[Bldg-sim] FEA heat-transfer analysis of envelope designs

Scott Schuetter SSchuetter at ecw.org
Tue Jan 19 12:03:33 PST 2010


I don't have any experience with Elmer or GiD, but I do have some experience with ANSYS. When we ran into parts with large aspect ratios, we would try and use 2-D or 1-D elements. The drywall and studs will predominantly conduct heat in one direction anyways. You can check this with a quick Biot number calculation. So, if GiD has these type of elements available I would try using them in concert with your 3-D elements.

Scott Schuetter
Energy Center of Wisconsin
PH: 608-238-8276 x149
FX: 608-238-0523

From: Josh K [mailto:jeemang at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 5:53 PM
To: bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org
Subject: [Bldg-sim] FEA heat-transfer analysis of envelope designs

Hi all;

I'm interested in using FEA to model the heat-transfer characteristics of several building envelope designs. I'm attempting to use Elmer (http://www.csc.fi/english/pages/elmer) to do this. Because Elmer doesn't do anything more than very simple mesh creation, I'm using GiD (http://gid.cimne.upc.es/) to attempt to mesh my wall section.

However, I'm having some serious problems creating a mesh. I'm not overly experienced in mesh creation, but I have a feeling this stems from the ridiculous aspect ratio of several parts of the assembly (ie, a 11' x 6' x 5/8" sheet of drywall) and the relatively minuscule thickness (~1/16") of the steel studs and z-girts that are in the construction.

I'm wondering if anyone has conducted any such analysis before and could offer some meshing tips. Alternatively, can anyone recommend a resource I could consult?

Many thanks,


Josh Kjenner, P.Eng., LEED AP
Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.
10225 100 Avenue :: Edmonton, AB T5J 0A1
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