Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Exploring "Afternoon Sun:" A Microclimate Study of Localized Solar Heating

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Microclimates can exist on scales of millimeters to kilometers. In this study we are concerned with microclimates on the meter scale that are created by buildings. Specifically, we are concerned with the creation of microclimates due to possible differential solar heating on the east and west sides of buildings. By using dense data collection, we are collecting temperature data on the east and west facing sides of a building to determine if distinct temperature microclimates exist on the two sides of such a building. Data loggers were used to record 720 temperatures a day at three locations, one each in the sun on the east and west sides of the building, and one in the shade, over a period of several months. Preliminary data analysis indicates that there is a small, but measurable, average temperature difference between the sunny areas on the two sides of the building. The west-facing side of the building, the side that receives afternoon sun, is warmer on average. Average daytime and nighttime temperatures are also being considered, along with nighttime cooling rates at the various locations. The difference in heat energy associated with the different temperature regions is being considered as a means of quantifying the distinct microclimate results. Finally, the affect of the seasonal variation of the position of the sun in the sky on these microclimate results is being determined. Results of this study can be used as an aid in making landscaping decisions, and in other decisions related to local temperature.

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Exploring "Afternoon Sun:" A Microclimate Study of Localized Solar Heating

Microclimates can exist on scales of millimeters to kilometers. In this study we are concerned with microclimates on the meter scale that are created by buildings. Specifically, we are concerned with the creation of microclimates due to possible differential solar heating on the east and west sides of buildings. By using dense data collection, we are collecting temperature data on the east and west facing sides of a building to determine if distinct temperature microclimates exist on the two sides of such a building. Data loggers were used to record 720 temperatures a day at three locations, one each in the sun on the east and west sides of the building, and one in the shade, over a period of several months. Preliminary data analysis indicates that there is a small, but measurable, average temperature difference between the sunny areas on the two sides of the building. The west-facing side of the building, the side that receives afternoon sun, is warmer on average. Average daytime and nighttime temperatures are also being considered, along with nighttime cooling rates at the various locations. The difference in heat energy associated with the different temperature regions is being considered as a means of quantifying the distinct microclimate results. Finally, the affect of the seasonal variation of the position of the sun in the sky on these microclimate results is being determined. Results of this study can be used as an aid in making landscaping decisions, and in other decisions related to local temperature.