ENERGY AND BUILDINGS, vol.171, pp.100-106, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
U-value assessment is a significant process to be able to evaluate the thermal insulation performance of building materials notably windows. About 60% of energy losses from building envelope is attributed to windows, hence accurate and reliable thermal resistance evaluation of glazed areas is of vital importance for a sensitive energy demand analysis of buildings. U-value assessment of windows is usually conducted through theoretical and numerical methods in literature. However, dwellers frequently complain about the insufficient thermal insulation performance of commercial glazing products when compared to the reported U-values in datasheets. This inconvenience arises from the lack of comprehensive experimental tests which simulate the actual operating conditions. Therefore, in this research, argon filled double glazed windows, which is one the most common fenestration products in market, is numerically and experimentally analysed in terms of U-value performance. Although computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses reveal that the U-value of the reference sample (4 mm pane + 20 mm argon + 4 mm pane) is 0.89 W/m(2)K, which is in good accordance with the theoretical data (0.80 W/m(2)K), it is observed from the environmental chamber tests that the U-value in simulated operating conditions is 1.25, 1.18 and 1.32 W/m(2)K for top, centre and lower positions of the window sample. The tests are repeated for accuracy verification, and the U-value is found to be 1.23, 1.18 and 1.31 W/m(2)K for the said points. In this respect, it is concluded that thermal bridges and edge effects play a key role in actual U-value performance of glazing products. Therefore, experimental performance figures are recommended to be utilised in energy demand analyses of buildings. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.