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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

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A review of solar chimney integrated systems for space heating and cooling

Nima Monghasemi , Amir Vadiee
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz, Iran


Keywords: The conventional indoor climate comfort systems have a major share of energy consumption in residential
Solar chimney sectors. Passive design is an approach that can reduce building energy demand by minimizing mechanical
Earth-air heat exchanger systems power consumption. Solar chimneys as natural draught components that utilize solar energy to build up
Phase change material (PCM) stack pressure are an innovative passive design. Solar chimney contributes to an increase in efficiency for
Cooling cavity
residential space heating and cooling in addition to a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This
Water spraying system
Trombe wall
article presents an overview of recent progresses in solar chimney research. The construction industry has a
tendency in utilization of integrated solar chimney configurations to improve the level of thermal comfort. In
this paper, common integrated configurations based on solar chimneys were summarized. Besides, the
challenging aspects and recommendations of each system were mentioned. Combined energy systems based
on solar chimney have been regarded as efficient strategies toward green building architecture. Each system has
its own pros and cons and there is not a general guideline that can arrange these systems in descending order
according to their performance. It is necessary to carry out more experiments to solve forthcoming problems in
their commercial applications. Further studies are suggested in developing optimization strategies and control
systems. A desirable control system responds to inhabitants needs unobtrusively and allows them to change a
condition if it is perceived thermally uncomfortable, with prompt feedback.

1. Introduction maximize ventilation effect by inducing a sufficient temperature rise in

the chimney with the aim of solar radiation [4].
Energy use in buildings has a large part of global and regional The operational concept of solar chimneys, Trombe walls and
energy demand. The share of heating and cooling in total building double-skin facades is similar as they are open cavities that induce
energy demand is very diverse varying between 18% and 73% world- movement of air with the aid of insolation. Trombe wall is a massive
wide [1]. A few decades ago, researchers were concerned about wall mainly used for heating the building. However, with proper
innovative strategies reducing energy consumption in building design. modifications cooling can also be achieved. Solar chimneys are mainly
For instance, bioclimatic design involves the application of energy used to promote night ventilation, although they can be used to
conservation techniques in building construction with the cope of enhance daytime ventilation. They could be mounted on rooftops or
renewable energy sources such as solar energy [2]. One challenging attached to the building walls. Vertical chimney is the most common
aspect is satisfying the thermal comfort based on bioclimatic design. It layout. However, it has negative impact on the aesthetic aspect of the
can contribute significantly to the climate change and has a consider- building. So it is cheaper and less visual to lay the collector along the
able overall environmental impact. roof slope.
Before the invention of modern mechanical systems, all buildings The possibility of utilizing a solar chimney is not limited to
were naturally ventilated. Since energy and environment became two residential or commercial buildings. Rahman, Chu [5] proposed a
key issues in building design, a large interest in developing ancient natural draft chimney instead of mechanical ventilation for a livestock
architecture took place among the scientists. Solar chimney (SC) is housing. The reduced ventilation cost led to improved production
regarded as one of the oldest strategies for passive ventilation. It has efficiency and profitability of poultry enterprises. Design aspects and
been utilized for centuries, particularly in the Middle east by the comfort criterions are different for industrial sites and are beyond the
Persians, as well as in Europe by the Romans [3]. It is a novel design to scope of the presented paper.

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (N. Monghasemi).
Received 16 October 2016; Received in revised form 17 April 2017; Accepted 22 June 2017
1364-0321/ © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article as: Monghasemi, N., Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (2017),
N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

The literature survey indicates that a considerable body of literature also revealed that the airflow rate increased with increasing the air gap.
on SC exists. In recent years there has been a growing interest in Air change per hour (ACH) is a measure of the air volume added to
introducing innovative strategies taking advantage of solar chimney or removed from a space (normally a room or house) divided by the
integrated systems. A few papers have addressed the integrated volume of the space [14]. If the volume of air supply to the inner spaces
systems for space heating/cooling. Accordingly, the objective of this is sufficient, the temperature would approach the ambient. At an
manuscript is a contribution to recent progresses in solar chimney ambient temperature of 20–26 °C , natural ventilation provides thermal
application for building ventilation. Moreover, it shows the potential comfort for habitation. There is no general guideline finding the
and effectiveness of prospective implementation of integrated systems optimum ACH for a naturally ventilated house. ACH dependence on
based on solar chimneys. many design parameters such as building configuration, number of
Section 2 is devoted to solar chimney independent space heating residents and building function makes it a challenging aspect. Most of
and cooling applications. The section follows a sequential pattern, the studied literature computed its value without referring to an
describing the analytical and numerical developments of solar chimney optimal number [4].
and then referring to experimental studies in this field. Section 3.1 is a With development of fast numerical schemes, computational fluid
detailed description of EAHX-SC system; PCM-enhanced solar chim- dynamic (CFD) methods were quickly growing in solar chimney
ney will be discussed under Section 3.2; water consuming systems analysis. CFD usually provides all relevant flow information throughout
based on SCs are covered in Section 3.3; at last, a brief report of PV the domain of interest. In case of a solar chimney, pressure variations
based solar chimney is outlined under Section 3.4. and thermal distribution in the chimney are of practical interest. Before
the advent of commercial software packages; laminar flow codes were
2. Solar chimney independent building applications developed to simulate airflow and heat transfer in the solar chimney.
The flow conditions in the solar chimney are more in line with
Due to the general availability of mechanical ventilation devices and turbulent flow regime. Special focus is given to the correct description
improved lifestyle in the 20th century, utilization of wind force or solar of turbulence modeling in the literature. k − ԑ models are assumed to
energy for ventilation became obsolete. As a result, research and present more realistic predictions of velocity and temperature profiles
development of solar chimney is fairly limited before 1980s. Over the as reported by experiments. It is revealed from this review that the
last few decades, the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions k − ԑ models provided superior performance for boundary layer flows
and the need for efficient ventilation aroused the renewed interest in under adverse pressure gradients. Thus, they have been the main
solar chimneys. Many existing research concentrate on model experi- investigation method used in solar chimney research. Fig. 1 illustrates
ments and theoretical investigations to study the geometry, orientation the share of different CFD models adopted in solar chimney study.
and meteorological parameters on the ventilation performance of solar A multi-dimensional analysis which is supported in the CFD
chimneys [6]. In most solar chimney studies, the main idea was to technique is able to capture prevailing flow phenomena like reverse-
enhance natural ventilation by considering different design parameters. flow in contrast with a one-dimensional approach. Reverse flow
For instance, the chimney width, stack height, chimney orientation and eventuates as air entrainment occurs at the chimney exit and air
absorber materials were of practical interest. Khanal and Lei [4] penetrates downwards into the chimney. Reverse flow should be
research revealed that most of the studies in the area were based on avoided through the solar chimney since it results in a reduction of
pure experiments or on an experimental approach coupled with a flow rate which is not desirable for ventilation. In order to prevent
numerical modeling. Afonso and Oliveira [7] experimental results reverse flow, Khanal and Lei [15] proposed a solar chimney design with
showed the chimney width was more effective on ventilation rate an inclined passive wall (glazing) and a vertical active wall (absorber)
rather than its height. Mathur and Mathur [8] showed that the called inclined passive wall solar chimney (IPWSC). The study verified
optimum absorber inclination angle varies from 40° to 60°, based on that there was an optimum chimney height-to-gap ratio suppressing
the place latitude. While Hamdy and Fikry [9] found out the optimum the reverse flow as well as inducing the maximum ventilation rate.
tilt angle of a solar collector required to provide the best ventilation In most theoretical models the assumption of uniform air tempera-
performance for their experimental model was 60°, this inclination ture distribution is considered which might not be valid for large gap-
angle was about 45° based on Mathur and Mathur [8] experiments. The to-height ratios. Another issue is the difficulty arising about the suitable
optimum tilt angle causes a slight increase in chimney air flow rate for expressions for pressure losses at the inlet, outlet and along the
winter applications, so it might not worth the risk of the construction chimney channel. These uncertainties might cause significant deviation
instability. However, the improved ventilation rate for summer months
is remarkable and decisions must be made with caution. Ong [10]
developed a steady mathematical model of a wall-type solar chimney.
The model predicted the thermal performance of the solar chimney as
well as the chimney air flow rate. The analytical modeling of velocity
and temperature profiles in the chimney showed a good agreement
with former experiments for the chimneys with gap-to-height ratio less
than 1:10. Because of the fluctuating nature of solar irradiation, it
seems difficult to obtain steady state radiation. Martı and Heras-
Celemin [11] proposed a dynamic model evaluating the performance of
the solar chimney with real weather data acquisition. The theoretical
usefulness of the SC in offering nocturnal ventilation in Mediterranean
climates was also reported. Lee and Strand [12] examined the effect of
chimney height, solar absorptance of the absorber wall, solar transmit-
tance of the glass cover and air gap width under different climate
conditions. It turned out that the air gap width had the least impact on
the ventilation enhancement among the four input variables. Mathur,
Bansal [13] suggested a small size solar chimney with an absorber
length less than 1 m . The system installation had priority over the
earlier configurations because it could be embedded in a regular Fig. 1. The share of different CFD techniques used in solar chimney investigations based
window without major structural modifications. Their detailed analysis on the present literature review.

N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

Fig. 2. Structure of double pass roof solar collector. (a) Space heating mode (b) Natural ventilation mode [29]. Dampers are indicated by Latin numerals- Tuyeres are indicated by
Roman numerals- AC1 air channel 1- AC2 air channel 2- IP insulation plate- AP absorber plate- GC glass cover.

from the experimental measurements. Unlike analytical models, CFD appropriate envelopes can include temperature sensors or automated
can give better estimations to handle the referred issues. Naraghi and windows. DeBlois, Bilec [20] highlighted the potential savings with
du Sordet [16] derived a correlation calculating the air flow rate for an ideal control of windows could be around 20% at the least for a novel
inclined roof type solar chimney with the aid of a number of data points opaque roof SC configuration. The control strategy can also rely on a
obtained using CFD analysis. The parameters involved in the correla- schedule to activate the system operation. A few papers have consid-
tion were inter-plate spacing, absorbing wall temperature, inlet air ered the effect of scheduling operation modes for SC [21,22]. So, one
temperature, height of chimney and chimney slope. Improvements in might enhance the SC performance without altering the configuration.
the resulting flow rates were observed. Considering other parameters
like wind speed effect would improve the correlation further. 2.1. Solar chimney for space cooling
Bassiouny and Koura [17] CFD analysis led to the idea that the
chimney width has more significant effect on the ACH than the It is clear that contrary to natural stack ventilation strategies that
chimney inlet size. The flow pattern was investigated in the chimney can provide a weak stack effect, solar chimney offers more promising
mainly to find where flow separation took place in order to prevent it. outcome because it maximizes indoor-outdoor temperature difference
Flow separation yields to the contraction of the airstream flowing up in by increasing the solar gain. An important benefit of a SC used for
the chimney. Thus, the exit velocity will reduce and hence the air flow space cooling is that the demand for cooling and the supply of
rate. Chamfering the inlet sharp edge is suggested to avoid the insolation are in phase.
occurrence of flow separation. Solar chimneys are generally considered to be unsuitable for
Although in recent publications a huge interest in numerical and regions with insufficient insolation or hot-arid climates. However,
analytical methods took place, it would rather be coupled and validated AboulNaga and Abdrabboh [23] improved the chimney night ventila-
by an experiment. Yusoff, Salleh [18] created a prototype of an tion performance by integrating a wall and a roof solar chimney. The
integrated roof solar collector with vertical stack. The model was results showed that the air flow rate was three times more than that of a
capable of enhancing the ventilation both in semi-clear and overcast roof solar chimney alone. The system was installed on a single house in
sky conditions. They also indicated that the wind effect on air velocity Al-Ain, UAE. The optimum wall chimney height corresponding to the
could be beneficial or unfavorable depending on the positions of inlet maximum air flow rate (nearly 2.3 m3 / s ) was 3.45 m with an inlet height
and outlet. of 0.15 m . An ACH number up to 26 was achieved for a flat volume
Dependence of stack ventilation on the local climate and experi- (321 m3). It is high enough to overcome the high-cooling load for a
mental conditions makes the universal validity of the experimental building in hot climate.
literature in question. Building energy simulation is an effective tool for Khedari, Rachapradit [24] investigated the performance of a solar
understanding the complex and dynamic interactions the building has chimney in a single-room house (25 m3) with an air-conditioner (AC) in
with its environment. Koronaki [19] elaborated the effectiveness of Bangkok, Thailand. The house with solar chimney reduced the average
three different SC configurations for nocturnal ventilation during electrical consumption of an AC by 10–20% in contrast with a common
summer season. The aim was to indicate the most appropriate SC house. Solar chimney opening size was used to control the ventilation
configuration and orientation based on EnergyPlus simulations. An rate. Experimental analysis demonstrated that a 5 × 5 cm2 opening for
advantage of using EnergyPlus is the ability to provide a full set of the SC unit was the most efficient when operated with an AC.
informative measurements based on a whole day or an annual Imran, Jalil [25] installed a SC on the roof of a 12 m3 cabin room in
performance. Besides, the SC was not simulated individually. Instead, Iraq. The chimney width and length were 2 m with three different air
it was connected to a specific room space. It was found that almost gap thicknesses of 50,100 and 150 mm. The optimum inclination angle
56 kWh /month of electric energy could be saved during the summer was 60° to obtain the maximum air flow rate. The system could induce
period. 4–35 air changes per hour for this space. It could be used for space
Naturally ventilated buildings require different operational and cooling without the need for mechanical ventilation.
control strategies compared to mechanically ventilated buildings. To Most solar chimney studies were concerned with one-story build-
facilitate the control of airflow and thermal comfort in the building, ings. With the growth of population, constructors tend to build multi-

Table 1
A summary of selected research on solar chimney.

Author Location Application Key argument Methodology Major findings/Observations

Zhai, Dai [30] Shanghai, China Space heating/ • Investigation of a solar air collector Experimental laboratory • Optimum collector inclination angle was 45°
cooling measurements A balance between air temperature rise and air-flow rate should be
• done to obtain maximum heat for space heating mode
N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee

• The length of the solar air collector was recommended to be about

Lee and Strand [12] Minneapolis, U. Space heating/ • Implementation of the model into EnergyPlus Computer simulation • Chimney height, solar absorptance and solar transmittance turned
SSpokane, U.SPhoenix, cooling program out to have more influence on the natural ventilation improvement
U.S • Parametric analysis than air gap width
• Solar chimneys have more potential for cooling than for heating
• An annual run in simulation programs like EnergyPlus seems
crucial to justify the applicability of a thermal chimney
Gan [31] – Space cooling • Impact of computational domain on buoyancy- Numerical CFD modeling • Extending the computational domain for a better prediction of air
driven ventilation flow rate and heat transfer coefficients through the cavities is
• Uniform distribution of heat on solar chimney walls induce larger
flow rate in a ventilation cavity
Tan and Wong [32] Singapore (Tropical zone) Space cooling • Solar chimney optimization in tropics Numerical CFD modeling • The larger the stack height, the greater the solar chimney outlet air
• Developing a regression model temperature
An increase of air flow rate is expected when the ratio of length to
• hydraulic diameter of the chimney is larger than 15
• The outlet air temperature decreases with increasing solar
chimney's width
• The none-dimensional regression model for predicting output air
speed can be applied for optimal solar chimney depth

Al-Kayiem, Sreejaya [33] Malaysia Space cooling • Analysis of a roof top solar chimney Mathematical analysis • The average mass flow rate and the performance of the system
would increase by increasing the collector area
Insolation intensity less than 200 W /m was not adequate for an
• effective performance of the roof top solar chimney
• Wind speed played an important role when the solar intensity was
higher than 400 W /m 2

Tan and Wong [34] Singapore (Tropical zone) Space cooling • Influence of internal heat load and the ambient air Experimental measurements/ • There is no temperature stratification of interior spaces in the
speed on the SC performance Numerical CFD modeling tropics due to the relatively high ambient air temperature
• Although the ambient air speed impact on air temperature is poor,
values over 2 m /s would cause an increase in solar chimney air
• The influence of internal heat load on the air temperature and air
speed is limited
Jing, Chen [35] – Space cooling • An improved air flow rate prediction method for Experimental laboratory • The assumption of uniform temperature distribution across the
solar chimneys with large gap-to-height ratio measurements chimney height is no longer valid for wide chimneys
• Correction was made to an existing air flow prediction method
• The improved prediction method appears to be applicable for both
small and large SC gap-to-height ratio
Suárez-López, Blanco- – Space cooling • Solar chimney exergy analysis for ventilation Analytical/Numerical CFD • SC exergy balance for ventilation and power plant is similar except
Marigorta [36] modeling that the power extracted by the turbine in the power plant is used
to overcome the flow losses in ventilation instead
• The difference between the thermal and useful exergy efficiency
indicate that this construction performs better in heating mode
• Diminishing the fluid dynamic losses, optimization of the channel
geometry and the reduction of losses through the glass cover are
suggested to improve the chimney performance
Lei, Zhang [37] – Space cooling • SC performance enhancement by utilization of a Numerical CFD modeling • The perforated absorber plate increase the pressure head and
perforated absorber plate temperature rise across the chimney
rate and a better
• The novel design led to higher air flow(continued on next page)
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx
N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

story buildings instead. Therefore, solar chimney is an interesting

model can be improved further by considering a turbulent

the air relative humidity results in the reduction of air

air temperature distribution is relatively similar to the dry-air

opening height-to-gap ratio of 0.25 is recommended for SCs

analytical existing models, both vertical and horizontal

plume model showed promising results for predicting SC air

density variations across the chimney are considered in the plume

experimental data sets were chosen for validation of plume

inability of the model to predict complicated flow phenomena

flow rate and reflecting the existence of the optimal chimney gap
option for multi-story buildings. Among the works done in SC
applications, Punyasompun, Hirunlabh [26] assessed the effectiveness
of a solar chimney for a small scale model of a three-story building in
performance at large inclination angles and gap widths

such as the reverse flow is the limitation of this model

model apart from a slight increase in air temperature

boundary layer for relatively high velocity conditions

Thailand. They concluded that the room temperature of the solar
chimney model was 4–5°C lower than the scale model without SC.
velocity at the inlet and outlet of the chimney

They examined different SC configuration set-ups and found out that a

SC with an opening at each floor and one outlet opening at the third
floor was the most efficient.
Major findings/Observations

2.2. Solar chimney for space heating

According to the above-mentioned studies, the majority of the

with moist air

research on solar chimneys was concerned with passive cooling.

• Increasing

However, in some regions the necessity of space heating is more than

• Unlike

• Plume

natural cooling, especially in winter. Since SC performs better for space



• Small
• The

• The
• The
• Six

cooling, the applications of SC for space heating is limited in the

Haghighi and Maerefat [27] showed the usefulness of solar chimney
for space heating. They presented a numerical modeling of natural
Numerical CFD modeling

convection in a 2D room in contact with a cold external ambient. The

numerical modeling was validated against some preceding experimen-
Analytical modeling

tal and numerical surveys in the literature. A parametric study was also
carried out to gain further insight of parameters that have impact on

ACH and room air temperature. The results showed the optimized air
gap, inlet and outlet size led to maximum ACH were 0.2 m for a room
having a size of 4.0 m × 4.0 m × 3.125 m without air infiltration. It is
also found that the effect of ambient air temperature on ACH is not
plume model based on energy
of air velocity and temperature

significant. Moreover, the system seemed plausible for providing a

distribution in the SC with dry air and moist air

balances and thermal boundary layer theory to

good indoor condition even with poor solar intensity of 215 W / m2 and
low ambient temperature of 5 °C .

2.3. Solar chimney simultaneous space heating and cooling

investigate SC airflow rate

in a hot humid climate

The previously mentioned SC systems were cooling or heating only

devices. It is a novel design to use SC for both space heating and
• Comparison
Key argument

• Developing

cooling purposes. Zhai, Dai [28] presented a plausible configuration

without adding complexity to the system that can reduce the heating
and cooling demand throughout the year. They examined a single-pass
roof solar collector and a double pass roof solar collector installed on a
single traditional common house in China. Roof solar collectors were
single or double pass solar air collectors mounted on the building roof.
Space cooling

Space cooling

The double pass roof solar collector which was configured by integra-

tion of a double pass solar air collector with the southern roof of the
building, is shown in Fig. 2. Dampers 1, 2, 3 and 4 were installed to
switch operating modes between space heating in winter and natural
ventilation in summer. By closing dampers 1 and 2 followed by opening
dampers 3 and 4, indoor air can enter air channel 1 (AC1) through
tuyere II gaining heat from solar radiation. Then, it flows into air
channel 2 (AC2) where it gains heat from the absorber plate. After
closing tuyere I it flows into the air duct. The fan blows the hot air into

the room through tuyere III. The reverse cycle provides natural
ventilation in the room. By closing dampers 3 and 4 along with opening

dampers 1 and 2, the indoor air enters air channels 1 and 2 through
tuyeres I and II, respectively. The air is heated in the channel and
Chinsorranant [38]

moves up, so the stack effect will be produced eventually. The results
Table 1 (continued)

showed a double pass roof solar collector had better performance

He, Zhang [39]

whether for space heating or natural ventilation. Its instantaneous


efficiency was often 10% higher than a single pass roof solar collector.
Several literature articles have been reviewed. The literature con-

tains different study methods to tackle different aspects of a SC design.

A summary of selected studies on SC is provided in Table 1.

N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

Fig. 3. Schematic diagram of integrated earth-air heat exchanger and solar chimney [48].

3.1. Earth-air heat exchangers coupled with solar chimneys

An innovative technique to circulate the air in the building is by

means of pipes buried several meters under the ground, utilizing soil as
a natural constant temperature source. The soil temperature 2–3 m
beneath the ground is fairly constant called earth's undisturbed
temperature. This temperature is higher than the surface temperature
in winter and lower in summer. This system which can be applied for a
better ventilation through a cooling or heating effect is called an earth-
air heat exchanger (EAHX) [41].
Mihalakakou, Santamouris [42] suggested a complete numerical
model for the prediction of thermal performance of the EAHX. Their
model was developed in TRNSYS environment and could be easily
employed for further research. The early results revealed that the pipe
length, pipe radius, air velocity, soil depth and the temperature
difference between ambient air and soil play a major role in EAHX
performance [43,44]. Increasing the burial depth and length of the
pipes as well as reducing the airflow rate will boost the heat transfer
capacity [45]. Bansal, Misra [46] concluded that the buried pipes
Fig. 4. Schematic diagram of a coupled system with EAHX and solar chimney [49]. material did not affect the EAHX performance, thus a cheaper material
for piping is reasonable.
3. Integrated systems based on solar chimneys Ramírez-Dávila, Xamán [47] developed a three-dimensional finite
volume CFD code in order to model the EAHX. Three different climate
The above-mentioned introductory outlined solar chimney inde- conditions, one with an extreme heat in summer and low temperature
pendent building applications as space heating or cooling strategies. in winter (Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua), the second one with mild
The success of a natural ventilation system relies directly on the weather (Mexico City) and the last with hot weather (Merida,
inhabitants for at least two reasons. First, the occupants must be Yucatán) were investigated. Simulations have been conducted for sand,
thermally comfortable. Second, they might be expected to exercise silt and clay soil textures for the cities of Cd. Juárez, México city and
some control of the system [40]. For the purpose of improving indoor Mérida, respectively. They stated that the EAHX potential for space
thermal comfort, integration of solar chimney with other technologies heating and natural ventilation may differ significantly. The results
is advised to enhance its performance appreciably. The purpose of the showed an average decrease of air temperature about 6.6 and 3.2 °C for
present paper is to review the most common integrated systems based summer and an increase of 2.1 and 2.7 °C for winter in Cd. Juárez and
on solar chimneys. Integrated systems were generally accompanied by México city, respectively. By contrast, Mérida EAHX winter thermal
considering their fundamental aspects and recommendations regard- performance was better than its cooling effect.
ing the improvement of the system to achieve a more sustainable Due to its passive nature of operation, predicting the applicability of
future. EAHX is widely depending on environmental conditions. Long-term
operation and low maintenance cost are two favorable reasons for its
utilization. The location latitude and altitude, ambient air temperature,

N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

Fig. 6. Classifications of PCMs [58].

Fig. 5. Schematic diagram of proposed passive heating system [53].

temperature was high, the chimney effect lost its potential for air
circulation. Under these circumstances, raising the number of SCs
soil type, water table, relative humidity, soil moisture content and would help. It could be concluded that achieving thermal comfort was
building design are vital considerations affecting the EAHX perfor- possible at harsh environmental condition with high air temperature or
mance. In general, dense damp soil with considerable shade increases low solar intensity by means of proper modifications to the system.
EAHX efficiency. In hot humid climates EAHX is not effective for However, when the outdoor air temperature was too high (around 45°C
achieving the thermal comfort. Furthermore, high water table, insuffi- and more) the solar chimney was no longer suitable.
cient space and shallow bedrock are among its operational limitations. Li, Yu [49] investigated the performance of an EAHX-SC system for
Apart from the obstacles in EAHX utilization mentioned above, it is a one-story building at a testing facility of the university of Nebraska,
still a convincing alternative to reduce or eliminate the need for sat on a concrete slab with external dimensions of 19.4 m long, 4.9 m
conventional conditioning systems. An innovative idea is the integra- wide and 3 m high. The main testing room dimensions were 15.2 m
tion of an earth-air heat exchanger and a solar chimney. As a long, 4.9 m wide and 2.4 m high. A schematic of the system is shown in
consequence, the coupled system lowers energy consumption in winter Fig. 4. EAHX was made of a culvert steel with 57 m length, 0.45 m
as well as reducing the peak electrical demand in summer. diameter and buried at a depth of about 3 m underground. The solar
Maerefat and Haghighi [48] proposed an EAHX-SC system. The chimney was 12.2 m high and 0.457 m diameter in order to provide
system ventilation acted with the aim of solar energy as the heat source sufficient pressure draft. The solar collector absorbing surface area was
and the soil as a sink. A schematic of the system is shown in Fig. 3. The 20 m2 , with a loss coefficient of 8.5 W /(m2.˚C ) and an absorptivity of
roof solar chimney configuration included a glass surface oriented to 0.8, when insolation was evaluated to be 400 W / m2 . The experiments
the south and an absorber wall working as a capturing surface. The air focused on estimating the thermal performance of the system as well as
was heated up in the rectangular box. The buoyancy provided the a detailed analysis of its cooling capacity. The undisturbed soil
driving force for extracting the air from the room. The EAHX consisted temperature was tested through a whole year. At a depth of 2.9 m the
of horizontal pipes buried several meters beneath the ground, deliver- soil temperature attained a maximum of 14.6 ˚C and a minimum of
ing the pre-cooled air to the room. 8.1 ˚C which verified the ability of the underground system for summer
The research made an attempt to ascertain the system ability in cooling. The profile of the indoor and outdoor temperature during
providing good indoor conditions based on Adapted Comfort Standard summer in 2008 (from August 14, 2008 to August 31, 2008) Nebraska
(ACS). Mathematical modeling of SC and EAHX were developed, showed that while the outdoor air temperature during the daytime
separately. The SC model was validated with experimental results of could be as high as 34 ˚C , the indoor air temperature remained mainly
[13]. The parametric study showed that the minimum required number from 21 ˚ to 24 ˚C . The performance of the system largely depended on
of SCs and EAHXs encountered by deploying the optimum cooling pipe its cooling capacity. The total cooling capacity was determined in the
diameter (0.5 m ). Increasing the length/diameter of the pipe provided previous period mentioned in 2008. They obtained a cooling capacity
more cooling effect. It was observed that while the ACH number and as high as 2582 W , almost covering the building design cooling load of
indoor air temperature rose up due to high solar radiation, EAHX 2813 W .
numbers employed had to increase. Furthermore, when the outdoor

Table 2
A summary of selected research on SC-EAHX.

Study method Climate Type Application Outcomes Limitations Ref

Analytical Semi-arid, continental Space cooling • Optimal dimensional requirements of a SC- • Model is assumed to work in steady state condition. [48]
climate EAHX system • Effects of environmental conditions like soil thermal
saturation and soil type were not addressed.
• Dynamic operation may lead to contradictory results
compared to the analytical solution derived.
Experimental Hot summer,
continental climate
Space cooling • Total cooling capacity of the system almost • Insufficient space makes the system unsuitable for
covered the building design cooling load. residential buildings.

• Underground soil temperature distribution

Analytical Semi-arid, continental Space heating • Effective dimensions of a SC-EAHX system • Model is assumed to work in steady state condition. [53]
climate • Anotdescription
of economic feasibility of the system was

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According to the current state of art, a few researchers were buildings and a winter night operation mode (10 p.m.–6 a.m.) for
concerned about the real operation situation, particularly the soil residential buildings were suggested. Winter operation modes, not only
thermal saturation and recovery of the EAHX. Soil thermal saturation provided hot air in winter, but also lowered the soil temperature to be
occurs when the soil and air temperature gradient is nearly zero. At this used in the next summer season as well.
level no energy transfer takes place between soil and air [50]. Soil Among the few studies in the literature regarding the system
thermal saturation is common in soil having high specific heat and low capability for passive heating, Haghighi and Maerefat [53] analytically
moisture content. Niu, Yu [50] analyzed the performance of the EAHX studied the effects of main geometric and environmental parameters on
under continuous and intermittent operation conditions. In the inter- a SC-EAHX system performance in Tehran, Iran. The proposed
mittent operation mode, the soil temperature and the cooling capacity mathematical models were in good agreement with the previous
could recover during the nonworking time. Besides, the supply airflow studies of [13,54,55]. A schematic of the system is shown in Fig. 5.
rate and the cooling capacity were higher than the continuous mode of The following dimensions and specifications were used in the model-
operation. ing. The room had the size of 4.0 × 4.0 × 3.1 m3 without air infiltration.
Mathur, Surana [51] perceived the soil dynamics around the pipe. The heating demand was varied between 0 and 1000 W . A solar
Also, following remarks were made to prevent soil thermal saturation. chimney with 3.125 m length, 4.0 m width and air gap depth of 0.2 m
The soil temperature was higher at the initial length of EAHX pipe and was considered. The outlets size of the SC and the room were 0.05 ×
then this temperature decreased. The soil temperature around the 4.0 m and 0.1 × 4.0 m , respectively. The EAHX was a PVC pipe with the
buried pipe was strongly influenced by the ambient air temperature. length of 25.0 m , 0.01 m thickness and inner diameter of 0.5 m . It was
Ambient air temperature decrease, led to the soil temperature reduc- buried 3.0 m below the ground. The soil temperature was approximated
tion. This influence reduced as the distance between buried pipe and to be 19 ˚C at this depth, assuming it constant during the working
soil increased. Heat penetration analysis revealed that the affected soil hours. The results yielded to an optimum air gap size of 0.2 m for the
thickness and the heat transfer between air and soil kept increasing SC and heating pipe diameter of 0.5 m . By proper configuration,
simultaneously. thermal comfort could have been provided even in the low solar
In order to overcome soil thermal saturation in summer, Mathur, intensity of 250 W / m2 and low ambient air temperature of 0 ˚C .
Surana [51] suggested a continuous 24-h operation using cold ambient Thermal comfort for the building inhabitants were achieved even at
air for night purging (forced convection between soil and purged air). the low soil temperature of 13 ˚C . The proposed design for the SC-
However, this strategy was not a financially feasible plan. Instead, an EAHX configuration based on the thermal comfort criteria was
EAHX system operating in intermittent mode with limited night considering the south wall of the building as a solar chimney.
running for temperature recovery through purging was recommended. Furthermore, the required number of SCs and EAHXs were obtained
Mathur, Surana [52] investigated the soil temperature recovery of approximately by: room volume/50 and 2× (room volume/50) +1,
an EAHX system under intermittent operations in Jaipur, India. The respectively.
results revealed that by the end of the summer, the soil thermal It should be noted that humidity and mold colonization is another
saturation, might induce the system ineffectual for the next summer. A challenging aspect of an EAHX design. It is claimed to be a potential
comparison between the different modes of intermittent operations for health risk for the inhabitants. Wagner, Beisel [56] inspected twelve
summer and winter suggested that a summer operation mode with earth-air heat exchangers with different designs, pipe materials, size
night purging (9 a.m.–5 p.m. ,2 a.m.–4 a.m.) improved the soil tem- and age. The study was concerned about microbial growth in the buried
perature recovery rather than a summer operation mode (9 a.m.– pipes. Surprisingly, the airborne concentrations of viable spores and
5 p.m.) alone. Both were suitable for residential or office buildings. For bacteria, with few exceptions, even decreased after passage through the
winters, a winter day operation mode (9 a.m.–5 p.m.) for office pipe system. Based on the investigations the operation of EAHX was

Fig. 7. Schematic view of the solar chimney experimental setup and the locations of thermocouples on absorber (all units are in mm) [62].

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Fig. 8. Dimensions of PCM container and the locations of the thermocouples: (a) lateral section; (b) cross section [62].

acceptable as long as regular controls were undertaken or cleaning management. PCM stores and releases thermal energy during the
facilities were available. An antimicrobial material layer is highly process of melting and freezing. When such a material freezes, it
recommended for the EAHX pipe to remove the risk. Notice that it is releases large amounts of energy in form of latent heat of fusion.
important that the underground cooling pipes have perfect condensa- Conversely, when the PCM is melted, an equal amount of energy is
tion drain. So the pipes should be installed at about 4-degree slope to absorbed from the environment as it changes from solid to liquid.
ensure the constant removal of condensed water from the pipes PCMs in building envelopes can be used for many different purposes
whether an antimicrobial layer is used or not. including reduction of space-conditioning energy consumption, ther-
In order to deeply understand the performance of an EAHX, further mal peak load shaving and shifting, local temperature control in
aspects such as the influence of ice-formation in winter could be an building envelope components and improvement of overall system
area of the future research. A summary of selected research on SC- durability [57].
EAHX topic is found in Table 2. It presents the major findings and PCMs store 5–14 times more heat per unit volume, unlike sensible
limitations of each case. thermal energy storage materials such as masonry or rocks [58].
Utilization of PCM for building can be divided into three stages: the
first stage, before 1990, a feasibility study to determine the viability of
3.2. Solar chimneys combined with phase change materials
PCM incorporation for building elements and selection of the relevant
PCM that can be used; compatibility, stability and useful life of PCMs
Phase change materials (PCMs) are ideal products for thermal

Fig. 9. Schematic of the solar chimney incorporating with PCM: (1) closed mode; (2) open mode [66].

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Fig. 10. The schematic of the integration of the PCM based solar chimney and the guardroom [67].

PCM can be utilized in buildings for temperature regulation. PCM will

stabilize the room temperature mainly using its latent heat. It releases
heat when the ambient temperature is below the melting temperature.
Additionally, it stores heat when the temperature is rising above the
melting temperature. Also, utilizing PCM in building structure can
significantly enhance the thermal mass of the building.
Without insolation, solar chimneys thermal efficiency shows a
drastic reduction. This generally happens during the night-time or
cloudy days. Additionally, fluctuations in solar radiation yield to solar
chimney instability. PCMs as thermal energy storage mediums coupled
with solar chimneys are suggested to overcome these main drawbacks
A few studies have reported the incorporation of PCM in a solar
chimney system for building ventilation applications. Kaneko, Sagara
Fig. 11. Variation of average room temperature for a whole day [67].
[63] presented a prototype solar chimney equipped with PCM. The
results showed there was the possibility for prolongation of natural
were examined in the second stage which dates back to the 1990s; from
ventilation in night-time, provided that the PCM completely melted in
1990s to the present, attempts have been made to incorporate PCM
the daytime. Amori and Mohammed [64] studied a solar chimney
into many kinds of building envelops for different purposes such as
numerically and experimentally. The results showed a solar chimney
thermal storage, ventilation and insulation and evaluating the perfor-
with PCM extended the ventilation hours after the solar absence.
mance [59]. A large number of PCMs are known with wide spectrum
The assumption of a fully-melted PCM is not valid for all ventilation
range of fusion and melting point. In one categorization, PCMs are
hours. The performance of the system under fully-melted or partially-
divided into three main groups of organic, inorganic and eutectic as
melted PCM needs further research [62]. Moreover, it seems that its
shown in Fig. 6. Organic compounds used for PCM include paraffin
performance for cooling/heating a space is rarely investigated.
waxes, esters, acids and alcohols. Organic compound PCMs usually
Li and Liu [62] explored the thermal performance of a SC-PCM
have low melting points and are suitable for household applications.
system with three different uniform heat fluxes of 500 W / m2 , 600 W / m2
Salt hydrates are the most well-known inorganic PCMs and numerous
and 700 W / m2 experimentally. The system was installed inside a
studies have used them for thermal storage applications. Eutectic
laboratory in order to minimize the insolation fluctuations. The
PCMs consist of a combination of at least two other PCMs, each of
schematic of the system is shown in Fig. 7. The chimney was 2 m high,
which melts and freezes congruently forming a mixture of the
1 m wide and 200 mm deep. The chimney inlet and outlet width and
component crystals during crystallization [57].
height were 1 m and 200 mm , respectively. The PCM container was
In a literature survey proposed by Akeiber, Nejat [60], the share of
filled with 50 kg RT42 (a macro-encapsulated paraffin wax) and was
different kinds of PCMs for passive cooling applications were investi-
constructed of stainless steel with dimensions of 1000 mm wide × 1600
gated. It was revealed that nearly 60% of the previous studies focused
mm high × 40 mm deep as shown in Fig. 8. The chimney openings were
on organic PCM. The reason for this might be the high heat of fusion,
closed during the PCM charging period. After 7 h and 10 min the heat
ease of compatibility with most building elements and good thermal
discharge period started. At this stage only in the case of 700 W / m2 heat
stability. Unfortunately, a relatively low ignition resistance of some
flux, PCM was fully melted. It yielded to the highest air flow rate. In a
organic PCMs is a main drawback for their utilization. The share of the
24-h period, a peak thermal efficiency of 80% (in case of 500 W / m2 heat
inorganic PCMs was about 11%. The low contribution of inorganic
flux) and a minimum value of 50% (in case of 700 W / m2 heat flux) were
PCMs is due to chemical instability, being corrosive to metal and
observed among the three cases. The 500 W / m2 heat flux case attained
segregation. The second most applied PCM was the eutectic type.
the maximum air outlet temperature.
Contrary to its high cost, its high heat of fusion per unit volume has
Li and Liu [65] also presented a numerical and experimental study
made it a suitable material for ventilation purposes.
concerned about the impact of heat fluxes lower than 500 W / m2 on the
PCM applications can be divided into temperature control and
thermal performance of the PCM incorporation in solar chimney. The
storage of heat or cold with high storage density. In PCM usage for
experimental data mentioned above validated the proposed numerical
temperature control, the focus is on the temperature regulation and not
method. It is observed that increasing the heat flux more than 700
on the amount of heat supplied [61]. In most space heating and cooling
W / m2 had a little impact on the system performance. However,
applications small temperature fluctuation is desirable. Therefore,

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Fig. 12. Schematic of the solar house with solar chimney and adsorption cooling cavity [72].

decreasing the heat flux lower than 500 W / m2 showed an extreme enhanced the thermal comfort of the living space. Therefore, a PCM
reduction on the system performance. based solar chimney increased the air flow rate and air outlet
In order to gain further insight, Liu and Li [66] examined the temperature during the discharging period compared with a solar
thermal performance of a solar chimney with or without the PCM. chimney without PCM and vice versa in charging period. The results
Moreover, three different modes of operation of a solar chimney showed that the closed-fully charging mode provided the highest
equipped with PCM with uniform heat flux of 700 W / m2 were system efficiency. The experiments were simulated by constant artifi-
investigated. Closed-fully charging mode gained the maximum solar cial lightning of a solar simulator. However, its crucial to predict the
radiation during the day when no space heating was required for model efficiency in real climatic operation.
thermal comfort. The PCM was fully-melted in this case. In open-partly Safari and Torabi [67] performed a CFD simulation analysis to
charging mode, outlet or inlet could be open in order to heat the space. examine the impact of PCM utilization in a solar chimney performance
The last case was open-fully charging mode where the thermal for heating a guardroom in a winter day (December 5th) when the
parameters of the chimney were specified. The experimental setups ambient temperature was about 5 ˚C and solar radiation was almost at the
were the same as described in [62] and is shown in Fig. 7, except that lowest level. Compared to the previous studies, the connection of the
outlet and inlet were both on the same side. The PCM based solar system to a guardroom was investigated. The schematic of the system is
chimney for close and open modes are shown in Fig. 9. Latent heat shown in Fig. 10. The guardroom was in Tehran, Iran. It was 4 m long and
release occurs with a relatively constant temperature range as a result 2.5 m high. The roof was built of three layers of tar-layer, brick and stucco
of using the PCM. Since the system was responsible to provide space from top to bottom. The inner and outer surface of the walls were stucco
heating, the stabilized air flow rate and air outlet temperature and brick, respectively. A 25-cm layer of sodium sulphate decahydrate was

Fig. 13. Schematic diagram of solar chimney and cooling cavity [73].

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Fig. 14. Schematic diagram of solar chimney with evaporative cooler wind tower [74].

used as the PCM heat storage. As shown in Fig. 11, using PCM led to a
smoother temperature profile. Moreover, it provided longer hours of
space heating compared to a solar chimney without PCM.
Dwellers are willing to utilize PCM-enhanced solar chimney without
any significant unforeseen cost for maintenance. The proposed system
cannot be freely replaced or repaired in case of its failure. So, incorpora-
tion of a PCM with long-term durability seems crucial for a proper design.
PCM micro-encapsulation shows a growing trend when it comes to PCM
packaging. This technique improves the PCM compatibility with the
building elements and can also increase the service lifetime of the system.
It is done to reduce the potential risk of leakage, increase the cyclic
stability and improve the heat transfer surface area. Although it might be
considered a costly process, the payback period of the investment might
solve the issue in near future [68].
It is revealed from this review that the PCM based solar chimneys
either developed for space heating or natural ventilation have been tested
in the laboratory, usually under controlled conditions simulating the real
conditions. Dynamic operation would definitely affect the model's beha-
vior. The influence of different kinds of PCM on solar chimney perfor-
mance could be further investigated. In order to persuade the building
owners to utilize PCM, it should be economically feasible. Commercial
PCM price is typically in the range from 0.5 £/kg to 10 £/kg for most
applications [61]. Li and Liu [62] proposed the paraffin wax that is
commercially available and very cheap (around 5 £/kg). It also showed a
good recyclability and the system could perform well for a 5-year period
without requiring any maintenance. Therefore, the increase in the cost of
the system with the use of PCM was reasonable. Since the inclusion of
PCM for a solar chimney is economical, the combination of an EAHX with
a PCM-enhanced solar chimney has the potential to attract the research-
er's attention in near future. Fig. 15. Schematic of a Trombe wall and a solar chimney combination with a water
spraying system [76].

3.3. Water consuming integrated solar chimney applications

Windcatchers have been used in Iran and many other middle windcatcher idea has been caught on through the design of recent
eastern countries for centuries [69]. A windcatcher provides natural building ventilation systems. A solar chimney is utilized instead of the
ventilation by downward airflow due to wind entry. In hot dry climates, traditional windcatcher to enhance the ventilation rate. Additionally,
wind towers were built on top of a lavabo. The wind was directed over a cooling cavity or water spraying system (WSS) was replaced with the
small pond of water, cooling the air before being blown into the house. water pond. Upcoming sub-sections are devoted to water consuming
With the growing emphasis on the building energy demand, the integrated solar chimney applications.

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3.3.1. Solar chimney coupled with a cooling cavity with 95% of indoor temperature below the upper range of acceptable
Many are agreed that global warming may be one of the greatest comfort range during the period from 21 May to 21 August in the hot
threats facing the planet. This led to the new requirements for dry climate of New Assiut City, Egypt.
developing ingenious natural ventilation systems. The ambient air Abdallah, Hiroshi [75] further developed a parametric study in
temperature can circulate in the building with the aid of a solar order to achieve compact and efficient design. It could be concluded
chimney. However, stand-alone solar chimney is incapable of satisfying that the system achieved nearly at least 80% acceptable comfort range
thermal comfort in extreme hot weather. Precooling the outdoor air based on Adaptive Comfort Standard of American Society of Heating,
with a cooling cavity is regarded as one of the most effective methods to Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) with opti-
keep the room temperature low. mum ventilation rate of 414 m3 / h for the hottest day. The system
In one of the primary studies in the literature, Verma, Bansal [70] optimized dimensions were 0.75 m × 0.4 m for the solar chimney and
signified that evaporative cooling could maintain the room temperature 1 m × 1 m for the evaporative cooler wind tower. The optimized system
at a desired level. Mathews, Kleingeld [71] simulated the integration of perfectly satisfied carbon dioxide concentration (less than 1000 ppm )
an evaporative cooling system with a building by a computer program. according to ASHRAE standard, especially during daytime.
The program assured the thermal comfort for more than 80% of well- Solar chimney-cooling cavity integration is a mean for room
designed buildings in South Africa. Dai, Sumathy [72] presented a ventilation in summer. The system works well for regions with hot
parametric analytical study on the enhancement of natural ventilation summer and mild winter. So, an auxiliary space heating utility for
in a solar house induced by a solar chimney and an adsorption cavity regions with cold winter is required.
for a humid climate. A comparison between the ventilation effect of the
solar chimney and the combined system was also provided without 3.3.2. Trombe wall in combination with solar chimney and water
considering the wind effect. The schematic diagram of the studied solar spraying system
house is given in Fig. 12. The wall was made of brick with outside A Trombe wall is a south-facing masonry wall covered with glass
insulation. The outlet air entered the cavity inlet (point 0 in Fig. 12) got spaced a few inches away. Solar radiation passes the glass and is gained
cooled by the chilled water through the heat exchanger and supplied to and stored by the wall. The wall has vents provided at both the upper
the room. Dampers enclosed the space between the glass cover and the and the lower parts for air circulation. Air in the space between the
adsorption bed in order to allow the bed to get cooled effectively. The glazing and the wall is heated up and enters the room space through
ventilation rate at night is increased about 20% with the solar upper vents. Cool room air takes its place through the lower vents, thus
adsorption cooling cavity. The solar adsorption COP of 0.12 could establishing a natural circulation pattern. Trombe walls are mainly
achieve cooling to the room without any change in humidity. used as natural space heating systems. Many studies investigated the
Maerefat and Haghighi [73] proposed a system consisted of a solar performance of a Trombe wall with different materials, various channel
chimney and an evaporative cooling cavity which is shown in Fig. 13. and vents dimensions [76]. A classic Trombe wall has low thermal
The solar radiation gained provide the sufficient stack in the chimney. resistance and loses a large amount of heat at night. In hot weather and
The stack effect inhaled the outdoor air through the cooling cavity. In mostly in well-insulated buildings, it might function as a source of heat
the cooling cavity, water sprayed on the wall, moved downward. Due to gain and causes overheating. Insulated-Trombe walls prevent this
the temperature difference between the water droplets and the moving- issue. Knowing that insulation acts as a barrier to heat loss in winter
air in the cavity, heat transfer between them occurs. The water was while being a source of retaining heat in summer, the overall efficiency
then recycled to the tank by the circulation pump. Therefore, the air of insulated Trombe wall is improved. Stazi, Mastrucci [77] presented a
supplied to the room cooled down and both cooling and ventilation super-insulated Trombe wall that could decrease the total seasonal
were provided. The numerical experiments showed the capability of the heating and cooling energy demand by about 47% in comparison with a
system to provide thermal comfort even at low insolation rate of classical Trombe wall. Nevertheless, insulation impact on efficiency is
200 W / m2 and high ambient air temperature of 40 ˚C . A detailed regarded a controversial issue which depends on many variables. It is
analysis of different parameters involved in the system performance suggested to identify insulation effectiveness separately according to
such as the ambient conditions, dimensions of solar chimney, cavity Trombe-wall type and location [78].
and room specifications were also provided. Solar chimney inlet In order to overcome the inadequacy of a Trombe wall application
dimensions were dominant parameters in controlling the ACH and for natural cooling, Rabani, Kalantar [76] proposed a coupled solar
the indoor air temperature. The proposed system was intended to chimney-Trombe wall accompanied by a water spraying system (WSS)
prepare good indoor thermal conditions for ambient air relative increasing the air humidity for a hot dry climate in Yazd, Iran. An
humidity lower than 50%. Besides, it was suggested that the system experimental room was built to investigate the performance of the
combination with a conventional air conditioner would create a system. All optimum dimensions were adopted by the previous studies
reasonable indoor environment for human thermal comfort as well as to guarantee the best operational configuration. A schematic of the
reducing the air-conditioning load. system is shown in Fig. 15. The experiments focused on many aspects
Since the threat of water crisis affects many countries, the system divided into three phases: in the first phase, according to the Adapted
reviewed above might be criticized due to its large water consumption. Comfort Standard (ACS) the optimum water mass flow rate and water
Plus, the demand of electricity for the circulating pump, cost for droplet diameter with an average ACH of about 8, were found 10 lit / h
maintenance of the system and added space required are major and 30 μm , respectively. Second-phase experiments showed that the
difficulties encouraged researchers to propose new system configura- outdoor relative humidity had more impact on the indoor relative
tions. Abdallah, Yoshino [74] proposed a system which is shown in humidity rather than indoor temperature. Moreover, the increase or
Fig. 14. Instead of a cooling cavity, an evaporative cooling wind tower decrease in the outdoor relative humidity didn't significantly affect the
was used to cool the ambient air as it passed through the wet medium. air velocity and ACH. The third phase of the study considered the
The evaporative pad provided a large water surface, and the pad was system performance when a sharp reduction in solar intensity oc-
wetted by dripping water. The evaporative cooler worked by a curred. It is found that the stored energy decreased more and became
concentric float valve, opened when the water level was low in the negative, thus showing that the heat stored in the Trombe wall during
collecting grill, allowing more water to enter. When the water level non-sunny periods was transferred to the channel, which induced the
returned to the full level, the valve was shut automatically. The air ventilation. At last, utilization of the water spraying system
numerical experiments revealed that the room temperature decreased enhanced the thermal efficiency of the system approximately 30%.
by 10–11.5 °C compared to the ambient air temperature. This sup- Although, complexity is added to the system design and electricity is
ported achieving thermal comfort during the hottest summer days, demanded for running the WSS pump, the system seemed reasonable.

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3.3.3. Solar chimney and a water spraying system (moderate semi-arid climate) and Atlanta (humid subtropical climate).
Chungloo and Limmeechokchai [79] examined two test rooms in All of the cases simulated were for high thermal mass constructions
Thailand. One equipped with a water spraying system and a solar with ideal control. The results revealed that cooling load reductions
chimney and the other utilized a stand-alone roof solar chimney as a with cross ventilation were from 23% (Phoenix) to 64% (Pittsburgh),
reference. The experimental results showed that water spraying on the and ventilated roof savings from 49% to 92%. Load reductions up to
roof along with solar chimney could reduce indoor temperature by 2.0– 70% were possible in all climates by proper combination of the
6.2 ˚C compared with ambient air and by 1.4–3.0 ˚C compared with the techniques.
reference room. Besides, a cool ceiling increased the air flow rate in It is reported that the efficiency of the most commercial PV panels
contrast to the decreased-air flow rate in the application of precooled drops down around 0.5% for a one-degree temperature rise of the solar
air to the room [80]. cells. The heat removal techniques from the PV panels are not limited
Rabani, Faghih [81] experiments showed that a SC-WSS combina- to natural air cooling. A novel design is to assemble a PCM layer as a
tion is mostly suitable for regions with hot dry climates. It was heat sink on backside of PV module and a ventilated air cavity. The
perceived that the combined system decreased the average room PCM layer has the advantage of delaying the temperature rise of panel
temperature about 9–14 ˚C versus the small reduction of average room without any electricity consumption. Advising highlights regarding the
temperature created by the solar chimney alone. selection of the suitable PCM for PV cooling may be found in [84].
The hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PV/T) systems have been studied
3.4. Photovoltaic panels integration with roof solar chimneys in great extent in the literature. The study of PV/T collector systems
were introduced since 1970s [85]. The advantage of the PV/T system in
An innovative design is to use a PV module or array installed in a generating electricity and simultaneous provision of useful heat makes
building to provide passive cooling by operating it as a roof solar it suitable for building applications. This paper is not intended to
collector (RSC) with PV panel as absorber plate. An air channel is present a detailed review of PV/T systems owing to the fact that these
attached at the back of the module for air circulation. This design can systems are basically focused on photovoltaic cells. However, the
improve the performance of roof integrated PV panels by collecting interested readers may refer to [86–89].
heat absorbed by the panels. Moreover, it has the potential of reducing
space heating/cooling load of the building. 4. Discussion
Khedari, Ingkawanich [82] investigated the effect of using a PV
system on the performance of a RSC. The PV system consisted of one There are different motivations that drive us towards green building
PV panel (27 Wp ), a DC electrical fan (7.3 W ) installed in the gap of development. The brunt of climate change is regarded as an altruistic
RSC and a control unit. This integration led to a higher ventilation rate motivation since it will be borne by future generations. Reducing
and ACH number. Therefore, the indoor temperature was closer to building energy demand is an issue addressed in green building
thermal comfort condition. The proposed system was economically development. Natural ventilation provided by solar chimney is re-
feasible. Besides, the PV-powered RSC could be applied to conventional garded as an innovative strategy reducing the energy demand. Solar
air-conditioned buildings as an aid during the peak hours’ electricity chimney has been extensively studied in the literature as an element to
demand. implement natural ventilation in buildings where solar energy is
DeBlois, Bilec [83] prompted a roof solar chimney which was a available. This study can be divided into two parts: the first part
building integrated photovoltaic array applied to plywood on a pitched discussed recent progresses in developing a SC application whether for
roof. A modeling of the system was created in building energy space heating or cooling. The second part, is devoted to the integration
simulation program ESP-r to determine appropriate boundary condi- of common systems based on SC. These systems enhance the thermal
tions. A two-dimensional CFD model was also used to calibrate key performance of SC and extend its utilization usually for locations where
model inputs and providing a comprehensive sensitivity analysis. The stand-alone SC is unpromising to achieve thermal comfort. The
sensitivity analysis confirmed that the flow rate was most sensitive to presented report can be a topic of practical interest for future research.
the inside-outside temperature difference. Solar insolation, thermal Earlier studies focused on enhancing the ventilation rate and/or air
resistance of the roof and the convection coefficients were the other temperature increase in the solar chimney by considering different
influential parameters. The model seemed promising in providing design parameters. The most considered influencing factors were solar
space cooling for a single detached mobile home. insolation, chimney inclination angle and chimney height to gap ratio.
In a following paper presented by DeBlois, Bilec [20], the afore- Numerical simulations have lessened the deviation gap between
mentioned configuration was adapted to identify the system perfor- experimental and analytical results. They have the ability to extend
mance characteristics and potential savings under cooling demand. A the list of influential parameters and modify design considerations to
three-bedroom dwelling with an area of 184 m3 and high thermal mass get closer to SC realistic performance.
constructions was considered instead of the mobile home. Cross Solar absorptance of the absorber wall, solar transmittance of the
ventilation was provided by placing openings in the interior walls. glass cover, wind velocity and internal heat load were considered as
Three ventilation cases operating at either regular or high efficiency newly introduced parameters in the literature. A few papers outlined
levels were described as follows: 1) baseline model which included correlations for calculating the air flow rate or chimney thermal
single-sided ventilation 2) cross ventilated case which allowed air flow performance based on a parametric analysis [16,27,32]. It is suggested
between interior zones and taking advantage of the pressure differences to refine the existing parametric analysis by considering more input
between windward and leeward side of the exterior surfaces 3) the variables such as the airflow humidity. It would be worth mentioning
ventilated roof case that included both cross ventilation and chimney that the optimum combination of parameters may vary with the
effect. The space was divided into four zones based on custom latitude. Future research should make an assessment of correlations
occupancy patterns, the family zone (including a kitchen and living that can diminish the latitude dependency.
area), the dining zone, the bed zone and the bath zone. Schedules were CFD has a major share of SC studies in the literature. It offers
developed according to behavioral assumptions for each zone. For relevant details of temperature or velocity distribution in the chimney
instance, the bed zone had higher lighting in the morning and evening channel. Improved numerical accuracy by considering a larger compu-
and constant occupancy through the night, while the dinning zone had tational domain, evaluation of pressure loss coefficients, modifying the
higher lighting and occupancy at meal times and during the weekend. chimney layout to suppress reverse flow and chamfering the chimney
The simulations were performed within four U.S climate types. inlet and outlet edge to prevent flow separation are contributions of
Pittsburgh (mild summer), Phoenix (hot-arid climate), Albuquerque this study method to move towards a better design. The authors believe

N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

that uncertainties arising by imposing the proper boundary conditions In recent years, technologies related to hybrid photovoltaic-thermal
for the computational domain is still a challenging aspect of CFD (PV/T) modules have increased with fast pace. These systems generate
modeling. To the best of the authors knowledge, none of the reviewed heat and electricity simultaneously. The idea of the concept is to utilize
articles mentioned the boundary effect in buoyancy-driven ventilation more solar radiation by also harvesting the heat accumulated in PV
systems except Bangalee, Miau [90]. Thus, the guidelines in this field panels. The authors believe the integration of active solar systems like PV
can be further developed. panels with chimneys are out of the scope of this paper. These systems are
The integration of EAHX and SC is an innovative idea to enhance basically concerned with the active system rather than the SC.
natural ventilation. The EAHX acts as a precooling strategy for hot
season and a preheating strategy for cold season. A detailed analysis of 5. Conclusions
the EAHX independent application was not intended to be included in
this review. Instead, a deliberate attempt to notice the benefits and Solar chimney as an excellent passive strategy is used to enhance
design considerations of the coupled system was made. It is revealed natural ventilation and thus reduce the need of auxiliary energy for
that the system effectiveness for space heating and cooling differs thermal comfort. Over the last few decades, solar chimneys have been
remarkably based on the location climate and soil type. The following extensively studied numerically and experimentally. Solar chimney
observations are derived according to this review: utilization is not efficient in hot arid or humid climate and for regions
with low insolation. Therefore, research on development of a combina-
• The system might not be able to achieve thermal comfort for hot tion system could be an alternative.
humid climate. A solar chimney coupled with an earth-air heat exchanger is advised
• Dense damp soil with considerable shade will improve the system to utilize both the solar and the geothermal energy. The system is
efficiency. basically favored because it is capable of providing space heating in
• High water table, insufficient space and shallow bedrock are winter and cooling effect in summer. However, its applicability is
obstacles in implementation of the system. widely dependent on the location latitude and altitude, soil type, water
• Soil temperature recovery is possible by defining an intermittent or a table, soil moisture and building design. A model that is optimized
suitable system operational schedule. based on parametric studies of the coupled system would further reveal
• In spite of relatively high installation expenses, long-term operation the effectiveness of the system. In order to deeply understand the
and low maintenance cost makes it a promising ventilation system. system performance, further research including the influence of ice-
formation in winter, dynamic operating and real experimental condi-
There is a large number of publications focused on PCM as a major tions should be provided.
subject for building applications. These are presented as a combination The investigation of PCM for heating and cooling applications in
of walls, space-conditioning systems containing PCMs, active solar building is back to 1930s. For PCM-technology, the key parameters of
heating systems and the large-scale whole building seasonal thermal human comfort requirements are the temperature of the air and of the
storage applications [57]. However, PCM-enhanced solar chimney is surrounding surfaces, because PCM can only influence these para-
relatively a new subject. Since there is a wide range of PCMs proposed meters [61]. In this paper, research regarding incorporation of PCM
in the literature for ventilation purposes [60,91], the authors believe and a solar chimney was mentioned. The potential of PCM to reduce
the appropriate selection of the PCM and the performance of the SC temperature fluctuations, specifically to cut peak temperatures makes it
under the influence of different PCMs are regarded as research suitable in solar chimney design. Among the proposed configurations,
opportunities. The following reasons can persuade designers to take the inclusion of PCM in SC is the simplest and the most economical.
advantage of PCM in SC design: The selection of the proper PCM for the system should be investigated
in further research. As proper ventilation is the primary concern, the
• It can decrease the sensitivity of the SC to sudden fluctuations in designer is eager to come up with the scenario of equipping an EAHX-
heat input rate. SC system with PCM in future research. It should be noted that the
• Longer hours of ventilation are available; especially for night times performance of a PCM-enhanced SC should be tested in real conditions
or cloudy days. to persuade the building users. So, it seems necessary to carry out more
• A wide selection of PCMs are available on the market that are experiments in the area.
reasonable enough to be considered economically feasible. Water consuming systems based on solar chimneys are suitable
• It only requires minor modifications to an independent SC config- mostly for regions with hot and dry climate. Different configurations of
uration. the system are proposed. Water consuming systems increase the
thermal efficiency of solar chimney significantly. The biggest disadvan-
It is preferred that the PCM temperature remains relatively con- tage for widespread public use of the coupled system is the lack of
stant during the phase change process. This is useful for keeping the sufficient available water resources to meet water needs within a
space at a desired uniform temperature. PCM in the SC will usually not region. Therefore, a challenging aspect is developing the least-water
meet the theoretical assumption that the entire phase change transition consuming and the most optimized system.
occurs during each diurnal cycle. In reality, typically the phase change The hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PV/T) systems have been studied
process will start from a partially melted state, resulting from in great extent in the literature. An innovative idea is to combine
incomplete night time solidification, partial daytime melting or tem- photovoltaic panels and a roof solar chimney. The ability of the system
perature fluctuations throughout the day. Therefore, investigating the to enhance ventilation and generate electricity at the same time makes
system when PCM is not fully melted or is working under real climatic it a compatible design.
situation needs further research. The design of the proposed-systems involves unpredictable vari-
The above-mentioned systems based on SC, might not be suitable ables such as weather and inhabitants’ attitude. The physical processes
for achieving comfort in hot-arid climates. Water consuming systems involved are complicated. Moreover, there can be considerable un-
based on SC would likely operate effectively in these regions. The main certainty in specifying important parameters, such as wind pressures,
challenge for widespread usage of these natural evaporative systems is internal temperatures and building leakage. The mentioned integrated
scarce water sources in arid regions. The loss of water by evaporation systems were all investigated based on the first law of thermodynamics
will increase the operational cost which is not desirable. Thus, the or energy analysis. However, energy efficiencies are unable to provide
reviewed papers sought systems that can minimize water consumption information about how nearly the performance of a system approaches
as their chief objective. ideality. Exergy analysis shows the potential for better matching the

N. Monghasemi, A. Vadiee Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx

energy source and the energy demand. Besides, exergy can be [32] Tan AYK, Wong NH. Parameterization studies of solar chimneys in the tropics.
Energies 2013;6:145–63.
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