A Network Model for Natural Ventilation Simulation in Deep Buried Underground Structures

Jianli Chen, Yanan Liu, Yimin Xiao, Godfried Augenbroe, Tiecheng Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus Citations


The study of underground natural ventilation opportunities has become increasingly significant in recent years with its promise of wide application in underground structures such as underground hydro power stations, metro stations, underground parking and laboratories. It is recognized that deployment of natural ventilation constitutes a passive technology that can lead to significant energy conservation if applied judiciously. This paper focuses on underground buildings that are buried deeply and typically consist of an underground complex network of connected structures. The other characteristic is that these structures house machinery and devices that generate heat, leading to elevated internal air temperatures. Combined with the deep location, it implies that buoyancy forces are significant which make natural ventilation through vertical shaft openings a viable option. These characteristics demand a study of the heat transfer processes between ambient conditions, soil and underground buildings. In this paper, we present a dynamic flow network model with loops for multizone airflow and apply it to deep buried underground structures considering the dominant heat transfer characteristics, not only through the elements of the network but also the heat exchange with the envelope and adjacent soil mass. Finally, a small-scale experiment of occurring airflow is conducted and compared with the outcomes of the dynamic simulation of the proposed model. The comparison serves as validation and illustration of the application potential of the network model for natural ventilation investigation and consecutive optimization of its use in underground buildings.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)288-301
Number of pages14
JournalBuilding and Environment
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-73672


  • heat transfer
  • natural ventilation
  • network model
  • underground buildings


Dive into the research topics of 'A Network Model for Natural Ventilation Simulation in Deep Buried Underground Structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this