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Impact of occupant modelling on the prediction of airflow around occupants in a ventilated room
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada .
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada .
Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada .
University of Gävle, Department of Technology and Built Environment, Ämnesavdelningen för inomhusmiljö.
2007 (English)In: The International Journal of Ventilation, ISSN 1473-3315, E-ISSN 2044-4044, Vol. 6, no 2, 129-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Localized ventilation systems typically create highly asymmetric or non-isothermal environments around occupants with significant vertical temperature gradient and highly non-uniform airflow regimes that could be directed toward a segment of the body. These effects may have pronounced impact on occupant's thermal comfort. The airflow field and temperature distribution near the occupant can be determined either by performing full-scale measurements or by simulation methods. Usually, human subjects or manikins are used in field studies involving measurement techniques. However, as an alternative to full-scale measurement, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been proven to be a practical and valuable tool for predicting the airflow field. At the same time, the accuracy of the predictions of the local airflow within the microclimate of the occupant is highly dependent on the proper modelling of the occupant itself. The human body not only has a complicated physical shape, but also has complex thermo-physiological properties. Modelling of all these aspects is a formidable challenge and an extremely time-consuming task. Therefore, various simplifications have been made in order to decrease the level of complexity so that the computation may be performed with the available computer resources. This paper reports the results of a detail numerical simulation to study the impact of occupant modelling on the airflow and temperature distribution and their influences on the occupant's thermal comfort. First, the predictions made by the CFD model were compared with experimental data that were measured in a specially designed experimental chamber. Good agreement was observed. Four type of configuration were used to model the occupant: a conventional block form, three-node, six-node and finally eight-node configurations. Further simulations were carried out to investigate the assumption of uniform heat distribution. An assessment of uniform and non-uniform heat distribution scenarios for various occupant configurations and ventilation systems showed that the assumption of uniform heat distribution is valid for a wide range of operating conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 6, no 2, 129-144 p.
Keyword [en]
CFD; Localized ventilation system; Multi-node occupant model; Thermal comfort
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-17842Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-34547886122OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-17842DiVA: diva2:761859
Available from: 2014-11-09 Created: 2014-11-09 Last updated: 2016-10-31Bibliographically approved

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