Calculating the heat transfer coefficient of frame profiles with internal cavities

Peter Anders Noyé, Jacob Birck Laustsen, Svend Svendsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Determining the energy performance of windows requires detailed knowledge of the thermal properties of their different elements. A series of standards and guidelines exist in this area. The thermal properties of the frame can be determined either by detailed two-dimensional numerical methods or by measurements in accordance to European or international standards. Comparing measured and calculated heat transfer coefficients for two typical frame profiles with cavities shows considerable differences. This investigation considers two typical frame profiles in aluminium and PVC with internal cavities. The heat transfer coefficient is determined by two-dimensional numerical calculations and by measurements. Calculations are performed in Therm (LBNL (2001)), which is developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA. The calculations are performed in accordance with the future European standards and measurements have been performed at two German research institutes. The internal cavities have a large influence on the overall thermal performance of the frame profiles and the investigation shows that the applied method for modelling the heat transfer by radiation exchange in the internal cavities of the profiles is critical. The simple radiation model described in the pre European standard (prEN ISO 10077-2) does not yield valid results compared to measured values. Applying a more detailed, viewfactor based, grey surfaces enclosure model as described in the ISO standard (ISO/DIS 15099) gives a better correspondence between measured and calculated values. Hence, when determining the heat transfer coefficient of frame profiles with internal cavities by calculations, it is necessary to apply a more detailed radiation exchange model than described in the prEN ISO 10077-2 standard. The ISO-standard offers such an alternative.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNordic Journal of Building Physics
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • measurements
    • calculations
    • ISO/DIS 15099
    • internal cavities
    • heat transfer coefficient
    • prEN ISO 10077-2


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