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LITERATURE REVIEW ON THE FEASIBILITY OF WATER WALL’S APPLICATION IN COOLING THE BUILDING GLAZED FAÇADE

Prof Madya Ar. Dr. Abdul Malek Abdul Rahman

Department of Architecture, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. Corresponding author: Cheng Gi Ni (SB/671/12) Lee Choon Gim (SB/678/12) ___________________________________________________________________ Abstracts In this project, our team set out to investigate the feasibility of the application of water cooling wall in the building glazed faç ade which facing the West. We have built a box as a controlled environment to test the response of the water wall cooling system to the heat source (the sun). The box consists of three parts: the external, internal and a water wall. The external volume contains a heat source, the internal volume to test indoor temperature and glass wall with flowing water source. In a predetermined amount of time, the effectiveness of water wall was measured by monitoring the change in temperature in the “internal” and “external” volumes. A time versus temperature graph shows the results of this experiment that the water wall reduces the internal temperature even inviting natural light into the interior spaces. Keywords: Water Wall, Faç ade Cooling Treatment, Sustainable

Introduction Water is an effective component of passive heating strategies. It has been used as the coolant in a variety of methods. The aesthetic benefits of water, translucent features that allow natural light to penetrate into the space beyond, and it comes with potential of different design opportunities. In an attractive and visible way, the application of water wall drawing rainwater runoff on the glazed wall and eventually stored in underground cisterns. Pumping energy of stored rainwater to the roof should be powered via solar energy. The water wall is generated where the streams of water flow will be re-circulated from the roof to the ground water features through the glazed faç ade. In addition, the use of glass wall also increased the aesthetic value by extending the exterior scenery into the interior. This design communicates the consciousness of the sustainable development and ecological objectives, in order to economize the use of water and electricity. In this context, various functions of water are illustrated through the water wall application. For example, there are evaporative cooling, tranquillizing sound

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Soon after the exposition. It requires a great amount of energy to increase the temperature of water by mere 1 degree. Besides. The building used water mainly for passive cooling to control the interior climate and a large water wall to cool the outdoor temperature. In addition to the aesthetic visual effect that the water wall produced. Due to success of this water wall feature to bring down the temperatures of the interior spaces. Whereas. the surface temperature of the building was decreased as the temperature taken 82 degrees. Precedence Study British Pavilion: In the history of green architecture. in compared to the exterior air temperature of 102 degrees at that time. Water Wall as Building Façade Cooling System A. sustainable irrigation rainwater collection systems. William Pye. Figure 1: Application of Water Wall at British Pavilion in a Seville Expo in 1992 2 .production. And yet water can cool an area very quickly for the same theory applies. The thermal properties of water allow the design of water wall to effectively cool an area. the interior of the exhibition space inside was successfully maintained at 72 degrees. the pavilion was shifted and disassembled in Britain where it was temporarily used as a museum. the mist produced by the water wall have also created the cooling effect on the immediate surrounding environment. and generating recreational opportunities for the people. the ambient environment and others. the British Pavilion was hugely popular during the Seville Expo. a system was invented to pump the water to the roof that then the water cascaded down a glazed wall on the eastern faç ade of the building. In collaboration with Mr. the British Pavilion is one of the earliest structures to use water for passive cooling. There is also a modified trombe wall which made of water and sand to protect the west faç ade of the building from the hot afternoon sun. designed by Grimshaw and Associates. Solar panels are fixed on the roof to generate all the energy required to pump the water. It was built in a Seville Expo in 1992.

sprinkler. As from the diagram that has shown. and it result a temperature drop of the surrounding and water body. Only sensible heats from the surrounding and water body are used.Physical Principle of Water Wall Cooling System First and foremost. such as droplet size. the lower the temperature it could reduce. due to the fact that no additional heat or energy is required for the water evaporation. Sensible heat from the air is absorbed and it is used as the latent heat necessary to evaporate water. Both of the processes are almost similar. running tap water. which is 500 times lesser than what it is needed in water heating. Direct Evaporative Cooling The underlying concept of direct evaporative cooling is based on the conversion of sensible heat to latent heat. the surface 3 . The amount of absorbed heat depends much upon the amount of water which can be evaporated. which is direct evaporative cooling and indirect evaporative cooling. It is considered to be adiabatic. For example the sice of contact. The required latent heat for the water evaporation process is 2256 KJ/kg at standard condition. A. In which. it means that the more water that has been evaporated. which the indoor relative humidity will not increase to unacceptable levels. It is also important to emphasize that the building and the surrounding water are cooled by the water evaporation process by the latent heat flux but not the water itself. or water misting or even the water fog by a metal diaphragm vibrating at an ultra or infrasonic frequency could produce different results of temperature drops. the evaporative cooling process where the effect of evaporation is used as a natural heat sink. Basically the evaporative cooling process can be subdivided into two. Evaporative cooling is closer to the nature than what we might have expected. There are different variables which largely affect the process of evaporation:        The surrounding temperature The sun radiation Difference in vapor pressure of water vapor mixture in the interior air and water vapor pressure at the exterior surface The velocity of exterior air flow/ wind speed The air humidity of exterior air flow The size of the contact surface The mass transfer coefficient These variables could be largely influenced by the method of dehumidification. but indirect evaporative cooling uses some type of heat exchanging water resistant wall.

The latent heat follows the water vapor and diffuses into the air. Porous layer on the roof able to retains a significant amount of rainwater. A primary hot air stream will be humidified by the wet surface and is cooled due to the release of latent heat. When the process takes place. there will be a primary and secondary air stream involved. a secondary air stream is used as the supply air of the building interior. One of the integrated building applications of this indirect evaporative cooling concept is the porous roof.temperature is reduced when the evaporation process of the water in the air stream takes place. 4 . the incoming air has to be dehumidified by forcing it through a desiccant to improve the cooling efficiency. To encounter it. The absolute humidity of this air stream increases during the process. B. When the moisture level of the air reaches to the maximum extent. This secondary air stream is cooled due to the absorption of heat by the heat exchanging space. the building envelope is the heat exchanging area. the absolute humidity will not increase. Indirect Evaporative Cooling In the indirect evaporative cooling process. Hence. As the supply air stream does not make any direct contact with the wet surface. the evaporation will stop to take place and the temperature level will reach a constant. In this case. the cooling effect might not sufficient especially in a very humid climate. while. The heat flux from the roof slab would also be reduced greatly. the temperature of the surrounding air and porous layer will decrease.

which is constructed of porous ceramics. the disadvantage is that. The main advantage is that no additional pumps are needed for a circulating water flow. The main advantage is that the coatings are applicable to most of the building materials. However. or else the humidity level in the building will be relatively high. There is also a constraint over the limited amount of evaporation and the increase in absolute humidity in the large glass-covered space which cost to a difficulty in building maintenance. the disadvantage of the green wall is the non-transparency of the application. During the photosynthesis and dissimilation process of a green plant. One of the building integrated applications is the passive evaporative cooling wall (PECW). the cooling function is achieved by only sunlight and rainwater. and especially on a glazed faç ade. either vertical or horizontal surface. The surface coated with TiO2 is changing to be highly hydrophilic due to the irradiation of UV light from the sun. Porous ceramics possess the characteristic of having the capillary force that is able to soak water and allowing wind penetration at the same time. However.The Comparison of Building Integrated Applications in Evaporative Cooling Besides water wall. Vegetation or green wall is one of the applications that can be applied both inside and outside. there are also many others building integrated evaporative cooling system that applies the same underlying theory. so the system is totally passive. 5 . as to overcome the main disadvantage of non-transparency problem. the excess of water in the leaves can evaporate to cool the surrounding air and the green plants itself also gives shade and reduce radiation. This invention gives a large step in minimizing the amount of sprinkling water or running water to form a thin water film. in which sun lights are unable to penetrate into wherever space that requires day lighting. the water height are limited by capillary suction. From the recent studies and invention. the super-hydrophilic photo catalyst (TiO2) coating technology has made it possible to maintain a thin film of water on all external surfaces of glazed buildings. Most importantly. and it only works if the wind pressure on the wall is sufficient to allow cool air coming into the building. The green wall can reduce the building’s energy consumption by reducing the internal air temperature through a process called evapotranspiration. thus the process of water evaporation helped to reduce its surface temperature.

diagram. which utilize the whole building as a heat exchanging area. with a room height of 28. Below are the relative score by Kesselring Method presented in the S . energy use. Simulation was carried out in a box of 26. water supply requirements. The criteria examine under functional requirements included it humidifying process. it weighs the integration level. noise reduction . an experimental box has been built as a reference to the situation for a space inside a glazed building.5cm.2cm. serviceability and sustainable materials. water use. Experiment Model Description and Methodology To predict the efficiency on the cooling effect of the water wall.2cm by 30. Kesselring method are used to examine the efficiency of this method by assessing both their functional and realization.External building surfaces coated with TiO2 . cooling capacity. Kesselring Method To weight the different criteria of these different building integrated applications. hygiene and multi functionality. The model of the experimental box is as shown. 6 . assuming there are two east west facing glass windows. On realization of the method.

After the experiments. (Figure 3) The waters are there to reduce partial of the sun radiation and it cools down not only the surface temperature and the interior temperature as well.The experiment carried out consist of 2 parts. with no obstruction or shadows from sunlight. Variables of the experiments: Experiment I: Absence of running water taps as a water wall application I. III. vapor pressure of the interior air and exterior air. the result of the 2 set data is compared to examine the difference and percentage of temperature drops. Responding variable: Surface Temperature of the glass. III. When the sunlight radiates through the clear glass. it heats up the interior spaces. The greenhouse effect is expected to occur and it increases the interior temperature. water flow speed. Data are collected at the interval time of every 1 hour and the experiments start from 10am in the morning till 5pm when the sun sets. which is one without water wall applies on the experimental box and one with tap water running on the faç ade for the whole day. (Figure 7) On the other set of experiments. Surface Thermometer. Manipulated variable: exterior surrounding temperature. Experiment II : Application of running water tap as a water wall application I. are meant to apply evaporative cooling to the glazed experimental box. Fixed variable: interior volume of the experimental box. Interior space temperature. water pipe. Interior space temperature. Responding variable: Surface Temperature of the glass. Equipment needed: (Figure 4) Extech 3-in1 Thermo-Hygro-Anemometer. sun radiation. the running water assimilates the water wall. on an empty spacious field. 7 . vapor pressure of the interior air and exterior air. The purpose of this experiment is to examine the efficiency of the water wall on how much the evaporative cooling contributes to the temperature drops. Fixed variable: interior volume of the experimental box. wind speed. sun radiation. Manipulated variable: exterior surrounding temperature. II. II. wind speed.

9 39.4 45.0 30.0 33.30 pm 4.0 30.Simulation and Result of Water Wall Experiment The tables below show the data from the two tests.0 Table 1 30.2 35.6 36.30 am 11.0 31.1 43.0 50 45 40 Temperature (in °C) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Experiment 1 Exterior surrounding temperature TeSURFACE (2) °C – Exterior surface Temperature TeSURFACE (3) °C – Interior surface Temperature Time (hours) Graph 1 8 .30 pm 2.1 36.2 40.0 44.30 pm 1.3 33.0 29.7 40.8 42.30 pm 5. of the heating periods of the exterior side.0 31.30 am 12.30pm 3.30 pm 27. a.8 37.0 30.3 45. Time Exterior surrounding temperature TeSURFACE (2) ° C– Exterior surface Temperature TeSURFACE (3) ° C– Interior surface Temperature 10.0 28.0 30. Experiment I: Absence of running water taps as a water wall application Comparison of data collection of every hour (in ° C) over elapsed time (in hours) curve.

0 34.0 39.0 39.0 45 40 35 30 temperature (°C) 25 20 15 Interior surface Temperature 10 5 Experiment 2 Exterior surrounding temperature Exterior surface Temperature 0 Time (hours) Graph 2 9 .0 32.0 37.0 36. Time Exterior surrounding temperature (° C) Exterior surface Temperature (° C) (water wall) Interior surface Temperature (° C) 10.30 pm 32.0 34. Experiment II: Application of running water tap as a water wall application Comparison of data collection of every hour (in ° C) over elapsed time (in hours) curve.0 37.0 38.30 am 11.0 39.0 32.30 pm 1.0 32.0 36.30 pm 4.0 32.0 32.30 am 12.0 32.30 pm 5.b.0 38.30 pm 2.0 32.0 Table 2 32.30pm 3.0 32.0 41.0 32. of the cooling periods of the exterior side.0 39.

It is evident that the building which use glass window as west faç ade will absorb heat into the glass material and the solar radiation will penetrate into the interior of the building. This is demonstrated by the fact that the slope of the interior temperature over time curve (Graph 1) was much greater than that interior temperature of testing with water wall cooling system.30pm to 5.Discussion Our hypothesis that the application of water wall is an effective cooling system for building faç ade is supported by our data. In the other hand. 10 .30pm) However.7° C in the windy day. and the ratio is slightly influenced by the outdoor temperature. We hope that our literature review can give insight that can inform future designer who are interested in water wall. The clear glass window as West faç ade allowed the indoor room to increase temperature at a rapid rate. In the future we might consider the different type of glass material as glazed faç ade and lengthening the test period. It would be interesting to study the changing faç ade following the weather and time. (From 1. the highest temperature of surrounding achieved 39 ° C but the interior surface maintain the same as outdoor temperature which is 39° C. From the data of experiment 1. and the difference of outdoor and indoor temperature does not increase more than 2° C in daytime. More research might be done on the material type or the thickness of glazed material which might shift the results significantly. Several things can be interpreted from the data. we can discover that the highest temperature of the day is 31 ° C and the interior surface reached 45. without any ventilation proposed in this experiment. The temperature of the interior space with the water wall as west facade increased at a lower rate than that clear glass window faç ade. (Graph 2) The clear glass window also allowed a greater amount of heat to penetrate the indoor room at a greater rate than the water wall glazed faç ade. Conclusion There is a correlation between water wall and a ratio of outdoor to indoor temperature. A greater amount of heat transfer appears to be lost through the evaporative cooling of the water wall. Therefore the thermal comfort of interior spaces will reduce as the interior temperature increased drastically during the daytime. during the sunny day. the temperature difference between the exterior volumes associated with the water wall was minimal. It reached the higher total temperatures and maintained the high temperatures for a long length of time which is 38° C and 39° C for 4 hours.

Surface Thermometer Figure 3: Application of running water tap as a water wall application 11 .Appendix Figure 2: Extech 3-in1 Thermo-Hygro-Anemometer.

: the East facade(clear glass) of the box 12 .Figure 4: Using a compass to show the correct direction of the East and West. Figure Error! Bookmark not defined.

Figure 6: Water flows evenly on the surface of the experimental box (West façade) Figure7: greenhouse effect occurred 13 .

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