Buildin9 and Environment, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 291-296, 1994 Elsevier Science Ltd Printed in Great Britain 0360-1323/94 $7.00 + 0.00


Evaluation of Ventilation Performance for Indoor Space
Ventilation performance depends on room geometry, ventilation method, and operating conditions as well as location and strength of the source and types of contaminants. A personal computer based application of computational fluid dynamics was developed that is capable of determining the turbulent flow field and time-dependent/steady-state contaminant concentration distributions within isothermal indoor space. The computational speed is extremely fast. The flow field calculated from this 2-D k-e turbulence model showed good agreement with results from the commercially available FLUENT code. Ventilation performance was evaluated using the "ventilation performance index." Effects of room configurations, operating conditions, and effective diffusion coefficient (or Peclet number) on ventilation performance were investigated.

INTRODUCTION INCREASED awareness of the potential health risks associated with indoor air pollutants has stimulated interest in improving our knowledge of how ventilation air is distributed and transported in indoor space. In the last several years, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been applied to predicting airflow and contaminant dispersion in the indoor environment. This is a very challenging application of C F D because of the complexities of furniture; jets near ventilation ducts; the thermal buoyancy effect ; and perturbations due to utilities, fans, and human activities. In practice, poor ventilation and inadequate design in facilities with sick building syndrome are well documented by Jones [1]. Therefore, a need exists for practicing engineers to have access to computational tools to demonstrate the major features of airflow and contaminant movement in a room. Commercially available, public domain, and research C F D software using a wide range of computers including supercomputers has been applied to model indoor air flow [2-5]. However, state-of-the-art C F D is very complex, takes from hours to days to run, is very expensive, is not user friendly, and is not accessible to many engineers. Usually C F D specialists must run the C F D model and interpret the results. In addition, given the complexity of many problems of interest, even the most sophisticated approach will quite likely be viewed as an inadequate approximation to the actual situation.

* Center for Aerosol Technology, Research Triangle Institute, P.O. Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, U.S.A. t Air and Energy Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, U.S.A. 291

Our concept is to develop a practical and simple 2-D air flow model that can easily and quickly be used on widely available personal computers (PCs). Engineers could then use the software to compute a range of scenarios with the purpose of identifying regions of poor ventilation and selecting the best locations for ventilation ducts. The central thrust of the software development is to provide computational results within a few minutes so that an engineer can evaluate a number of cases in one session. The compromises of a 2-D rather than a 3-D geometry, the neglect of thermal buoyancy, an improved algorithm, and use of a coarse grid were required for a fast solution time. These limitations are believed to be consistent with the objectives of the effort. The ability to visualize gross airflow and contaminant distribution and the computation of an integrated ventilation index as an indicator of exposure should be useful to practicing engineers in evaluation of several different designs. There are tradeoffs between computational accuracy and computational speed. By making some compromises with respect to the detail of the computations, it was possible to ensure computational accuracy within the capacity of PCs and yet still be able to predict the general behavior of contaminant dispersion in a room and evaluate the ventilation performance. We developed a user friendly ventilation model solver as a C F D tool for engineers who do not have knowledge of CFD. The software allows operating and room configurations to be changed easily and provides a rapid analysis (a few minutes in computational time) with graphical outputs, including velocity vectors, contours of streamlines, kinetic energy, dissipation rate, effective diffusion coefficient, and time-dependent concentration profiles. Also, the concentration history, its playback, local ventilation, average contaminant concentration at

C~. . Kato el aL [8] discussed the scale of ventilation efficiency. and is now conveniently defined as V P I = Ce. V P I is similar to the "age-of-air" concept but requires a finite time scale (r) to evaluate ventilation effectiveness. The three ventilation performance indices (VPls) proposed by Yamamoto et al.\ .V ~ ~ ~ . and the ventilation performance of the room can be evaluated using the ventilation performance index. \~')y- 8x 2) J ~ k ' (5) where k2 vt = % . The development of the PC-based model was initiated with the 2-D standard k-e. Therefore.U.~(t = z). In actual application.~ Kinetic energy (k) equation : +v. . When the room configuration and the flow field are specified. However.. the effective turbulent diffusion coefficient is incorporated into the particle transport equation to obtain the gaseous/particulate contaminant distributions : . very few room airflows are laminar. compared with the concentration with a perfect mixing assumption at t = z (no wall absorption assumed). leading us to conclude that one V P I is sufficient to describe ventilation performance.09. or fully turbulent. = __ W BU<.:=Re 1 1 v.t 77) = ~(rX) + ~ ~. (6) ~r~. it is appropriate to use a standard k e. V P I is described as the average contaminant concentration evaluated at t = r.- U.3. In this study. [9] proposed three scales called "ventilation performance indices" that consist of: (1) average contaminant concentration or decay rate.I { \dxdy) + IS'S. ~?v* 8x* _ ~u* By* _ ~B U<. and effective diffusion turbulence coefficient (or Peclet number. To reduce computational time. .B" D*=-- D U<.. Sandberg and Sjoberg [6] introduced the idea of using the "age-ofair" in a room (i. B aT* U ~ --- . the better the ventilation performance. the non-dimensionalized governing equations can be written as follows. I "¢ "~ Re=- n ~J".. operating conditions. model..K ~4 l ~ . U.~) 6~2~ 82tIj 632F.(r.B' G*--- GB . The higher the VPI. Yamamoto et al.? " - . defined below) on ventilation performance.. (2) average contaminant diffusion coefficient... C~.v~(t = ~).. It is necessary to model the Reynolds stress term in the functional form. a vorticity equation. 8~'* c U." (1) Removing the stars above the variables.{4 (02W~2 texey)+ (82W 82W~2 v. the breathing zone. a2 = 1. which requires only four fundamental equations : a continuity equation. turbulence formulation under isothermal conditions which was derived by introducing a gradient-diffusion and an eddy viscosity hypothesis. ) ~ # n a m o t o et al. ..f .* -cB u.0..* k k* = .44.' The constants used in this model were the values recommended by Launder and Spaulding [10].292 T. (4) Energy dissipation rate (e) equation : VENTILATION EFFECTIVENESS MODEL N u m e r i c a l scheme Typical room airflow is locally turbulent.' 8x* - u?. and an energy dissipation rate equation. .. ' v* =-- v.= 0.~ ' +-' cr~ = 1.92.' ~. a~ = 1. ' 1 F.(t = r). transitional. a~ = 1. Stream function (q~) equation: 82u? 8x 2 ~72W + @2 - (. to demonstrate the application of the software.. . The variables are nondimensionalized as: ~* _ + ~r16r. which is defined later in this article. 82Ft (3) 8xgy 4-22---+2---8y 2 8x 2 8x ~ 83.e. -. we selected a simple room configuration and investigated the effects of the room configuration. 02~ O2F.. Several concepts important to defining ventilation performance have been discussed in the literature. u I!:¢ -_ 83. [9] have been shown to provide similar trends for a wide range of practical cases.(t = z)/C. an engineer could use a room configuration of interest. The above four equations are expressed as a finite difference scheme and solved simultaneously. The Reynolds stress model probably provides the optimum level of closure in terms of physical interpretation and has the potential to be generally applicable to a wide range of flows. and (3) average contaminant concentration or decay rate at the breathing level. Ft = i : { e q V t 0"~. vt' 1-k = R e " } . a kinetic energy equation. local-mean age-of-air and roomaverage age-of-air) to evaluate ventilation performance. --4~.' q. Seppanen [7] discussed the ventilation efficiency using airexchange efficiency and pollutant removal effectiveness. . the Navier-Stokes equations and Reynolds stress equations can be expressed in the form of a vorticity-stream function. (2) Vorticity (~) equation : axt ay) -o.

we varied inflow velocity (Uo) to have the values 0. To demonstrate the utility of the approach. resulting in the poorest ventilation. 0. where the steepest gradient of velocities exists. However. The left entry shows one major recirculation at the upper center of the room. The dimension of inlet offset.Evaluation o f Ventilation Performance OC at 293 ax\ Oy} + / ac\ a ac (7) where C = non-dimensionalized particle concentration G = non-dimensionalized particle generation rate Deer = I/(Re Sc) + vitro = non-dimensionalized effective turbulent diffusion coefficient D~+fr= (UoB)Derf = dimensional effective turbulent diffusion coefficient (m2/s) De~ = 1/(ReSc)+v. parallel flow at flow. as shown in Fig. B = 0. the effective turbulent diffusion coefficient (D~+fr)is a summation of those two [D{fr---D+D. the time-dependent concentration profile and ventilation performance are evaluated using VP1 = Cp. This flow bypass causes the large area of poor mixing zone. H = 3. improves the computational accuracy. which is a function of particle size or type of gases. Although the use of a finer mesh. the characteristic time constant used was r = WH/BUo. When evaluating ventilation performance of a room.30 m (1 ft) for the left entry (LE).k2/e = non-dimensionalized turbulent kinetic energy Sc = v/D = Schmidt number. The computational results for both cases appear to agree reasonably well [11].74 m (9 ft) for the right entry (RE). and zero contaminant gradient along the wall. Computational time is very short (1-2 minutes with a 486/50 personal computer) for a grid mesh of 25 x 21 and a grid cell size of 15. and 0.52 m (5 ft) for the center entry (CE). The effect of D~+ffon ventilation performance can be evaluated by the non-dimensional parameter. In all figures. Uo = 0. the computation time for this newly developed model was at least one order of magnitude less than the time required to run the F L U E N T code using the same conversion criteria.66 m (12 ft). In addition. = vj~rc).15 m/s (30 ft/min). no particles are assumed to absorb into the walls. left (b). airflow distributions in a simple indoor space were compared with the results obtained from the commercially available F L U E N T code using a Fujitsu (SUN)-4/330 GXP work station. 1.(t = r)/ Cavo(t = Z). permitting the user to control the flow of the program.25 m/s (50 ft/min) were almost identical. When the room is initially uniformly contaminated and the fresh air is introduced at the supply duct. indicating poor mixing or ventilation zones. and right (c). To evaluate the effect of air exchange rate. The normalized airflow distributions for Uo = 0. When Uo = 0. Therefore. especially near the wall. The steady-state concentration profile and ventilation performance can be obtained [9]. standard boundary conditions were used for this simulation: nonslip boundary conditions along the solid wall. and T = 0. and 2.24 x 15. 1. tr.24 cm (6 x 6 in. computational time becomes excessive for most cases. A. and the diffusion due to turbulent kinetic energy (D.9.. Thus. . In order to validate the developed model.05 m/s (10 ft/min).25 m/s (50 ft/min). The contaminant diffusion coefficient consists of the diffusion due to Brownian motion (D). Room outline and variables. which is a function of room configuration and turbulent intensity at the supply duct.05 m (10 ft). given by Pe = BUo/D~+ff = 1~Deft. or T Fig. it is important to understand the spacial distribution of the degree of mixing in the room. We selected the latter case.. a point source cannot be used because ventilation performance of a room depends on the flow field and location of the source./a~] and represents air mixing.05 m/s. one on each side of the main airflow path where the poor mixing or ventilation occurs. a large portion of the room is occupied with flow recirculation and the major flow activity is shifted right. For the case of the 2-D ventilation model.61 m (2 ft). NUMERICAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Figure 2 shows the time-averaged velocity vectors in a room when a supply duct is at the center (a). = tr. The timedependent concentration and ventilation performance can then be computed. The center entry shows two large recirculation zones. User friendly model A menu-driven ventilation model displays the choices of room configurations and operating parameters. = 0.61 m (2 ft). The other way is to assume that the room is initially uniformly contaminated and no other source is present thereafter. 1.15 m/s (30 ft/min). One way to evaluate ventilation performance is to assume that the room generates continuous contaminant uniformly throughout the room. Therefore. the Peclet number (Pc).05 m/s (10 ft/min) and Uo = 0. uniform flow along the flow inlet. When the supply air duct is at the right side.). The air motion in the upper right section is rather small. the concentration hisW v. Various boundary conditions were proposed to improve numerical accuracy. Most indoor environments are not perfectly mixed. was varied as 0. the following room configuration and dimensions were selected : W = 3.

and Cs0 are the fractions of the concentration less than 10. The time constant is v = 6. The best ven- .5 and 6. C~b is the average contaminant at the breathing level between 1. . tory up to t = 2. (b) left entry : (c) right entry. The higher ventilation performance is achieved with increased VPL D~. VPI.2 ::-. and VPI = 0. Concentration history for Uo = 0.294 T.8' 0. Pe = 137. beyond these times. 3b for the left entry. The same trend is shown for Clo. . and C~0. where the X I Fig. .8 m (3.v. .. 2. . . and VPI = 0. 3a for the center entry. Note that C~veb is lower than Ca~ for all cases. Y a m a m o t o e t al. ". .6 0. The worst ventilation was for the right entry. . There are two distinct slopes for C~v¢ and C. tilation performance achieved was for the left entry (D. = 0.0 min for this case. .. . C. respectively.05 m/s (10 ft/min). . = 0.15 m/s (30 ft/min). and Cs0. (c) right entry.5~ is as shown in Fig. and t = ~/4 (1.0 ft) from the floor. . . C. . Pe = 76. o~ • ~ ~ ~ 1'2 4 ~p 4 4 linw (min) Fig.\- "nine (rnin) (b) ' (b) rrne (ran) (c) I (c) I .v. ~ ' ' l l . Then. 1 cave ~0. Here.409 x 10 3 m2/s.495).. 4 4 4 ~ 1 I~ . cpm 4 4 4 ~ e ~ 4 4 4 4 ~ t = ~ .. (a) Center entry ..319 x 10 -3 m2/s. Cp. followed by the center entry (D~+. t = r (6 min) for the left entry.g stays at 1.4" (a) I (a) .226 x 10 -3 m2/s. and 50% of the initial concentration. indicating that only one performance parameter. . 3c for the right entry. . at t = z/2 (3 rain) for the center entry.. and VP I= 0. and the right entry (D~+fr = 0. (b) left entry .05 and 1. or Pe. . Time-averaged velocity vectors in a room for U. This indicates that the ventilation is extremely effective initially but effectiveness is significantly reduced in the later stage. the contaminant decay rate (or slope) for Cavois significantly higher than that for Cp. Cav~becomes the same as Cp. . 3. C.+ff = 0. is the concentration computed with the assumption of perfect mixing. (a) Center entry . 30. Fig.1-pm particles. The particle diffusion coefficient was assumed to be D = 0. ve exceeds Cp. for all three cases. . C3o.644). and Fig.5 min) for the right entry. .b: the initial steep slope (faster clearing) and the second gradual slope (slower clearing). is adequate instead of the three VPIs proposed earlier [9].0 until the fresh air arrives at the breathing zone and faster zone clearing follows. ve is the average contaminant concentration in the room. 1 0.985). In the initial stage of ventilation. Pe = 97. . (530.684 x 10 -9 m2/s for all cases that correspond to 0.

this user friendly. The worst performance is for the right entry (VPI = 0.2 rain. the increase of turbulence to Deaf = 10 -3 m2/s (Pe = 32) and 2. 4. Cavcb(/ = T).05 m/s. 5b for left entry. Shown in Fig.05 m/s.e f~ I'.494) where De~r is the lowest (D~+rr---0.80. PC based C F D ventilation effectiveness model was demonstrated using a (a)o. Uo = 0.974) where De~r is the highest (D~+fr = 0. probably due to higher turbulent diffusion in the room.0079 min -t after 1. (b) left entry.05. Placing the supply air duct at the left side of the room creates the contaminant concentration distributions at t = z shown in Fig.25 m/s (50 ft/min). (c) right entry. which implies that the room configuration is not adequate.5 min. Figure 4a shows concentration contours at t = z = 6 min for the center entry when Uo = 0. The time constant for this case is z = 1. The second slope divided by Uo becomes constant. 0. indicating that the ventilation performance is solely a function of D~+ffor Pe when the room layout and operating conditions are set.05 m/s (10 ft/min). 0. The average contaminant concentration is significantly improved. O+ff. although the time scale is changed.6- 0. (a) Center entry . Figure 6 illustrates the effect of D~+rfon concentration history for the center entry for Uo = 0.402- ~ ' 1' / " .25 m/s (50 ft/min).4 . Table 1 summarizes the values of Cave(t= Z). the second slope ( m i n . (b) left entry . 5a for center entry and Fig.Evaluation of Ventilation Performance second (gradual) slope was 0. Concentration profile at t = z for Uo= 0. Table 1 indicates that VII becomes slightly higher as Uo becomes smaller. The average concentration is the worst among the three cases because a large fraction of the room is unmixed due to flow bypass. (a) Center entry .. Concentration history for Uo = 0. 5.8 "r~ (rn~) d4 I~ Fig.0 × 10 -3 m2/s (the latter is highly turbulent) produces a significant effect on the concentration history.8 2'.25 m/s. D~+f~varying from 10 6 to 10 -9 m2/s does not make appreciable difference. The concentration history for all cases is almost the same (see Fig. the concentration history is as shown in Fig. All the rest of the parameters are the same as in the earlier case. However.15. and VPI for Uo = 0. r Vlmo(r~) Fig. o~ o'. 3).1~ (c) O~ (b) 1 '0~6 1'. Pe. 4b. The ventilation at the left side of the room was contributed by D~+ff. The best ventilation performance achieved is again for the left entry (VPI= 0. The cont a m i n a n t concentration is higher on the upper left and right sides of the room.114x 10 -2 m~/s) or Pe = 135. In summary.203 x 10 -2 m2/s) or Pe is the lowest (Pe = 76). and 0. indicating no effective ventilation. 4c is the contaminant dis- 295 (a) (b) tribution at t = z for the right entry. The value of D~+fror Pe can be determined by the turbulent intensity at the flow inlet. At a higher velocity.2 1'.l ) .

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