Journal of Thermal Science

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 456–462 | Cite as

Numerical Model for the Characterization of Retro-reflective Materials Behavior in an Urban Street Canyon

  • Andrea VallatiEmail author
  • Luca Mauri
  • Chiara Colucci
  • Roberto De Lieto Vollaro


In this work, a preliminary numerical model of the behavior of retro-reflective materials used as envelope coatings on street canyon buildings façades has been tested. Retro-reflective materials have a surface finish that allows to reflect the solar radiation back in the same direction of the incident radiation. In the last years this kind of materials has been studied as buildings envelope coating for their potentials in the reduction of the UHI effect. As a matter of fact, the angular dependence of their optical–radiative response would help to mitigate the phenomenon of radiative entrapment due to the urban fabric environment. For this reason, an urban canyon was selected as the most common urban architecture to perform the analysis. A virtual retroreflective material has been simulated considering its response as almost diffusive but in the same direction of the incident radiation. The assessment of the energy advantages of the adoption of a virtual retro-reflective material as envelope coating is investigated by means of a numerical model developed in MATLAB and based on the Gebhart factors theory. The final purpose of the numerical model is the evaluation of the surfaces solar loads by a comparison between perfectly diffusive materials and RR materials used as façades coating.


retro-reflective materials numerical model Gebhart factors radiative trapping urban street canyon 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Vallati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luca Mauri
    • 2
  • Chiara Colucci
    • 1
  • Roberto De Lieto Vollaro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DIAEESapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Roma TreRomeItaly

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