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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The impact of evaporation from porous tile on roof thermal performance: A case study of Guangzhou’s climatic conditions


The evaporative-cooling roof is a popular passive energy conservation technique. This article presents a novel approach for modelling and analysing the influence of evaporation on roof thermal performance. A multivariate nonlinear model was developed for the prediction of the evaporation rate from porous tile. A computer program was then developed based on the one-dimensional roof unsteady heat transfer theory. Finally, the computer program and hourly weather data of Guangzhou, China, were used to analyse the impacts of evaporation (including the evaporation start time and water-application frequency) and slope orientation on roof thermal performance. Evaporation beginning at 11:00 can reduce the external surface temperatures of a horizontal roof and 30°-inclined east-sloping and west-sloping roofs by up to 11.3, 10.7, and 9.8 °C, respectively, from those of a non-evaporative roof. This, in turn, can reduce the peak-hour (16:00–20:00) internal surface heat flux. Additionally, with the horizontal roof, the reduction in the peak-hour heat flux can be doubled if the evaporative layer is frequently replenished with water.

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