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Energy saving potential of utilizing natural ventilation under warm conditions – A case study of Mexico


  • Oropeza-Perez, Ivan
  • Østergaard, Poul Alberg


The objective of this article is to show the potential of natural ventilation as a passive cooling method within the residential sector of countries which are located in warm conditions using Mexico as a case study. The method is proposed as performing, with a simplified ventilation model, thermal–airflow simulations of 27 common cases of dwellings (considered as one thermal zone) based on the combination of specific features of the building design, occupancy and climate conditions. The energy saving potential is assessed then by the use of a new assessment method suitable for large-scale scenarios using the actual number of air-conditioned dwellings distributed among the 27 cases. Thereby, the energy saving is presented as the difference in the cooling demand of the dwelling during one year without and with natural ventilation, respectively. Results indicate that for hot-dry conditions, buildings with high heat capacity combined with natural ventilation achieve the lowest indoor temperature, whereas under hot-humid conditions, night ventilation combined with low heat capacity buildings present the best results. Thereafter, an average aggregated saving potential of 4.2TWh for 2008 is estimated, corresponding to 54.4% of the Mexican electric cooling demand for the same year. The practical implications of the study are that the results contribute to an assessment of the economic and environmental benefits for using natural ventilation rather than an active method such as air conditioning. Thereby, the average economic saving is estimated at US$ 900M and the environmental benefit at an annual average mitigation of 2 Mt CO2eq, both for 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Oropeza-Perez, Ivan & Østergaard, Poul Alberg, 2014. "Energy saving potential of utilizing natural ventilation under warm conditions – A case study of Mexico," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 20-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:130:y:2014:i:c:p:20-32
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.05.035

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Yujiao & Tong, Zheming & Wu, Wentao & Samuelson, Holly & Malkawi, Ali & Norford, Leslie, 2019. "Achieving natural ventilation potential in practice: Control schemes and levels of automation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 235(C), pages 1141-1152.
    2. Chen, Yujiao & Malkawi, Ali & Liu, Zhu & Freeman, Richard Barry & Tong, Zheming, 2016. "Energy Saving Potential of Natural Ventilation in China: The Impact of Ambient Air Pollution," Scholarly Articles 27733689, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Yu, Tao & Heiselberg, Per & Lei, Bo & Zhang, Chen & Pomianowski, Michal & Jensen, Rasmus, 2016. "Experimental study on the dynamic performance of a novel system combining natural ventilation with diffuse ceiling inlet and TABS," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 218-229.
    4. Tong, Zheming & Chen, Yujiao & Malkawi, Ali & Liu, Zhu & Freeman, Richard B., 2016. "Energy saving potential of natural ventilation in China: The impact of ambient air pollution," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 660-668.
    5. Jung-yeon Yu & Kyoo-dong Song & Dong-woo Cho, 2017. "Resolving Stack Effect Problems in a High-Rise Office Building by Mechanical Pressurization," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-17, September.
    6. O' Donovan, Adam & O' Sullivan, Paul D. & Murphy, Michael D., 2019. "Predicting air temperatures in a naturally ventilated nearly zero energy building: Calibration, validation, analysis and approaches," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 250(C), pages 991-1010.
    7. Hiyama, Kyosuke & Glicksman, Leon, 2015. "Preliminary design method for naturally ventilated buildings using target air change rate and natural ventilation potential maps in the United States," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 655-666.
    8. Tong, Zheming & Chen, Yujiao & Malkawi, Ali, 2017. "Estimating natural ventilation potential for high-rise buildings considering boundary layer meteorology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 276-286.
    9. Fiorentini, Massimo & Tartarini, Federico & Ledo Gomis, Laia & Daly, Daniel & Cooper, Paul, 2019. "Development of an enthalpy-based index to assess climatic potential for ventilative cooling of buildings: An Australian example," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 251(C), pages 1-1.
    10. Yinqi Zhang & He Wang & Weijun Gao & Fan Wang & Nan Zhou & Daniel M. Kammen & Xiaoyu Ying, 2019. "A Survey of the Status and Challenges of Green Building Development in Various Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-29, September.
    11. Rackes, Adams & Melo, Ana Paula & Lamberts, Roberto, 2016. "Naturally comfortable and sustainable: Informed design guidance and performance labeling for passive commercial buildings in hot climates," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 256-274.
    12. Amin Mohammadi & Mahmoud Reza Saghafi & Mansoureh Tahbaz & Farshad Nasrollahi, 2017. "Effects of Vernacular Climatic Strategies (VCS) on Energy Consumption in Common Residential Buildings in Southern Iran: The Case Study of Bushehr City," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-26, October.
    13. Jorge Lucero-Álvarez & Norma A. Rodríguez-Muñoz & Ignacio R. Martín-Domínguez, 2016. "The Effects of Roof and Wall Insulation on the Energy Costs of Low Income Housing in Mexico," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-19, June.
    14. Abdul Mujeebu, Muhammad & Alshamrani, Othman Subhi, 2016. "Prospects of energy conservation and management in buildings – The Saudi Arabian scenario versus global trends," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1647-1663.
    15. Tejero-González, Ana & Andrés-Chicote, Manuel & García-Ibáñez, Paola & Velasco-Gómez, Eloy & Rey-Martínez, Francisco Javier, 2016. "Assessing the applicability of passive cooling and heating techniques through climate factors: An overview," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 727-742.
    16. Tong, Zheming & Chen, Yujiao & Malkawi, Ali, 2016. "Defining the Influence Region in neighborhood-scale CFD simulations for natural ventilation design," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 625-633.
    17. Martins, Nuno R. & Carrilho da Graça, Guilherme, 2017. "Impact of outdoor PM2.5 on natural ventilation usability in California’s nondomestic buildings," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 711-724.
    18. Liwei Wen & Kyosuke Hiyama, 2018. "Target Air Change Rate and Natural Ventilation Potential Maps for Assisting with Natural Ventilation Design During Early Design Stage in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-16, May.


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