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Assessing Airflow Distribution in Vents of a Naturally Ventilated Test Facility Using Reference Air Velocity Measurements

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 61(3): 1065-1076. (doi: 10.13031/trans.12458) @2018
Authors:   Gerlinde De Vogeleer, Peter Demeyer, Philippe Van Overbeke, Jan G. Pieters, Professor
Keywords:   Airflow rate distribution, Mock-up building, Natural ventilation, Ultrasonic anemometer.

Abstract. Emission measurement in naturally ventilated buildings is a complex task because wind conditions can change quickly, inducing high spatial and temporal variations in the air velocity and pollutant concentration at the vent level. Simply taking the product of differential pollutant concentration and airflow rate may generate inaccurate results because the limited number of measurement locations usually fails to correctly reflect the velocity and concentration distributions in the vents. To assess the predictability of the airflow distribution in the vents of a naturally ventilated building, detailed measurements were conducted in the vents. Linear regression was applied to velocity measurements taken in the vents and at a 10 m mast (meteomast) located 20 m away. The detailed airflow measurements were used to validate statistical models. Results showed that the velocity distribution in the ridge vent could be modeled accurately and precisely for all wind directions (R2 > 89%). Models for unidirectional airflows showed high predictability for the side vent (R2 > 92%). Models for bidirectional airflows showed good predictability for the windward side when the air flowed in the same direction as the outside wind (R2 > 88%) but showed less accurate results for the leeward side as well as for airflows moving in the opposite direction to the outside wind. For all models and wind directions, the most important input variable was the velocity component measured perpendicular to the vents at the meteomast. The importance of the velocity component measured parallel to the vents increased near the edges of the vent when the vent was on the windward side but did not reach the importance of the perpendicular component. The results confirmed the importance of using different models for unidirectional and bidirectional airflows to obtain accurate airflow assessments.

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