broad range of industries and scientific applications. The thesis asks how and where these technologies may benefit building design. Strategies for building heating and cooling that prioritize low-temperature lift heat exchangers and increased connectivity to freely available energy in the building environment are identified. From this, a series of experimentally intensive studies are conducted that ask: How do we design and size vascular flow systems? Where do we apply these systems? And how do we make them? The resulting work contributes novel design methods for the vascularization of buildings.
The novel contributions of this research include the following: (1) Experimentally derived design rules and a numerical modeling method for optimizing the design and element sizing of a thin film micro-channel device that can provide cooling fluxes suitable for thermal regulation in buildings using modest flow of room temperature water; (2) Fabrication strategies, prediction models, and experimental data for a novel vascularized chilled ceiling prototype that achieves increased heat transfer and cooling performance through the design of laminate micro-channel water-circuits embedded in origami-inspired surface geometries; (3) Prediction models, numerical models, and experimental data for the design of heat-exchanging vascular-porous materials that pre-heat incoming air that is pulled across a building's envelope by a fan or chimney.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37720845