Theoretical and experimental studies on the daily accumulative heat gain from cool roofs

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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Cool roofs are gaining popularity as passive building cooling techniques, but the correlation between energy savings and rooftop albedo has not been understood completely. Here we theoretically model the daily accumulative inward heat (DAIH) from building roofs with different albedo values, correlating the heat gain of the building roof to both the rooftop albedo and the incident solar radiation. According to this model, the DAIH increases linearly with the daily zenith solar radiation, but decreases linearly with the rooftop albedo. A small building cell was constructed to monitor the heat gain of the building under the conditions of non-insulated and insulated roofs. The observational DAIH is highly coincident with the theoretical one, validating the theoretical model. It was found that insulating the roof, increasing the rooftop albedo, or both options can effectively curtail the heat gain in buildings during the summer season. The proposed theoretical model would be a powerful tool for evaluating the heat gain of the buildings and estimating the energy savings potential of high-reflective cool roofs.

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