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Solar heat gain through a skylight in a light well

Abstract

Detailed heat flow measurements on a skylight mounted on a light well of significant depth are presented. It is shown that during the day much of the solar energy that strikes the walls of the well does not reach the space below. Instead, this energy is trapped in the stratified air of the light well and eventually either conducted through the walls of the well or back out through the skylight. The standard model for predicting fenestration heat transfer does not agree with the measurements when it is applied to the skylight/well combination as a whole (the usual practice), but does agree reasonably well when it is applied to the skylight alone, using the well air temperature near the skylight. A more detailed model gives good agreement. Design implications and future research directions are discussed.

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