The impact of ventilation cooling towers on plus energy houses in southern Europe

Cooling homes is often important to maintain acceptable internal comfort. This can be achieved by both active and passive solutions. This research focused on passive systems and has examined one hypothesis: that evaporative cooling towers are an important element of plus-energy houses in southern Europe. Refinements to the design of the existing ventilation tower of a Solar Decathlon House developed by the Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart are proposed and tested in eight locations in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain using dynamic thermal and computational fluid dynamics simulations in order to predict energy consumption, mean and peak CO2 levels, temperatures, ventilation rates, cooling potential, fresh air distribution, indoor air quality and water consumption of the evaporative cooling system implemented within the tower. Results show that a 50% reduction of the annual energy demand for space cooling to be satisfied by other systems is achieved without compromising the internal comfort.