Indoor Pollutant Mixing Time in an Isothermal Closed Room: An investigation using CFD

TitleIndoor Pollutant Mixing Time in an Isothermal Closed Room: An investigation using CFD
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsAshok J Gadgil, Christian Lobscheid, Marc O Abadie, Elizabeth U Finlayson
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Date Published12/2003

We report computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions of mixing time of a point pulse release of a pollutant in an unventilated mechanically mixed isothermal room. The aims of the study are to determine (1) the adequacy of the standard RANS two-equation (k-ℇ) turbulence model to predict the mixing times under these conditions, and (2) the extent to which the mixing time is a feature of the room airflow, rather than the source location within the room. CFD simulations modeled the twelve mixing time experiments performed by Drescher et al. (1995) in an isothermal sealed room for a point pulse release. Predictions of mixing time were found in good agreement with experimental measurements, over an order of magnitude variation in blower power. Additional CFD simulations were performed to investigate the relation between pollutant mixing time and pollutant source location. Seventeen source locations were investigated for five different blower power configurations in the room. Results clearly show large dependence of the mixing time on the room airflow, with some dependence on source location. We further explore dependence of mixing time on the local airflow properties (velocity and turbulence intensity) at the source location. Implications for our findings for positioning air-toxic sensors in rooms are also discussed.