LBNL Report Number
Accurately analyzing heat transfer in window frames and glazings is important for developing and characterizing the performance of highly insulating window products. This paper uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to assess the accuracy of the simplified frame cavity conduction/convection models presented in ISO 15099 and used in software for rating and labeling window products. Three representative complex cavity cross-section profiles with varying dimensions and aspect ratios are examined. The results presented support the ISO 15099 rule that complex cavities with small throats should be subdivided; however, our data suggest that cavities with throats smaller than 7 mm should be subdivided, in contrast to the ISO 15099 rule, which places the break point at 5 mm. The agreement between CFD modeling results and the results of the simplified models is moderate for the heat transfer rates through the cavities. The differences may be a result of the underlying ISO 15099 Nusselt number correlations being based on studies where cavity height/length aspect ratios were smaller than 0.5 and greater than 5 (with linear interpolation assumed in between). The results presented here are for horizontal frame members because convection in vertical jambs involves very different aspect ratios that require three-dimensional CFD simulations.