Influence of Dust on the Emissivity of Radiant Barriers
Abstract (Summary)A model of the radiant heat transfer in attics containing dusty radiant barriers was developed. The geometrical model was a triangular enclosure in which the temperatures of the enclosing surfaces were known. The dust particles were simulated as areas of diameter equal to the mean diameter of the real dust to be analyzed and an emissivity substantially larger than the emissivity of the radiant barrier. Several shape factors were calculated using shape factor algebra, including a procedure to find the shape factor between a small rectangle and a triangular surface perpendicular to the rectangular plane. The thermal model was developed using the "Net Radiation Method" in which the net heat exchange between the surfaces surrounding the enclosure was found by solving a system of equations that has as many equations as the number of surfaces involved in the calculations. This led to the necessity of solving a very large system of equations in order to account for the dust particles in a representative amount. The solution of the system of equations provided the heat flux for each element of the enclosure. Finally, replacing the radiant barrier and the dust particles for an equivalent surface corresponding to the dusty radiant barrier provided the means to calculate the emissivity of this dusty radiant barrier. The theoretical model was tested to assess its validity. The experimentation was carried out using a reflection emissometer to measure the increase of the emissivity of aluminum radiant barrier when known quantities of dust were artificially applied to it. The experimental results showed good agreement with the theoretical model. A linear relationship between the emissivity and the area of dust coverage was found. The simple relation developed can be used in future research which still has to deal with the determination of the area of dust coverage by using the geometrical model of dust superposition or other statistical model to simulate the random location of random size dust particles over the radiant barrier.
School:Texas A&M University
School Location:USA - Texas
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:12/01/1991